Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Set a RAID 0 with a 510 & 520?

Esteemed Contributor III

Last year I purchased an Intel 510 120GB SSD. Last month I saw a great deal on an Intel 520 120GB SSD and got one. Well suffice to say, I did not realize I had two different models until I was physically installing the new drive in my rig. My intention in purchasing the second SSD was to set up a RAID 0. Why? Because it'll give me something new to play with for a while. I researched the difference in the 510 vs 520 and noted they have different controllers plus other "improvements" in the 520. My question is: can I continue to set up the RAID 0 with a reasonable expectation that the array will work and not be susceptible to crashes (other than the ordinary risks with setting up a RAID in the first place)? This is my main home computer and I DO want something stable however, I also run a WHS 2011 server on my home network and have buku backups of all my data so I am willing to throw caution to the wind.

My current setup is an ASUS P8Z68-V Pro/Gen 3 MB (latest/greatest BIOS), Intel i5 2500K CPU, and 8GB of compatible G.Skill Ripjaw memory.

Any advice would be most appreciated.


Esteemed Contributor III

That's a good question, and I understand your concern. As you know, the 510 and 520 use different SSD controllers (Marvell 9174 and LSI/SandForce 2281 respectively) and also use different size NAND die chips (34nm and 25nm respectively), and perhaps most significantly, different firmware. The NAND difference should not affect anything, and in theory the RAID software and Windows file system should just see them as storage devices, with their internal operations isolated from each other.

The usual RAID caveats of using different size drives applies of course. If they are not the same size, the total capacity of a pair will be twice that of the smallest size drive. If you combine a 64GB and 128 GB SSD in RAID 0, the volume size will be 128GB. The rest becomes inaccessible spare area. Any performance differences will cause the faster drive to finish before the slower one, so the slower one sets the performance limit. But don't worry much about the 510 being slower, in some situation it can be faster than a 520.

Frankly, the only way you can really tell if it will work is to try it. Create the RAID 0 volume out of them, but don't immediately make it your OS drive. Play with it as you said. Run benchmarks on it, copy files to it, like pictures, and click you way through them quickly to work out the volume. Play with it for up to a week, or for at least a few days before committing important data to it.

Not many people have done what you are considering, but a few I have heard of have, and did not say it was a disaster. I should try that myself. Let us know how it works for you.