SSD RAID: Worth it for real life usage?

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by TWO515TY, May 1, 2010.

  1. TWO515TY

    TWO515TY Limp Gawd

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    I've been trying to determine whether there's a tangible difference between running a single SSD and running 2 SSD's in RAID 0. Everything I see is based off benchmarks, but would I notice a major (like a worth another $200 kind) difference between running a single SSD and running a pair of SSD's in RAID 0?

    EDIT: I guess I should mention that my main usage would just be gaming. I don't do much else except for gaming and web browsing on my PC.
     
  2. SicKlown42012

    SicKlown42012 2[H]4U

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    Not really. It'll only show noticable(real world, not in benchmarks) gains if you transfer very large files. Games might show a few seconds difference when loading, but nothing Earth shattering. But RAID will help your drives last longer as the write cycles are spread out across the drives.
     
  3. sub.mesa

    sub.mesa 2[H]4U

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    You have twice the write cycles in RAID0; however since you don't have TRIM (at least not under Windows) you might have higher write amplification and poor performance if you do not reserve at least 20% of the space on both SSDs to be unused and unpartitioned.

    Performance increase with RAID0 is both sequential and random I/O; requires three things:
    - high enough stripesize
    - proper alignment (Win7 clean install)
    - multiple queue depth applications/benchmarks

    That will make it scale in both sequential and random I/O.

    For most windows users, i guess one SSD is just alot easier and gets you TRIM as well. Any additional SSD would only be faster in sequential transfers or with random write - or with random read with multiple queue depth.
     
  4. Computurd

    Computurd Gawd

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    i can load crysis levels in sub-10 seconds. L4d levels in under 3. i have a eight member array with a 9260 though, might be overkill. but yes, you can get better results. a big thing it helps with is write speed as well.
     
  5. dustNbone

    dustNbone [H]ard|Gawd

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    I seriously doubt that your crysis levels would load much if any slower on a 2 drive stripe of G2 Intels or the like. There is no way in hell that you're maxing that array out during that load. The CPU will likely be decompressing stuff and doing a bunch of other math, not waiting for the drives. I'd actually be surprised if a single G2 couldn't do that just as fast. Writing is another story true, but you don't tend to do a whole lot once the game is installed. Your 10 second load times are because (I assume) you have a fast CPU and memory subsystem, at least for the most part.

    Dustin
     
  6. Computurd

    Computurd Gawd

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    sorry dude, you are wrong. it handles high queue depth loads so efficiently is why it smokes at those speeds. no a single, or dual, g2 will load that fast.
     
  7. MooCow

    MooCow [H]ardness Supreme

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    So like, when did you test this statement with your SSD's? Two SSD's in RAID 0 won't be twice as fast, but faster than one. I have two SSD's in Raid 0 and its been pretty swell with the load times.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2010
  8. flegg

    flegg [H]ard|Gawd

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    Is this for a new system?

    If you change between accounts frequently in an mmo go for it. (Maybe also for giving you a slight edge on killing pubbers in FPS by loading maps a bit faster)

    If you don't it is unlikely to be worth the cash to you (given you're current rig).

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  9. dustNbone

    dustNbone [H]ard|Gawd

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    Have you compared load times with a single G2 vs a stripe? I'm just looking at the capabilities of the SSD and not seeing how it could be significantly bogged down loading a game level. They maintain near full transfer speed even when servicing multiple small read requests, I just don't see a big gain to striping a bunch of them together. 2 in a striped array I could see maybe performing game loading somewhat faster than a single, but definetly nowhere near double and past 2 drives I see no gain (on paper so to speak). I'd be very interested in some real testing on these setups in terms of demanding game loads, I personally only have a single 80GB G2, and I don't use it for much at the moment, it's still more of a toy for now, a very neat toy that I will play with more when I have time. My hard drives are pretty quick, so I'm not in a big hurry.

    Dustin
     
  10. pjkenned

    pjkenned [H]ard|Gawd

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    I've used Indilinx, G2's and X25-V's in raid 0 at this point. You really won't notice the difference: http://www.servethehome.com/ocz-vertex-120gb-updated-raid-0-benchmarks-intel-rst/

    Big numbers... but performance wise, everything is written to hide the slow performance of traditional hard drives these days. If you use the system to benchmark... go for it. Real world usage you aren't going to notice a difference on the desktop.
     
  11. TWO515TY

    TWO515TY Limp Gawd

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    Sorry, the specs in my sig aren't updated. I recently built a new system with the following:

    AMD X2 550 (unlocked to a 950)
    Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P
    6GB DDR3
    ATI HD4850
    and a few other miscellaneous things.

    I'll probably end up going with just 1 SSD anyways, I doubt that I would end up spending the extra money on 2 SSD's for one computer lol. I think 1 SSD should be fast enough. I'd probably give the other one to my brother if I did buy it.
     
  12. sub.mesa

    sub.mesa 2[H]4U

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    You did not gave any indication why you think there is no real world difference. Replace the SSDs with an HDD then if you don't feel any difference.

    Also, i would argue that you would need multiple Indilinx in RAID0 to achieve the same performance as one Intel. The link you posted is done with old benchmark utilities that do not use multiple queue random read/write; like newer CrystalDiskMark and AS SSD do. So you didn't test actual performance; how can u know if the RAID was actually faster or not?
     
  13. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie [H]ardness Supreme

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    And your feeling on the proper stripe size for 2 Intel 80GB G2s is...........?

    BTW TWO515TY, I've been using a RAID0 with two Intel 80GB G1's for the last year and recently moved to two 80GB G2s. The speeds are so high that I doubt you'd notice a move to a single 160GB unit with lower specs.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
  14. sub.mesa

    sub.mesa 2[H]4U

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    Since Intel SSDs have erase blocks of 128KiB, any multiple of this would do. So stripesizes of 128KiB, 256KiB, 512KiB, 1024KiB, 2048KiB, 4096KiB, 8192KiB are all valid - assuming you've aligned the partition properly. Most proprietary RAID does not offer anything beyond 128KiB however. But you shouldn't go lower.

    However, i must warn that i can see onboard RAID0 scale much worse in random IOps on Windows than on FreeBSD where i did such tests. The performance benefit in Windows may be lower.
     
  15. Old Hippie

    Old Hippie [H]ardness Supreme

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  16. pjkenned

    pjkenned [H]ard|Gawd

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    I use them every day. I use Intel G1's and G2's in Raid 0 and alone every day, and have been using them for quite a while now. I have no non-server machines that even have a mechanical disk at this point.

    There is a big difference between hard drives and SSD's for sure. Benchmark wise, you can see a difference between Intel and Indilinx and single drive v. raid 0. Real world usage wise, you cannot tell the difference between a single drive and a Raid 0 drive unless... you are writing to an Intel drive off GigE. You can't pull 4GB @ 100MB/s down directly to an Intel single drive (and cannot also to 2x X25-V's in Raid 0 either). But it is still ~70+ MB/s which isn't terrible.

    Then again, I pretty much don't care what benchmarks say. The Intel v. Indilinx difference in bootup, raid 0 or single drive is <1s on my machine (from after the raid initialization). The one thing to remember is that even 10MB/s of 4K random reads/ writes is numerically a LOT of files. My guess is that with my usage patterns, I don't often see more than 1s of sustained 4K reads/ writes where the difference would be very noticible. Plus, with 8-12GB of ram in all of my daily use desktops now, a lot of stuff just sits around cached after the initial program open.
     
  17. TWO515TY

    TWO515TY Limp Gawd

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    Last edited: May 3, 2010