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Question on raid using intel chipset

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#1
Hi all,

I plan on doing an upgrade of my pc this weekend. Among the things I'm upgrading is a new MB, a Z77 extreme9 from Asrock. Also adding a transcend 240gb ssd as well as going to windows 8. I plan on using the ssd as the OS drive. I have a few 1tb hard drives laying around and figured I'd try out installing these in raid 0. Here's my sata config for this motherboard:

Sata ports controlled by Intel chipset:
2 x sata3 6.0gbps ports(plan on putting the ssd on one of these.
4 x sata2 3.0gps ports(want to put the 1tb drives on this in raid 0)

Asmedia controller:
4 x sata3 6.0gbps ports(useless to me in what I want to do because it can't do raid)

So my question is....I'm going to have to put the intel ports into raid mode in the bios. How will that effect that lone ssd drive on the intel chipset that isn't raided? Can I leave that there by itself, install the OS on it, and have it function as a single disk while also being able to raid 0 the other three hard drives? I hope what I'm asking makes sense. Thanks!
 

lyndonguitar

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#2
Can I leave that there by itself, install the OS on it, and have it function as a single disk while also being able to raid 0 the other three hard drives? I hope what I'm asking makes sense. Thanks!
Yes
 
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#3
I would advise that you image the OS SSD drive first with out the other hard drives being connected. Then after the OS is installed add the other hard drives and set up Raid0 in bios for them.
 
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#4
Or at least don't set up the array in BIOS until after. And unplug your boot SSD just in case.
 
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#5
I would advise that you image the OS SSD drive first with out the other hard drives being connected. Then after the OS is installed add the other hard drives and set up Raid0 in bios for them.
OK, so should I set it to AHCI in the bios, load the OS on the ssd, image it, change to raid in the bios and then add the raid array......

Or set it to raid in the bios right off the bat, load the OS onto the SSD and image, and then do the raid array?

Appreciate the replies!
 
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#6
Uh good question...I am not super experienced with this but have started messing with it of late and recently did do this with a similar setup for testing RAID and I believe you will want to set it to RAID right off the bat. Maybe you don't NEED to but I am pretty sure it's the safest bet as you would be ultimately changing it to RAID later. Single disk in "RAID" setting will work just the same as in AHCI.
 
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#8
Well it was pretty easy. I hooked up all the drives and put the chipset into raid mode in the bios, installed the OS on the ssd and then simply went into the intel rapid storage utility and created the raid. Works like a charm. Now for some benchmarking.

I'm going to do some benchmarking with this config and then I'm going to undo the intel raid and use windows 8 raid utility and see how they compare.
 
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#9
Interesting numbers comparing the intel raid performance and windows raid performance. Not much of a difference at using either for Raid 0. But seeing as the intel raid really is just a software raid like the windows raid it shouldn't be surprising.

Using crystal disk as benchmark:

Intel raid 0= 405mbps read, 365 write

Windows raid0= 399mbps read, 376 write
 
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#10
Well "Intel raid" in this context is the same hard hardware (from Intel) but updating the drivers (from Intel). So yeah should perform a little better. The stock one from MS that installs with 7 is from like 2006.

Not bad numbers there. What drives are those exactly and how many in your array?
 
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#12
Any idea what those drives get alone?
 

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#13
Any idea what those drives get alone?
Specs call for 130-140MB/s. RE4 support TLER and a lot of nifty raid-friendly features. First of all, I'm surprised no one has said this yet. Since you have an SSD already I would strongly recommend not using RAID-0 because your chances of losing your raid just increased by 200% because you have no redundancy. If your 1Tb are going to be storage, I highly recommend running RAID-5. That way if a drive fails you don't lose all of your stuff and you can run with a drive short (don't do this for a long time or you'll regret it.)

RAID-5 in comparison to RAID-0 has slower write speeds (because of parity,) but almost equal read speeds since parity is skipped if your raid isn't degraded. Additionally you lose 1Tb for parity on RAID-5, which isn't as bad as RAID-0 where you have zero redundancy. You may want to do what I'm doing right now with my own machine, running RAID-0 for boot/windows and RAID-5 for files and storage.

I uploaded some pictures of my RAID configuration if you're at all interested.

Edit: Also, if you're going to enable write-back cache, make sure you have a UPS so you can safely shutdown before you really lose power. This is more important for RAID-0 than RAID-5 but it isn't good for a machine to stop in the middle of a cached write anyways. Added a picture of AIDA's UPS readout as well.
 

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#14
Yeah I thought he was just "messing" with RAID 0...don't store anything important on such an array, at least longer-term.

Also, as I am converting my P55 box into a home test server I am suddenly a lot more interested in storage-related things than before. Thus, have only recently started playing with Intel RST and I notice I cannot actually create or manage any volumes in it (just see info). Is this because my controller is not set to RAID at present?
 

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#15
Also, as I am converting my P55 box into a home test server I am suddenly a lot more interested in storage-related things than before. Thus, have only recently started playing with Intel RST and I notice I cannot actually create or manage any volumes in it (just see info). Is this because my controller is not set to RAID at present?
Yes, it needs to load the RAID OPROM before RST or RSTe can change anything because it has no ability to change BIOS settings for AHCI or IDE.
 
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#17
Specs call for 130-140MB/s. RE4 support TLER and a lot of nifty raid-friendly features. First of all, I'm surprised no one has said this yet. Since you have an SSD already I would strongly recommend not using RAID-0 because your chances of losing your raid just increased by 200% because you have no redundancy. If your 1Tb are going to be storage, I highly recommend running RAID-5. That way if a drive fails you don't lose all of your stuff and you can run with a drive short (don't do this for a long time or you'll regret it.)

RAID-5 in comparison to RAID-0 has slower write speeds (because of parity,) but almost equal read speeds since parity is skipped if your raid isn't degraded. Additionally you lose 1Tb for parity on RAID-5, which isn't as bad as RAID-0 where you have zero redundancy. You may want to do what I'm doing right now with my own machine, running RAID-0 for boot/windows and RAID-5 for files and storage.

I uploaded some pictures of my RAID configuration if you're at all interested.

Edit: Also, if you're going to enable write-back cache, make sure you have a UPS so you can safely shutdown before you really lose power. This is more important for RAID-0 than RAID-5 but it isn't good for a machine to stop in the middle of a cached write anyways. Added a picture of AIDA's UPS readout as well.
I appreciate the concern, but yeah I already know all about that. This is just a little experimenting. I actually have a separate NAS in raid 5 built from an old pc that I use for the stuff I really cant afford to lose.