RAID Array v. SSD

I'm trying to be cost effective - I'm also extremely cheap. My friend recently suggested that rather than purchasing an SSD, I could get [quoting] 'similar' performance to an SSD by utilizing RAID arrays. Now, this is news to me - I [sadly] always thought RAID was just a backup method, with little other utility.

Anyhow, a couple items of discussion:
1. Is my friend just BS-ing? If so, how many disks in RAID and what RAID design would it take to properly make this happen?
2. Can someone perhaps quantify the speed difference from one disc v. 2 or 3 in a RAID?

I was thinking of getting a second 7200RPM 1TB, and maybe even a third Caviar drive if it can give me meaningful performance increases.

I can understand what I'm talking about, but as it stands I know very little about it. Any suggestions would be helpful.
Also, how would this affect boot performance? This is the main reason I was thinking of and SSD, though I wouldn't mind it for games either.
 

EzioAs

Distinguished
Dec 6, 2011
2,306
0
20,160
135
You could get fast sequential reads and write speed with a lot of drives in a RAID 0 array but SSDs will still be faster because of the lower latency.

Oh, and you should really avoid RAID 0 if you're using hard drives (In fact, I try to avoid RAID 0 altogether). It's not reliable. Higher levels of RAID are much more reliable
 

ipwn3r456

Honorable
Mar 21, 2012
851
0
11,060
26
Most traditional hard drives, most HDDs have the read and write speeds of about 100 - 120 MB/s, that is about 1/5 the read and write speeds of a SATA III SSD. If you RAID 0 two HDDs, you will probably get about 200 MB/s reads and writes. If you want to get the speed of a SSD from multiple HDDs, you would probably get atleast 5 HDDs (around 500MB/s in read and write speeds or less), RAID 0 all of those five drives. It's pretty stupid to get 5 HDDs to RAID 0 them, that produces higher chance for the RAID 0 array to fail, if one of the five drives fail, your entire RAID 0 array's data is ALL GONE. If you have the money to buy 5 HDDs, why not just get like a 240GB SSD? Even though you can match to a SSD's read and write speeds by RAID 0 five HDDs, but a SSD's IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) is much faster than a single HDD (think more than 100 times faster), that really benefits for applications open faster. If you plan to get a 1TB HDD, you can save a bit more and get a 120/128 GB SSD, and put windows OS, and some applications or games. SSDs are getting cheaper, and getting faster and more reliable. You should consider a SSD as well. I just recently got a Corsair Force GS 240GB (it's on my signature) like a month or two ago, and I just love it. Boots windows 7 in 10 - 15 seconds (depends on SSD and other factors), opens applications much faster. It's up to you, but I really suggest a SSD.
 
Alright, so my friend is spouting BS. I figured as much. Now I just have to find an SSD that'd be worth it.... I'm looking at 256GB, which is games + system files (and programs) with user files on a 1TB 7200RPM.
 

panama64

Distinguished
Aug 31, 2007
1
0
18,510
0
Buy an SSD they are not that expensive. Like you I spent time trying ways to improve performance without buying an SSD, I tried RAID 0 and could not "see" any real difference, perhaps booting up a couple of seconds faster. Finally I bit the bullet. I can tell you it is money well spent, you will be amazed how fast you can load Windows. Booting up will take 10 seconds. Yes, IMO your friend is BS-ing. You do of course need to be selective once you install your SSD, programs will want to install in C: so redirect them to the HDD. I have owned OCZ and Intel so far, have a look at the latest review : Best SSD for your money December 2012, take your pick. :)
 

ipwn3r456

Honorable
Mar 21, 2012
851
0
11,060
26


Good choice. That's what I did too. Happy face drive (C: for SSD) and sad face drive (D: for HDD), lol. I would pick between Samsung, Intel, Corsair, and Kingston. Not OCZ though, because I heard so many people saying about their SSD are bad.
 

ipwn3r456

Honorable
Mar 21, 2012
851
0
11,060
26


That SSD is pretty good. But where do you live? Tell us and maybe we can find more suggestions for you.
 
Edmonton, Alberta, North Canuckistan.

I'd pick some of this up at the memex, but there's no stock after it got ravaged during Boxing week. Ideally, I want the best performance on a 256GB drive for up to $1.00/GB. I'm not so concerned about the life of the drive - I rarely have many files to care about and if I can have it fail during a replacement plan, that'd be just peachy.

I'd also need a mounting bay. I have no idea how to find these though - I know companies sell them, but I can't seem to find the right search terms.
 

ipwn3r456

Honorable
Mar 21, 2012
851
0
11,060
26



Oh, you live in canada. Maybe those two are good as well:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233343&nm_mc=AFC-C8junctionCA&cm_mmc=AFC-C8JunctionCA-_-Solid+State+Disk-_-Corsair-_-20233343&AID=10592396&PID=3938566
http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=73646&vpn=CSSD-F240GBGS-BK&manufacture=Corsair (I own)

Was about to suggest The Samsung 840 pro and the Intel 520 SSDs, but they are probably $30+ more expensive. About the mounting bay problem you have, I would't really worry that much, most SSD bundles or kits will come with a mounting adapter. You can search something like "2.5 to 3.5 hard drive bracket", "SSD mounting bracket", etc.
 
Hmmmm..... those might well be what I'm looking for. Also, curse you - I don't think I'll ever see my C and D partitions the same way again.

I think I'll order the GS. The stats look great and the price is certainly something I can stomach. It also comes with a bay mount, so I just need to see if I have a SIII cable lying around.
 

ipwn3r456

Honorable
Mar 21, 2012
851
0
11,060
26


It's a pretty good SSD overall, and I own it. It might be a little slow than the fastest SSDs out there, but you won't really going to see a difference. I know there's benchmarks saying that which ever SSD is faster by like a few or several MB/s read and write SSDs, but you won't see a difference in real usage. Good luck on your new SSD!
 

ipwn3r456

Honorable
Mar 21, 2012
851
0
11,060
26


Hybrid drives? They are a bit faster than a HDD, but a hybrid drive is just a HDD, but it comes with some flash memory (like in a SSD) for cache. It's still a huge difference in speed and latency than a SSD. Just get a SSD, and you won't even regret it at all than getting a hybrid drive.
 

ipwn3r456

Honorable
Mar 21, 2012
851
0
11,060
26


What do you mean replacement? I thought you are buying a SSD?
 

ipwn3r456

Honorable
Mar 21, 2012
851
0
11,060
26


I never tried replacing a Corsair SSD, all I know is that they have a 3 year warranty on their SSDs.
 

Traciatim

Distinguished


Hybrid drives are more designed for spaces where you wouldn't have rooms for an SSD and a HDD at the same time. Most notably that's laptops that only have 1 drive bay.

If you have physical room you either want a full on SSD drive, and a spinning disk for data, or if you want to use a cache based solution then something like a 60GB SSD to use as a cache for your spinning disk (I use SRT on my Z77 based MB, and it works well for what I use it for).
 

lxgoldsmith

Honorable
Sep 25, 2012
1,080
0
11,460
73
raid arrays are better left to servers. hybrid drives are okay, but if it's your first time with solid state, look into intel rapid storage technology. that way, you don't need to micromanage programs if you use a smaller ssd.
 

mvrx

Distinguished
Jan 28, 2009
6
0
18,520
1
I've setup a few systems using Intel SSD drives in RAID 0 and had spectacular results. Unfortunately unless you have the newer chipset and drivers, Intel SSD toolbox won't do the TRIM maintenance. Not a huge concern if you can accept the potential losses. And of course you do double your risk of data loss if a drive fails, but I do a daily Acronis image of my drive, so worse comes to worse I can fix it. So far I haven't had any failure on the 3 systems I've built this way.

I also have an LSI 8 port SATA controller card with 6 1.5TB drives on it in RAID 5. Pretty nice performance all around. Unfortunately all my sata ports are still SATA II @ 300MB/sec. Most of the new drives are 600MB/sec SATA III, so quite a bottleneck there. I'd like to get a new pair of Intel 520's when the price comes down and RAID 0 config them.
 

Similar threads


ASK THE COMMUNITY