RAID or SSD?

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by .Matt., Dec 25, 2010.

  1. .Matt.

    .Matt. MDL Novice

    Jan 10, 2010
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    Hi MDL,

    Currently I'm looking for ways to increase performance on my PC. I know there are a lot of factors that contribute to that, but my question is about drive performance. I know that RAID (I mean RAID 0 here) can enhance performance, but I also know that an SSD gives a huge boost.
    My question is: what do I choose? I've read somewhere that the boost that a raid-0 array gives is barely noticable in everyday PC usage so if that's true it would be more sensible to choose an SSD. If, however, raid 0 does boost overall performance it would be a lot cheaper.
    Also, if it would be wiser to go SSD, what disks can you recommend? I've looked at some OCZ Vertex disks and they look promising.

    In case they are relevant, here are some specs of my PC
    Intel Core i7 930 @ 3.2Ghz
    4 GB RAM
    Western Digital disk: 1TB @ 7200rpm -> If I were to go raid, I'd purchase exactly the same disk as I have now.
    Gigabyte EX58-UD3R motherboard -> I would be using the raid controller on this mobo.
     
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  2. 2centsworth

    2centsworth MDL Senior Member

    Feb 12, 2008
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    Quality SSD (one well reviewed on Tomshardware or anandtech/hardocp) will outperform a mechanical RAID array 10 in most cases, but you can't get BIG SSD thats affordable so mechanical RAID arrays often win out at cost per mb of storage. But nothing mechanical beats a top performing SSD.

    Mechanical drives do fail and mirroring is smart choice, SSD should not fail such as a mechanical drives, but SSD have other performance issues some worse than others.

    WD caviar blacks are the best of mechanical drives, the lesser caviars not so impressive. 4X 1TB Caviar blacks RAID 10 will stream 250+ MB on outer tracks on Intel ICHR and their heavy Q I/O kicks all others butts....but they're known to be finickey in some RAID arrays (TLER)....and at a hundred bucks each about twice the cost of most 1 TB drives now.
     
  3. mrcsmrvn

    mrcsmrvn MDL Novice

    Dec 31, 2010
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    #3 mrcsmrvn, Dec 31, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010
    In my opinion, SSD. A solid-state drive (SSD) is a data storage device that uses solid-state memory to store persistent data. SSDs have no moving parts, they can withstand considerable shock and vibration, and have excellent environmental resistance.
     
  4. gin13

    gin13 MDL Novice

    Nov 30, 2010
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    IMHO. Better to put OS on SSD such as intel x25-e, to increase it performance, but for data better use RAID with SAS disks, something like Seagate Cheetah.
     
  5. djNio

    djNio MDL Novice

    Jan 2, 2011
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    Well, raiding HDDs and buying an SSD are two different things.

    Raid does NOT reduce ms for seek times OR read time.
    If you wish your operating system to run lighting fast you go for the SSD. Raid is mainly for fast saving (f.e heavy video editing). Don't compare unevenly things.

    About the SSD pick, I'd go for the Intel X25-M 80GiB. I've read many interesting tests and statistics and their price is also acceptable, as for the 80GB of space.. its enough for an OS/Programs disc. (With the 120GB it would feel safer, but I guess 80 is more than enough)

    /Topic
     
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  6. RickSteele

    RickSteele MDL Addicted

    Nov 12, 2009
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    #6 RickSteele, Jan 19, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
    I owned a 250G Corsair SSD and got rid of it 1 week after purchase. I am currently running two 600G Velociraptors in RAID0. SSD is a software hacked (by development engineers) bandaid of a technology in my opinion. The biggest thing I noticed was, in the real world, if you have a strong CPU, motherboard, graphics card combination with ample good quality memory and a stable OS the only benefit to SSD is everything loads into memory faster. It is memory then that takes over. If you do not have enough memory then swap to page file occurs more often-SSD will help here, but, the more sensible approach is to purchase more memory.
    SSD is an over priced stop gap for the manufacturers to cash in on a technology that is, in it's current state, obselete and a mess. It takes some very intelligent engineers to make SSD's work at all. Down the road, I believe this technology will develop into something worth investing in, but, not until memory technology has advanced far ahead of what it is now. Just my two cents worth-each to their own though....
     
  7. Yen

    Yen Admin
    Staff Member

    May 6, 2007
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    Buy a good small SSD (100-150 GByte) like the new OCZ vertex series. Install OS and most used apps on it and you are done. You will be impressed at EVERY boot.
    Since you do use it as workstation, forget about RAID. Stripe set is not reliable for sensitive data. Using 2 HDDs will double the probability to lose data.
     
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  8. cynics

    cynics MDL Novice

    Feb 26, 2008
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    SSD for OS partition

    HDD for data partition. even better, get 10 raid for data