Questions on SSDs and RAID setups

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Firelance
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Questions on SSDs and RAID setups

Postby Firelance » Tue Feb 17, 2015 5:31 pm

Hey all. So, I'm planning to build my new PC in the coming months, and I will finally be jumping into the world of SSDs. Now, I already have a Samsung 840 EVO 256GB SSD, with the expectation that I'll put the OS, Star Citizen, and a few other critical programs on the SSD, while everything else goes on a 2TB HDD. However, the mobo I'm planning on getting can accommodate one of the M.2 SSDs, which are even faster and more efficient, since it attaches directly to the motherboard. I'm definitely planning to get one of those; however, this leaves me with the question of what to do with the drive I already have. So here's my questions:

-Can I RAID a regular SSD with an M.2 SSD if both are the same capacity (256GB)? If so, what RAID format would be the most advantageous?

-If I can't RAID the two drives, is there another use for having a second SSD that is not in a RAID layout? Or would I better served just selling the older SSD?

Thanks for your help.
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Waxman
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Re: Questions on SSDs and RAID setups

Postby Waxman » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:37 pm

M.2 SSD support is determined by the MOBO, some are bootable some are not. I've not heard of them not being raid-able.

I would go raid one
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einnyen
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Re: Questions on SSDs and RAID setups

Postby einnyen » Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:19 am

I can't recall fully but I do seem to remember something about the M.2 slot being less than spectacular when in a raid.

Mainly because the interface that makes the throughput even faster than SATA means that you won't have a balanced transmission or read/write timings.

That being said it's definitely possible provided your motherboard have a built in RAID controller.


If you find that you do not RAID the M.2 and the 840 I wouldn't recommend selling the 840, however I would DEFINITELY recommend updating the drive due to the recent concerns with stagnating sectors on the 840, and even 850s. I'm dubious of Samsung's current SSD technology as this seems to be a reoccuring issue with very little coming down the pipe to effect a lasting resolution.

I would use the 840 a fast storage drive for extremely large files, or files that will benefit from a higher read/write transfer speed, such as SC. Although keep in mind that if Samsung isn't able to correct the drive stagnation issues that you'll see severely impacted performance if you aren't constantly rewriting over the entire drive, which will shorten the life of the drive quite a bit. However there's still drives out there, in test and abuse beds, that are over 100 PETABYTES in read/write cycles and still going strong.

What I currently have is an M.2 SSD that I use as my boot and OS partition while I have two 500GB Crucial MX100s that are mirrored (RAID 1). I also have a RAID 5 set of spindle drives (6TB) for anything not gaming, rarely used games, or older games that don't benefit, much, from an SSD.

Finally I, ALWAYS, recommend a solid backup solution. If you're spending serious money on a gaming rig, please for the love of all that is good and holy, look into a SOHO NAS that will automatically update your backups whether you do it incrementally, differentially, or as a complete copy two or three times a week.

Also if you want to chat about this or anything else about your build we're all, i'm sure, willing to jump in mumble or whatever to help out.
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Captain
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Re: Questions on SSDs and RAID setups

Postby Captain » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:31 pm

As far as SSD goes for 2015, Samsung is your #1 and MicroLatency (MC) #2.
While SSD really has no internal Diags (outside of killing any sector that has too much fatigue/latency); MC has released a vastly improved write ability (roughly X50) which will improve your wear life and performance. So I expect we will see some pretty good competition between these two SSD Giants in the near future.
For my money, the newer MC's were not available last year - So I run 2 Samsung 500GB SSD's in a RAID1, and there seems to be no real noticeable frame-rate degeneration from doing so.
(I believe they are the model 840's)
Just remember, like all SSD devices, they are pretty much guaranteed to fail after 3 years time due to drop off in FPGA's.
(Note: Any shop that offers you more than a 3yr warranty is worth looking into!) :D
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Firelance
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Re: Questions on SSDs and RAID setups

Postby Firelance » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:56 am

Okay, so here's a follow on question regarding SSDs. My current setup is an i7-2600K (I think) with 8 gigs of RAM, a GTX 780, and Windows 7 on 2 TB HDD. How much performance would I gain by upgrading my current rig to 16 gigs of RAM and doing a clean install of Windows on the SSD I have? My thinking is if that sort of upgrade would make a notable improvement, I can save my money and build my new rig next year. Thoughts?
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Captain Glume
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Re: Questions on SSDs and RAID setups

Postby Captain Glume » Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:06 pm

Jumping to 16 gigs would give a nice improvement with the game as it is currently. My 12 gigs is barely enough to keep running and goes to hell if I have anything else open.

An SSD is just a good idea as is a clean install. With both of those you'd be sitting pretty.

Though my advice would be to get a good SSD with software to configure it and test it so that you can make sure you have that drive setup BEFORE you wiped Windows. Samsung has a nice Utility.
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Firelance
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Re: Questions on SSDs and RAID setups

Postby Firelance » Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:44 pm

Well, I've got a nice Samsung 840 PRO in my closet that is still new in the box, so that part I've already got covered. I'll snag a pair of 8 gig Ripjaws sticks and a fresh copy of Windows 7 from NewEgg, and that should do the trick. $250 to keep my current computer relevant for another year or so is probably a smarter buy than spending 3 grand on a whole new rig. For the moment at least ;-)
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Captain Glume
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Re: Questions on SSDs and RAID setups

Postby Captain Glume » Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:35 pm

That sounds like a good plan. The Dr. has that 840 Pro drive and it is very nice.
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