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  1. #1
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    What would you do? RAID vs GPU 16x

    My main use is Photoshop and Autodesk 3D Max
    I don't often play games.
    Am running Windows 11

    Should I go with:
    1. A single NVMe drive in M2_1 and keep the GPU at 16x
    2. Should I go with the 2 of the NVMe as a RAID in M2_1 and M2_2 and set the GPU to 8x.

    I am running the ASUS ROG 3060 12GB OC edition.

    Considering the WD Black SN850 Gen4 as the M.2 drive(s) unless you have a better recommendation.

  2. #2
    TeamROG Moderator Array xeromist PC Specs
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    I doubt you'd ever notice the difference with a 3060 at 8x. There *might* be a difference in a synthetic benchmark but even that would be negligible. Because of the large memory pool and being a low/midrange computational card I suspect 8x will have no issue keeping it fed.

    Just keep in mind RAID 0 doubles your chances of total data loss. RAID 1 will have super reads but writes will be similar to a single drive. Choose accordingly.
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  3. #3
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    Yes, I have been running a SATA RAID for sometime now. I considered adding a parity drive but given only two of the slots are PCIe4 and the other two are PCIe3 It seems the result would be limited to the slowest drive and I am not clear on if the parity drive would have that much of an impact on the speed. My main goal is to get Windows running as fast as possible while keeping opening files on the RAID to a minimum.

    I would have purchased a better card had there not been such a shortage of GPUs at the time of the purchase. I really wanted the 3080. The 3060 came up on a deal with a motherboard, which I have no use for, but the combined price was lower than the GPU by itself and it beats the onboard Intel graphic card. Though I was impressed you could use the Thunderbolt connectors as DisplayPort connections and with the single HDMI was able to drive all three of my monitors.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my question. I think I am going to opt for the moment for a 2 drive RAID and just risk it. I use AOMEI and back up to an external drive on a regular basis. It's saved my bacon more times than I can count.

    Cheers,
    Darvin Atkeson




    Quote Originally Posted by xeromist View Post
    I doubt you'd ever notice the difference with a 3060 at 8x. There *might* be a difference in a synthetic benchmark but even that would be negligible. Because of the large memory pool and being a low/midrange computational card I suspect 8x will have no issue keeping it fed.

    Just keep in mind RAID 0 doubles your chances of total data loss. RAID 1 will have super reads but writes will be similar to a single drive. Choose accordingly.

  4. #4
    New ROGer Array stefano.balzarotti PC Specs
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    I suggest to keep GPU at 16x.
    I don't see any benefit in using a RAID 0 with SSD except the double risk to corrupt data, if you want a RAID use RAID 1.
    To increase performances I suggest you to use PrimoCache, it will cache disk data in RAM, just keep in mind that if you enable write cache you risk data loss, now I amusing it with 1 minute defer write.
    Another option is to use Intel optane, now I am trying with Intel H10, but I have troubles trying to configure it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by stefano.balzarotti View Post
    I suggest to keep GPU at 16x.
    I don't see any benefit in using a RAID 0 with SSD except the double risk to corrupt data, if you want a RAID use RAID 1.
    To increase performances I suggest you to use PrimoCache, it will cache disk data in RAM, just keep in mind that if you enable write cache you risk data loss, now I amusing it with 1 minute defer write.
    Another option is to use Intel optane, now I am trying with Intel H10, but I have troubles trying to configure it.
    Currently I am running an SATA RAID 0 using two 256GB Toshiba SSD drives and thus far, knock on wood, haven't seen a failure. I did see a good increase in write speed when I first setup the RAID 0. I ONLY use the RAID drives for the OS and to temporarily save my PSD, PSB and MAX files. Once I am done working on the files they are moved to a standard 10tb hard drive in the event I need to do further edits. Even with this SATA SSD RAID 0 I still spend much of my time waiting for files, especially Photoshop PSD and PSB files to write. Simply put I am looking for the FASTEST way to write and read files possible. I was thinking of using the two m.2 gen4 slots to pick up a bit more speed as the m.2 drives sound much faster.

    Rarely do I play games (though did use to develop them for Sierra On-Line and later consulted for Autodesk on 3D Max). I am not sure if Photoshop or my older versions of 3D MAX (2009-2011) can even make use of the 16x, 8x or even 4x. When I first got the Maximus XIII Hero graphic cards were hard to find so I was using the i9's internal Intel Graphics card through the HDMI and two Thunderbolt ports (as DisplayPort). When I finally was able to get hold of the 3060 through a motherboard + gpu combo sale that came with the 3060, I jumped on it. Had I known I would have waited and picked up a 3080 but at the time it was a good deal given the crazy prices. At any rate, I haven't noticed any real speed increase in either Photoshop or 3D Max with the 12GB 3060 that I had hoped I would see. It seems about as fast as the i9's onboard GPU. However I have seen a number of bugs fixed so the GeForce RTX was worth it as it's just a better card.

    Would a single m.2 NVMe drive (Western Digital SN-850 1TB) be MUCH faster than my Toshiba 500GB SSD RAID connected to the SATA ports?
    Is there any speed to be gained by putting two m.2 SN-850 gen4 drives in a RAID configuration of any kind?
    I realize if I go with all four m.2 drives for a parity drive I a may as well go with gen3 drives and save a few bucks.

    Keeping in mind that my main goal is:
    Fastest Windows Boot time
    Fastest File Write Time
    Fastest File Read Time
    Fastest Photoshop Brush (smudge, blur, and other brushes that tend to lag the pen tablet)

    Are my primary goals.

    There really doesn't seem to be much info out there on just what to expect from these m.2 drives so I very much appreciate the feedback.
    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    Regards,
    Darvin Atkeson

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarvinAtkeson View Post
    Would a single m.2 NVMe drive (Western Digital SN-850 1TB) be MUCH faster than my Toshiba 500GB SSD RAID connected to the SATA ports?
    M.2 NVMe drives absolutely blow away SATA SSDs, especially for big file transfers. SATA is max of around 500MB/s. NVMe 3.0 is just under 4GB/s, and NVMe 4.0 is just under 8GB/s. A WD SN850 about maxes out the 4.0 read performance, according to the spec sheet, at over 7000MB/s; with writes at 4000MB/s or better depending on the specific model you get. A high spec NVMe 3.0 drive can give you better than 3000MB/s reads, writes vary.

    This is what my Seagate Firecuda 530 4TB (4.0 drive and system, comparable to the top WD_BLACK) can do in the real world (spec sheet numbers tend to be a bit high, for all vendors):

    Code:
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CrystalDiskMark 8.0.4 x64 (C) 2007-2021 hiyohiyo
                                      Crystal Dew World: https://crystalmark.info/
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
    * KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes
    
    [Read]
      SEQ    1MiB (Q=  8, T= 1):  6758.603 MB/s [   6445.5 IOPS] <  1230.20 us>
      SEQ  128KiB (Q= 32, T= 1):  6419.363 MB/s [  48975.9 IOPS] <   650.86 us>
      RND    4KiB (Q= 32, T=16):  3904.662 MB/s [ 953286.6 IOPS] <   533.82 us>
      RND    4KiB (Q=  1, T= 1):    76.596 MB/s [  18700.2 IOPS] <    53.03 us>
    
    [Write]
      SEQ    1MiB (Q=  8, T= 1):  6385.241 MB/s [   6089.4 IOPS] <  1309.05 us>
      SEQ  128KiB (Q= 32, T= 1):  5929.208 MB/s [  45236.3 IOPS] <   706.34 us>
      RND    4KiB (Q= 32, T=16):  3564.795 MB/s [ 870311.3 IOPS] <   584.38 us>
      RND    4KiB (Q=  1, T= 1):   239.434 MB/s [  58455.6 IOPS] <    16.91 us>
    
    Profile: Default
       Test: 1 GiB (x5) [C: 38% (1416/3725GiB)]
       Mode: [Admin]
       Time: Measure 5 sec / Interval 5 sec 
       Date: 2022/08/21 6:29:24
         OS: Windows 11 Professional [10.0 Build 22000] (x64)
    Click image for larger version. 

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