Experiment: Dual 64GB SSD in RAID 0...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Bibin, May 10, 2010.

  1. Bibin macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2008
    I thought it would be lots of fun to take my two 64GB Crucial M225 Solid-State Drives and install them both in my 13'' MacBook Pro in a RAID 0 (striped) configuration. As we all know the SSDs are fast already, but to have them work in paralell as one larger 128GB SSD would deliver amazing speed.

    A quick purchase of a bay to mount the drive where the optical SuperDrive previously was allowed for easy install of both SSDs internally. The Snow Leopard installer let me set up a raid then install the system to it.

    Only a whopping 10 minutes later it was up and running.

    Let's see some results!

    XBench 2.0's results:
    Uncached write: 252.29 MB/sec (4K blocks)
    Uncached write: 310.1 MB/sec (256K blocks)
    Uncached read: 55.31 MB/sec (4K blocks)
    Uncached read: 342.1 MB/sec (256K blocks)
    Uncached Write: 25.7 MB/sec (4K blocks)
    Uncached write: 230.7 MB/sec (256K blocks)
    Uncached read: 26.5 MB/sec (4K blocks)
    Uncached erad: 210.24 MB/sec (256K blocks)

    It boots in a matter of seconds, usually under ten!

    Has anyone else delighted themselves in solid state bliss and has good reports? Bad reports?

    Here's a video by the way of opening every single program on the laptop at once and seeing the load times or lack thereof:


    I wonder if I can sell this laptop and buy myself any kind of 15" with a 9600GT... even the first-gen one would do.
  2. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008
    Interesting ~~~ Your computer boots rather slowly. ??? Might want to try repair disk permissions, etc.

    What's the overall xbench disk #?

    I'm using one of those same drives in my 13" MBP and getting an xbench of 205. The small block read/writes on these drives are the only weak link for the m225's. Boots in 16 seconds!

    FWIW, I ordered a C300 128GB drive to for my 15" MBP today. I'm setting up that laptop with a 500GB 7200 RPM HD in the optical drive slot.

  3. Bibin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2008
    I had just applied updates - the boot time is normally far lower.
  4. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008
    Didn't mean to bust your chops. :eek:

    good luck with the experiment.
  5. MindlessJD macrumors member


    Apr 19, 2006
    Hampshire, UK
    That is sick! :cool:

    I don't think I've ever seen a computer open that much, that quickly before! It amused me how the dock just grew and grew and became a sea of bouncing icons! :p
  6. koruki macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2009
    New Zealand
    hm those numbers look a bit slow even for a single ssd?
  7. Bibin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2008
    True, but numbers do very little to represent real-world usage - when I had a single one (and also a totally different SLC one even!) it wasn't as fast as this.
  8. 0eyvind macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2009
    I believe to have read that it will boot slowly, because the computer uses software RAID and not hardware RAID. So the RAID configuration needs to load for the RAID to benefit, whereas hardware RAID doesn't need to load.

    But that's one fast machine!
  9. Bibin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2008
    It's generally faster; it takes maybe half a second to initialize the RAID but after that it's usually a case of under 10 seconds.

    I'll take a video later as people seem to think that this machine boots slowly...
  10. TORC macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Been thinking about doing this for a while.

    I've got a 17" uMBP. How exactly would I go about doing this 2 x SSD, RAID 0 setup?

    Being a noob, I'm assuming that I'd need to buy some sort of bay to fit the second SSD in taking place of the optical drive? And I'm assuming that I'd need to also buy an external USB DVD drive to load OSX with. Is this right?

    What do I need exactly (and where's a good place to get it) and are you in fact able to boot from an OSX disk in an external USB DVD drive to install OSX as RAID 0 on both SSD's? If so, is it just a matter of plugging the external USB drive in, putting a disk in it and booting the laptop for it to start installing, or do I need to do something to make it boot from it?

    ...Or do you put one SSD in, load OSX onto it, then put the second one in and then create RAID 0?
  11. shadygrove macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2010
    Is there enough room in my new machine for an extra 128gb SSD (in my setup for instance)? Need to remove any components?

    I love my SSD but 120gb isn't very much space after the system files, all my apps, and my 30gb of music. I would love a second drive but I don't want to remove any components. I don't care about a raid as much as I do more storage.

    Nice machine though...
  12. Bibin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2008
  13. 2high2aim macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2010
    If your looking for a cheap option you can always do a hybrid of both SSD and HDD. SSD for apps and boot up and HDD for media storage and such.
  14. ramzhh macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    I'm amazed. :)

    But I did notice a mistake in the video description: 2x64GB is more expensive than one 128GB SSD, I'm comparing the same brand.
  15. DamonHayhow macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2010
    Hi Bibin
    Great job on raiding the SSDs. I'm looking at doing the exact same thing.

    Can you tell me though, can you 'feel' the speed increase in the same manner as the upgrade from HDD to SSD? Is the machine noticeably more snappy and responsive?

    I'm struggling with whether the upgrade is worth it because so many reviews say it makes no difference. But the same number of reviews say SSD is a waste of money and hardly noticeable when my experience has been that SSD is the single most transformative upgrade you can make to any machine. The difference is MASSIVE to the point I find HDD based machines almost painful to use now (i've been spoiled by my Crucial C300 256gb SSD).

    So ignoring artificial benchmarks, do you find your RAID machine noticeably more responsive than the single SSD made it anyway?

    Many thanks... though my bank balance will hate you if you say its great! :)

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