So SSD or RAID 0 which is faster?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by i7QuadCoreMania, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. i7QuadCoreMania macrumors 6502

    Nov 10, 2009
    Ok, so all you guys knocking the "software" RAID 0 on the Mac Mini server, take a look at this, while this isn't a comprehensive test or complete Apples to Apples (no pun intended) comparison you do get an idea of the speed of RAID 0 vs a respected SSD like the X25.

    Test Environment:
    1)Intel SSD 160gb X25-M G2 installed on my Late 2009 i7 iMac with 8gb ram.

    2)2x Stock Hitachi 7200rpm 500gb drives in RAID 0 on Mid 2010 Mac Mini Server 2.66ghz 4gb ram.

    Both computers were running client 10.6.4 with all the latest patches/updates.


    It appears the RAID has an advantage in the Write speeds while the SSD has a slight edge on the Read speeds.

    Note, as you can see the SSD is more predictable and the speeds are much more constant with less variability compared to the spinning RAID 0 discs.

    I didn't do random read test, but can tell you the SSD will blow away any spinning discs in that department.:p

    Either way I am quite satisfied in the speeds from the mini server raid setup and didn't have to sacrifice storage space and $$$ to get there.:D
  2. Arline macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2010
    For running OS, Absolutely SSD.

    It's not just about transfer rate.. The read/write rate of large files (like your benchmark) has nothing to do with how fast the OS is gonna run on that HDD/SSD. 4K Read/Write & Sequential Read/Write & IOPS are the most important for running your OS, and SSDs are a lot faster than any RAID volume in that aspect. ;)
  3. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    This is my take as well. I'm sure that SSD is faster, but for me it fails the price/performance test. With RAID0 in the 100+ MB/sec range, I can't justify SSD.

  4. iGrant macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2006
    Agreed, and it also depends on your application. For me I need more pure space more than read/write performance so when for me its better to get a regular hard drive when you look at the price per gb or tb.

  5. GodWhomIsMike macrumors 6502a

    Sep 24, 2007
    Thanks for the comparison. :) I like those numbers!!!
  6. OldMike macrumors 6502


    Mar 3, 2009
    Dallas, TX
    The RAID0 performance is definitely impressive when you think that you still get 500GB disk space with it.

    Thanks for posting this. Great eye opener!
  7. i7QuadCoreMania thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 10, 2009
    you mean 1TB right?;) it's a stripe. but yah lots of space in a little thing like the mini.
  8. iGrant macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2006
    I'm so looking forward to the 1tb of space for my videos!!!! HAHAHAH I can't wait!

  9. ahankinson macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2010
    My only problem with RAID0 is that you effectively halve your reliability (or double the probability that a hard-drive failure will wipe out your data).

    If you're going to do RAID0, a Time Machine backup is almost a requirement.
  10. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    If your data is important to you, you should be backing up regardless of what your setup is.
  11. waynema macrumors member

    May 25, 2010
    Hong Kong
    I have an extra Momentus XT lying around. Thinking of getting another one to put it in my mini server (raid-0)
    Do you have any guides as to how to crack the mini server HDD rack open?

    **edit found this online:
  12. DoFoT9 macrumors P6


    Jun 11, 2007
    Let us not forget the fact that the read rate of the SSD will likely drop below that of the RAID within a month due To overhead etc. ;)

    Interesting results. Good to know:)
  13. lostime macrumors regular

    May 19, 2009
    the largest advantage SSD has is it's seek times, which is virtually non existent compared to the Raid. The fast seek time is what you'll notice most during every day use.

    If you do a lot of large file transfers then the fast seek time wouldn't really matter, as you just proved with the read times above, and getting more storage for less money is the better option.

    The best of both worlds is a Seagate Momentus XT.

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