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  1. #1
    Member shant's Avatar
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    msata ssd cache vs 2.5" drive vs raid 0

    hello guys!
    its been a while since ive posted here

    so ill be getting the maximus extreme around black friday this month and im really confused about my storage setup,i currently have 2x wd caviar black in raid 0,once i upgrade i was thinking of using a small msata ssd for caching on the pcie-combo that comes with the motherboard, is this a good idea? or should i get a 2.5" drive? what about raid 0 combined with ssd caching?
    is ssd caching speed boost even worth it? what are the ssd caching cons?
    its either msata caching or 2.5" drive caching or not getting an ssd at all
    thanks!
    3770k l 4.5Ghz l 1.26vcore
    Maximus V Extreme
    2x2GB Patriot Sector 5 2133Mhz+2x2 2400mhz,all running @ 1866mhz
    2x WD Caviar Black 64mb/1TB(raid 0) + 32GB intel 520 msata ssd caching
    Evga Gtx 460 ee
    Xfx 650W psu Black Edition
    Hafx

  2. #2
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    Hey, on caching... I cache a Velociraptor 300GB HLFS (2008 Design). It is amazing and there are only a few things I can tell the difference between when I had everything on the SSD and now. I am caching with a Crucial RealSSD 64GB.

    Now when it comes to those new MSATA card. They where originally made with extreme pc enthusiasts in mind. Because of this many of them do not use all of the resources availible to max out the speed. I don't know how much money it saves them to do this but they do it. I can not recall if it was lanes or nands or something like that but the bottom line is many of them are not taking full advantage so I would suspect it possible that you end up with a underperforming MSATA drive. Unless you specifically find out what it is that I am referring to and ensure that the MSATA drive you purchase does not have that problem.

    As far as putting everything on your SSD. There are a ton of people out there that will tell you that you should do it. Maybe they are correct and it is only my opinion but I feel that partition that I put my games on (usually C) needs to be atleast 250GB free after windows is installed so a 300GB HD. That's the minimum, so a 256GB or large SSD is a lot of cash. Once I re-installed windows on my velociraptor and set up the intel caching I did not miss having the OS and a few games on my SSD at all. Now I just install whatever I want and Intel decides what needs to be accelerated.

    Hope this helps

    Also shouldn't have a problem getting a 60GB HD for $30-40 new or used. You could probably find a better deal on a new one after rebate than on a used one as people are usually asking 80-150% of retail not worth it in my book for something that degrades (at least in theory, mines almost 3 yrs old and I have noticed no degradation after probably 15 OS re-installs and being use on a macbook pro and then my gaming rig).

    READ THIS... Touches on performance comparisons and explains that you may want to ensure you are buying an SLC drive and not an MLC drive.

    Also I am fairly certain that you can use the cache drive with an already set up raid system. In fact the way you set it up is you ensure that you drive is running in raid mode (doesn't need to be a raid array just on the intel raid controller) install windows as you would with the raid controller and then once in windows you install the intel software for the caching. I am fairly certain it works with any type of raid array.

    Also you did not say what size your drives are but if they are 500GB to 1TB and you do not need that much storage you can "short-stroke" them which means to force them into thinking they are smaller which limits the amount of travel the read/write heads move across the platter. This increases response time and it also ensures that you do not write to the slower half of your physical drive since speed and response times suffer greatly on the outter half of the drive. I think this is essentially what a Velociraptor is in a way. They are taking the density of larger hard drives but using a platter that is much smaller with a very short travel distance for the heads.

    GOOD LUCK
    Last edited by givmedew; 11-03-12 at 06:28 AM.

  3. Thanks!

    shant (11-04-12)

  4. #3
    Member shant's Avatar
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    awesome,good info!
    so basically there are no cons at all with ssd caching right? lets say if my ssd died, is it like raid 0? i loose all my files?
    im using 2x1TB hdd's
    3770k l 4.5Ghz l 1.26vcore
    Maximus V Extreme
    2x2GB Patriot Sector 5 2133Mhz+2x2 2400mhz,all running @ 1866mhz
    2x WD Caviar Black 64mb/1TB(raid 0) + 32GB intel 520 msata ssd caching
    Evga Gtx 460 ee
    Xfx 650W psu Black Edition
    Hafx

  5. #4
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    There is only a minor risk with Sata Caching the risk can be avoided but at loss in performance.

    It is a very low risk and althought after reading what I am about to post you may think that this risk extends to power failures and system lock ups. Intel will rebuild watever data was on the cache drive that had not made it to the disk drive yet right after post and before windows starts to load there still is that slight chance of lost data but unlikely. I try to remember to set it to enhanced mode while runing unconfirmed OCs.

    So the following are the 2 modes availible. I used maximized on both my and my wifes computer. She has 2 old 7200RPM drives in raid 0, I have 1 300GB HLFS Velociraptor I plan on buying a second and going raid 0 as well. Running in Enhanced mode would have no risk at all. In fact you could completely remove the SSD while the system was running never put it back in and you wouldn't loose a thing.

    Hope this sums it up for you.

    ■ Enhanced mode (default): Acceleration optimized for data protection.
    This mode uses the write-through cache method to write data to the cache memory and the disk simultaneously. In the event that the accelerated disk or volume becomes inaccessible, fails, or is disconnected, there is no risk of data loss because data on the disk is always synchronized with the data in the cache memory. For data safety reasons, this mode is the default acceleration setting.
    ■ Maximized mode: Acceleration optimized for input/output performance.
    This mode uses the write-back cache method where data is written to the disk at intervals. In the event that the cache device or the accelerated disk or volume becomes inaccessible or disconnected, there is a chance of data loss. However, if the device was missing and can be reconnected, reboot your system and caching activity will resume from where it stopped. If you wish to remove the cache device in the future, make sure that acceleration is first disabled on that disk or volume.

    One other thing to address though... 2TB of info in a raid-0 is quite a lot of space. I never ever put media files or documents on the raid array. You can go to every linked folder like: my documents, photos, music etc and change the link to go to another drive. What this will do is if you drop a file on your desktop it is actually writting to the other drive. Save a new photo its on the other drive. Download something from the interenet and directed it to the download folder it will go straight to the other drive.

    This aids me in changing OSes as well since all I have to do is re-install then point all those folders to where they need to go and everything is back.

    I only put applicatioins and video games on my primary drives/partitions wether it is in raid or not.

    So I guess what I am getting too is don't put your family photos on that raid array. Becuase if one of those 2 WD discs fail you loose everything. That's also why I recommended the short stroking because if you have no use for the entire 2TB you can short stroke it down to 600MB - 1TB and have a very fast drive. If you decide to do that let me know I will find a link with directions and where to download the tools to do it.
    Last edited by givmedew; 11-05-12 at 12:03 AM.

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