Do I really need to RAID 0 on my 2 SATA III SSDs?

Afer reading this article about SATA 2 vs SATA 3 SSDs here, it raised a question:

Do I really need to RAID 0 my 2 SATA 3 SSDs? Will I notice it if I use only 1 SATA 3 drive?

Yes, throughput is greater, but if I only used 1 drive, wouldn't it match or beat my SATA 2 SSDs in RAID 0 on my other machine.

The biggest thing I noticed in the article mentioned was boot times. Doesn't matter if is SATA 2 or 3!

In RAID, I know all about the loss of TRIM, and only partioned 80% of the total size, as recommended years ago. Never noticed any problems, but that might be because I haven't kept any drives long enough. I keep getting the "newest" drives with greater performance. (e.g. I've had (each time 2 in RAID 0) Intel X25-V 40GB, Vertex 2 60GB, AData S599 64GB, Agility 2 60GB, Agility 3 60GB, Vertex 3 60GB, Samsung 830 64GB, Vertex 3 MaxIOPS 120GB, and back to Vertex 3 60GB.)

I don't and won't ever copy large file TO the SSD, so it's all about real world use: boot time, and application launch times (i.e. Excel, Outlook, Internet Explorer, Quicken, etc.), and run times.

Another issue is the wasted size of the drives. Right now, I have 96GB of boot/OS drive useable size (due to partitioning), I'm only using less than 30Gb with all my programs installed. That's less than a third, and at $119.99 for 60GB, that's wasted money. (Let's see: $119.99 for 60GB = $2.00/GB. 120GB total size - 30GB used size = 90GB unused space. 90GB @ 2.00/GB = $180.00 unused. Wow! But 60GB is the smallest size for SATA 2 and above SSDs.)

I guess I'll do some testing myself between the 2 PC's to compare things between SATA 2 SSDs in RAID 0 and SATA 3 SSDs in RAID 0. The SATA 2 SSDs in RAID 0 will be closest to 1 SATA 3 drive without RAID.

BTW: I do know that larger SSDs performs better than smaller, but I don't want all that wasted space, which equals wasted money! A few MBps it's worth a lot of extra $$.

No, you don’t.

No, you won’t.


Partially correct. Boot time doesn’t matter if you connect a single drive to a SATA 2 or SATA 3 port, BUT the boot times indicated on the chart would definitely be lower if they tested 2 drives in RAID-0.

Also, most manufacturers’ SATA 3 models have newer/more optimized firmware than their SATA 2 models, and therefore boot times will be better.

You answered you own question to this 2 paragraphs above. Since you upgrade drives so often there’s no need for you to do partitioning. You won’t use enough P/E cycles or fill up enough drive space where that becomes necessary. :)

I’m a hobbyist like you and upgrade my drives every 18-24 months. That’s the only reason why I think you should RAID-0 your drives; you’re going to upgrade them within 2 years so why not??!! :D :D
I'm not sure why you are looking at the unused space as wasted space , with a SSD you don't want to fill up the space all the way anyway and you do need space for updates and upgrades and any other program , file , pictures or music that you may load on there. You are looking at the drives as though they should be filled up as soon as you install them so that there is no "wasted space", you need that extra space for expansion.

The SSDs are in a boot drive setup. Only the OS and programs are installed on it.

I have 2 2TB HDD: 1 for my data & media (documents,download, music, pictures, and videos) and 1 for backups (via Windows, Norton, and SyncToy).

But yes, "wasted" space is an awful harsh term. But, even if I install several more programs, I'll never use the 90GB of unused space. Yes, this space is/can be used for drive self optimization, temp files, etc. Still, it's an awful lot!

Thanks for your reply.

Very nice, and recent article!

In my situation, I'll keep what drives I have, just remove the RAID 0. I don't need the extra size, even if it is better reads/writes. I can return the drive I'm using as a cache drive (just got it), an use one of the drives that was in RAID 0 as a cache drive for an HDD.

I'll weight the article heavily in my decision!

Thanks for the reply!

I'm moving My Documents off the HDD back to the SSD soon. Main reason: That way, the drive does not spin up when I use Email or edit Excel sheets. Blessed silence!