You seem to be on the road to RAID 1.
But here's the rub. RAID 1 is not that great an idea. Sure it might save you if the drive fails but the other 99.99% of the time all it does is copy the gaffe, error and virus to the second drive. That's horrible. Why do all this when it's not addressing the bulk of why we backup that drive?
That and one killer item. A few RAID 1 systems (too many and for me all had this issue!) did this. When one drive failed it didn't keep working. The system didn't fail over to the good drive. And on some systems the second good drive didn't boot when moved to the other connection.
What good is RAID 1 except for those the wish it did more?
-- I've read many threads and watched many videos in hopes of being able to set up 2 SSD's in RAID 1 to hold my Windows 10 64bit OS and a couple demanding games
Not sure where to begin... There's really too much to cover. But I'll start with some backstory, and then walk through yet another attempt to get this running so that you good folks can chime in at any step to suggest something. It'll be lengthy, but this will save a lot of back-and-forth of "Did you try this?" or "It's probably this..." when after reading this, you'll know a lot of those possibilities have been ruled out already. (and please… this is a long post so edit the ‘quotes’ to what you’re commenting on so we don’t have to scroll for a mile&hellip
So in December 2014 I set out with the help of a coworker to build a fairly decent gaming rig for the sole purpose of playing ARMA 3 (of course many other games I'd like to run at top specs have been added to the list since then). I read some guys bogus and totally inaccurate article about specs and requirements to run the game in 1080p and on the highest settings…. After also reading it, my coworker who once worked exclusively as a computer tech made all the suggestions so I could get the most BANG for my buck….
We went online to NCIX.com and after $2,284.12, I ended up with:
Cooler Master HAF 912 Black Mid Tower ATX Case,
Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5 AMD990FX ATX AM3+ DDR3 5PCI-E16 1PCI-E1 1PCI SLI SATA3 USB3.0 Motherboard,
AMD FX Series FX-9590 8 Cores AM3+ 4.7GHZ Turbo 5.0GHZ 16MB DDR3-1866 Processor,
AMD Radeon RP1866 Performance Series 16GB 2X8GB DDR3-1866 PC3-14900 2R CL9 1.5V Dual Memory Kit,
2 x ASUS Radeon R9 290 DirectCU II OC 1000MHZ 4GB 5.0GHZ GDDR5 2xDVI HDMI DisplayPort PCE-E Video Cards,
Corsair AX1200I 1200W Digital ATX 12V 80 Plus Platinum Modular Power Supply 140mm Fan,
Cooler Master Seidon 120V Aluminum Radiator 120mm Fan Rifle Bearing CPU Water Cooling Kit,
2 x Plextor M6S 2.5in 128GB Internal Solid State Drives,
Western Digitial WD2003FZEX Black 2TB SATA 6GB/S 7200RPM 64MB Cache 3.5in Hard Drive OEM,
ASUS BW-12B1ST Blu-Ray Writer 12X BD-R 16X DVD+R SATA
We sat down after it arrived and he graciously guided me through putting it together (I’ve only built 3 or 4 computers in 18 years and I’d been out of the loop for about 12… A lot has changed since then). I can follow a manual but the BIGGEST ISSUE is the optimizing and troubleshooting, and speedy installation of drivers/etc… And that’s really where he took over. In fact, I went to get us lunch and do an errand. It was during this time that he set up the RAID 1 stuff so I was unable to watch him at work (his suggestion to set it up that way was why I bought two SSD’s in the first place; he’d said for big games like Battlefield 4 I would be able to read from the disks faster and thus load maps faster).
We got everything up and running… but we found out that those 2 Radeon cards are too thick to sit side by side in that gigabyte mobo in the pci_ex16 slots 1 & 2… So we put the second card lower in an 8 (if I remember correctly.. Actually, having just looked at a hi-def image of the mobo, I think that the 8 slot was too close to the Corsair power supply, so we had it in the 4&hellip.
We did some benchmark stuff with MARK3D and achieved some pretty decent scores. BUT after some Crysis 3 to test the GPU’s at pretty high graphical levels the PC crashed. I don’t recall if it was heat or not, but I do recall concluding that it had to do with the second card being in the 4 channel pci_express slot.
It doesn’t really matter what it was because after doing a lot of research on forums, I concluded that 2 video cards, one running in a 16 channel pci_express slot, and another in a 4 channel pci_express slot was shooting myself in the foot in terms of buying a second GPU for better performance and higher framerates. I ran 3DMark with and without a second card and scores were sometimes better and sometimes worse. Clearly there was an issue. Oh and Arma3 at ultra settings was a glitch-a-thon before crashing after 4 minutes of the tutorial.
Did more research and calling techs at NCIX and gigabyte and it was determined that this board would NOT fit my two GPU’s I paid $300 each for… I wasn’t shelving one. They did some more hunting for me and found that the Asus Crosshair Formula-Z was the only board that WOULD fit (I don’t know why it’s the only board, BUT these GPU’s were fairly thick… sitting together in gigabyte’s two pci_ex16 slots meant they were touching so tightly that they were actually pressing together and prohibiting the bottom fans from spinning... Not conducive for air flow… The formula-z can fit the second card in a pci_ex16/x8_3 slot – I sure hope that means 16channel&hellip.
BUT, I got busy with life and then shelved all the parts and the PC for several months. Now, here we are 8 months later and it’s back to getting this beast going. The gigabyte mobo had been returned for the asus mobo, and so I installed everything and put the 2 ssd’s in AMD SATA ports 1 & 2 (side by side because I just figured they should be paired 1 & 2 - *NOTE* they are presently plugged in 1&3, but that doesn’t matter because I’ve tried every port RAID can be applied to in BIOS). I don’t recall which ports I put the BluRay burner and the Western Digital Hard Drive in but it was probably AMD SATA ports 5&6 (there’s also 2 AsMedia SATA slots which I’ve read are a little faster for optical drives and Hard drives so I intend to run them through those ports once I’ve got this all figured out BUT in the BIOS SATA section, I don’t see the AsMedia slots anyway which is strange. I’ve looked up whether or not I have to ‘activate’ them in BIOS first or not… The manual says to have the optical drive in port 5 or 6 on IDE mode during OS installation so I will do that.) I’m also going to enable SMART for my SATA ports.
Booted up the machine with the new mobo installed and presto, no problem. Checked the “My Computer” folder and my mirrored ssd’s were still reading as a single drive and doing fine and the HD was reading too with 2 terabytes empty (as I’d never installed anything on it – the first one I got from NCIX had a piece of the SATA port broken so it wouldn’t hold the connection… had to RMA it for a new one which arrived when I’d gotten busy). For kicks I tested Arma 3 again at 1080p with ultra settings now that I had a motherboard with both cards sitting in 16 channel pci_express slots. Solid 31+fps, and no chugging or crashing after 2 hours of fooling around in the tutorial missions… Pretty sweet in my books (maybe I’ll get a few more frames after some overclocking.. We’ll see).
BUT… I’d heard that with a new mobo, it’s best to wipe your drives and reinstall the OS so it’s fresh and no compatibility issues can cause corruptions. Made sense to me. Problem was I didn’t have the 64bit Windows 7 Home Premium disk (Don’t know where it came from because I never ordered one.. my tech buddy downloaded and installed it while I was out – the version I owned and had brought up to install was 32bit&hellip. Anyway, I went online and ordered Windows 10 and burned it to a dvd.
Not realizing I had to set up RAID 1 first, I installed Windows 10 on one SSD, booted up windows and began installing new mobo drivers and utilities and optimizing the GPU’s with Catalyst Control Center… then realized I couldn’t just ‘switch’ my SSD’s into RAID mode. So I cloned everything onto t