Replacing RAID0 with SSD

I am going to replace a RAID0 configuration (two Seagate Barracudas) with a 256 GB Samsung SSD.  I have several tools that will allow me to do this, including Acronis Backup and Recovery with Universal Restore.  The RAID 0 is on a Highpoint 3520 SATA hardware RAID controller.  I am running Windows 7 (64 bit).

My question is this:  Would I be better off keeping the single SSD on the Highpoint controller, or put it on one of the onboard SATA controllers?  My motherboard is a Tyan Thunder S2915-E, and both the Highpoint and mb SATA ports are 3 Gb/s.
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srjacobAsked:
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srjacobConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
The SSD is in and working fine running on the 3520 controller.  It's probably not giving me as great a throughput as I would like, but the on-board SATA ports to not operate properly with the 3520, and since I use a RAID1, the on-board SATA ports are not an option.

RE: RAID0-See my article "Do You Really Get High Performance using a RAID0?"

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Aaron TomoskyTechnology ConsultantCommented:
I'd put the ssd right on the mb an use the raid card to raid1 your old drives for backup and storage.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Use the onboard SATA.  Each port will do the full 3Gbit/sec, but on a low-end highpoint controller, the controller will be a bottleneck. They aren't designed for devices that can do 20,000+ IOPS
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srjacobAuthor Commented:
Actually, the HPT3520 is a high-end controller.  It does the RAID right on the board hardware, so I don't think there will be much of a throughput problem.  If it was a low-end controller, I wouldn't have asked the question.

Since the RAID 0 is the boot drive, what problems will I have with the boot-time drivers?
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Aaron TomoskyTechnology ConsultantCommented:
I'd use Acronis or something to clone the raid0 to the new drive.
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DavidConnect With a Mentor PresidentCommented:
Well actually the HPT3520 is mid-range, but still it will be a bottleneck on I/Os per second.  (It would be difficult to find any raid controller that will hurt throughput for a 2-disk RAID0, unless it isn't pcie )

Since you want to boot to it, then you don't have much of a choice.  Still, you would have better overall performance, real-world, just leaving it as a single non-RAID disk.  Sure, RAID0 will look great on a benchmark that is pure file transfer, but RAID0 also means that a good number of I/Os will be greater then what you need.  Speed has 2 components, mutually exclusive.  I/Os per second, and MB per second.   RAID0 doubles MB/sec, and halves I/Os per second (basically).  
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srjacobAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your answers.  I will be using Acronis Backup and Recovery 10 with Universal Restore to do the cloning and restore.

I posed the question to Highpoint, and they said it wouldn't make any difference.  I have posed the question to Tyan (the motherboard mfgr) and we will see what they say.  I have a suspicion that the on-aboard SATA controller isn't all that fast either.

dlethe-you are correct on your assessment of RAID0.  I was expecting better performance out of the RAID0 than I actually got.  I have a RAID1 on this controller using two 2TB WD RE-4 drives, and I get better throughput from this than I get from the RAID0.

When I the answer from Tyan, I'll post it here.  

I was hoping someone who has done this before would give me an answer based on their experience.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
If you want better performance, go with RAID1 and windows software mirroring.   Reason, is if it is a read, windows will balance I/Os so disk with least amount to do handles the request. In perfect world you get 2x IOPs and 2 x throughput on READS.  On writes, no gain, slight hit.  
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DavidPresidentCommented:
P.S. if you benchmarked, then it would be great if you posted results. You have no idea how many times I tell people that going with RAID0 for the boot device to improve performance is a mistake. :)

People see benchmarks with RAID0 and think that this means that a boot disk will also benefit and get disappointed and confused.
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srjacobConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
OK, here is some new info.  

I spoke to Tyan in great length this afternoon.  Their take:  I would get slightly better performance using the Highpoint 3520 in the PCI-e slot than I would get using the on-board SATA ports.

The SSD will stay on the 3520.  I also intend to keep one of the Barracudas as a JBOD drive on the 3520 as well.  After I do this, I will run some benchmarks and compare them to the RAID0 on the 3520.  We'll see how much difference there is.  I ran benchmarks on all the other drives on the system.
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srjacobAuthor Commented:
Since no one else had any clue as to the answer, I did the extensive research and came up the answer myself.  Hopefully, by putting this question in the Experts-Exchange knowledge base, this will help someone else in the future.
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