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Thread: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?




  1. #21
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    Default Re: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?

    The only true HW RAID is when using a stand alone card. Rocket RAID cards are quite cheap
    Can you specify a decent model for raid0 for two WD velociraptors ??
    cause i I believed that the cheap raid cards (2 to 8 ports sata) are based on software raid. Should them make any difference from ICH9R raid0 capabilities?
    -My current OS is XP SP3 Pro and I thought of taking a single intel ssd X-25E for primary disk but I hesitated after reading for about trim (not implemented on Xp) and also the need for partition alignment, if SLC's need it anyhow. Should i go for it?
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  2. #22

    Default Re: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?

    Intel onboard raid is as good as a lot of raid cards. it really doesn't make a difference.

    Fusion-io vs Intel X25-M SSD RAID, Grudge Match Review - HotHardware

  3. #23
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    Default Re: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?

    I personally favour LSI cards myself.

    Some add in cards do use driver based "fake RAID. To guarantee true HW RAID you need to be willing to spend a modest chunk of cash. Hardware RAID cards will be the ones with their own DRAM cache and high spec I/O processors. Well worth it for setting up a good 15KRPM SAS or 4+ Gen. 2 SSD array.

    Unless you're planning on running the VRaptors as OS disks I'd say they'll be fine on the ICH9R. Up to and including RAID 0 configs that give you ~650MB/s in either sequential read or write, the only advantage of a RAID card would be for the cache. This is why I mention using them as an OS disk. The RAID cache greatly improves random access of small transfer sizes, which is exactly what happens when booting, launching apps, writing to swap files etc. Using an array that will shift more than 650MB/s will require a card as this is the ICH's limit (due to I/O processing and the bandwidth limit of the number of PCIe lanes it's hooked up to).

    Partition alignment is nothing to worry about. All you need to do is manually create a partition using diskpart, specifying the correct alignment and you're good.

    If the Extreme (SLC) versions are anything like the M versions when it comes to the effects of having no "clean" flash blocks, TRIM isn't actually all that essential. The Intel drives are very good at powering through any dirty flash blocks. Fragmentation is much more likely to be the cause of any X25 slow down, and this is an issue that neither TRIM nor a conventional defrag program can solve. Setting up the drive to do a large write and delete will take care of it though, allowing the natural GC to kick in.

    All that happens when my X25 runs out of clean flash is the sequential write drops from 72MB/s to 69MB/s and the random 4K write dips by a couple of MB/s too. This is nothing compared to the Indilinx drives, which take a real battering when there's no TRIM/GC wiping its arse. On an Indilinx drive, sequential write has been known to fall from ~170MB/s to under 100MB/s, sometimes much less than 100MB/s. Thay're great drives, but rely heavily on GC/TRIM.

    As an all round solid hardware RAID card that you'll want to use for many years to come (unless moving to SATA 6G, which with spinners makes zero difference) I'd go for something like this:

    Newegg.com - HighPoint RocketRAID 4310 PCI-Express x8 Four-Port SATA and SAS HARDWARE RAID Controller Card - Controllers / RAID Cards

    For a little more, this is slightly superior and should result in marginally better performance:

    Newegg.com - areca ARC-1210 PCI-Express x8 SATA II Controller Card - Controllers / RAID Cards
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  4. #24
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    Default Re: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunburn74 View Post
    Intel onboard raid is as good as a lot of raid cards. it really doesn't make a difference.

    Fusion-io vs Intel X25-M SSD RAID, Grudge Match Review - HotHardware
    Not necessarily true.

    Note that the IO Fusion product they are reviewing isn't a RAID card as such, but a SSD in the form of a PCIe card with HW raid built in.

    If you look at the ATTO figures for the 4 drive X25 RAID on the ICH you'll see that the ICH is limiting the read performance to ~650MB/s. each drive should be capable of 250MB/s. Even taking into account overheads of running a RAID array, and pretending there's only a 200MB/s read rate per drive, that's still 800MB that you'd be seeing with a decent hardware RAID solution.

    On any other set of 4 SSD's ie ones where the drives can write at ~180MB/s+ like the indilinx based SSD's, any more than 3 drives on the ICH10R is a waste of time as it simply can't handle the bandwidth.
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  5. #25
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    Default Re: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?

    Just to add, unless you already have two VRaptors, IMO you'd be better off buying two Samsung Spinpoint F3's. They have slightly higher latencies and a bit lower random 4K performance, but if using them as data and occasional programs use that matters little. Due to the F3's using 500GB platters, peak sequentials are actually faster than the VRaptors and a single F3 will even load Windows quicker than a VRaptor by about 3-4 seconds.

    Definitely get the 1TB models as they have 32MB of cache rather than 16MB.
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    Intel X25-M Boot Drive (OS and Programs) 200MB/s Read & 90MB/s Write
    Corsair X32 200MB/s Read & 100MB/s Write
    WD Caviar Blue 640GB C (Steam, Games, Storage, Temp Files & Folders, etc)
    Samsung F3 500GB Backup/Images
    Noctua 1300RPM 19dB case fan (rear extraction)
    3 x 140 MM Coolermaster LED fans (one front intake, one top extraction, one side intake)
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  6. #26
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    Default Re: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?

    Dell Perc 5/i is a decent card for the price, normally 100-150 on ebay when you can find one, and these can be flashed over to a LSI BIOS.

    LSI or Areca are good ones in my book.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?

    Well guys thank you for info
    Psycho101 i have always enjoy reading your posts ... i like the way you "interpret" tech facts...
    here's the think
    I have already two Vraptors GLFS 300 and i can spend about 400~500 for my next storage advancement ( in holidays if everything goes well)
    Also i use an external enclosure (e-sata) with WD1002FBYS 32 Mb cache on it ,for backups , Acronis images etc.
    For main drive (OS XP-Programs) i need max 30-40 GB
    So my thought is either I buy a card like Areca 1210 and I put my VR's in raid0, or I buy one Intel SLC 64 for the programs and OS, and use one VR for temp files, downloads, page file and put them on ICH9R.
    So you said that TRIM isn't so much essential to intel drives?
    All i have to do is to create a partition with diskpar , disable defragment , moving temp files to magnetic drive etc and i'm good to go?
    Any issues with Acronis TI do you know off?/
    I always do full backups , and if i need to restore an image will it preserve alignment on my SSD?
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  8. #28
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    Default Re: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?

    I use Acronis myself and I find it always works flawlessly. The only time I've used full backups was to establish a clean install image for XP, Vista64 and Windows 7 inc programs for my personal use. I also have the same three OS's imaged with no product key entered. This way I can image to a customers HDD in minutes then simply use their key to register and include a unused install disk and certificate for them. Incremental is extremely useful and means that I can create a current backup from a basic image in ~1 minute or less.

    Your alignment will be perfectly preserved using an initial full backup, followed by an incremental addition as regular as possible.

    I think from the sounds of what you want to do, using the ICH will be perfectly fine. You'll see a decent performance increase with RAID0 all round on the VRaptors. Combined with a SSD for OS and Apps, it sounds perfect. I'd use the money I was going to spend on a HW RAID card to get the biggest capacity SSD I could. 64GB sounds about right. TRIM will give you little, Intel Controllers aren't as crippled by dirty flash as competitors.

    As well as moving your data and temp files to HDD, also consider creating a small (~256MB) RAM drive for the Internet cache. After all, having the cache on a faster drive does improve browsing, it's just write frequency that's the problem. Eg Chrome, in a 4 hour browsing session created 78 million write bytes. Off loading to RAM will improve performance further, whilst getting rid of unwanted writes to SSD. Note that with SLC flash one shouldn't be too concerned about write volume as SLC can handle some 10 times + the amount of writes before becoming read only.
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    Intel X25-M Boot Drive (OS and Programs) 200MB/s Read & 90MB/s Write
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  9. #29
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    Default Re: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?

    It will preserve alignment, however it will not restore to a different alignment. Meaning if your disk is aligned before the backup you will be fine, but if you are using a backup to restore to a unaligned disk or a different alignment it will not work and the backup's alignment will be used.

    Just thought I would let anyone know who may read this later on.

  10. #30

    Default Re: How to set up RAID Matrix on EP45-DS3R?

    OT: What is "alignment"?

    RAM drives on Windows, last time I did check, the free ones had pathetic size limitations?


    Software vs hardware RAID:
    - HW has dedicated processor and usually cache memory. Thus, CPU and main memory are not as involved. However, rAID0 and RAID1 have next to no computation, unlike RAID5, so the difference in CPU cycles is not so huge.
    - The bus and bandwidth. Could be either way. For example the (miserable) Silicon Image chips on GA-EP45-DQ6 ... they are hardly "directly connected".
    - HW controller presents "volumes" to the OS, not "disks and logical arrays". Can make a difference during boot, but again rAID0 and RAID1 are quite well handled by fakes too.
    - HW or SW, the "controller" does require a driver: no difference.

    Thus, for the usage in question the ICH is not bad.

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