2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

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2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

Postposted on Mon May 20, 2013 2:08 pm

This particular first world problem has been tormenting me for days. :x

Newegg has a fantastic deal on the 250GB Samsung 840: $149 w/ free shipping. The vanilla 840 is quite a bit slower than the Pro, but do you guys think that combining two of them in a RAID 0 array would match the performance of a single 512GB 840 Pro?

I can spend the extra money on a 512GB Pro (I guess) if it's that much better, but 500GB for $300 is tempting.
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Re: 2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

Postposted on Mon May 20, 2013 2:13 pm

This timely article from Tom's should be very helpful:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd ... ,3485.html

For most usage scenarios, I'd strongly suggest a single 840 Pro over two 840 drives in RAID 0.
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Re: 2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

Postposted on Mon May 20, 2013 2:33 pm

Single drive for sure. RAID just isn't worth the headache in most cases.
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Re: 2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

Postposted on Mon May 20, 2013 2:42 pm

And here is a third vote for the single drive.
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Re: 2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

Postposted on Mon May 20, 2013 3:01 pm

Without a specific use case, a single drive makes more sense. The dual drive setup would undoubtedly push the bits in and out faster. It would also need special attention to the configuration.

However, if the two smaller drives are cheaper, then it might make sense to get them anyway. If the RAID-0 setup proves untenable you can just run them as separate drives, and again without a specific use case, you're unlikely to notice the difference between the Pro and non-Pro drives.
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Re: 2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

Postposted on Mon May 20, 2013 4:04 pm

Why not the 500GB 840 non-pro? Not much more than the price of two 250GB drives, a fair bit cheaper than the Pro. What's your application? Do you need the top of the line performance of the Pro? Do you need the capacity of 500GB+? Maybe a 256GB Pro would get you awesome performance, enough capacity and a price you can live with. Without knowing much more it's hard to make a definite recommendation.
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Re: 2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

Postposted on Mon May 20, 2013 8:47 pm

frumper15 wrote:Why not the 500GB 840 non-pro? Not much more than the price of two 250GB drives, a fair bit cheaper than the Pro. What's your application? Do you need the top of the line performance of the Pro? Do you need the capacity of 500GB+? Maybe a 256GB Pro would get you awesome performance, enough capacity and a price you can live with. Without knowing much more it's hard to make a definite recommendation.


I'm building my first new machine since 2006, and I'd like this box to last as long as the previous one. Trying to go as high-end as I can with each component, as I did back in 2006. So, I don't need the performance of the Pro, but it would be nice to have & would compliment the rest of the setup well. Because all of my large files and backups reside on a file server, I'd like to go 100% solid-state with the new machine. I'll definitely need more than 256GB.
Airmantharp wrote:Without a specific use case, a single drive makes more sense. The dual drive setup would undoubtedly push the bits in and out faster. It would also need special attention to the configuration.

However, if the two smaller drives are cheaper, then it might make sense to get them anyway. If the RAID-0 setup proves untenable you can just run them as separate drives, and again without a specific use case, you're unlikely to notice the difference between the Pro and non-Pro drives.


So basically, the cheaper RAID 0 840 setup would be at least as fast as a single Pro, but harder to set up and possibly less reliable. Leaning towards the single drive now...
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Re: 2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

Postposted on Mon May 20, 2013 9:12 pm

setaG_lliB wrote:So basically, the cheaper RAID 0 840 setup would be at least as fast as a single Pro, but harder to set up and possibly less reliable. Leaning towards the single drive now...


The pair of 840's would have different performance characteristics- they'd be significantly (70-90%) faster for sequential transfers, and fractionally slower for random access times. In everyday use, you won't notice either, really, as SSDs are already largely faster than the OS can handle outside of very specific workloads. Game load times, in particular, benefit very little from SSDs except in a few modern cases; many run just as well on a Green drive.

If I were to make any alternate recommendation, it would be to get a cheaper ~500GB drive (doesn't have to be Samsung) and a 2GB+ storage drive, and only put on the SSD what you need.
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Re: 2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

Postposted on Mon May 20, 2013 9:31 pm

Been waiting for a good deal on a 250+ gb SSD, thanks for bringing this to my attention =)
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Re: 2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

Postposted on Tue May 21, 2013 4:09 pm

Airmantharp wrote:Game load times, in particular, benefit very little from SSDs except in a few modern cases; many run just as well on a Green drive.

Wait, what?! Clicky..
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Re: 2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

Postposted on Tue May 21, 2013 4:39 pm

morphine wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:Game load times, in particular, benefit very little from SSDs except in a few modern cases; many run just as well on a Green drive.

Wait, what?! Clicky..


I stand by my observation :).

I'm not advocating that an SSD isn't any faster than using an HDD for games; rather that the real difference is very little in many cases (and none in plenty). The point is, that until SSDs start getting realistically large enough and cheap enough to be 'fire and forget' solutions, picking and choosing what gets stored on them makes sense.

Here, I'd advise that all games get loaded by default to a large mechanical drive. On those games that could really use the speedup, in my case BF3 for faster level load times, the game may be moved to the SSD using a symbolic link.

The resources expended on large SSDs (>256GB) are better allocated to the GPU, monitor, or input devices.
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Re: 2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

Postposted on Tue May 21, 2013 4:47 pm

I don't know about you but I have an SSD (C300) and my friend has a WD Black drive. When we play BF3, he could start loading the level a minute before me and I'd still get in before he does.

If you've used an older computer with reasonable CPUs and RAM (C2D and 3GB+), you'll find that you're ALWAYS waiting on the hard drive.
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Re: 2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

Postposted on Tue May 21, 2013 5:00 pm

ChronoReverse wrote:I don't know about you but I have an SSD (C300) and my friend has a WD Black drive. When we play BF3, he could start loading the level a minute before me and I'd still get in before he does.

If you've used an older computer with reasonable CPUs and RAM (C2D and 3GB+), you'll find that you're ALWAYS waiting on the hard drive.


I find with a fast CPU and lots of RAM (2500k, 16GB) that I'm still waiting for the CPU even when using an SSD quite often, especially when loading games. BF3 is an exception as I noted above, but many games just aren't helped much by SSDs, not enough to warrant spending 10x $/GB more than a mechanical drive that has much, much more space.

A 256GB drive is more than comfortable (downright spacious, really) for OS, apps, and most-used games that could use the boost. A good 2TB storage drive would be at least 50% cheaper, and leave room for more games and other stuff you want local.
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Re: 2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

Postposted on Tue May 21, 2013 5:25 pm

Man, I don't know what you're smoking, but ever since I've moved to an SSD, all the games load a hell of a lot faster.

Don't know where you're getting the data from, but I'm guessing early SSDs, which were 1/5th the speed of the current crop?
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Re: 2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

Postposted on Tue May 21, 2013 5:30 pm

morphine wrote:Man, I don't know what you're smoking, but ever since I've moved to an SSD, all the games load a hell of a lot faster.

What this guy says. Not withstanding that with the storage bottleneck being significantly wider, the CPU can become the bottleneck depending on game design/engine.
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Re: 2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

Postposted on Tue May 21, 2013 5:33 pm

Firestarter wrote:...with the storage bottleneck being significantly wider, the CPU can become the bottleneck depending on game design/engine.

There we go.
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Re: 2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

Postposted on Tue May 21, 2013 6:22 pm

You know, I have SSDs in all three of my systems- and all three have mechanical storage as well, one of which is attached by USB3. They all have Intel quads (2 Sandy and 1 Ivy), and two have 16GB of RAM, the other 6GB (more than enough for games). And yeah, I've played games that were loaded on that USB3 mechanical drive :).

So here's the thing- many/most games will see some benefit to load times, but load times are relative, both in the speed of load times, and in how often the game stops gameplay to load content. If you only load once, a 5-10 second difference doesn't mean much if you're already waiting 15-20 seconds. If you have to do regular loads, a la Skyrim, but they're only 2-5 seconds, what does dropping that to 1-3 seconds matter? You're still interrupting gameplay.

I keep throwing BF3 out there, because it takes up 25GB of my SSD and it sees a massive boost in level load times, something you might be doing quite often depending on game type and server settings. Slow load times are also frustrating as you're usually trying to join your friends.

Another example is Skyrim. Even with a stack of mods, Skyrim loads acceptably fast for me from a 2TB Green drive. Definitely faster on an SSD, but not fast enough to warrant the space, and many single-player and lighter multi-player games behave like this.

It's a decision you have to make on a game-by-game basis; I couldn't possibly fit all of my games, along with the OS and primary applications, on a 512GB drive, nor do I wish to shell out for one yet. It's also hard to recommend that someone spend another $200 or $300 just to get one large SSD when most of that expensive space won't actually be used and could be just as well be applied to a much larger $100 HDD. Take that $100-$200 savings and put it in your pocket, or somewhere it will count more, like a better GPU, monitor, keyboard, or mouse.
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Re: 2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

Postposted on Tue May 21, 2013 6:31 pm

morphine wrote:
Firestarter wrote:...with the storage bottleneck being significantly wider, the CPU can become the bottleneck depending on game design/engine.

There we go.


My response above was detailed for this comment, but in direct response, I see games being CPU bottlenecked even with HDDs on many occasions. Not every occasion, and SSDs can make a huge difference, but it's not an 'all or nothing' sort of thing.
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Re: 2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

Postposted on Tue May 21, 2013 6:56 pm

Airmantharp wrote:BF3 is an exception as I noted above, but many games just aren't helped much by SSDs, not enough to warrant spending 10x $/GB more than a mechanical drive that has much, much more space.

*shrug

Starcraft 2 loads faster, Diablo 3 loads faster, XCOM loads faster, TF2 loads faster, L4D2 loads faster, DX:HR loads faster, Civilizations 5 loads faster, Mass Effect loads faster. My system on the whole boots faster.

The SSD didn't make my system do everything instantly but the difference was certainly noticeable.

Maybe we just play different games.
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Re: 2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

Postposted on Wed May 22, 2013 11:29 pm

Thanks for the help guys.
So for $65 less than a 512GB Pro, I picked up a 500GB 840 and a 2TB/7200 Barracuda. I think I'll be happy with this solution. :P
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Re: 2 250GB 840s in RAID 0 vs single 512GB 840 Pro

Postposted on Thu May 23, 2013 1:45 am

setaG_lliB wrote:Thanks for the help guys.
So for $65 less than a 512GB Pro, I picked up a 500GB 840 and a 2TB/7200 Barracuda. I think I'll be happy with this solution. :P


We hope so! That sale is awesome, just wish I needed the space...
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