I discovered that in IRST there is an option to set a cache mode for my 3 SSD RAID 0 array.
I've read the documentation by Intel and have some questions:
Are there any overall benefits/risks from enabling cache mode?
As I'm on a laptop, would write back be recommended? I read it increases chance of data loss on power interruption. What is the difference between how windows handles data integrity and the intel driver?
Read only mode seems to have the benefit of faster reads, does it have any downsides?
Windows built-in cache is file-level. In my experience, drive-level cache is much better, because Windows does a poor job with its built-in cache. RISKS: However, it is paranoid with consistency (this must be causing the poor performance). Drive-level write-back cache would delay writes to disk logical structures in an inconsistent way and could corrupt them, if not completed. However, your laptop must crash in a specific way for that to happen, and even then there is a good chance that the corruption will be localized, like last edited files being truncated (or padded). I am using write-back cahe on my laptop about 6 months and I am very happy with it (it has never crashed and I am not even restarting it for months). ANOTHER RELEVANT COMMENT: SSD disks deteriorate due to writes. Having 16Gb RAM, you can greatly extend the life of your SSD drives by enabling agressive write cache.
That depends on your free physical RAM. Having a battery, a laptop is even more reliable to power failure than a desktop is (most desktops don't have UPS). And SSDs are quite resistant to tossing. So, if you have at least 1Gb RAM free ALWAYS, I would recommend write-back.
Are you referring to "RAID Volume Read Cache"? In that case, the answer is in 1.