Z97 Gaming 5 - SSD RAID 0 speed same as single drive

florianralea

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Hello,

I recently purchased a pair of Samsung 850 Evo 120GB SSDs to install in a RAID 0 configuration on my system. The specs are:
- Intel Core i5 4690k
- MSI Z97 Gaming 5 - updated to the latest BIOS using Live Update
- 8 GB DDR3 RAM

After I installed a fresh copy of Windows 8.1 and installed all drivers using Live Update (including Intel RST) and updates, I started running some benchmarks and saw that Atto and CrystalDiskMark were showing the exact same speeds I would expect out of a single 850 Evo, namely around 550 MB/s read and 520 MB/s write.
The RAID array is visible in Intel RST, and both drives are fine according to CrystalDiskInfo.

Can anyone please tell me what is going on ? Is this a Chipset issue ? I tried searching forums for a similar problem but couldn't find anything.
 

Nichrome

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Hi

Were you able to benchmark a SINGLE drive before going RAID? Because single drive is "meant" to reach those speeds, but in fact it will not (usually). So if possible, test a single drive, and compare to what you achieved when they were in RAID.
 

florianralea

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I did not get a chance to test 1 single drive. However, I do have another 120 GB Sandisk Extreme SSD and it is performing roughly the same.

Every review you read online has 1 Samsung 850 Evo performing approximately the same as my current results. Furthermore, a RAID 0 SSD array should exceed 800 MB/s in sequential reads and writes.

Therefore, I don't really believe that the drives are the problem.
 

Nichrome

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Try different SATA III cables. Also make sure you use #1 and #2 SATA ports on the motherboard.

Have you cleared CMOS after updating the BIOS? Was it successful? >>Clear CMOS Guide<<
 

darkhawk

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What settings did you use to create the RAID disk? Depending on the stripe size, it can have a very negative effect on the performance.
 

florianralea

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I tried two stripe sizes - 64k and 128k. The results were almost the same in both scenarios.

I will try resetting the CMOS, using different sata cables and ports 1 and 2 on the motherboard tonight, and update you on the progress.
 

TZBC

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I think you should test the speed of each single Samsung 850 Evo 120GB SSD before you doing RAID 0, so you can know if they were faster or not than before.
Maybe your SSD didn't reach the speed what websites or reviews described
 

Warner

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What was the strip size used during the creation of RAID 0 array?
 

Svet

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TZBC said:
I think you should test the speed of each single Samsung 850 Evo 120GB SSD before you doing RAID 0, so you can know if they were faster or not than before.
yeah i also want to suggest this

show us a test results with 1 single Samsung 850 Evo 120GB SSD alone
and then same test with both of them in RAID0

+ double check that you are doing RAID0 not RAID1

and run AS SSD:
http://alex-is.de/PHP/fusion/downloads.php?download_id=9
to add benchmark results too, and to make sure that proper driver is used
and storage partition alignment is proper done. [else you will experience a dramatic drop in performance]

other important things to check:

* check SATA gen speed, ensure that both SSDs are running with max one possible
* check for firmware update for your SSDs, make sure to use the latest one
* include Samsung magician benchmark when test them single vs RAID0
* check if SSD RAPID mode is Enabled from Samsung magician

And a note(reminder) about the SSD capacity = lower size = lower speed
ie: 120GB is slower than 250GB, 250GB is slower than 500GB and so on
 

florianralea

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View attachment 2Thanks for the replies. I want to clarify some aspects regarding the suggestions you have posted:

1) show us a test results with 1 single Samsung 850 Evo 120GB SSD alone, and then same test with both of them in RAID0 - Answer: I will need to break the RAID array and re-install windows for this. From seeing tens of reviews of SSDs online and having owned and benchmarked at least 5 120/128 GB SSDs, I can re-assure you that the single 120 GB SSD would perform around the same. I mean no disrespect, but you cannot be suggesting that a Samsung SSD released in 2014 would only reach 1/2 * 500 MB/s = 250 MB/s in sequential reads/writes.
Please check the Bit Tech review on the Samsung 850 Evo, which should corroborate my claims.

2) double check that you are doing RAID0 not RAID1 - Answer: The drives are in RAID 0. I am getting 220 GB from 2x 120 GB SSDs. I have posted a screenshot showing what Intel RST is displaying.

3) run AS SSD - Answer: I have, please see results in the screenshot attached.

4) check SATA gen speed, ensure that both SSDs are running with max one possible - Answer: The Z97 Gaming 5 motherboard only has SATA 3 ports. There are no SATA 2 ones, and from my knowledge, SATA 3 should not default to SATA 2 speeds. The cables I am using are brand new, and are rated for SATA 3

5) check for firmware update for your SSDs, make sure to use the latest one - Answer: there are no firmware updates on the Samsung website for the 850 Evo. This product has only been released in December 2014.

6) include Samsung magician benchmark when test them single vs RAID0 - Answer: The RAID0 benchmark results are consistent with AS SSD and Atto.

7) check if SSD RAPID mode is Enabled from Samsung magician - Answer: Samsung Magician does not detect Samsung SSDs when running in RAID0 . This is a well known and documented aspect. It sees the 2 drives as an "Intel" drive. As a result, I cannot enable RAPID. Even without RAPID, the 2 SSDs should perform much better than this.

 

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Svet

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1) show us a test results with 1 single Samsung 850 Evo 120GB SSD alone, and then same test with both of them in RAID0 - Answer: I will need to break the RAID array and re-install windows for this. From seeing tens of reviews of SSDs online and having owned and benchmarked at least 5 120/128 GB SSDs, I can re-assure you that the single 120 GB SSD would perform around the same. I mean no disrespect, but you cannot be suggesting that a Samsung SSD released in 2014 would only reach 1/2 * 500 MB/s = 250 MB/s in sequential reads/writes.
Please check the Bit Tech review on the Samsung 850 Evo, which should corroborate my claims.

testing one of them alone will give a clue to the issue
without this are only guesses, and as everything looks fine there is no much further suggestions.

test the drive alone see if the speed will remain the same or will be changed, say dropped twice
then based on results you/we will have a clue what could be the issue


4) check SATA gen speed, ensure that both SSDs are running with max one possible - Answer: The Z97 Gaming 5 motherboard only has SATA 3 ports. There are no SATA 2 ones, and from my knowledge, SATA 3 should not default to SATA 2 speeds. The cables I am using are brand new, and are rated for SATA 3
can you double check from rapid storage, menace,
then select the disk and check SATA transfer rate for it
or do this with HWInfo: http://www.hwinfo.com/download.php

 

florianralea

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OK, so I think I know where the problem is. One of the 2 drives is running in SATA 2 mode. I don't really know how this is possible, given all my motherboard's ports are SATA 3. I have attached a screenshot.

How do I fix this ?

 

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Svet

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oki, glad that my tips helped to locate the issue

florianralea said:
How do I fix this ?
not sure yet, hope to findout..
we must find what cause it 1st.. and then we will know how to fix it i guess

have you tried to replace the SATA cable for this second SSD? [or to exchange the sata cables with the 1st SSD]
or can you reverse the SSD places?
or to place your second SSD[with slowest sata mode] in another SATA port?
have you checked for possible BIOS options who can override the SATA gen speed? [if there is a such]
 

florianralea

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I finally found the culprit. The bloody SATA cable I was using for one of the drives was dodgy, even though it was showing no sign of damage and it was brand new !

Thanks a lot Svet for the suggestion. I have attached a screenshot showing the drives at their full potential.
 

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