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I currently have a 120Gib SSD which is pretty fast for things like game loading times and video editing.

However, I was wondering about getting another identical drive and hooking it up with a striping RAID array in hardware (I boot multiple operating systems).

This would have the dual benefits of providing a larger logical drive, while also providing greater performance.

However, I have a few questions:

  1. What kind of performance increase can I expect to see with a pair of good quality SSDs?
  2. How expensive is a quality desktop RAID controller?
  3. Will the controller present the OS with a single logical drive? Does this mean I can still partition it and multi-boot? Basically, can I treat the RAID controller as "a hard drive" at the OS level?
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up vote 3 down vote accepted
  1. Basically it depends on the time of access. Large sequential reads are greatly increased, small random reads are less improved. Here are some links that include performance info:
  2. Probably anywhere from $300 on up but almost all modern name-brand motherboards have RAID 0 support built in. You should at using that first as it is usually easy to configure in the BIOS. The Add-In cards have largely migrated to Enterprise class solutions (with a prices to reflect that).
  3. Yes hardware RAID should present the two disks as one to any OS that boots. Only software RAID requires the OS to load first.

And finally a word of caution if one of the drives in a RAID 0 configuration fails all of the data is lost. Be sure to have a good backup scheme in place.

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Just a note that most RAID controllers that come with desktop motherboards are not true hardware RAID and often have poorer performance. They also may not appear as a single volume to operating systems without the appropriate drivers installed (e.g. a Linux Live CD). Search up fakeRAID or driver/firmware based RAID for more information. – Bob Jun 15 '12 at 14:59
They're not quire software either. The Intel Matrix RAID is referred as firmware RAID. Poorer is probably subjective. They are fast enough for most users and usually there for free. The add-in cards have definitely moved up market as MB RAID as become standard. – Brad Patton Jun 15 '12 at 15:26

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