[SOLVED] Which drives to use for RAID 1

Mar 15, 2021
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AMD Ryzen 9 5950X
MSI MEG X570 Godlike
3 - Samsung 980 PRO M.2 2280 1TB
Gskill Trident Z Neo 64 GB
Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Noctua fans and CPU cooler

This motherboard has 3 M.2 slots. M2_1 and M2_2 are controlled by the PCH. M2_3 is controlled by the CPU. All are PCIe 4.0 x 4.

I want to set up a RAID 1 using two of these drives. Which two should I use, or does it matter. I've never set up a RAID before and am leaning toward BIOS RAID rather than Windows RAID. Thoughts on that as well?
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
Personally I would put the raid pair both on the same 'controller', the PCH, so that they both have the same system latency. The PCH only has a 4 lane bus to the CPU so theoretically, in my thinking, the PCH could get a wee bit of lag when being heavily used which might disrupt the Raid1's timing. It's my belief that if they both get the data at the I/o requests at nearly the same time that you might avoid possible array dropouts caused by 1 of the drives not responding in a timely fashion.
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
If you're thinking of raid1 is a backup then that is a common misconception. Raid1 is for uptime only. It does not protect you from data loss due to any of the myriad other reasons like virus attack, accidental deletions...

If you still wish to proceed then it's suggested look for MLC then TLC based drives, in that order. I would avoid QLC based dries altogether.
You can use dissimilar drives but best practice is to use identical drives with know high reliability rates.
The Samsung 980 Pro's use TLC cells. (the 980evo uses Qlc)
The 970 Pro uses MLC. (the 970 evo and evo plus use Tlc)

with that being said, I have not has an issue running Tlc drives in raid0
 
Mar 15, 2021
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Thank you popatim. I am aware of the various RAID types and what they are used for. I have other systems that I will be using for backups.

The reason I was asking which drives to use is that two of the drives are controlled by the PCH and one is controlled by the CPU. I am asking is it better to set up a RAID using the two drives controlled by the PCH or select one controlled by the PCH and the other controlled by the CPU. Or does it even matter?
 
The 2nd drive in a RAID 1 sits there essentially as wasted money, value not really realized unless the primary fails. (Which does happen, but, is rather unlikely with quality NVME drives these days....; my own is now at 4 years glitch free) Having one sit there as a spare/mirrored OS boot device like a bump on a log just seems...a minor crime, somehow! :)

In my opinion, better to simply use the 2nd NVME drive as another storage location where high speed reads/writes are needed, and can be used; simply backup image your OS drive to some less expensive external storage periodically. In the event of a failure, you can repurpose the 2nd drive as your primary, restoring the image to it within about the time it takes to make a small pot of coffee. If you can't allow the possibility of even 5 minutes of downtime , and a 2nd drive's expense is but a mere pittance, then of course, proceed with your RAID1.
 
Mar 15, 2021
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This will be my work computer. I run my entire business from it. A drive failure would not be a good thing. A drive failure shuts down my entire business until it is fixed. So the cost of a second drive is nothing to me. I will have multiple on-site and off-site redundancies. RAID is just part of it.

So does nobody know whether I should use both drives controlled by the PCH or one controlled by the PCH and one controlled by the CPU? Or does that even matter? That is what I am wanting to know.
 

popatim

Titan
Moderator
Personally I would put the raid pair both on the same 'controller', the PCH, so that they both have the same system latency. The PCH only has a 4 lane bus to the CPU so theoretically, in my thinking, the PCH could get a wee bit of lag when being heavily used which might disrupt the Raid1's timing. It's my belief that if they both get the data at the I/o requests at nearly the same time that you might avoid possible array dropouts caused by 1 of the drives not responding in a timely fashion.
 
Mar 15, 2021
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Thank you popatim. That is what I was thinking as well but I wanted to get the opinion of others who might actually know something about it. I appreciate you taking the time to give your thoughts.
 

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