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Old Nov 7, 2012, 07:25 AM   #1
edunon
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Question Best SSD for Raid 0

Hi all,

I've ordered a 2.6Ghz Quad i7 Mac Mini with everything else as stock and I'm gonna upgrade it myself to 16Gb of Ram and 2 SSD drives in Raid 0 for best read/write performance.
I'll be using this to process hundreds of raw images, disk speed is important.

This machine will only have the current job in it, backup to a time machine drive. I'm aware of the risks of a Raid 0 setup and I can live with that.

The main concern I have is loosing performance as the drives get "dirty" over time. For what I've researched Intel 520 and Samsung 840 are great SSD drives, but this review doesn't speak well of the Intel 520 in a non-Trim environment: http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...review-10.html

Is it Trim lost once I set the drives in Raid 0? Will the Samsung 840 perform better over time or will have the same problem?

Any thoughts on this are welcome.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 09:35 AM   #2
edunon
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Here someone put 2 Samsung 830 in Raid 0 and performance dropped considerably even using TrimEnabler.

I wonder if it's worth to set a Raid 0 with SSD drives at all..
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 01:03 PM   #3
mikeboss
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I have a mini 2012 with two crucial M4 512GB in RAID-0 (also had a mini 2011 with two crucial M4 256GB in RAID-0) and I haven't noticed any degrading in the performance. also TRIM works. but the mini 2012 comes with a newer "IOAHCIBlockStorage.kext" and I had to edit the file "IOAHCIBlockStorage" with a HEX editor because the trim-enabler utility I usually use didn't work...



regards,
michael

EDIT:
also, see this test from OWC ->
http://blog.macsales.com/15341-owc-d...-2012-mac-mini

Last edited by mikeboss; Nov 7, 2012 at 01:19 PM.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 02:49 PM   #4
edunon
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Thank you Michael for your reply, can I ask you, did you go for the Crucial M4 drives for any particular reason?

Impressive the results from the OWC test, and I wonder if I should go for their Mercury Extreme 6G for better performance over time.

I have a 2 year old Mercury Extreme 120Gb that has pretty much identical performance in my Macbook Pro than when I first installed it.

Regards
Ed
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 03:24 PM   #5
hfg
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I am using a pair of OWC 240GB SSD drives in RAID-0 on my MacPro and it is working fast and fine! I don't think TRIM will work on raided drives, but the OWC drives claim to have their own "garbage collection" and don't need trim to maintain performance.
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Old Nov 7, 2012, 05:15 PM   #6
analogkid
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There is a utility to perserve the trim command, among other things. It's paid software though.

http://www.softraid.com/
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 02:25 AM   #7
mikeboss
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on my two crucial M4 configured as RAID-0 (Apple Software RAID) the TRIM works.

there's an epic thread where a few mad scientists are torturing various SSDs until they fail ->

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...e-25nm-Vs-34nm

the SSDs from crucial are very, very reliable. that's why I chose the M4.

I will never buy an SSD with a sandforce controller in it and as far as I know the OWC mercury drives are based on the SF chip.
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 09:50 AM   #8
edunon
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Thank you for the replies

From those test the Crucial M4 looks very reliable indeed but I'm more after performance, reading and writing speed. The Intel, Samsung and OWC seem to be ahead.

I'm gonna have to pass on the OWC as don't want to take a risk of a nasty surprise from customs here in Europe.

I'm more inclined to the Intel 520, I'm guessing should work nicely with the Intel 7 chipset of the Mac Mini.

Michael, why would you never go for Sandforce SSD drives? Reliability? Because they look to me like the fastest ones.

Regards
Ed
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Old Nov 8, 2012, 10:19 AM   #9
mikeboss
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hi ed

I am not very interested about sustained read/write values when transferring large amounts of data. high I/O and high values while reading/writing random data is much more important. at least to me. and reliability, too!

haha, intel 520 you say? it has an SF controller in it... the samsung 840 pro looks promising, but this is a fresh product that needs to prove its reliability first (while doing a review, one 840 pro failed at the labs of the german IT magazine "c't") so for me, it's still the crucual M4. sandforce based SSDs gave people lots of trouble in the past. when it comes to knowledge about SSDs I suggest you read reviews from anandtech ->
http://www.anandtech.com/tag/storage
also this thread in the ars technica forums might be of interest ->
http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=39354

regards,
michael
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 05:18 AM   #10
edunon
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Hi Michael,

I get your point now. I think I'm gonna go for the Samsung 830 and take advantage of the actual discounts. After all it's been Apple's SSD of choice.

You're right about the Samsung 840 Pro's need to prove reliability first. In Anandtech's review the disk they were using and its replacement, both died while tested.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6328/s...o-256gb-review

Thanks for your help.
Regards
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 09:04 AM   #11
analogkid
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My results with 830's... again I am using a Softraid build to preserve the trim command.

http://softraid.com/press-2011-12-20.html

SSD TRIM + Enhanced SSD/Thunderbolt Support: The SoftRAID 4.2 driver greatly enhances support for SSD operations, including TRIM support for third party SSD drives. SoftRIAD is the only solution for Mac OS X that supports TRIM for RAID volumes. Internal testing with SSD and Thunderbolt shows the SoftRAID driver can achieve over 40,000 I/O’s per second. With the increased availability of SSDs and the introduction of ThunderBolt disks, we wanted SoftRAID to take full advantage of the performance of these incredible new technologies.


PS Sorry about the plug, it's just that I had a hard time figuring this one out so I thought I'd throw the link out there.
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Last edited by analogkid; Nov 13, 2012 at 09:13 AM.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 01:56 PM   #12
edunon
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Thank you analogkid for that screen capture, nice results.
I wonder if there's any performance benefit from using SoftRAID instead of Disk Utility when setting up the RAID strip. At $129 is not a specially cheap software.

When I get my hands on both the Mini and the SSDs I'll test them 1st with Disk Utility and then with the trial version of SoftRAID to see if makes any difference.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 02:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analogkid View Post
My results with 830's... again I am using a Softraid build to preserve the trim command.

SSD TRIM + Enhanced SSD/Thunderbolt Support: The SoftRAID 4.2 driver greatly enhances support for SSD operations, including TRIM support for third party SSD drives. SoftRIAD is the only solution for Mac OS X that supports TRIM for RAID volumes. Internal testing with SSD and Thunderbolt shows the SoftRAID driver can achieve over 40,000 I/Os per second. With the increased availability of SSDs and the introduction of ThunderBolt disks, we wanted SoftRAID to take full advantage of the performance of these incredible new technologies.


PS Sorry about the plug, it's just that I had a hard time figuring this one out so I thought I'd throw the link out there.
Pretty impressive ... what computer are these in and how are they attached?
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 02:36 PM   #14
analogkid
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2011 server, 8GB 1600, dual 256 drives all internal.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by edunon View Post
Thank you analogkid for that screen capture, nice results.
I wonder if there's any performance benefit from using SoftRAID instead of Disk Utility when setting up the RAID strip. At $129 is not a specially cheap software.

When I get my hands on both the Mini and the SSDs I'll test them 1st with Disk Utility and then with the trial version of SoftRAID to see if makes any difference.
It is a shame the software is expensive and osx can't do this natively. The only plus, I guess, is that the builds supposedly outlast the trial, and so that is what I am doing... but I will just have to keep looking at the performance and see if Trim does seem to keep working.
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Old Nov 13, 2012, 05:47 PM   #15
albert1028
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It seems no one has suggested these drives. I had my 2011 Mini with 2 x 128gb Samsung 830. I just like the fact that they have vertical integration on the entire SSD process from chipset to the actual flash.

I have experienced several system wide crashes with the white screen of death with Sandisk Extreme 240gb in Raid 0 configuration on my 2012 Mac Mini.

I just feel that samsung has the best quality out of SSD's along with intel as well. I highly recommend the samsung 840 pro series (not plain 840 series) if you want high quality stuff. The speeds are exactly what it suggests and on my wife's 2010 Mac Pro, it runs fast on a pci-e sataiii card.
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 07:11 AM   #16
edunon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by albert1028 View Post
It seems no one has suggested these drives. I had my 2011 Mini with 2 x 128gb Samsung 830. I just like the fact that they have vertical integration on the entire SSD process from chipset to the actual flash.

I have experienced several system wide crashes with the white screen of death with Sandisk Extreme 240gb in Raid 0 configuration on my 2012 Mac Mini.

I just feel that samsung has the best quality out of SSD's along with intel as well. I highly recommend the samsung 840 pro series (not plain 840 series) if you want high quality stuff. The speeds are exactly what it suggests and on my wife's 2010 Mac Pro, it runs fast on a pci-e sataiii card.

Thanks for you reply albert1028. I was looking at the Samsung 840 pro series but as Michael said before they still have to prove reliability.

It'd be interesting to see a benchmark on your wife's Mac Pro. Does that Pci-e sataIII card handle TRIM, is it done by OS X or is not supported at all?

Regards
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Old Nov 15, 2012, 05:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edunon View Post
Thanks for you reply albert1028. I was looking at the Samsung 840 pro series but as Michael said before they still have to prove reliability.

It'd be interesting to see a benchmark on your wife's Mac Pro. Does that Pci-e sataIII card handle TRIM, is it done by OS X or is not supported at all?

Regards
I have not looked TRIM too closely, but I think it is a software enabled thing where it is up to the software to support it. (If someone who knows the technical usage of TRIM and the benefits of using it with OSX is, i'd love to be educated on it) There are ways to activate it but it's through simple hacking, I was reading in the Mac Pro subforum that many people have enabled TRIM if their SSD supports it. It does work on a SSD that is connected via PCI-E as well.
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