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I've got two 80GB Gen2 Intel SSDs, currently in RAID 0. I'm about to reformat for an unrelated reason, and I'm wondering if maybe I should just leave them as independent drives. The primary reason being so that I could use TRIM. I think I'd also get a faster boot, as a bonus.

As it is, they're lightning fast. The very second that I log into Windows, I get zero delay responsiveness when starting apps (the biggest delay is moving the mouse to the icon, it's pretty awesome). I'm thinking I won't really lose much, though, as I doubt that speed is dependent on the RAID.

This is my main computer (Windows 7, 3.6GHz i7 920, 6GB DDR3), so I use it for everything, but my primary uses are programming and gaming, so IO speed (particularly random read) is something I care a lot about.

So do you guys think that TRIM is worth giving up whatever speed gains I'm getting from the RAID?

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I don't believe RAID has shown significant random read speed time decreases, so you should be ok with separate drives. –  Phoshi Jan 31 '10 at 18:27
    
TRIM is probably more worthwhile than the striping, but I'd first pester Intel a little bit and remind them that we want TRIM pass-through for RAID. –  Ben Voigt May 6 '12 at 1:30

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

As Phoshi mentions, there is probably little difference to random read/write performance. It's possible that with RAID0 the sequential write speed increases, because it is relatively low on the Intel X25-M drives at about 80MB/s max. However, the effect of using the drive over time, causing fragmentation, is shown here (see the table near the bottom): TRIM would help mitigate this performance drop. Also, there are the usual caveats with RAID0, such doubling the chance of data loss due to drive failure and the RAID controller itself being a single-point of failure.

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Wear leveling technology purposely "fragments" the data to ensure the consistent life of the drive! –  Molly7244 Jan 31 '10 at 19:03
    
The problem with fragmentation only really arises when a file is deleted - free space becomes "trapped". But the point here is that with TRIM, the SSD gets a head start - it can prioritise cleaning of the areas containing deleted files. So the drive has more usable free space, which tends to lead to better write performance. –  sblair Jan 31 '10 at 21:15
    
You could do Raid0+Raid1 to cut down on data loss chances. :) but that would be expensive –  Jeff F. Apr 4 '11 at 13:23

Here's a comprehensive SSD Benchmark report (testing a OCZ Vertex in RAID-0)

enter image description here

  • Impressive 505 MBps read and 437 write RAID-0 bandwidth with EVEREST
  • 64MB Cache buffer permanently solves 'stuttering' problem
  • Very low 0.10 ms random access time

RAID-0 almost doubles the speed compared to the same drive, I'd say, go for it! :)

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That's only sequential, which is hardly an issue. Where can you dump 500 MB/s? –  Mircea Chirea Jan 24 '11 at 4:43

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