Adding different SSD to existing RAID 0, possible?

So I found a great deal on an SSD today and was curious if I would be able to add it to my current setup. I have 2 128 Crucial M4s in RAID 0 right on using the onboard Intel SATA ports on my Asus P8Z68V-Pro/Gen3 motherboard ( )

I was wondering if I would be able to add a M500 to this? 

First of all, would it work? Is RAID only supported on the two Intel 6GB/s ports and the four Intel 3GB/s. I do realize I would have to set the RAID up again and reinstall windows.

Second, would I see an improvement in performance with 3 drives instead of 2 in RAID 0. How much?

I am pretty sure that you can't add a drive to a RAID 0 array. RAID 0 stripes data across the different drives and trying to add a drive would throw off the striping. I may be wrong about that, but that is my initial feeling.

I don't have any evidence to back this up, but I think 2 drives at SATA 6GB/s would be faster than SATA 3GB/s with 3 drives.

So basically, I don't know, hahaha. But hey, have you heard about Windows 8 storage spaces (I'm not sure which OS you're on...)?

Disclaimer: I don't have any experience, nor have I read or heard of any other experiences, with storage spaces.

No. It's not possible and please don't try.

The real benefit of having multiple hard drives is that you can split the load across them to effectively gain a bandwidth increase in the speed of the slowest storage.

Notice the previous statement does not involve raid. Just adding non-raided hard drives will make your PC faster if you put your pagefile/swapfile on the ssd and/or install programs onto it.

You might see some speed increases by having your OS on one drive, the page file on another, and programs on a third and/or a fourth. If the benefits of RAID 0 were less than the benefits of a setup like that, RAID 0 wouldn't be needed.

@Peanut, are you saying a 3 disk raid with 2 of SSD type A and 1 of SSD type B (all the same storage size) would not work? Out of curiosity, why not?

@Grayson, I was able to double my read and write speeds in RAID 0 with the two M4s when compared to a single M4. I recognize that having more drives in RAID 0 increases the chances of losing data; however, I only use the RAID for re-downloadable content like games and installed software that i have backed up along side my more sensitive data on a 1TB HDD.

Think scalability and reliability. RAID0 is for situations where those don't matter at all. I personally like to remove and upgrade my components sometimes like the OP is and RAID 0 makes that impractical. Which is faster, 2 SSDs in RAID 0 or 3 SSDs used independently? That's what we are really comparing here on top of the fragility issues. 

I'm not sure if this is what you were getting at, OP, but it's not possible to install your OS onto a raid 0 configuration without hardware raid controllers. Even then that's a really really bad idea since if one drive dies your whole OS is fubar. Raid 5 ( 3 drive mimum) or 15 would be much better options but again to install an OS on that raid config you need a raid controller card.

Additionally you can see a near 100% improvement in read speeds with each added drive. I saw a video a few years ago where some folks had 25 SSD in some raid config where they deleted a 1TB file from recycle bin in about half a second. it's ridiculously fast.


I totally skipped the line "I do realize I would have to set the RAID up again and reinstall windows." >.<

I'm several hours over at this point sorry and I promise to go to sleep after this post. I thought you were trying to add to an existing raid 0 without breaking it.

I couldn't find any limitations on combining the different ports (sata 2 and sata 3) into a single array from that motherboard manual and the screenshots they show imply that you could keep the existing hard drives on their existing sata 3 ports and then just add another one to a sata 2 port. The thing is all of those SSDs are rated for 500mbps and will get slower on a sata 2 port according to crucial's documentation so using raid under that situation is probably a bad idea. Non-sequential workloads would probably still see a performance increase with 3 drives working together but the increase would be marginal (not a full 50% increase of adding a 3rd) due to that bottleneck. 

I personally wouldn't break raid just add another hard drive for marginal, instead of the full rated, increase since the drive on the slower port will decrease the effective performance of the other 2. It would be a tough decision, and might even be worth it if you had 3 sata 3 ports and could run all the drives at capable speeds. As is however, I'd just add it and stick the swap file or specialty programs on there.

Okay after this post. I mean it this time.

Deleting a file means removing the contents from the file allocation table. It's just a few bytes that need to change. Deleting a 1TB file should take half a second or less even on a slow 5400 rpm drive since the file on the hard drive is not actually being modified in any way. Instead the space that it's using is simply marked as "free". Hence it being possible to restore deleted files using Recurva.

Delete = open. It was a picture that was 1TB large. Probably a condensed version of the Budapest thing, I'm trying to find the video. 

Peanut meant that you can see a performance boost just by adding drives (not using RAID 0) and spreading some of the system processes and installations across some of them. While there is truth to that, I was saying that the speed boost that would be gained with a setup like Peanut suggests aren't comparable to the benefits of a RAID 0 setup; they are much less advantageous. You saw a doubling in performance because your computer treats the two physical drives as a single drive, and two physical drives have two physical connections... thus twice the available bandwidth. I really like the benefits of RAID 0 and I'm planning a build using it. As long as you're smart about data safety, and it sounds like you are, I think it's a great choice.

Additionally, I did some more research and there are some solutions that allow you to add and remove drives from various types of RAIDs. Without a RAID controller that supports it, Windows is not one of those solutions.

I was waaaaaay too slow to respond (see my post below), but in short, two SSDs in RAID 0 is much faster than 3 independent SSDs.