Skouperd

Which controller for multiple SSD's in RAID 0?

11 posts in this topic

Hi everybody, I am looking for some guidance / advise on what the best RAID Controllers are in terms of using it with multiple Vertex 3 60GB SSD's. I need to upgrade my existing SAS controller, so figured I'd just ask for some input here. Please note, as this is my OS drive, on my gaming PC, I don't care at all about redundancy. My saved games etc is stored in a seperate RAID 5 array on the pc, whereas my real real data is stored on a server with more than sufficient redundancy, so let's not debate the various RAID levels please.

Full details on my currently rig can be found here:

http://blog.skoups.com/?p=272

but from a hard drive perspective I have:

- SAS Controller: Adaptec 6405

- SAS Expander: Intel 6 Bay hot swap SAS Expander (AXX6DRV3DEXP)

- Game Drives: 6 x VelociRaptor, 150GB, 10,000 RPM (located in the SAS expander)

- Game Array: RAID 5, ~Read = 400MB/s, ~Write = 400MB/s

- OS Drives: 2 x OCZ Vertex 3, 60GB

- OS Array: RAID 0, Read ~ 800MB/s+, Write ~ 400MB/s+

The price of 60GB Vertex 3 SSDs have reduced so much, and during a recent promotion, I've picked up 4 more at a real bargain. My thinking now is to get an 8 port SAS controller, use 6xSSDs in RAID 0 for the OS drive / programs drive, and use the remaining two ports to drive the SAS expander housing the 6xRaptors. If you followed my link above, you will note that I've designed my case for exactly the above kit.

My question now, I've used Adaptec controllers for ever and a day now, but lately, their benchmarks just ain't that impressive anymore (as can be seen by the existing RAID 0 array). It is also very difficult for me to actually find benchmarks with 6 Sandforce drives in RAID 0 to do meaningful comparisons on. Which is why I will appreciate any advise / comments from people that have actually tested a similar kind of setup themselves.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to comment / respond, it is really much appreciated. Please feel free to ask questions if there is anything not clear.

Kind regards

Skouperd

Ps, there are no particular reason why I want to do this, it just sounds like a nice cool project to do, and you can't argue with that! ;-)

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Our last dive in with an Adaptec RAID card in the LSI 9260/9265 level wasn't that good for fast storage arrays (SSDs). For use with hard drives only it probably would have been fine, but on the SSD side it really held things back. What is your budget for this RAID setup? Also one thing you should consider is carefully balancing your drive capacities with expected performance levels. Go too small with SF models and the write speeds plummet. Depending on price, three 120GB models might offer higher performance.

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Our last dive in with an Adaptec RAID card in the LSI 9260/9265 level wasn't that good for fast storage arrays (SSDs). For use with hard drives only it probably would have been fine, but on the SSD side it really held things back. What is your budget for this RAID setup? Also one thing you should consider is carefully balancing your drive capacities with expected performance levels. Go too small with SF models and the write speeds plummet. Depending on price, three 120GB models might offer higher performance.

Hi Kevin, thanks for the feedback. I agree with your assessment that Adaptec is just not able to keep it up when it comes to very fast arrays. Your point on the write speeds is well noted but my argument is that since this is the OS drive, where a lot of reads (at least in theory) happens, I am more interested in the read speeds (both sequential and random). The writes that occurs is typically user files and saved files which is happening to the RAID 5 in any event.

With regard to budget, I've learned a long time ago that it is better to get the right stuff the first time, or else it just works out more expensive. If I am unable to afford it now, I just need to wait a bit longer. My current budget will be around $600 to $1000 USD which I recon should be putting me in the ball park for most consumer and mid level raid controllers.

Hope that helps?

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

Regards

Skouperd

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Adaptec has revised their line with the 6805Q model for SSDs... but I don't know if that bears out in actual performance testing.

LSI also has the 9266-8i models now, and Areca's on the ARC-1882i now. Unfortunately I have no idea on actual performance in an all-SSD configuration at the moment, especially not with Sandforce SSDs.

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Adaptec has revised their line with the 6805Q model for SSDs... but I don't know if that bears out in actual performance testing.

LSI also has the 9266-8i models now, and Areca's on the ARC-1882i now. Unfortunately I have no idea on actual performance in an all-SSD configuration at the moment, especially not with Sandforce SSDs.

Thanks for the input, my understanding (and correct me if I am wrong) is that the Adaptec 6x05Q series only adds hybrid SSD into the mix. My understanding of that is that it will use normal SATA drives together with an SSD thereby reading from the one drive and writing to the other format. As such I can not really see that their Q series will add anything over and above the normal cards. But I may be wrong.

Thank you for the tip on LSI and Areca's. I don't have any experience with either, so if anybody here have some spare SSD's they mind putting into one of those cards to see how they will perform, that will be so cool!

Thanks for taking the time to respond, appreciated.

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Perhaps, but I would be curious about driver optimization as later releases go on...

I have at least one customer product with a decent sized SSD RAID in it coming, but given my production schedule here I seriously doubt I'll be able to run any benchmarks on it.

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Ok, couple of months later, I found myself a RocketRaid 2720SGL, as seen here:

http://thessdreview.com/our-reviews/highpoint-2720sgl-rocketraid-controller-review-amazing-3gbs-recorded-with-8-crucial-c400-ssds/

The performance on it using 4xVertex3, 60GB, SSD's was quite nice. Achieving around 1.4GB read, and about 600MB writes. I needed to built a bigger array for somebody else (this time 8xVertex3, 60GB drives) using the same card. The performance was around 3GB read, and about 2GB write. (faster CPU / etc than my rig).

So, if anybody else is reading this and is in the same boat as what I was, I could recommend the RocketRaid 2720SGL if the only thing you are looking for is raw speed. I have to warn you though,the RAID 5 performance really sucks.

Now, an unashamed bump here... since I've lost my RR2720SGL (client desperately needed to get that card and the supplier could only get again in a couple of weeks time). Question, does anybody have experience with the ATTO R608 expresssas card and how it will perform with multiple (4, 6, 8) SSD's in RAID 0?

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Hi everybody, I am looking for some guidance / advise on what the best RAID Controllers are in terms of using it with multiple Vertex 3 60GB SSD's. I need to upgrade my existing SAS controller, so figured I'd just ask for some input here. Please note, as this is my OS drive, on my gaming PC, I don't care at all about redundancy. My saved games etc is stored in a seperate RAID 5 array on the pc, whereas my real real data is stored on a server with more than sufficient redundancy, so let's not debate the various RAID levels please.

Full details on my currently rig can be found here:

http://blog.skoups.com/?p=272

but from a hard drive perspective I have:

- SAS Controller: Adaptec 6405

- SAS Expander: Intel 6 Bay hot swap SAS Expander (AXX6DRV3DEXP)

- Game Drives: 6 x VelociRaptor, 150GB, 10,000 RPM (located in the SAS expander)

- Game Array: RAID 5, ~Read = 400MB/s, ~Write = 400MB/s

- OS Drives: 2 x OCZ Vertex 3, 60GB

- OS Array: RAID 0, Read ~ 800MB/s+, Write ~ 400MB/s+

The price of 60GB Vertex 3 SSDs have reduced so much, and during a recent promotion, I've picked up 4 more at a real bargain. My thinking now is to get an 8 port SAS controller, use 6xSSDs in RAID 0 for the OS drive / programs drive, and use the remaining two ports to drive the SAS expander housing the 6xRaptors. If you followed my link above, you will note that I've designed my case for exactly the above kit.

My question now, I've used Adaptec controllers for ever and a day now, but lately, their benchmarks just ain't that impressive anymore (as can be seen by the existing RAID 0 array). It is also very difficult for me to actually find benchmarks with 6 Sandforce drives in RAID 0 to do meaningful comparisons on. Which is why I will appreciate any advise / comments from people that have actually tested a similar kind of setup themselves.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to comment / respond, it is really much appreciated. Please feel free to ask questions if there is anything not clear.

Kind regards

Skouperd

Ps, there are no particular reason why I want to do this, it just sounds like a nice cool project to do, and you can't argue with that! ;-)

Hello friend.

Im using an Adaptec 6405 as a gaming rig too. Everyone says that this approach doesnt represent any advantage over onboard solutions but they are wrong. I can show real world test performance, since simple installations, office, games, etc etc, any program and we (you and me) will see the benefits of dram cache and a no worry host main cpu, specially with default settings, dynamic performance, enable all drive cache, read ahead and write back cache only with ZMCP.The common benchemarks doesnt show the true power of raid controllers, just a few ones with measure a cache speed. Other major rule: just choose the compatibility list drive and if possible, wich one with dram cache. Im using a samsung 830 wich has 256mb ddr2 cache and is on adaptec compatibility list. The performance is excellent even if the benchs doesnt translate it. Firmware, technical support and storage manager of adaptec is one of the best.

Now, if you want even the better controller, you can choose the new adaptec series 7 with 1gb ddr3 1333 cache and the first fully operated by PMC and adaptec, since the series 6 was designed by adaptec hands only with PM8013 cpu. I guess the new series 7 will come out with a completely different firmware over previous models.

Best regards

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Now, if you want even the better controller, you can choose the new adaptec series 7 with 1gb ddr3 1333 cache and the first fully operated by PMC and adaptec, since the series 6 was designed by adaptec hands only with PM8013 cpu. I guess the new series 7 will come out with a completely different firmware over previous models.

Best regards

That 7 series Adaptec is most likely the RAID controller that we've been waiting for! I would defintely seriously consider the Adaptec 7805 for my gaming rig. I notice the website say available in October, do we have any indication if they will be really "available" or will they just be "available" to some elite companies?

Kind regards

Skouperd

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Did you finally get the adaptec 7 series card? I was planning to replace my current 9265-8i with the new 7 series. Anyway, just running some atto benchs I saw my lsi can do around 3500 MB/s testing the cache, and with my 4 drives in raid 0 I'm around 2240 MB/s read and 2080MB/s write. So, for saturate this controller I think I will need to add 4 more drives. Anyway, I like to know if the new adaptec 7 series like the 7805 will give me any benefits over my 9265-8i, in my current 4 drive configuration.

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