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A-DATA S599 SSD RAID Report - SandForce SF-1200 x2 - Final Thoughts

Dual 100GB SF-1200 drives in RAID 0 explored. Step inside for the juicy numbers. (NASDAQ:LSI)

| RAID in Storage | Posted: May 6, 2010 2:34 pm

Final Thoughts

 

RAID isn't for everyone, but nearly everyone has the ability to use this as another tool to achieving better system performance. Intel and AMD have been giving this capability away in their chipsets for a few years now and it is even found in many off the shelf systems from the big box builders.

 

With the speeds that we are now seeing from the fastest SSDs, one may argue if the additional performance justifies the cost. Even hardcore tech guys will have to agree that the performance increase is nice in the benchmarks, but in real world use like the tasks ran in PC Mark Vantage there isn't a lot of benefit to be had in many of these scenarios. That said, there are some real areas where you see significant performance increases, but the biggest may not have anything to do with speed at all.

 

In many cases it is possible to purchase two smaller SSDs than one larger drive to achieve the same usable capacity. With RAID 0 you get the speed boost and double the capacity of a single drive. Add to that a possible reduction in cost and things start to look a whole lot brighter. There is a bit of a risk versus reward to keep in mind, though. Onboard RAID controllers are not the same as enterprise RAID products and they have been known to break the array in the past. I have yet to run across this issue with the last few rounds of Intel chipsets, but it is something that you will want to keep in mind before keeping sensitive data on the boot drives that are not backed up in regular intervals. A little planning and a solid back up strategy will go a long way to ease many fears of needing to recover from an error.

 

All things considered, a RAID 0 array with dual A-DATA S599 SSDs provide very good performance that exceeds that of a single drive and gives us twice as much capacity. The downside is that it costs twice as much as a single small drive, but you will be able to divide your purchase by getting the first drive now and later purchase a second drive. With Intel now offering a very fast driver that is able to pass along the TRIM command in RAID 0, taking advantage of RAID with a pair of SSDs is now possible without an enterprise class controller card. With SSD prices falling and most users having Intel RAID in their system all ready, the flood gates are now open for a higher adaption rate.

 

In the coming days we will have more RAID Reports to share and get to comparing performance between different drives in RAID 0. As it sits now, the A-DATA S599 SandForce SF-1200 SSD is the performance pinnacle in which other arrays will be judged against.

 

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