1 2 Previous Next 17 Replies Latest reply on Oct 22, 2009 12:15 PM by RolandSSD

    What RAID controller for a pair of X25M G2s

    mgrmgr

      I am buying a new Windows 7 (i7-870 / P55) system with two 80GB X25-M G2s and would like suggestions for the best RAID controller.  My biggest concern is one that will allow me the upgrade the SSD firmware easily.

        • 1. Re: What RAID controller for a pair of X25M G2s
          drrulez

          If you're using a p55 motherboard, you can use the Intel onboard RAID controller, that's the most fastest. But, when you will create an raid array, with raid 0 option on, for now you can not upgrade the firmware of your ssd's without destroying all the data on them. In my situation, I've a X58 motherboard, with 2 Postville G2 80gb ssd's in raid 0, I can upgrade the firmware, when I first turn the RAID option off in the BIOS, but the upgrade will also destroy all the data on the drives.

          • 2. Re: What RAID controller for a pair of X25M G2s
            mgrmgr

            First, from what I've read, using the onboard RAID controller causes a significant performance hit compared to a dedicated RAID controller.  Have I been mis-reading?  If a dedicated controller is actually the way to go, are there any recommendations?

             

            Second, I've gotten a lot of differing opinions about upgrading firmware, most saying that non-destructive firmware updates can be done by breaking the RAID pair and updating them individually, and then reconnecting them into the RAID configuration.  But...if that's not possible, the new machine I'm ordering will have a small dedicated drive for redundant mirror images of C:.  If everything ends up destroyed, I can re-establish C: easily enough.

             

            SSDs and RAID seems to still be a bit of a lottery.

            • 3. Re: What RAID controller for a pair of X25M G2s
              RolandSSD

              mgrmgr,

              The Intel raid controller is fast and works great – My raid 0 setup is proof no problems at all. Compared to other controllers my results are amongst the best; check it out info and comparisons in a lot of SSD Forums.

              as-ssd-bench-Volume0-10.13.2009-7-11-35-PM.jpg

              Good luck,

              Roland

              • 5. Re: What RAID controller for a pair of X25M G2s
                RolandSSD

                mgrmgr,

                 

                You don't have to buy a separate controller, use the sata controller from your motherboard, use sata port 0 and 1 – Check if your mobo has the latest bios – Check your drives for the latest firmware do this in legacy IDE mode - Than set your bios to raid or raid/ahci depending on bios version and mobo - Reboot and access the raid controller utility – Create your array - Stripe your drives (advise use 128K stripes) save and reboot – start installing OS – works like a charm. Let me know how it went, it looks like a lot of people on this forum have problems setting up raid, don’t know why? In our data center I set up about 400 Intel SSD’s in different configurations and with different controllers never had a single problem. Also utilize them on my personal system using the onboard controller like I state above no problems at all.

                 

                Success,

                Roland

                • 6. Re: What RAID controller for a pair of X25M G2s
                  mgrmgr

                  I am having a new system built and setup for me by AVADirect, who have a good reputation for custom graphics editing Photoshop machines.  Their recommendation was to get a separate RAID controller card for the pair of X25-Ms for performance reasons.  Yes, that could easily be construed as bumping up the hardware to boost profits...except they saved me well over a thousand dollars by talking me OUT of things where there were less expensive alternatives, for instance the new i7-870 instead of an i7-975 Extreme which saved $500.  So, I'm inclined to believe them when they say a separate RAID controller would improve performance. They recommended the 3WARE, 9650SE-4LPML, and, it's a little late to say this, but the purpose of my initial message was to see if there were other/better recommendations.

                   

                  Now I'm in a quandary.   There's still time before the build finalizes to change the controller.  Any thoughts on whether the 3WARE controller is a serious mistake compared to the onboard Intel controller?

                  • 7. Re: What RAID controller for a pair of X25M G2s
                    RolandSSD

                    mgrmgr,

                     

                    It's your money, i believe it's a mistake – Your sata ports have 3 Gb/s each – Raid 0 works pretty much linear, so make the math you cannot saturate your onboard sata raid controller. Adding a second controller just gives more overhead on the system, I would like to see with 2 SSD’s in raid 0 connected to an additional raid controller if you would have any performance gain, don't think so – Check some forums, you will see a lot that added a separate controller achieved sometimes lesser results – I believe raid controller cards are a good solution for servers and in case of large arrays – Of course if you do not have a sata raid controller build in the mobo you have no other choice.

                     

                    Good luck,

                    Roland

                    • 8. Re: What RAID controller for a pair of X25M G2s
                      mgrmgr

                      Thanks for the additional thoughts, Roland.  I've copied and forwarded your message to the person I've been working with at AVADirect.  I'm going to be away from the computer until Sunday, but I will forward his reply here if it seems worth the message space when I get back.  Given our history together over the past two months while I've been spec'ing up a state of the art system, I suspect he'll be straight with me and will either change the system or give me good reasons why not.  I'm curious to see what he has to say.

                      • 9. Re: What RAID controller for a pair of X25M G2s
                        blowd

                        Hi Roland, setting up the Raid is not really the problem. The problem I have had was that one drive just got disconnected (reported by Matrix Manager at OS level). After a reboot the drive Port was flagged as Fail with 'Reset Port Error' status. After braking the raid and re-initializing it it works fine for a couple of days. Then it happend again, and it was the same drive. Its still in RMA so I can't tell if this was a drive error or an incompatibility to my Hardware (Chipset, Bios etc.)

                        My Raid setup is like yours and performance was not an issue. I have read about others having the same problems with raid (0,1,5). That fact indeed scare me a bit. I hope that this was a drive failure and I will post my results after its back from RMA.

                        • 10. Re: What RAID controller for a pair of X25M G2s
                          RolandSSD

                          Blowd,

                          Which drives are you using G1 or G2? When reinstalling, did you use secure erase 3.3 or 4.0 and wiped both drives? Which motherboard are u using (brand and chipset)? Which OS did u install and what is the driver version of the Intel matrix storage controller? In the general tab of the controller, line 3 states the location what does it say? In details you have property down below is a dropdown menu what does it say?

                          It just puzzles me what goes wrong, it might be the drive, it’s very unusual though that hardware is bad. Many people have problems; it looks to me more like compatibly issues or certain driver issues.

                          Roland

                          • 11. Re: What RAID controller for a pair of X25M G2s
                            blowd

                            Hi,

                             

                            use G2s. I've used Acronis secure wipe, should have done the job well.

                            Board is a DFI P45 T2RS, Eaglelake. OS Vista32Bit, Matrix (iaStor.sys) 8.8.0.1009, Locaion PCI-Bus 0, Gerät 31, Funktion 2.

                            I have a traditional HDD Raid0 on port 2 and 3 and this works great. Like I said before, I'm convinced its a issue with the SSD as it failed twice within 2 weeks.

                             

                            Anyway thanks.

                            • 12. Re: What RAID controller for a pair of X25M G2s
                              RolandSSD

                              Blowd,

                               

                              In our data center we tested driver 8.8.0.1009, info came back as problematic with SSD's. Next time use driver 8.9.0.1023 also I would advise use secure erase 4.0, I personally tested the software with no hiccupsWorks great. BTW do U use Kaspersky as an anti virus?

                               

                               

                              Roland

                               

                              Message was edited by: RolandSSD

                              • 13. Re: What RAID controller for a pair of X25M G2s
                                crhendo

                                Lets be VERY careful here. I had lots of problems with the 8.9.0.1023 from Intel (running 2 X25-E's in Raid 0) on my ASUS P5E3 Premium and I am not alone. I had already RMA'd both of my X25's before I came across other users having the same problem (and it wasn't the X25's!). One of the longest running threads on the Intel Support Community is this one http://communities.intel.com/thread/5036?start=120&tstart=0 that, in a nutshell, says that a number of users have found serious problems working with the Intel 8.9 driver. When most of them reverted back to 8.8 the problem went away. I became very nervous when I read through this so, just to be sure, I went out and purchased an Adaptec Controller. Needless to say, I have had no problems since.

                                 

                                The other interesting point is that the Intel 8.9 driver comes standard with Windows 7. I am not for a second saying that ALL users will have similar problems, all I am saying is that if spending extra dollars gives me piece of mind then it is a small price to pay.

                                • 14. Re: What RAID controller for a pair of X25M G2s
                                  RolandSSD

                                  Windows 7 64 - 2 G2's raid0 - P45 ICH10R driver 8.6.2.1012 also a good solution, no problems at all.

                                   

                                  Roland

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