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Community Manager

newbie: Should i buy one or two ssd

Hey I have been reading about Intel x25-m ssd, and about the new RST driver.

1. Buy 1 ssd or 2 with raid0? Or get 1 now and 1 in the future?

2. Can i even run with the new RST driver? I have a mobo gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3 with chipset p35 hope this is useful if not just leave a comment...

3. TRIM support for raid0? hmm right now i think there is...but if im wrong plz leave a comment

4. Should i buy windows 7 instead of my vista. Because of windows7 trim support.

Im pretty new to raid confirguration, so any help will be great

Im sry for my bad english, and if this is already been writing in the forums im sry but I am a bit confused

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New Contributor II

I would like to let you know that the trim command will not work if you use raid, this is a hardware limitation; I might need more information regarding the "RST driver".

Windows 7 support is capable of handling TRIM natively so this is a good step in your configuration if you are planning to use an SSD.

Community Manager

Adding to Mauriceb's reply, Intel has indicated intention to support TRIM for SSD RAID, but it's not clear when that will come. New RST version 10 drivers are promising (available on the Internet, but not officially released yet). Early reports indicate significant performance improvement on SSD RAID arrays that are "seasoned" (very few or no remaining blocks of memory that haven't been written to and erased at least once). This is a sign that RST 10 might support TRIM. Lots of good info on this at a new site dedicated to SSD: The SSD Review

RAID-0 is always a risk due to lack of fault tolorance. The failure of one drive causes failure of the entire array. Since an SSD already has much lower access time and latency compared to rotational disks, the risk of RAID-0 stripping is difficult to justify. If squeezing every bit of performance out the technology is more important than possible loss of the array then you may be a candidate for RAID-0.

I'm using two X25-M G2 80GB SSD's in a RAID-1 array. RAID-1 "mirroring" is all about fault tolerance since you can lose/replace one drive and keep running. Some might say SSD also makes RAID-1 more difficult to justify (in terms of expense) because solid state should inherently be much more reliable than mechanical disks. However, electronics can also fail and SSD is still a relatively new technology and my data is very important.

Community Manager

RST 10 does not support TRIM. The most likely reason people see better performance with RST 10 in a raid configuration is due to the rumored RAID Volume Cache Size Increase to 16 MB of System Memory.

By using NCQ a single Intel SSD can execute up to 32 commands in parallel. If you don't need added bandwidth raid 0 offers no advantage for non-enterprise use. You face a disadvantage when the drives start to degrade and TRIM can't kick in.

Community Manager

redux, thanks for the additional info. So, boost in cache size and parallel execution is helping to mitigate the negative impact of not having TRIM for RAID SSD. Makes sense. Church bells would be ringing everywhere if RAID TRIM support were discovered in RST 10. LOL

As for RAID-0, I couldn't agree more. I wouldn't be caught dead using stripping in the enterprise either unless it were in a RAID-10 or 50 configuration. I think RAID-0 is a holdover from the rotating disk where it was a little more justifiable for performance reasons if you didn't care about losing data on the array. But I do enjoy reading the experiences and benchmarks of the thrill seekers willing to use RAID-0 anyway.

I want to add, after heavily using a RAID-1 SSD array for almost a year, the effect of lacking TRIM support will probably show up in CrystalDiskMark or other tools, but it's not yet noticeable to me in everyday use. Response time still feels blazingly fast. Might have time to do some actual performance measurements over the holidays...