1. #1
    The Lightbringer Djinni's Avatar
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    Intel's SRT (Smart Response Technology) and RAID0

    Ok so been reading up a bit about SSD Cacheing while MMO-C was out of commision...

    My question is has anyone tried using with a a RAID0 HDD setup?

    EG: 3x 1tb HDD's
    + 1 x SSD

    On a Z68 board?

    ANd while we're at it, how did you setup the RAID0? Did you use the MoBo option in the BIOS or did you use software or a 3rd party raid controller.

    I use'd http://www.anandtech.com/show/4329/i...ching-review/2 to read up a bit, but it doesn't really go into much detail about a RAID'ed setup.
    Last edited by Djinni; 2011-06-26 at 12:35 PM.
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  2. #2
    Pandaren Monk DarkXale's Avatar
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    I haven't tried it, but its not hard to figure out how it'll perform:

    1) If you use a bigger SSD, more stuff will be cached.
    2) The more programs/data you use, the less likely it is that program is cached - reducing performance.
    3) RAID0 will only really improve the performance of programs and data that hasn't been cached at all. Semi-cached performance is also improved, if only very slightly. The increased volume may make it more difficult to have the right files cached.

    Most people currently set up their raid using the Intel controller on the motherboard.

  3. #3
    Scarab Lord Fuzzykins's Avatar
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    SRT doesn't work WITH Raid 0.
    It's also not XZ68, it's Z68...

  4. #4
    The Lightbringer Djinni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzykins View Post
    SRT doesn't work WITH Raid 0.
    It's also not XZ68, it's Z68...
    lol multi-tasking
    Umm ...

    What does Smart Response Technology do? It takes a page from enterprise storage architecture and lets you use a small SSD as a full read/write cache for a hard drive or RAID array.
    With the Z68 SATA controllers set to RAID (SRT won't work in AHCI or IDE modes) just install Windows 7 on your hard drive like you normally would. With Intel's RST 10.5 drivers and a spare SSD installed (from any manufacturer) you can choose to use up to 64GB of the SSD as a cache for all accesses to the hard drive. Any space above 64GB is left untouched for you to use as a separate drive letter.
    I assume from this that it means it works ... ? got anything to back up the "it doesn't work"?


    (I'm also working under the assumption that if it works with one RAID type (IE: RAID0) it'll work with all of them (IE: RAID1, RAID5 etc...)
    Last edited by Djinni; 2011-06-26 at 12:37 PM.
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  5. #5
    Scarab Lord Fuzzykins's Avatar
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    Never mind, misinformed by a shoddy Youtube video. Go on. :<

  6. #6
    Brewmaster Wiyld's Avatar
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    It works by caching 'common' program data. So.....if you have a huge SSD drive as a cache then sure it will work great as it will have most of all your programs cached. At that point however you prolly just want to install the programs ON said massive SSD. The problem is that if the data you are using is 'in transit' in the chace and not actually on the HDD where it will be stored, and you lose power or something...poof your data is gone. You can set it to sync with the HDD every time there is a data change but that pretty much defeats the purpose of the whole thing and ruins the performance gain.

    If you use a ton of programs and the drive doesn't have room to cache them all it will start to delete the lesser used ones so you will only see the performance gain on the most commonly used programs. Of course buying a huge SSD is gonna cost you an arm and a leg still compared to regular HDD's.

    I'm not sure bout RAID 0, I assume it would work but your looking at even greater data insecurity with multiple places in the line where any kind of interruption could cause significant data loss. I'm pretty sure the performance gains would be less significant when using it with RAID0, the point of the whole thing is that it reduces your seek times and a RAID0 setup is pretty damn fast to begin with. The most significant places this will help is in systems with a single slow HDD. If you have the cash to set up a good RAID0 array, say with a couple of SATA 2 HDD's or even with a pair of SSD's then you don't need to bother with this caching. Spend the money elsewhere in the system.
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  7. #7
    The Lightbringer Djinni's Avatar
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    This is more of a "will it work" and "is there any benifit" but yeah.

    Also Drive Failure's in the home aren't actually all that common, at least I've never yet had a HDD fail on me that wasn't more than 6 years old.. by which point it's typically already been replaced. Although it does seem SSD failure rate is an aweful lot higher, not to mention there is a limited number of writes each "block" can handle.

    Also it's my understanding that SRT is limited to 64Gb, after which any space left on the drive is unused as far as Cacheing is concerned, (IE: you use it for other things).

    What i'm really looking for I guess is a benchmark showing a comparison between SRT cache load times on a single drive, compared to load times with SRT caching on various RAID setups.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Wiyld View Post
    It works by caching 'common' program data. So.....if you have a huge SSD drive as a cache then sure it will work great as it will have most of all your programs cached. At that point however you prolly just want to install the programs ON said massive SSD. The problem is that if the data you are using is 'in transit' in the chace and not actually on the HDD where it will be stored, and you lose power or something...poof your data is gone. You can set it to sync with the HDD every time there is a data change but that pretty much defeats the purpose of the whole thing and ruins the performance gain.

    If you use a ton of programs and the drive doesn't have room to cache them all it will start to delete the lesser used ones so you will only see the performance gain on the most commonly used programs. Of course buying a huge SSD is gonna cost you an arm and a leg still compared to regular HDD's.

    I'm not sure bout RAID 0, I assume it would work but your looking at even greater data insecurity with multiple places in the line where any kind of interruption could cause significant data loss. I'm pretty sure the performance gains would be less significant when using it with RAID0, the point of the whole thing is that it reduces your seek times and a RAID0 setup is pretty damn fast to begin with. The most significant places this will help is in systems with a single slow HDD. If you have the cash to set up a good RAID0 array, say with a couple of SATA 2 HDD's or even with a pair of SSD's then you don't need to bother with this caching. Spend the money elsewhere in the system.
    SRT has two modes, default mode and performance mode. default mode only caches read actions, data which is not on the SSD is read from HDD and written to SSD on the fly, and the next time they are accessed read from SSD, this mode waits for write actions to be completed on the HDD disk before continueing. performance mode caches write actions to improve write performance, but comes with the risk that the data hasn't reached to the HDD when a power outage happens as you described. I found however that the safety way (default mode) is giving you the performance boost you are looking for, boot up time and programs launching is greatly accelerated as if they are installed directly to SSD. copy actions and installations take as long as they would without SSD, but who really really cares? the risk is not worth this minor inconvenience to most people.

    After having used SRT for a while (it says raid0 but there is only 1 hdd disk in my system) I can say this stuff really works. I don't really notice that I'm not using SSD directly compared to my other PC which doesn't use SRT. The only thing I notice is that I have 1TB of disk space without worrying where to install something, so a beginner can install programs to my PC without knowing what SSD is. The advantage of using RAID0 is probably just that you have more disk space available to store files in, you are probably using 99% of your disk space for storing video's, DVD images, music, pictures, and so on, the frequency that those files are accesed is going to be low, so they will quickly be replaced by cached dll files, sys files, drivers and program files in the cache buffer, which is what you are looking for.

    All in all SRT is a very nice solution for performance without caring how it really works. Your experience is probably going to be the same even if you have a lot of disks and terabytes behind it. But if you have trouble trusting its caching the right files and want to control everything, then just disable it and use native SSD as a c:\ drive. Another aspect is SRT needs 64GB and gives your advantages for a cheaper price then 128GB or more, native SSD needs 128GB (in my oppinion, to install OS and a number of programs, and pagefile, 64 is a bit short)
    If you have a laptop with only room for a single drive, get a big SSD (256 or more) and don't use SRT, it only makes sense if you have a local disk anyway.

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