Which SSD to pick? Budget Raid 0 for boot drive

keplenk

Distinguished
Jul 28, 2007
103
0
18,680
0
Hi everyone. Once again I need your help regarding this future purchase of mine.

I'm planning to buy a new computer/upgrade (low-mid range) in the next two weeks and I'm getting ready for it. I already bought an Intel processor (i7 860), case, PSU (Corsair 650TX), cooler (H50). With my old computer, I still have a good amount of mechanical hard drives (2 x 500 GB) that can be used as my storage in my new one. However, I’m planning to change those drives to SSD.

I've posted my motherboard query to the right thread so I'll just be asking about SSD.

SSD QUESTION:

I’ll be a first time SSD buyer and I still need to be educated about this technology. The operating systems that I use are Windows 7 and Linux (Fedora, sometimes Ubuntu). My old computer uses Raid 0 (via ICH9R) and I would like it on my new computer except this time I’ll be using SSDs.

My Budget is $200 (or less) for two drives combined. I don’t mind the rebate stuff as long as it is still less my budget (after rebate). But I would not like OCZ because their rebate is so bad, very very bad in my experience.

I’ll be using this Raid 0 setup as my Boot drive + a few applications (office, Starcraft 2, etc). I’ll be using my old drives as storage. So I don’t mind having little space as long as it is fast.

I’ve been looking at Newegg and found these 3 options:

Intel X25-V
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167025&Tpk=x25-v

Corsair Nova CSSD-V32GB2-BRKT

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233122&cm_re=corsair_ssd-_-20-233-122-_-Product

Kingston SSDNow V series 64gb

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139132&cm_re=kingston_ssd-_-20-139-132-_-Product

What do you think about these options? Will this perform well in Raid 0? I also noticed that the Intel drive has the lowest write speeds, does that matter with performance?

BTW, I’m really not familiar with TRIM but I noticed that people with SSDs consider this as a must before buying. Does Linux have TRIM support? Or does Windows 7 64bit have TRIM support in Raid 0?

Please feel free to educate or give me other options (as long as it is $200) as I’m really new to the SSD world.

Thank you so much.
 

gtvr

Distinguished
Jun 13, 2009
1,166
0
19,460
53
You lose TRIM support once you go to RAID. You also lose reliability, to the extent that if either drive dies, you lose your data (at least whatever's not backed up).

I'd go for a faster SSD variant than 2 cheaper SSDs in raid 0.
 

foscooter

Distinguished
Feb 26, 2010
1,789
0
20,160
147
Although I have 2 x Intel X25-V 40GB in RAID 0, I'd recommend one large drive, the Intel X25-M 80GB.

The loose of TRIM is important, but there are ways around it. But you loose 15-20% of drive space.

Yes, Intel drives have a lower write speeds, but once the OS is installed, READS are where it's at! Still, I installed Win7 in 16 minutes on my rig.

 

keplenk

Distinguished
Jul 28, 2007
103
0
18,680
0
That was quick. Thank you for your replies.

I guess that TRIM support is that important.

Do you know if there is TRIM support in Linux?

Thanks again.
 

keplenk

Distinguished
Jul 28, 2007
103
0
18,680
0
Just a follow up question,

What if I reformat my computer all the time. Like every 3 months? With my old PC, I always reformat it almost every 3 months. I never miss. Formatting is my hobby especially when I'm bored.

Do I still need TRIM?

Is formatting too often dangerous to the health of the SSD?

Thanks!
 

keplenk

Distinguished
Jul 28, 2007
103
0
18,680
0
I do total clean wipe out. As in low level quick format.

Long time ago, I use image restore but I rather do it manually.

I actually only have a few programs installed so I'm not worried about the time I consume doing the reformat.

If you ask why I do it, I really don't know. I just feel like everytime I reformat, I learn new things - especially with my Hackintosh.

I would say I'm obsessive compulsive when in comes to my operating systems. One glitch ticks me that I feel the urge to reformat it right away (even If I know there is a simple fix). Imagine simple viruses. I know, its creepy .. lol.

So do you think that I still need TRIM even if I reformat often? Or would it destroy my SSD faster?

Thanks!

 

gtvr

Distinguished
Jun 13, 2009
1,166
0
19,460
53
Well, for one thing you need to wipe/delete an SSD differently, there's utilities to do it with. If you just format it (0 fill) that actually works differently on an SSD and it will be incredibly slow.

My thought is, why mess with the extra work & writes. I don't know that it will have that huge of a lifespan effect, because you are only writing each bit once to format, once to install the s/w. It's hard to fight the OCD, so whatever works for you. Personally, I'd just use an image & save some time, but that's me.
 

foscooter

Distinguished
Feb 26, 2010
1,789
0
20,160
147
Whatever, if that's what YOU do.

But, YES, reformatting will shorten the life of the SSD, as well as HDD. Any writes and re-writes will shorten the lifespan, but the drive should still be good for at least 5 years. You have to write something like 20GB per day, for 5 years.

A "quick format" should work for re-installing the OS on a SSD. It did for me.

And TRIM is still important, to release those deleted blocks, as in the pagefile, internet cache, temporay files, etc., on a daily basis.
 

mark_k

Distinguished
Dec 31, 2008
610
0
18,990
4
And TRIM is still important, to release those deleted blocks, as in the pagefile, internet cache, temporay files, etc., on a daily basis.


I would move these files to the HDD.
What are you thoughts?
 

foscooter

Distinguished
Feb 26, 2010
1,789
0
20,160
147
I'd move the "libraries" to the HDD: My Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos.

As far as the "caches" my feeling is "Wouldn't you want the fastest access to these files as well?" Yes, these files do the most "damage" to a SSD with the multiple write and re-writes, but at some point you gotta use the SSD for what it's for: Ultra-FAST READS!

If you dwell on the little bit of degradation that might occur, you'll never get the "full monty" of these gems.
 

keplenk

Distinguished
Jul 28, 2007
103
0
18,680
0
Great input guys! What I did was bought a single SSD, the kingston 64gb here:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139133&cm_re=kingston_ssd-_-20-139-133-_-Product

I did not buy if from Newegg. I bought it from Microcenter.

Anyway, I'm gonna try a single drive first so I can see/feel the advantages of TRIM. As a newbie in SSD, I'll try to learn the technology first and then If I'm kinda familiar with it, maybe I'll buy another one for RAID 0 and do the quarterly reformat route.

Also, thank for mentioning setting cache files to a different drive which I never thought off honestly. Oh btw, I will still be using my old 2 x 250gb 7200rpm Seagate Sata's in Raid 0 in this newly built computer. So I can still store the cache files there without sacrificing much.

So it will be

1 x kingston SSD as boot drive Win 7 x64 (only has Starcraft 2 and office installed)
2 x 250gb Seagate 7200rpm drive as secondary drive that has Ubuntu 10.04 x64 + separate partition for Windows 7 cache files


After learning SSD Raid without TRIM, then realize that It ought to be better with a single SSD drive .. I'll just split it and put the other SSD to my netbook (Lenovo S10).

I just needed to know if the SSD will "dramatically" kill the SSD by reformatting 4x a year.

Thanks for your great answers. This is really a great forum!
 

adampower

Distinguished
Apr 20, 2010
452
0
18,860
28
I don't think reformatting will 'dramatically' do anything. It will cost you 4/year complete erase and rewrite cycles (of the 1,000,000 or whatever). Besides you will likely upgrade within 3 or 4 years anyway.

I like the clean reformat feeling, however, I haven't felt the need with win7. Maybe I'm getting old and I just don't make such a mess of my registry anymore.

I like the Kingston 64 for around $100. It's a great deal. I would put one in my wife's laptop if it didn't use so much power. If only the intel 80gb would come down near $100.
 

keplenk

Distinguished
Jul 28, 2007
103
0
18,680
0



I returned the $100 64gb to microcenter (still sealed and boxed :D) because I actually got a better deal with the promo of eBillme over at Buy.com (Aug 31). After rebate it will be priced at $74 and I paid less up front.


@gtvr

Yes. I have a separate 1TB external esata HDD where I store files in just incase my Raid 0 (2x250gb seagates) flips. I don't leave files on my RAID drives as I had bad experiences before. I'm pretty much prepared for RAID failures so I got that covered :D
 

blackmancer

Distinguished
Nov 29, 2008
429
0
18,810
16



I could have sworn TRIM support being added to RAID setups on Intel chipsets.

http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2010/03/23/intel-releases-trim-for-raid/1
http://downloadcenter.intel.com/detail_desc.aspx?agr=N&ProductID=&DwnldID=15251

I'm sure I downloaded it and installed it. I've checked if TRIM is running and it is. Is it running because of my RAID1 setups??

http://i53.tinypic.com/v6i6g9.jpg

2x Intel G2 80GB RAID0
2x WD Cav 1TB RAID1
2x WD 250GB RAID1

cheers
mancer
 

foscooter

Distinguished
Feb 26, 2010
1,789
0
20,160
147
With the latest Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver, v9.6, it alllows TRIM support for a RAID array, for drives not part of the array.

Windows will display that TRIM is "enabled" (as mine does) even though my SSDs are in a RAID 0 array.

See, if you want RAID, you have to set up all the drives in RAID, and then choose which drives are part of what array. Other drive can be single. But I think you know that, since you have RAID 0 & 1 arrays.
 

Similar threads