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  1. #1
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    ROG G703GI-XS71 - RAID Help

    (Skip to paragraph 2 for the question without context)
    (Skip to paragraph 3 for simplified questions)
    Context:
    So I had a question regarding RAID (as referenced by the title). I am quite new to the concept on laptops capable to do RAID. My laptop has 3 slots for M.2 2280 PCIE SSD's. I currently have a 256 GB NVMe Samsung SSD (MZVPW256) in my boot slot. My two other slots are empty.

    Question:
    Lets hypothetically say I bought 2 NVMe SSD's and installed them into the vacant slots; Should they be identical to the boot drive? I am aware in order for RAID to work that the 2 NVMe drives I buy should be identical. Does RAID require that my boot drive that I mentioned earlier require the bought drives to be identical? I read through the manual completely and only found a diagram of how to install them. Is it possible to ONLY use 2 NVMe's (The ones I buy) in RAID? Or does all 3 NVMe drives have to be identical?

    In short:
    -Can my boot drive be separate and not in RAID, while the other two NVMe are in RAID?
    -For my laptop's RAID to work, does it require all 3 M.2 PCIe slots be filled with the exact same identical drive?
    Miniatura de Adjuntos Miniatura de Adjuntos G703GI Upgrade Diagram.JPG  


  2. #2
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    There has been many discussions about the benefits of setting up a RAID configuration using NVMe SSDs. I believe it has been determined that it wasn't worth the trouble, that the speed advantage is limited due to CPU bandwidth. Search this forum for this information.

    Your first two ASUS G703 m.2 NVMe slots can be easily made into a RAID. The third ASUS G703 m.2 NVMe slot uses a different bandwidth path and might pose a problem. Not impossible but perhaps troublesome.

    When creating RAID storage it is highly recommended you use identical storage devices (manufacturer, size, speed, even like age).

    Read up (Google the heck out of) RAID configurations.

    If the ASUS G703 was mine I would put a couple SAMSUNG 970 PRO M.2 2280 1TB PCIe Gen3. X4, NVMe 1.3 64L V-NAND 2-bit MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-V7P1T0BW in the first two slots. Leave the third slot empty and replace the 2.5 SSD with a SAMSUNG 860 EVO Series 2.5" 2TB SATA III 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-76E2T0B/AM. Don't RAID, simply have the first m.2 slot as your boot drive, second m.2 slot as your gaming drive, and the 2.5 SSD drive for backup and/or misc storage. Give each storage device its' own drive label. If you need more storage later then the third m.2 slot could be populated.

    I would also remove and store the original m.2 NVMe SSD that came with your laptop. Besides having the original Windows OS installed it also has the eSupport Folder that has all the necessary ASUS drivers and programs to get your laptop working again after installing your new Windows OS on your new boot drive. Preserve this m.2 NVMe in a secure location for emergencies.

    Certainly, DO NOT format your original m.2 NVMe SSD before making a copy of your eSupport Folder.
    Last edited by jdfrench3; 05-29-2019 at 03:40 PM. Reason: Added info
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the detailed reply

    Quote Originally Posted by jdfrench3 View Post
    There has been many discussions about the benefits of setting up a RAID configuration using NVMe SSDs. I believe it has been determined that it wasn't worth the trouble, that the speed advantage is limited due to CPU bandwidth. Search this forum for this information.

    Your first two ASUS G703 m.2 NVMe slots can be easily made into a RAID. The third ASUS G703 m.2 NVMe slot uses a different bandwidth path and might pose a problem. Not impossible but perhaps troublesome.

    When creating RAID storage it is highly recommended you use identical storage devices (manufacturer, size, speed, even like age).

    Read up (Google the heck out of) RAID configurations.

    If the ASUS G703 was mine I would put a couple SAMSUNG 970 PRO M.2 2280 1TB PCIe Gen3. X4, NVMe 1.3 64L V-NAND 2-bit MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-V7P1T0BW in the first two slots. Leave the third slot empty and replace the 2.5 SSD with a SAMSUNG 860 EVO Series 2.5" 2TB SATA III 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-76E2T0B/AM. Don't RAID, simply have the first m.2 slot as your boot drive, second m.2 slot as your gaming drive, and the 2.5 SSD drive for backup and/or misc storage. Give each storage device its' own drive label. If you need more storage later then the third m.2 slot could be populated.

    I would also remove and store the original m.2 NVMe SSD that came with your laptop. Besides having the original Windows OS installed it also has the eSupport Folder that has all the necessary ASUS drivers and programs to get your laptop working again after installing your new Windows OS on your new boot drive. Preserve this m.2 NVMe in a secure location for emergencies.

    Certainly, DO NOT format your original m.2 NVMe SSD before making a copy of your eSupport Folder.
    Thank you for the extensive advice friend. I was originally thinking of buying some budget NVMe SSD's (such as some Intel 660p's), but you are probably right in suggesting the Samsung SSD's. I like the thought of having Samsung rather than Intel since the speed difference is so huge. As for your suggestion of storing away the original SSD that came with the rig - I already clone the entire drive to one of my external backup SSD's. (I think its a 256 GB Sandisk SATA) Regardless, I cannot thank you enough for the detailed reply. Regarding RAID, the reason I was asking is because it seemed convenient to have a couple drives show up as one, rather than having to go between different drive letters in the file explorer, but I honestly have to agree that purposing individual drives for different purposes is probably the way to go.

    I have a couple quick questions if you wouldn't mind answering them:
    I am a huge gamer and I create videos quite a bit with Adobe Premiere Pro so since I'm leaning towards leaving RAID alone, would it make more sense to buy some 2 TB Samsung 970 Pro NVMe SSD's? Or should I stick to 1 TB? I am trying to buy what makes the most sense first.

    Am I better off buying a couple 1 TB's or am I better off saving up to buy 2 TB's? All my games are currently on a SATA 3 to SATA 3 M.2 conversion card with a 1 TB M.2 WD Blue SATA 3 SSD on it. The reason I have that in such an odd setup is because I had the M.2 SATA SSD in my last laptop before it broke, and I'd rather use that than the 2 TB SATA 3 FireCuda SSHD that came with the system. (I'm using the FireCuda for my videos)

    Sorry for the lengthy "quick" questions and thanks in advance.

  4. #4
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    The bigger, the better. If you can afford to purchase the SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS 2TB Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-V7S2T0B/AM at $650 each. The SAMSUNG 960 PRO M.2 2TB NVMe PCI-Express 3.0 x4 Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-V6P2T0BW is $1550 each

    My thought on the m.2 NVMe SSDs is I don't want to exceed 1 TB but that's just my opinion. If you need to expand storage then purchase a SAMSUNG 860 EVO Series 2.5" 4TB SATA III 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-76E4T0B/AM at $650 each. If you need more storage room than that get an external drive.

    As you have discovered m.2 SATA SSDs are not the way to go (too many failures, run too hot). The m.2 NVMe SSDs I believe are much improved but rather not place any more than 1TB on one yet. I've been using my Samsung 960 Pro NVMe SSDs for a couple years, fast and good, so far.

    Move all that data off those m.2 SATA SSDs, dump that conversion card and purchase some dependable Samsung products.
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  5. #5
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    The benefits of RAID are getting slimmer with SSD/NVMe drives unless you are constantly copying very large files. I had the G703 with RAID NVMe for about 6 months before I sold it. I sold it due to financial troubles at the time and honestly wished I would have kept it as I did like that laptop.

    But when I replaced it, I picked up an Alienware as a replacement (simply due to its chassis cooling capabilities and price, I dont really care for Alienware otherwise.). I immediately put in a 1TB NVMe and 1TB SSD. The 1TB NVMe is my boot drive and I cannot tell the difference in boot times from the G703 to the Alienware. They are essentially the same. Even since the G752 which also had NVMe, the difference from SSD to NVMe is very small to me. Honestly after having experienced SSDs, NVMe & NVMe RAID, I would do whatever is easiest. The only thing RAIDing NVMe is going to accomplish is benchmarking score bragging rights. In real world gaming or basic windows tasks, Im betting it would be difficult to tell the difference between NVMe and NVMe RAID.
    ALIENWARE R17 R5 - i7 8750H - GTX 1070 @ 1.9Ghz - 16GB DDR4 - NVMe 970 EVO 1TB - SSD 960 EVO 1TB
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdfrench3 View Post
    There has been many discussions about the benefits of setting up a RAID configuration using NVMe SSDs. I believe it has been determined that it wasn't worth the trouble, that the speed advantage is limited due to CPU bandwidth. Search this forum for this information.

    Your first two ASUS G703 m.2 NVMe slots can be easily made into a RAID. The third ASUS G703 m.2 NVMe slot uses a different bandwidth path and might pose a problem. Not impossible but perhaps troublesome.

    When creating RAID storage it is highly recommended you use identical storage devices (manufacturer, size, speed, even like age).

    Read up (Google the heck out of) RAID configurations.

    If the ASUS G703 was mine I would put a couple SAMSUNG 970 PRO M.2 2280 1TB PCIe Gen3. X4, NVMe 1.3 64L V-NAND 2-bit MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-V7P1T0BW in the first two slots. Leave the third slot empty and replace the 2.5 SSD with a SAMSUNG 860 EVO Series 2.5" 2TB SATA III 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-76E2T0B/AM. Don't RAID, simply have the first m.2 slot as your boot drive, second m.2 slot as your gaming drive, and the 2.5 SSD drive for backup and/or misc storage. Give each storage device its' own drive label. If you need more storage later then the third m.2 slot could be populated.

    I would also remove and store the original m.2 NVMe SSD that came with your laptop. Besides having the original Windows OS installed it also has the eSupport Folder that has all the necessary ASUS drivers and programs to get your laptop working again after installing your new Windows OS on your new boot drive. Preserve this m.2 NVMe in a secure location for emergencies.

    Certainly, DO NOT format your original m.2 NVMe SSD before making a copy of your eSupport Folder.
    Hi JD, Can I ask, why would you chose the specific setup you described as opposed to any other, ie. raid0 etc
    cheers

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyones View Post
    Hi JD, Can I ask, why would you chose the specific setup you described as opposed to any other, ie. raid0 etc
    cheers
    You can ask all you want. Learn about the pros and cons of RAID configurations. RAID 0 only advantage was speed of processing data. Now that the speed of the M.2 NVMe devices are so fast, that advantage no longer exists (using much of the available PCI bandwidth by itself). RAID 0 greatest disadvantage is total loss of data if one of drives fails.

    As I stated before, many discussions about this have been posted on this forum. Don't depend on me to explain. Search this forum for the answers.
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  8. #8
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    Much appreciated to all

    I wanted to thank all who replied and are still replying. I ended up burning a couple paychecks and bought myself two 1TB Samsung 970 EVO PLUS(s). I am currently aiming for the 4TB SATA SSD to replace the conversion card in the traditional SATA slot, but I can see myself opting for the 2 TB model. Thanks again to everyone who helped!

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