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View Full Version : Recommend me an internal SSD enclosure, please.


Xion X2
08-06-08, 05:03 PM
I have two OCZ Core SSDs on the way and plan to set them up in a raid array. I know next to nothing about raid and am looking for some advice. These are 2.5" drives, so I'll need to buy an adapter/enclosure for them so they'll fit in one of my spare drive bays. I'd rather have them internal than external. They are both sata II, so the enclosure would have to support that format (I'm guessing; I don't know much about this kind of stuff.)

Any help is appreciated!

crainger
08-06-08, 05:08 PM
You can get kits like this, of course you'd only need to use the bracket and plug the SATA power cable right in.

http://www.shopaddonics.com/mmSHOPADDONICS/Images/aamkhd25b.gif

http://www.addonics.com/products/io/aa25ide35.asp

Monolyth
08-06-08, 05:13 PM
I'd make sure you have a read on this first:
http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=40561

How about something like this?
http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=HD-108&cat=HDD

Just ignore the connector adapter since the Core SSD's use standard SATA connectors and just use the brackets. Only need 2 free 3.5" drive-bays.

Xion X2
08-06-08, 05:25 PM
Both of those look like they would work, thanks. And thanks for the link to OCZ's forums. Reading now.

Stupid raid question:

What is a raid controller card for? Don't most motherboards have this function built in? And why do some of these enclosures advertise this function?

Monolyth
08-06-08, 05:42 PM
Motherboards use software raid controllers so they tax your CPU more then a hardware raid controller would especially if you choose to use parity RAID levels (3, 5, 6, etc.). RAID 0 is very basic and doesn't require a dedicated raid controller.

If you plan to use these drives as your OS drives you will need to ensure you have a floppy/boot disk with the RAID drivers on it so that Windows installer can detect the drives.

Some enclosures use port-multipliers and cheaper back-planes that may limit the functionality of the controller it is connected to. I would recommend you stay away from external enclosures for such drives. I've not yet seen any cheap 5.25"-2.5" bay devices so you may have to do some digging to find some.

Xion X2
08-06-08, 05:55 PM
I've not yet seen any cheap 5.25"-2.5" bay devices so you may have to do some digging to find some.
Yeah. Most of the ones I've seen are expensive and I worry about bottlenecks in the read transfer rates. I really just wanted an adapter like you guys linked me to, so that will work out well.

So which is best for all-out performance. I'm thinking Raid0. Also, how does the storage function? These are 64GB drives, so would I be limited to only 64GB total storage or 128?

crainger
08-06-08, 06:19 PM
RAID 0 basically combines both drives into one big one. so you'd see 128gb, the speed boost comes as you have to drives able to read and write. This is a big deal on a conventional drive as the heads can only move so fast, 2 heads are better than one. ::D:: On a SSD drive it will be interesting to see what difference SSD has over a single drive.

Xion X2
08-06-08, 06:31 PM
Sounds good. :D

SSDs fly in a Raid0 config. Check this out. Scroll down to where it shows 2x, 5x, 9x results. 2 looks to be the sweet spot for price/performance. :)

http://www.nextlevelhardware.com/storage/battleship/

http://img232.imageshack.us/img232/9884/chart1nr5.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

http://img387.imageshack.us/img387/8384/chart2jb6.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

http://img387.imageshack.us/img387/3483/chart3bi7.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/9776/chart4zn9.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/4619/chart5ig6.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

crainger
08-06-08, 08:00 PM
Looks good. Let us know what games are like too. It'll be weird having a PC that eerily quiet too. ::D:

I plan to resurrect my Reserator 1 which some SSDs. Put the 8800GTX in the loop with PC. Should be silent, deadly silent... ::bleh::

Bman212121
08-07-08, 05:08 PM
So any updates on these drives Xion? I just got my notification finally that Newegg has them in stock. I'd like to get a couple more real user opinions before I pull the trigger.

Xion X2
08-07-08, 05:55 PM
No update yet. I'm waiting on my install kit to get here, so I may not have an update until early next week. This is my first time setting up an array, so I may be a little slow with it.

Do you guys really think the on-board controller will work just fine for these? I've heard of some issues involving the ICHR9, and I think that's what I have.

If I were to invest in a card, does anyone have any suggestions? I want to remove all possible bottlenecks so these babies can fully stretch their legs.

Bman212121
08-07-08, 06:16 PM
As long as you don't have stuttering or pausing issues with the onboard RAID controller, it is probably your best bet. I'm looking at the board you have and it appears to only have 2 x 16x PCI-e lanes, and 2 x 1x PCI-E lanes. The 16x lanes would already be in use by your two graphics cards, which would only leave the 1x lanes left.

The PCI slots are basically useless because they are only 133MBps, so they will bottleneck 1 drive when it comes to bursting (and possibly even sustained reads). PCI-E 1x is 250MBps per direction so it is significantly faster. However you'd be bottlenecked with burst speeds and if you added another drive, the maximum transfer rates would be bottlenecked. It's probably good enough it wouldn't make that much of a difference, but there is still the possibility of slowing stuff down.

LordJuanlo
08-08-08, 01:32 AM
If you plan to use these drives as your OS drives you will need to ensure you have a floppy/boot disk with the RAID drivers on it so that Windows installer can detect the drives

If you are installing Vista, drivers don't need to be in a floppy, it can read them from CD/DVD or even a USB stick.

If I were you I wouldn't buy a dedicated controller, you got a quad core and plenty of spare CPU cycles for RAID. I'm using the integrated ICH8R of my mobo for a Matrix Raid: I got one RAID0 volume and one RAID5 (I'm using 3 hard drives), and it works great

Xion X2
09-24-08, 10:50 AM
Following up on my thread here, guys. I know it's been a while.

The drives are in and running well. I'm looking to see if I can get more speed out of them without giving up one of my X2s for the PCI-Ex16. ;)

It looks like I'm peaking at 200MB/s read rate:

http://img353.imageshack.us/img353/8227/attoak9.jpg

I've set many tweaks in Vista (disable write cache, disable defrag, no pagefile, no indexing, etc.) to speed things up as much as possible.

My question is if there is a RAID card out there that runs on PCI-Ex1 that will improve upon this much or if I should just stick with the onboard controller. I think that's all I have left on the board that's free.

I'm liking the drives a lot, though. Vista loads consistently after 2 bars and shuts down in about 4-5 seconds (powered off.) Much faster than a single, standard HDD like I had before. They've just about taken care of all the stuttering that shows up in Oblivion when it loads in textures in the distance. It pauses ever so slightly now when it does that, but it's hardly noticeable because they load in so quickly.