Not very long ago it would have been a pipe dream for normal computer users to have multiple solid state drives in a RAID 0 configuration to achieve even higher read and write speeds. The recent price drop may conjure up feelings of the old days that our older readers probably remember, when hard drive storage was very expensive, but became increasingly more affordable. At any rate, buying more than one SSD has become more realistic now. And who says you need to stop at two drives? Hardware.Info tested RAID 0 configurations with up to six SSDs on both the Intel Z77 and the AMD SB950 chipsets to find out how the performance scales when you add more SSDs and which platform offers the best performance. Armed with six OCZ Vertex 4 128 GB SSDs we began our investigation.
RAID 0 should require very little explanation for the typical hardware enthusiast. When you combine two or more drives in a RAID 0 or striping configuration, all your data is shared accross the drives. With four drives in RAID 0 your storage is four times faster in theory, and every single gigabyte on your SSDs is available. RAID 0 is purely aimed at increasing performance, because the probability that you will lose data also increases. Since all your data is shared over all the drives, when one fails most or all files will become incomplete. No matter how many drives you have in RAID 0, one failed disk can cause you to lose all your data. That's the reason why more than two drives are usually in RAID 5 or a combination of RAID 0 and RAID 1.
If we're honest, we would never tell anyone to combine six SSDs in RAID 0. Having said that, we are still very interested to find out what type of performance is possible. Moreover, it gives us the possibility to compare Intel's and AMD's SATA controllers.
We connected the six OCZ Vertex 4 128GB SSDs to a motherboard with an Intel Z77 chipset and to a motherboard with AMD 990X / SB950 chipset. We used AS SSD as a benchmark, which offers some interesting low-level test results.