Question Adding more SSDs, outside of my current RAID 0 array + multi-OS.

LordofAllClouds

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Heya,

My current rig is from 2014 and I am running Windows 7 on two 256GB Samsung 840 Pros in RAID 0. My understanding that RAID 0 really doesn't have noticeable performance gains on SATA III SSDs like these but I believe I did this back then simply for savings -- a 512GB drive was more than two 256s.

In any case, 512GB today is pretty limiting and I would like to to add some additional space. My X79 Deluxe has 8 SATA ports but the BIOS options for SATA are IDE, ACHI and RAID. I of course need to have this set to RAID or my boot doesn't work. That being the case, can I add additional SSDs and have them exist outside of this RAID 0 array even while having BIOS set to RAID?

I am currently looking at either a 1TB Samsung EVO or QVO. Is there really a noticeable difference between the '3-bit' and '4-bit' ? The QVO is 30$ cheaper and somehow I don't imagine I will ever notice the difference. I'm also wondering if I should abandon this RAID 0 set-up and just clone/copy an image of my current install over to the 1TB SSD and then have the two 256GB drives as separate drives for additional storage/games?

Finally, I have a MX500 Crucial that I would also like to add as a separate boot drive for an offline Retro/Legacy Windows XP install. My rig being an Ivy-E Bridge and a Kepler (760 soon to be Titan Black) GPU makes it very compatible with both Windows 7 and XP. I have no experience with multi-boot systems or boot loaders, however.

Thanks in advance for any advice/guidance you can offer.
 

USAFRet

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Adding new drives sould have no impact on your RAID situation. They should just appear as more drive letters.

XP on an MX500?
I wouldn't. XP does not know what to do with an SSD. It will work, but the underlying TRIM function won't work.

And I wouldn't use XP as a native OS anyway.
In a VM, maybe.
 

LordofAllClouds

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I don't think I need to worry about TRIM on the XP install to be honest. The newer SSDs have garbage collection and it's not like I'm going to be doing a lot of writes -- I will probably install my collection XP games and won't see much more writes beyond save-game files.

Not sure how you're defining 'native OS' but I don't see any issue with using XP offline for Windows XP gaming. I even have a Soundblaster X-Fi Titanium for a way better experience in games like Bioshock. A VM isn't the same if the goal is XP gaming.
 

LordofAllClouds

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Yup, 100% offline, will have ethernet/lan devices disabled. I still figuring out how to best set it up with what boot manager in order to have it automatically boot to Windows 7 unless I keystroke to boot to the other drive.

And as far as the QVO vs EVO Samsung SSDs for additional Win7 space, I may wait to hear some opinions.
 

USAFRet

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And as far as the QVO vs EVO Samsung SSDs for additional Win7 space, I may wait to hear some opinions.
I've not seen any review that shows any user facing difference between the two.

For booting between the two OS's?
Just have the Win 7 drive above the XP in the BIOS boot order. It will boot from Win 7, unless you interrupt the boot process and manually select the other drive.
 

LordofAllClouds

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True. I was thinking I would rather not have to enter BIOS but I suppose whether I enter BIOS or a Boot Manager it's the same amount of steps. Unless there are boot managers that give you direct short-cut keystrokes to one drive or another.
 

USAFRet

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True. I was thinking I would rather not have to enter BIOS but I suppose whether I enter BIOS or a Boot Manager it's the same amount of steps. Unless there are boot managers that give you direct short-cut keystrokes to one drive or another.
Possibly EasyBCD.
 

popatim

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Install Xp with only that drive in the system.
Then with everything all set and the other drives installed. The bios should be set to boot your preferred os (Win7).
During POST you will see a option to press an F-key to select which Device you want to boot from. You'll see at the same time that you see the option/key to press to get into the Bios.

So when you want to run XP, you just restart, Press F-key when prompted (F11 for me), arrow down the the correct drive and hit enter. I'm setup like that and do this several times a month
 

LordofAllClouds

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So right now I have the 2x256GB drives at C:, the 1TB SSD as B and the 500GB as E all in Windows 7. So I'll just disconnect everything that isn't the 500GB drive and boot up with my XP disc and reformat/install it.

I don't get a boot device option with this motherboard but maybe I need to disable fast boot. I get an option for BIOS, and option to enter Marvell controller (CTRL+M) and an option to mess with my raid set-up (CTRL+I).
 

LordofAllClouds

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Hahaha, true. The A: and B: drives on my Tandy 1000 are 360K and 720K floppy drives. I don't imagine I'll be using any on this system, though and I won't be ever booting from that one.

I wonder though, once I have that 500GB drive set-up with the Windows XP install and then reconnect everything -- will those other drives appear in XP and will the XP drive appear in Windows 7? I would be convenient to be able to copy games downloaded from Steam in Windows 7 to the XP drive, as Steam doesn't library access for XP anymore and I won't be connecting to the internet on that OS anyway.

And if so, it would be the C: drive when I boot up into XP, but the E or F drive when I boot into 7?
 

USAFRet

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Whichever drive and OS you boot into..it sees itself as the C drive.

Boot into XP...that is the C and the other physical drives or partitions are other letters.
Boot into Win 7, that is the C drive, and anything else is a different drive letter.

And yes, you can probably move Steam games across to other drives like that.
"Probably", because I'd have to try it with XP just to be sure.
 

LordofAllClouds

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I believe there are -- but I'm not really concerned with seeing the Win 7 drives in XP -- more that I can see the XP drive in 7 so I can copy files over from the intrawebz.
 

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