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Old October 20, 2011, 09:58 AM
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Arrow Another RAID0 question...Controller or HBA

Hi HC,

Being my first post as a questions sucks, but once I am off work today I think I can do a bit better. I will post the details of the new computer I am building in the appropriate forum then too. On to the question.

I am considering 4x120GB SSD in RAID0. Two is not quite enough headroom, but it seems wrong to do 3. I am hoping to get some experiences from you HC members on their RAID0 fun and nightmares and some possible settings to evaluate. I have not purchased the hardware yet. I am waiting until closer to mid-November to hear some more on the LGA2011 / X79 rumours. I am considering booting the RAID0 SSDs and since i have 4, I cant use the default 2 SATA3 connectors on the Z68 - hence the 3rd party. So far I am looking at LSI/Intel. Though I am not sure which is the way to go... an HBA with a some what newer Raid controller but some do and do not have RoC. Or the ones with the RoC. Either way I would like to make sure I would not have any compatibility with the motherboard (yet undecided).

Ideas: LSI MegaRaid 9260-8/4i or the 9240 8/4i / or the HBA 9211 (i think). I cannot recall the Intel rebrand models currently.

*if it seems I have not searched the forum for answers already - the search feature and I are having some issues which may be the result of the component that is about 30cm from the Monitor....

Regards,
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Old October 20, 2011, 03:27 PM
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LSI is a very respected brand in the industry, but from what I have seen in repeated tests does very well in RAID0 configurations, and I have personal experiencewith that. I had a low level SAS controller LSI SAS 3041, was doing only raid 0 but with 2 Seagate HDDs, 500GB 7200.12 family, max read on the hd tune test was around 254MB/s. A single drive would do around 130MB/s so it was very fast. So for RAID 0, yes, no issues. You can google more reviews and see the performance. LSI MegaRAID SAS 9260-8i Controller Review - X-bit labs

Intel usually was using re branded LSI controllers. So does HP, their Smart Array line is LSI.
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Old October 20, 2011, 05:51 PM
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I have a RAID10 array on a 9211-4i and a RAID10 array on the ICH10R. Performance is pretty much the same, so LSI cards shouldn't reduce performance by any means. These are hard drive based arrays though (Samsung F3's) so they don't hit anywhere near what a RAID0 array of SSD's would. I think the PCIe bus might get pretty saturated unless its an x8 RAID card.

However, RAID0'ing SSDs means a loss of TRIM which can be an issue if it's Sandforce-based drives you're looking at. Typically speaking, it's better to buy a larger drive than RAIDing a bunch of small ones. I'd consider doing 2x240GB instead.

Although a better solution would likely be to just buy a OCZ Revo Drive instead...
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Old October 20, 2011, 05:59 PM
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I'm running 4x Crucial M300s directly from my 890FX motherboard with amazing results (surprisingly) so don't discount that option just yet. My opinion? Buy the SSDs and try them right from the mobo, post results, get opinions, then see if you want to be the extra money for a bump in performance (if any).
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Old October 20, 2011, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMetaphor View Post
I'm running 4x Crucial M300s directly from my 890FX motherboard with amazing results (surprisingly) so don't discount that option just yet. My opinion? Buy the SSDs and try them right from the mobo, post results, get opinions, then see if you want to be the extra money for a bump in performance (if any).
How many SATA3 spots does your board have? I am looking Intel at the moment, but I know some of the boards have the Z68 Chipset with 2 SATA3 and then a marvel controller (or similar) with 2-4 more SATA3.

I agree. For the first while I will be using the on board chip set SATA3. I'll poke around some other mobo reviews. I haven't seen a mobo offering onboard raid since my Iwill KR266 T-bird Mobo. (Actually I don't think I have looked for it either since then.)
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Old October 20, 2011, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD View Post
I have a RAID10 array on a 9211-4i and a RAID10 array on the ICH10R. Performance is pretty much the same, so LSI cards shouldn't reduce performance by any means. These are hard drive based arrays though (Samsung F3's) so they don't hit anywhere near what a RAID0 array of SSD's would. I think the PCIe bus might get pretty saturated unless its an x8 RAID card.

However, RAID0'ing SSDs means a loss of TRIM which can be an issue if it's Sandforce-based drives you're looking at. Typically speaking, it's better to buy a larger drive than RAIDing a bunch of small ones. I'd consider doing 2x240GB instead.

Although a better solution would likely be to just buy a OCZ Revo Drive instead...
@JD,I was considering a revo before, but was not ready to really buy into it (even though it kinda makes more sense). I would have done the 240GB however I was able to get the 120GBs x2 for cheaper than a 240... Hope that doesn't come back and bite in the behind.

That 9211, is that just an HBA? or does that have the RoC? I can double check the specs tomorrow - but that is one of the questions im trying to figure out. I think (tomshardware ?) had an article showing some tests with a raid controller vs a HBA and the HBA had better throughput but was not as feature rich for items like encryption or onboard RAM.

@MARSTG, I didnt realize that the HP Smartarray were LSI as well. Ultimately if it will just take dropping into a 4x, 8x, or 16x PCIe slot then I can sacrifice one of those I should think. I dont think I came across the Xbit review, but I found a few others for the Intel, 9260/9240, and such around. I think Linus did one on that 9260 with fastcache and battery backup with 4xINtel 510s.
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Old October 21, 2011, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD View Post
I have a RAID10 array on a 9211-4i and a RAID10 array on the ICH10R. Performance is pretty much the same, so LSI cards shouldn't reduce performance by any means. These are hard drive based arrays though (Samsung F3's) so they don't hit anywhere near what a RAID0 array of SSD's would. I think the PCIe bus might get pretty saturated unless its an x8 RAID card.

However, RAID0'ing SSDs means a loss of TRIM which can be an issue if it's Sandforce-based drives you're looking at. Typically speaking, it's better to buy a larger drive than RAIDing a bunch of small ones. I'd consider doing 2x240GB instead.

Although a better solution would likely be to just buy a OCZ Revo Drive instead...

I heard back from LSI, and the cards I am looking at would work in the 8x slot. I think one od them may have been a 4x i also looked at. I wonder if I can get a 16x 16x 8x board or something that will allow a xfire setup and the 8x raid card.
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Old October 21, 2011, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Backstep View Post
I wonder if I can get a 16x 16x 8x board or something that will allow a xfire setup and the 8x raid card.
,

yes, should work with no issues. but for that you would need a 790FX/890FX/990FX style board. the 890FX I think has 6 sata III ports.
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Old October 21, 2011, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backstep View Post
I heard back from LSI, and the cards I am looking at would work in the 8x slot. I think one od them may have been a 4x i also looked at. I wonder if I can get a 16x 16x 8x board or something that will allow a xfire setup and the 8x raid card.
Well sure, any PCIe card will "fit" into a x8 slot, but what I meant is the physical card itself should at the very least have a x4 interface, though I think x8 would be ideal so you'd have enough bandwidth between the card and the motherboard.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Backstep View Post
That 9211, is that just an HBA? or does that have the RoC? I can double check the specs tomorrow - but that is one of the questions im trying to figure out. I think (tomshardware ?) had an article showing some tests with a raid controller vs a HBA and the HBA had better throughput but was not as feature rich for items like encryption or onboard RAM.
The box was labelled HBA, but I think it has 128MB onboard cache (don't quote me on that though!). For RAID0 though, I don't think it should matter much since it's not really an intensive operation as something like RAID5 with parity bits to generate.
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