EVGA

SSD RAID

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yoshimitsuspeed
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2017/05/12 18:05:22 (permalink)
Wow it's been a long time since I posted here.
Still running my old Z68 build after many years and it's still doing amazingly well. I just ordered 4 SSDs assuming I'd have no issues setting up a RAID 10 and then a friend told me that most controllers wouldn't properly run an SSD raid array. I'm sure I'd be happy enough with the SSDs not in RAID but now I'm excited about the idea.
So I did a little searching and found that the the 6 series didn't support TRIM. I also found some threads showing people getting it working on Z68s and some bios downloads but not specifically EVGAs.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6477/trim-raid0-ssd-arrays-work-with-intel-6series-motherboards-too

Is this something that has been resolved since then? Or something that would be possible or worth doing or should I just accept that it's not practical on this setup?
 
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    ypsylon
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    Re: SSD RAID 2017/05/13 02:20:17 (permalink)
    I don't know about your friend, but I've run RAID 10 SSD arrays on any chipset from X58 to Z97. All worked/ing perfectly well. You have to account for certain deficiencies - e.g. writes will get a hit, you can't move around that. My last surviving RAID10 array is in my Z97 work machine as a booting drive. No issues to report. In general RAID is by now obsolete technology, belonging to different era. If you will perform a lot of writes then RAID is not a great idea as everything will be written twice across all 4 drives. Write amplification. For normal day-to-day its not a problem, but e.g. recording regularly large video streams to RAID10 may affect the array performance in the long run.
     
    No array other than 0 supports TRIM (and not on all chipsets). You have to deal with this as any SSD put behind RAID controller has to rely on GC. On the other hand TRIM importance is vastly overstated. I have SSDs in my possession which were NEVER TRIMed or serviced in any way. My oldest Corsair Force3 -I think model is- lost only 3% of life expectancy and its like 10 yo while still clocking speeds according to specification.
     
    I have plethora of SSD connected to RAID controllers (proper cards not pseudo chipset) and these working just fine without any side effects of no support for TRIM behind RAID controller. I don't run arrays anymore and moved to drive pooling which is vastly superior redundancy wise. Biggest problem of RAID is that it writes data in chunks instead just writing required amount. For HDDs it doesn't matter, for SSDs it does as space is at premium and NAND is not exactly designed to write useless data - example file: 129KB and array is configured in either 64KB or 128KB stripe, but you have to write either 3 or 2 just to store that one extra 1KB.
     
    One thing to remember is that intel chipsets don't support RAID10 with 6 drives only 4.
     
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    yoshimitsuspeed
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    Re: SSD RAID 2017/05/13 10:32:50 (permalink)
    When you say that raid is obsolete do you think that it's not worth the effort with an SSD? I liked the idea of raid10 adding a little speed and a little redundancy.
    I do have most my important information on Google Drive so a HD failure wouldn't ruin me but it would make life a little easier to have that raid protection and just be able to throw a new drive in.
     
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    ypsylon
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    Re: SSD RAID 2017/05/15 00:37:04 (permalink)
    Well RAID as an idea was developed for completely different set of tools (HDDs).
     
    I'm fairly confident that SSDs are much better at longevity than HDDs. We are way past first iteration of NAND technology which was really clunky, iffy and suspicious to utilize in any serious task.
     
    Not saying that RAID10 will brake SSDs or something. If you running important files on that partition then sure go ahead. RAID10 is good first step emergency problem solver. If drive fails just pop-in a new one. With SSDs in RAID biggest advantage is rebuilt time. Even multi TB arrays rebuild in about 30-60 minutes, while simple RAID1 6TB on HDD would take about 20 hours. 
     
    As long as you won't perform excessive amount of writes daily there is no problem with RAID10. Just stick with MLC and stay away from TLC drives. TLC sucks at writes, GC and longevity. Its total no-go area TLC for RAID. Otherwise array should work perfectly well for many years. One thing worth mentioning is to test the array for week or two in ideal situation. If drives don't drop from the array. I had that problem on Z97 that one particular drive didn't wanted to work properly - it work perfectly well on RAID AIC, just not chipset - replaced with other and problem was gone. Of course I was in comfortable situation that I've built separate new system while old was still working so I had time to check and test.
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    yoshimitsuspeed
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    Re: SSD RAID 2017/05/15 17:36:51 (permalink)
    Thanks for the input. Since I already ordered the 4 drives and because I do like the redundancy I guess I'll give it a go and see how it works. I did do a lot more reading and it does sound as though it should work reasonably well. I found some tests of one SSD vs raid0 and it definitely doesn't look like the RAID offers any notable performance on typical desktop use pulling slightly ahead in some areas and slightly behind in others. Overall it looks like I probably would have been about as well off going with two SSDs with an automated backup to the other but sos it goes.
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