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#1 How to boost the Intel RAID0 performance by Fernando 07.05.2013 15:38

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@ all Intel RAID0 users:

Optimized SSD Performance - Advices for Intel RAID0 Users


If you want to get the best performance and benchmark scores with your SSD RAID0 system, you should do the following:
  1. Update the SSD Firmware
    • Check the websites of your SSD manufacturer for a newer/better Firmware.
    • If such Firmware is a available, flash it.
  2. Optimize the BIOS and its Intel RAID modules:
    • Make sure, that your system is using the latest/best BIOS version.
    • If you want to improve the performance of your system, you should set the "CPU C-Status Support" (the specific name may be different) to "Disabled". You can find this option within the "Advanced" > "CPU Configuration" section of the BIOS.
      Here is the related picture:

      Disadvantage of a long-term usage of this BIOS setting: Your CPU resp. your system will consume more electrical energy.
    • If the mainboard BIOS should contain Intel RAID ROM/EFI module versions, which are not the best basis for a top-performing RAID0 system, update/downgrade them and reflash the modified BIOS (you do it at own risk!).
  3. Clean the (desired) RAID0 member SSDs
    • Unless you start with brandnew SSDs, I recommend to do a "Secure Erasure" of the SSDs, which you want to use as RAID0 array members. You can use either the specific SSD tool offered by the manufacturer of the SSDs (look >here<) or a universally usable tool like "Parted Magic" (not recommended for M.2 PCIe SSDs!).
    • Since the "Secure Erase" procedure will delete all data incl. the partition table with the RAID informations, you may have to (re)create the RAID0 array thereafter.
  4. Optional: (Re-)Create the RAID0 array:
    • Run the Intel Rapid Storage Technology RAID Utility (via CTRL+I or from within the UEFI BIOS) and check the status of the (future) RAID0 members.
    • If there is already an existing RAID array and you want to change anything (e.g. the RAID sort or the stripe size) you should delete the existing RAID array (all data will e lost) and create a new RAID9 array with the desired settings.
    • Choose the optimal stripe size: If you want the best possible performance regarding your daily work, I recommend to choose a stripe size of 32 KB or 64 KB (depending on the size of the data files you are mainly processing). For the best sequential READ/WRITE scores you may use a stripe sitze of 64 KB or 128 KB.
  5. Do a fresh OS installation:
    • Use an original or correctly updated/customized OS image as source. I do not recommend to transfer/clone an already previously existing system partion.
    • Take care of the correct partition alignment! Let the Win7/8/10 Setup do the job or use the "diskpart" commands manually.
  6. Optimize the OS configuration:
    • Once the OS is up and running, open the Device Manager and look for missing drivers.
    • Install the missing drivers and update/optimize the most important other ones (Intel RST, Intel MEI etc.).
    • Update your Windows.
    • Disable all unneeded Windows Services incl. the Superfetch and Indexing ones.
    • When you install any applications, which are permanently running in the background (like Antivirus software), choose a product, which has just a very moderate impact on the system performance.
  7. Make sure, that the OS has detected your SSD(s) as "Solid State Drives":
    • Call up (don't execute!) the "Defrag Tool" (Win7) resp. the "Optimizer" (Win8/8.1) and look, if the SSD(s) of your system is/are listed as "Solid State Drive" and not as "Hard Disk Drive".
    • If the SSDs should be listed as "Hard Disk Drive" by mistake, run the "Windows Experience Index" (Win7) or the command "WinSAT diskformal" (Win8/10). This will force the SSD detection.
  8. Enable the Device Manager Write Caching options:
    • Open the Device Manager.
    • Open the section "Disks".
    • Right click onto the listed RAID0 device and choose the Option "Properties".
    • Hit the tab "Policies".
    • Enable both options as shown here:

      Warning: Turning off the write-cache buffer flushing (second option) may cause a data loss in case of a power interruption or unexspected reboot.
    • Hit "OK".
      Attention:
      Due to a Win7 bug regarding the "Policies" settings of the disks within the Device Manager it may be needed to uncheck both options, then to reboot and to check them again. Otherwise you may get vice versa effects.
  9. Do some performance boost settings from within the Intel RST Console.
    This requires the installation of the Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology (RST) Console Software (only once, because the settings will stay untouched even when the RST Software will be uninstalled or the RST/RST(e) drivers will be changed later).
    Do the following:
    • Run the Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology Console Software.
    • Hit the "Manage" tab and double click onto "Advanced".
    • Enable the "Cache Mode" option "Write-Back". It should look like this:
    • If the RST Console shows a "Performance" tab (depends on the RST Software version), hit it and check the option "Dynamic Storage Accelerator" on the left side.
    • Set the "Dynamic Storage Accelerator" to "Enabled". It should look like this:
    • Choose the option "Power and Performance" on the left side.
    • Set the "Link Power Management" to "Disabled". This is what you will get:

      By the way: You may get the same effect, if you enter the BIOS, go to the "Storage Configuration" settings and disable the "SATA Aggressive Link Power Management".
    • Close the Intel RST Console (and uninstall the RST Software, if you want to, the previously done settings will stay active).
  10. Optimize the "Energy Options" of the OS (only reasonable, when the user wants the best read performance):
    • Open the Control Panel.
    • Hit the section "Energy Options".
    • Choose the option "High Performance".
      Here is the related picture:

      Disadvantage of a long-term usage of the "High Performance" option: Your system will consume more electrical energy.
    • Close the Control Panel.
  11. Minimize the background processes:
    • Uninstall not essentially needed programs (like the Intel RST Software) or disable their Services.
    • Run the Task Manager and hit the tab "Startup"
    • Set all unneeded programs to "Disabled". Look here:
  12. Clean your SSD(s)
    • Empty the Recycle Bin.
    • Send TRIM commands into the SSD(s), provided that TRIM is supported by your RAID system.
      This can be done by
      • a) the special tool, which is provided by the SSD manufacturer (e.g. Intel SSD Toolbox),
      • b) the Win8/8.1 "Optimizer" (former Defrag Tool, for details and restrictions please read >this< thread.) or
      • c) the "TRIM triggering" option of "Anvil's Storage Utilities".


Have fun!
Fernando

#2 RE: How to boost the Intel RAID0 performance by Fernando 30.06.2013 11:26

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@ all Intel RAID users:

Today (06/30/2013) I have refurbished the first post of this thread and added a lot of additional informations.
Attention:
Windows Operating Systems from Win8 up sometimes do not detect SSDs, which are members of a RAID array, as "Solid State Drive", I recommend to additionally read, what I have written >here<.


Have fun!
Fernando

#3 RE: How to boost the Intel RAID0 performance by lev 06.06.2014 02:22

Extreme care should be used by those not familiar with these drive caching settings. It should be noted that running your PC with the suggested settings will put the system reliability at risk unless you have a UPS attached. Without a battery backup, any power interruption or unexpected reboot will very likely damage the filesystem and could possibly make the drive unbootable when these settings are used. This applies to #2 & #3.

#4 RE: How to boost the Intel RAID0 performance by Fernando 06.06.2014 08:09

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@ lev:

Welcome at Win-RAID Forum and thanks for your contribution.
Although I have never been affected by a data loss or an unbootable system due to my RAID0 drive cache settings, I will add a related warning into my related posts.

Regards
Fernando

#5 RE: How to boost the Intel RAID0 performance by gpvecchi 06.06.2014 22:39

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@Fernando Thanks for the infos! Just a question: wouldn't disabling/uninstalling RST software affect the "cache write back" option?

#6 RE: How to boost the Intel RAID0 performance by Fernando 06.06.2014 22:45

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Zitat von gpvecchi im Beitrag #5
Just a question: wouldn't disabling/uninstalling RST software affect the "cache write back" option?
No, it doesn't affect the previously done write-back caching setting.
More than that - according to my experience the once enabled write-back caching will stay enabled even after having done a quick formatting of the system drive and a fresh OS installation.

#7 RE: How to boost the Intel RAID0 performance by lev 07.06.2014 04:37

Zitat von Fernando im Beitrag #4
@ lev:

Although I have never been affected by a data loss or an unbootable system due to my RAID0 drive cache settings, I will add a related warning into my related posts.




This has been a Windows thing pretty much forever. Basically, it's a role of the dice, but the damage only occurs if something critical is being written at the time of the interruption. My opinion is that the slight to moderate performance gain in most cases is not worth the risk of file system corruption. When it bites you, it can really hurt because it always seems to happen when you don't have time to deal with it. It is, however, nice to have the option when the risk is acceptable (circumstances such as redundant power supply + on-board controller battery backed + redundant power + stable OS - no unexpected reboots due to application crashes or faulty drivers or aggressive overclocking). :)

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/arch...6/10411267.aspx
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/arch...9/10059575.aspx
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magaz...nfidential.aspx
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2363132
http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1482813

A lot of drives do their own thing regardless of the settings: http://brad.livejournal.com/2116715.html

#8 RE: How to boost the Intel RAID0 performance by SoNic67 19.08.2014 21:36

Zitat von lev im Beitrag #7
A lot of drives do their own thing regardless of the settings: http://brad.livejournal.com/2116715.html
Very interesting reading! Now I think I am closer to understand why the 3rd party SATA devices will install the newer device drivers as "Storage Controllers" (SCSI realm), instead of IDE/ATA-ATAPI controllers (older drivers)...

EDIT by Fernando: Quoting corrected

#9 RE: How to boost the Intel RAID0 performance by tony1024 30.01.2015 17:53

I opened up the Defrag Tool but it does not show the drive type whether it is recognized as hard drive or SSD. This is Win7. is this the right place to check?

#10 RE: How to boost the Intel RAID0 performance by Fernando 30.01.2015 18:44

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Zitat von tony1024 im Beitrag #9
I opened up the Defrag Tool but it does not show the drive type whether it is recognized as hard drive or SSD. This is Win7. is this the right place to check?
Yes, but the Win7 own Disk Defragmenter neither shows the Disk type (HDD or SSD) nor is able to send TRIM commands instead of doing a defragmentation.
What Win7 should do automaticly, is to exclude the detected SSDs from the automaticly done periodical deframentation.
The only chance to make sure, that Win7 has detected your SSDs as SSDs is to run the "Windows Experience Index" (WEI) and to look at the measured performance of the disks.

#11 RE: How to boost the Intel RAID0 performance by Fernando 31.01.2015 14:08

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As a consequence of >this< thread I have just updated the start post of this thread.

#12 RE: How to boost the Intel RAID0 performance by JollyGreenJoint 01.02.2015 04:37

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No "Performance" tab in driver/software 11.7.4.1001, did I mess something up ? or that's just the way its supposed to be ?

#13 RE: How to boost the Intel RAID0 performance by Fernando 01.02.2015 11:50

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Zitat von JollyGreenJoint im Beitrag #12
No "Performance" tab in driver/software 11.7.4.1001, did I mess something up ?
No - I am sorry about the related part of my guide, which could be misunderstood. Thanks for your info.
The availability of the different RST Console features depends on the version of the RST software. As far as I remember only the newest Intel RST software versions from v12.x.x.xxxx up will show the "Performance" tab.
To avoid future irritations I have just updated the related part of the start post.

#14 RE: How to boost the Intel RAID0 performance by HHawk 16.02.2015 10:57

Fernando; I am (finally) running Windows 8.1 now, as you know (hard to have missed that haha :P)

I am running 2x 250 GB EVO SSD's in RAID 0 and I am now setting up 2 partitions; C: (for windows + apps/software) and D: (for games).
Should I still install Magician? I don't think it works for RAID 0 right?

If not; I should leave some unallocated space right? Currently I have 65 GB unallocated space free. Probably it's a lot, but I want a round number. I thought there was a general rule of 10% of total capacity, which would mean I should have at least 46 GB, right?

#15 RE: How to boost the Intel RAID0 performance by Fernando 16.02.2015 11:10

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Zitat von HHawk im Beitrag #14
Should I still install Magician? I don't think it works for RAID 0 right?
Yes, it doesn't make sense to install Samsung's Magician onto a RAID system.

Zitat
I thought there was a general rule of 10% of total capacity, which would mean I should have at least 46 GB, right?

This is what I would do as well.

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