Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Samsung 830 SSD USB 3.0 RAID-0 in OSX and Ubuntu 12.04

Striping two USB sticks was cool but I wanted to try it further with two fast SSDs.
As many people know, the Samsung 830s are fast, reliable and great SSDs. They make great candidates for a SSD based RAID.

In my search for a super fast consumer grade RAID solution, I figure I try USB 3.0 and see what happens next.

I did tests on both Mac OSX Mountain Lion and Ubuntu 12.04 (off a Gigabyte GA-H67N-USB3-B3 motherboard).

On the Mac. Making a stripe software raid-0 is pretty straightforward using Disk Utility.

In Ubuntu 12.04. Setup is almost as easy as the mac.

The results were not that great as the Thunderbolt solutions I've seen. In fact, I now think it is is more economical to get platter based spindle thunderbolt RAID drives instead of trying USB/eSATA with SSDs.

I'm getting 200 MB/s writes on both OSX/Linux and 200-300MB/s reads. Have in mind, these are blazing speeds if you only used to using regular HDDs. However, the results are unimpressive in a RAID-0 array.

Real world copy. 200 MB/s

In fact, I see no real speed gains striping two SSDs with USB 3.0. Single SSDs are just as fast.
Or simply, the USB 3.0 controllers are not up to speed with the fastest SSDs yet. This may explain why I haven't seen any interesting or worthwhile USB 3.0 RAID enclosures on the market.

I think I'm going to have to spend the cash on a Thunderbolt solution because eSATA and USB 3.0 is not cutting it for a DAS (Direct Attach Storage) solution.


  1. Nice test :-) and also a lot of other interesting posts on your blog! I could never figure out if the Seagate GoFlex USB3 adapter is SATA2 or SATA3. A single Samsung 830 512GB is definitely SATA3 and gets 392/471 in MBP 2011 as boot disk and 328/365 with Seagate Thunderbolt adapter with Black Magic Speed test. Troubles with Seagate Thunderbolt adapter, if this is your next test, can be seen on my page http://wolfgangtechnology.blogspot.co.at/2012/06/mac-with-seagate-thunderbolt-adapter.html
    regards, Wolfgang

    1. I'm probably going to end up getting that seagat tbolt adapter soon. I am also getting a drobo 5d or Pegasus R4 in the next month for my thunderbolt fix.