Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Vertex 2 isn’t lonely anymore

I was running out of space in the SSD. I had few games in the hard drive, and I was careful not to install big apps if I didn’t really need them. It was time to get a second SSD. Actually, it would be my third, because I already had one in the laptop.

There were few options. I could buy a second Vertex 2 50GB model and pair it with the one I already had, and make a RAID0 volume. It would give great performance and I would have one big 100GB partition to play with. The downside would be, I would lose TRIM functionality and SSDs are still expensive.

The other option would be to wait for the Vertex 3 or Intel’s new 510 series SSDs and get one of them, move the Vertex 2 to the lappy and sell the Kingston 40GB. Even though it seemed like the best option, it is not. First, selling a used SSD would be pretty hard work, because it would be considered as “degraded”. Second, Vertex 3 and Intel 510 would utilize SATA-3 interface and the one I have in the motherboard is a Marvel chip which doesn’t do a great job. So I might not get the fullest performance out of the new drive. Besides, the new drives won’t be any cheaper. They would still cost an arm and a leg. One more thing; two Vertex 2s RAIDed will perform as fast as a Vertex 3, and it seems Intel drives won’t be that fast anyways.

Note: Sandforce drives don’t need TRIM to bring back the lost performance. It has garbage collection stuff built into it. So RAIDing two Sandforce drives wouldn’t be a problem. (Read here and here)

So I decided to get a new Vertex 2 and RAID0 with the current drive. I missed an opportunity to get one for JPY9980, which was pretty cheap, and the next lowest price was 12900. Dang! I wouldn’t pay that much. Last Thursday I saw Amazon list one for 10900 (same thing was at 13600 or something before that), so after thinking, rethinking and more, I decided to hit the order button. It was supposed to come on Saturday, so it was fun. But it was delivered to me after 6pm. Stupid delivery morons!

It came with an old firmware version. I had the latest in the drive I had. So I plugged it in and upgraded the firmware to the latest. I managed to grab a ATTO score before I RAIDed the two drives.

This is the new drive

OCZ Vertex 2 drive 2 ATTO 2.46 2011-02-05

This is the old drive.

OCZ Vertex 2 ATTO 2.46 2011-01-17

Old drive is a bit slow, but it could be due to degradation, or because OS is installed in it and stuff is going on in it, or both.

And THIS is the RAID0 performance. w00t!

Untitled_-_ATTO_Disk_Benchmark-2011-02-06_03.06.39

So does it boot Windows faster? Nah! it is pretty much the same. Does it load apps faster? Slightly, but you would need a stopwatch to see the difference. So what did it give me? More storage! More SSD storage. Now I can install the games in the SSD. Oh and it loads games pretty fast. COD6 levels load pretty quickly. I am almost always the first to load the map. Open-mouthed smile

P.S.

If you look at the performance of the 0.5k, 1k, 2k performance, it is more than twice as fast as a single drive. That is because I have enabled Write Back Caching, afaik.

Intel_Rapid_Storage_Technology-2011-02-06_16.23.38

The Windows Experience Index score for the hard drive is now maxed out at 7.9. One down, 4 to go. hehe

Performance_Information_and_Tools-2011-02-05_23.22.22

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