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Samsung F3 1TB (RAID 0 & Short Stroking)

Introduction

Carrying on from Terry‘s excellent work on Short Stroking we will now find out the benefits of extending the concept using a Raid 0 setup.

A Raid 0 configuration gives the best performance using 2 drives, but at the cost of reliability; if one drive fails then data on both are lost.

For our Gaming rigs we are interested in the best performance; so lets see some benchmarks in this configuration.

Testing Strategy

Here we have 2 Samsung F3 1Tb drives that I have setup using the Intel Raid Manager, a Short Stroke drive of 500gb (that’s using the 1st 250gb most performant sectors from each drive) and the remaining slower space (so as not to be completly wasted) was configured as a 1.3gb drive which can be used for other storage; as long as you remember not to use it at same time as our games.

Samsung F3 1Tb ShortStop Raid0 Intel Raid Manager Configuration

Test Results
YYY YYYYYYY
YYYYYYY
Single Samsung F3 1TB (Not Short Stroke) 2x Samsung F3 1TB Raid 0 (Short Stroke)
AS SSD 1.6 AS SSD Benchmark - Single Samsung F3 1TB AS SSD Benchmark - Samsung F3 Raid0+Shortstop
ATTO v2.46 ATTO Benchmark - Single Samsung F3 1TB ATTO Benchmark - Samsung F3 Raid0+Shortstop
CDM 3.0.1 CDM Benchmark - Single Samsung F3 1TB CDM Benchmark - Samsung F3 Raid0+Shortstop
HD Tune 2.55 HD Tune Benchmark - Single Samsung F3 1TB HD Tune Benchmark - Samsung F3 Raid0+Shortstop
Boot Racer 3.1 Boot Racer Benchmark - Single Samsung F3 1TB Boot Racer Benchmark - Samsung F3 Raid0+Shortstop
WEI 5.9 5.9
BF BC2 Load Game 23sec 20sec

Summary

The best of both worlds!

As we can see this configuration has excellent low Access times due to Short Stroking (this can be improved even more by making the drive smaller) and with added benefit of Raid has in some cases nearly doubled the Read and Write performance; which is just what we want for our Games.

The slower section of the drives are not wasted either using this method of Short Stroking as they are configured as a seperate partition that can be used for backups and other types of data – again as long as they are not accessed at the same time as our games.

So spend less time loading, more time playing – Short Stroke Raid today!

More

Want even better performance? – then maybe you should check out our review of the
Vertex 3 SSD 128gb drive.

 

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  1. Andy M
    May 23rd, 2011 at 15:05 | #1

    Hi,

    Nice article but I’m confused as to what you’re comparing here. Are you comparing a single Samsung drive that is not RAIDed (as it’s a single drive) with a pair of drives that are both RAIDed AND Short Stroked?

    Thanks

    Andy

    • Greg
      May 23rd, 2011 at 15:36 | #2

      Hi Andy,

      That’s right; Terry’s article was based on using 1 drive for the OS and another ‘Short Stroked’ drive for the Gaming partition. What I’m suggesting here is that if you have 2 drives you are far better off combining the two in Raid, Short Stroking them for the improved Speed and access times for both OS and Games on one partion.

      Greg

  2. Andy M
    May 24th, 2011 at 08:14 | #3

    @Greg
    Thanks for the response Greg.

    Could you expand on the article to include performance results for a 2 drive RAID 0 array that is not short stroked? The comparison would be fairer and would give a better idea of whether short stroking would improve performance in a RAID configuration.

    Cheers

    Andy

  3. James
    May 25th, 2011 at 09:36 | #4

    We may look at RAID 0 in a later article. But for now we just want to cover short stroking a single disk and a RAID pair, hopefully we’ve done that…

  4. June 5th, 2011 at 09:39 | #5

    @Andy M

    RAID0 – improves sequential read speed. Compared to a single drive, the throughput is roughly increased by the factor of N. Where N is the number of drives in the array. On the other hand the access time will stay the same as single drive.

    Creating a small system array on the drives (short stroking) improves the access time if the remainder of the space is not used simultaneously. This technique does not change the transfer rates.

    So:
    - All the improvements in access times are a result of the short-stroking.
    - All of the improvements in transfer rates are a result of the RAID0.

    There is another important point regarding RAID – alignment of the stripes with the logical blocks. To cut the long story short, this is my recommendation:
    - Use 2, 4, 8 or 16 drives for RAID0
    - Use 3, 5, 9 or 17 drives for RAID5
    - Use 4, 6, 10 or 18 drives for RAID6

    If you use different drive count there will be some performance degradation. This is most evident with RAID5 and RAID6.

    Best Regards to ALL

  5. August 1st, 2011 at 19:21 | #6

    Hi

    Nice test but a little cofused because Windows 7 on my Samsung F3 1TB starts in 53s with is much better then yours 25s. System was installed 6 month ago, registry was never cleaned and I have a lot of programs. Why so big difference?

  6. James
    August 1st, 2011 at 19:38 | #7

    @Massive Attack – Not sure what you mean but the boot times for Windows 7 shown in the article are 26 & 27 secs, yours seems significantly slower (not better) at 53 secs. You may need to clarify!

  7. August 1st, 2011 at 19:48 | #8

    James :@Massive Attack – Not sure what you mean but the boot times for Windows 7 shown in the article are 26 & 27 secs, yours seems significantly slower (not better) at 53 secs. You may need to clarify!

    I mean time to desktop is 53s. with is 25s. better then 78s. in this test.

    • Greg
      August 3rd, 2011 at 13:26 | #9

      Hi Massive Attack, thanks for your comment; your right some clarification is probably required here; unlike the other benchmarks the Bootracer timings (especially the one to desktop) are very much affected by how many programs you have in your startup. This review was carried out just after my Vertex 3 review; where to get a like for like comparison with my previous setup I had cloned the drive. The same was done for this review. It was a long running installation of Windows 7 64bit; which I though was a good representation of your average type machine (not like a fresh install). Thus in startup it would have had Steam client, ea downloaded, Fraps to name but a few. I will look to update the review with this detail.

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