We have a bit of a dual review today, in a couple of different ways. SSDs are the mainstay of enthusiast system configuration, in single or dual disk configuration. So it is only right that we have a look at single disk and RAID configurations.
What we are also going to look at is the new Skylake Z170 chipset verses the X99, or Haswell-E chipset. The Z170 chipset seems to have resolved long standing performance issues with the Intel storage RAID controller and indeed we have seen some performance increases with some recent reviews we are publishing soon.
So, with the help of Crucial, we are going to review the MX200 500Gb SSD, and put it through some RAID tests across the different chipsets.
An easy question to answer when it comes to the technical detail, what is RAID to you is a completely different story. At Hardwareslave we have been using RAID exclusively with two exceptions, our Server Operating System main drive, though we did try it and our main test rig OS, which also was RAID 0 at one point!
We have been using RAID since 2001 and with the exception of the two builds mentioned above, solely see RAID as the only solution when designing and building a computer. So, this should make us experts, but it doesn’t.
The RAID we predominantly use is RAID 0, the speedy one! We also only use hardware RAID, so no software tricks in the Operating Systems, two disks and a hardware controller.
One of the main reason why this is so easy is that most Chipsets come with a built in RAID controller, albeit a little thin on features, it will get you up and running in a two-disk RAID environment. That’s why we know about it, use it, but cannot really claim to be experts, you don’t need to be to set this up.
Don’t worry about the flamers and trolls, two disks in RAID 0 will give you a performance increase in accessing your OS and/or data and helping with game load times and installations.
Genuinely, RAID 0 is the only way to go if you want to maximise the performance of your storage in day to day operations, if you consider speed to be the performance gain you are looking for.
Well, what does that last statement mean? Performance can mean a lot of things, including resilience or redundancy, but we will mainly be considering gaming or speed performance.
|Form Factor||2.5-inch internal SSD|
|Sequential Read||555 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||500 MB/s|
|NAND||Micron 16nm 128Gbit MLC|
|Onboard DDR3 Cache||512MB|
|Active Power Consumption||150mW|
|Interface||SATA 6Gb/s, compatible with all older SATA interfaces|
The MX200 comes in Crucial’s usual packaging, this is always minimal but gets you going and includes Acronis True Image HD software just in case you are upgrading your system, laptop or otherwise.