SRT vs SSD as main drive?
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Author:  Djehuty [ Sat May 17, 2014 12:30 pm ]
Post subject:  SRT vs SSD as main drive?

I'm in the process of purchasing components for my computer, and I've been puzzling over SSDs. I've finally decided to purchase one, but I've been reading about Intel's Smart Response Technology (SRT), and I'm not sure what, exactly, to do with my SSD once I have it.

What makes more sense? Buying a larger SSD (Sony EVO 840, 250 GB is fairly reasonable at the moment) to use as the C: drive, with the OS and all programs stored on it, with data on a 2 TB WD Red? Or buying a smaller SSD and a larger HDD (perhaps the 3 TB WD Red), and using SRT? Which one would be more sensible in the long term? I'll also be moving to Windows 8.1, in case that makes a difference.

Author:  washu [ Sat May 17, 2014 1:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SRT vs SSD as main drive?

Unless you really cannot afford it, it always makes sense to have separate drives and not use SRT. SRT can get you close to SSD speeds, some of the time, but not always.

Also, for the most speed boost you want to use SRT in Maximized mode. This effectively makes your SSD and HD a RAID 0 and if either one fails you can lose data. If you don't use Maximized mode then writes are not cached and you loose a lot of speed boost.

Author:  Djehuty [ Sat May 17, 2014 3:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SRT vs SSD as main drive?

Ah, thank you, I did not realize that maximized mode turned the two drives into a RAID 0. I didn't know that was possible with drives of different speeds. I also thought it was always close to SSD speeds, close enough for most people not to notice, and I thought perhaps there might be an advantage in not having things permanently installed on the newer technology.

I think I should probably stop second-guessing my decisions about now. :)

Thanks again!

Author:  washu [ Sat May 17, 2014 7:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SRT vs SSD as main drive?

It's not exactly the same as RAID 0 in implementation, but has the same issues with data loss. Obviously if your HDD dies* in SRT mode you lose your data. When Maximized mode is on then writes may only be on the SSD for an extended period of time so if it dies you loose data as well. You can probably recover anything on the HD, but the filesystem may not be in a consistent state which would complicate that.

It's quite possible to make a normal RAID 0 of drives of different speeds. A 7200 RPM and 5400 RPM HD would be the obvious case, but an SSD and an HDD in RAID 0 is a perfectly valid if rather pointless configuration.

* You can us an SSD in SRT to cache a RAID. You could have a RAID 1 cached by an SSD and survive the loss of one of the HDDs. An interesting use case is that the HDD RAID does not have to be the boot drive. You could have a boot SSD with a second SSD (or a complicated partitioning of the boot SSD) caching a RAID of physical disks which might be useful in some scenarios.

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