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I'm currently searching the same very thing as I'm about to build a similar setup. Good luck with your build, I'll be keeping an eye on this thread and updating with any new info I find.
From what I have researched I would have expected the following process would apply:
- 1. Connect 2x HDDs to the desired (or supported) SATA ports
2. In the bios, set SATA mode to RAID
3. After POST, press Ctrl+I to create the RAID 1 array
4. Install windows on the RAID 1 array
5. Install the Rapid Storage Technology software
6. Configure the RAID 1 array for acceleration
Be sure to search the Intel site, this has proven the best source of info for Intel technologies. Checkout the Intel® Smart Response Technology User Guide
- 1. Connect 2x HDDs to the desired (or supported) SATA ports
What Asus has to say about SRT with this board:
Intel® Z68 chipset :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), gray
4 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), blue
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Support Intel® Smart Response Technology on 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processor family
Marvell® PCIe SATA 6Gb/s controller :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), navy blue
JMicron® JMB362 controller :
1 x eSATA 3Gb/s port(s), red
Based on posts in this forum, your best bet is to use the grey and blue ports. This means running at 3Gb/s.
The challenge is getting Raid 1 running on from the Marvell controller (Navy Blue). People tend to run into trouble after installing the OS and then installing and enabling SSD caching.
That being said, I also question reliability of some of the info on the forums too. It seems a few people are falling into a few common traps, like installing the OS with the SSD already attached. (Win 7 creates it's 100Mb system partition on the SSD). Intel's published proceedure isn't the only; however it's the most robust process.
I hope my build doesn't turn out to be an expensive trial and error lesson...
St_Kut, thanks for creating a great summary here!
I would add:
- Use the intel chipset/storage software on the ASUS drivers dvd rather than downloading the latest versions
The issues I was having seemed to arise when I downloaded the latest software from Intel, rather than using the software that shipped with the motherboard. Upon doing this, the system would reboot once just fine, but upon the second reboot would not have any access to the data on the RAID disks (it would just be gone).
Your details are indeed correct as to the procedure and use of the proper Z68 ports, so I just wanted to add the software caveat.
By using the software that shipped with the Z68 motherboard (and not getting the latest chipset/RST software from the internet), it worked like a charm.
I used the 3GBPS sata because my board comes with 4x3gbps and 2x6gbps on the intel controller (the marvell controller provides an additional 2x6gbps SATA ports, but can't make use of the Z68). I reserved the 6gbps SATA for the SSD, which would be better able to take advantage of it, and I have one free.
So yes, I currently have a 1TB RAID1 configuration with the Smart Response SSD caching in place and it's working pretty well.
Next step: purchasing two more 1TB drives and building a RAID10 configuration for increased speed.
I verified the SSD caching because my windows experience score jumped from 3.2 to 6.1 after adding the SSD caching, and there was a noticeable difference in responsiveness.
While I've installed applications, I'm not considering the system stable just yet. I've copied over many files, and am waiting for my third-party backup software to sync them to a cloud. Once that's done, I will be clearing off an external HDD, imaging the machine, and testing a restore. If this works, I'll consider the setup stable.
Thank you, Sean, your info has been helpful so far.
I am late to the "game", but am struggling with my own config now. I have the components but have not started OS and application installation.
1 Crucial 128gb SSD drive
1 Corsair 40gb SSD drive
3 2TB Hitachi 7200RPM HDD (capable of 6 GB/s SATA, PN 0F12115)
1 Optical DVD drive
(RAM & Video not relevant)
I am blessed that I also have an OCZ Vertex Plus 60gb SSD and WD Velo 300gb HDD at my disposal.
My intent was to use the PC for Adobe Creative Suite - Photoshop, Premier (video), Lightroom, etc. Install Win7 on the 128gb SSD, all apps, etc. Photo files and catalogues on a RAID5 array of the 2TB drives. 40gb SSD for "scratch" space or SRT cache. But I can't see this working given the SATA ports (Marvell ports don't support ATAPI) and have not seen much conversation about use of Intel SRT when OS is actually installed on SSD, not platter drives. Any help and education is appreciated.
In an SRT setup, what happens if, say, the SSD drive fails?
I gather the system is no longer bootable. Is there any risk to data readability on the other, corresponding drive?
With this in mind, is it possible to keep a small logical partition (60gb GB) on the HDD (say, your Raid 1) and use windows raid to keep a copy of the SSD there.
Could the system then be bootable without the SSD?
Even if it isn't - It could be nice to be able to restore windows and settings to a new SSD from a most recent backup that is kept 'on the fly'
Is there any merit in this?
(Be kind to me - I'm new at this)
I have the P8Z68-M Pro - so am assuming the same principles apply.
I'd prefer to have a 120GB SSD system disk, then keep the raid 1 for programs and data, however at this stage I only have 60GB SSD - barely enough for windows 7 64bit ultimate plus various drivers and essential bootup programs.
My proposed setup :
60GB - Corsair Force Series 3 60GB SSD Sata III
in SRT with two
Seagate Barracuda 7200 1TB (ST31000524AS) in Raid 1
First partition of Raid would be a mirror of the SSD maintained by Windows
Does this seem reasonable?
Not to worry, I am still navigating some of this as well. I'm learning that SRT (Smart Response Technology) is intended to compliment the use of a traditional HDD, speeding up read/write operations through caching. Thus, the HDD would still be used for storage (OS, applications, data, etc.) and the SSD for caching. If the SSD dies, the system would probably still boot as the OS is on the HDD. I'm not sure how to load the OS on a RAID array, though, never tried. If you wanted to you could consider a smaller HDD to load the OS & Apps on separate from the RAID array (the board would support another SATA HDD for this).
Regardless, you cannot allocate a small partition on one of the drives in the RAID array to mirror the SSD; both RAID drives must be identical in size. At least that is my understanding of RAID setup.
With a 60gb SSD though, depending on the number of applications, you could just load the OS and apps on the SSD and use the RAID array for data storage. You would have a problem with the SSD failing and the system becomming non-bootable.
Thanks for your reply.
Yes, I understand that raid 1 drives are mirrors of each other - when I refer to partitioning one of the drives I meant both.
There should be no reason the raid drives can't be split into a number of partitions.
My query was whether a partition could be made for windows raid to keep a copy of the SSD.
Your answer suggests that this would hold no benefits, since under SRT the full information is held on the HDD anyhow - a failure of the SSD not resulting in loss of data under this arrangement.
I have found documentation that answers my question - the specific poit is highlighted in red
You can enable acceleration in order to improve the performance for a SATA hard disk or a RAID volume that includes only SATA hard disks. This operation caches its contents using a non-volatile memory device (a solid-state drive) that is attached to an AHCI port.
Enabling acceleration allows you to:
Use a solid-state drive as a cache device: A single-disk RAID 0 volume is created to store cached data and uses the solid-state drive as array disk. The maximum cache size is 64 GB.
Accelerate one system or non-system disk or volume present in the system by associating it with the cache volume, and subsequently caching its content.
Configure acceleration in enhanced (optimized for data protection) or maximized mode (optimized for input/output performance). See below for more information on the acceleration modes.
If the solid-state drive used as a cache device is larger than 64 GB and has a minimum of 4 GB of additional space, a second single-disk RAID 0 volume will be automatically created using that space for simple data storage.
Follow these steps to enable acceleration:
1. Click ‘Enable acceleration’ either under ‘Status’ or ‘Accelerate’.
2. Select the solid-state drive you want to use as a cache device.
3. Select the portion of the solid-state drive you want to use to store non-volatile cache memory. Any remaining space on the solid-state drive may be used for data storage using the simple data single-disk RAID 0 volume that is automatically created.
4. Select the disk or volume you want to accelerate. We highly recommend that you accelerate the system volume or system disk for maximum performance.
5. Select the acceleration mode you want to use, and then click ‘OK’. By default, enhanced mode is selected.
6. The page refreshes and reports the new acceleration configuration in the Acceleration View.
Non-volatile cache memory can be enabled in either of the following modes:
Enhanced mode (default): Acceleration optimized for data protection.
This mode uses the write-through cache method to write data to the cache memory and the disk simultaneously. In the event that the accelerated disk or volume becomes inaccessible, fails, or is disconnected, there is no risk of data loss because data on the disk is always synchronized with the data in the cache memory. For data safety reasons, this mode is the default acceleration setting.Maximized mode:
Acceleration optimized for input/output performance.
This mode uses the write-back cache method where data is written to the disk at intervals. In the event that the cache device or the accelerated disk or volume becomes inaccessible or disconnected, there is a chance of data loss. However, if the device was missing and can be reconnected, reboot your system and caching activity will resume from where it stopped. If you wish to remove the cache device in the future, make sure that acceleration is first disabled on that disk or volume.
I'm trying to get to a RAID1 accelerated configuration for my system disk on my Asus P9X79 mobo.
What I've tried that did not work:
- set ports to RAID mode in bios
- built RAID1 in RST rom
- installed Windows
- connected SSD
- wanted to enable RST in app but got stuck - no accelerate button displayed
- tried various things posted here to fix that but no luck
- set ports to RAID mode in bios
- installed Windows to drive 1 (RST app recognizes it as a "(System)" disk)
- wanted to build RAID1 in RST app but can't - "Unknown error during volume creation"
- a few other posts here show that this issue is basically unanswered
I'm currently stuck at this point. I can RAID1 any drive but my system disk (as seen by RST) and accelerate any single drive (building a RAID1 data drive right now to test acceleration of it). I suspect a bug in RST because my "(System)" disk is a dynamic GPT/UEFI volume. I'd appreciate any suggestions as I've been messing with this for the last several days now.
The chipset that comes in the ASUS P9X79 motherboard does not support SMART Response Technology. Compatible chipsets and the procedure to enable SMART Response Technology can be found on this document http://download.intel.com/support/chipsets/sb/intel_smart_response_technology_user_guide.pdf