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Pure SSD pool performance vs. individual drive

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I use DrivePool for my servers and love it, but performance there isn't that important.  On my desktop, I want the fastest performance possible, though I would also like better use of my two 500GB SSDs.  I'd like to shave off my OS into a separate partition and then pool the remaining space with the other drive.  I'd then install my software, VMs, etc. on the pool.  No need for duplication here, all my important stuff goes on my server.

I suppose I could test this myself, but I'm sure I'm not the first person to do this.  Is there a penalty to this configuration?  If so, how much?

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StableBit DrivePool doesn't really give a performance boost, and it isn't really designed to. 

You should see performance comparable to the underlying disks.  But if you have duplication enabled, the Read Striping feature will attempt to optimize the performance and may give you a boost. But not one that is comparable to a RAID array. 

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I have used drivepool in this scenario and I saw a quite large performance penalty when it comes to many small files: a single SSD is way faster here than drivepool. Simple test: install a game on the drivepool with many small files and you will see the difference in loading times.

I assume that drivepool's internal lookup for the files in the different directories in its own caches/lists/arrays is slower compared to the pure windows lookup.

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If you are comparing single SSD vs a Pool of spinners, then yeah, the SSD will load way faster. However, if you compare a single HDD vs a Pool of spinners then the difference should be negligible (or perhaps sometimes a bit better but I have hardly ever seen that happening).

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55 minutes ago, Umfriend said:

If you are comparing single SSD vs a Pool of spinners, then yeah, the SSD will load way faster. However, if you compare a single HDD vs a Pool of spinners then the difference should be negligible (or perhaps sometimes a bit better but I have hardly ever seen that happening).

No, I used 2 SSDs in drivepool with duplication enabled.

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I'd consider that to be normal and expected; user345678 is correct that DrivePool's features require processing time. It's just more noticeable with SSDs because they're so much quicker than HDDs, and read striping doesn't work well (or at all) with small files.

But as Christopher pointed out, increasing performance isn't what DrivePool was really designed for (edit: IMO it's impressive how well it manages to avoid the opposite happening).

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Other things to consider is the quality of the ssd's you use for the cache and the quality of the sata controller

i have three pools each with 2 ssd's

nvme 950 pro, 850 pro and Kingston SSd's all connected to medium to good sata controller because the motherboards are good quality - if the performance was poor i would have changed the controllers long ago.

Also with duplication on for me each file added has to go to both ssd at the same time and if you have cheap sata controllers things can slow down, also the cache on the ssd can play a significant part - e.g. with samsung ssd if they are pro disks they dont have a cache as you can write to them all day with no slowdown hence why they cost more - but if you have evo disks they have a cache of 11Gb (iiRC) and those you can swamp with big transfers - the speed drop noticeably - so could be what you see. I use a n evo in my laptop and can see it slow down with copying say a large movie file - but 99.9% of the time its not an issue in everyday use.

my nvme and 850 do not slow down at all and copying to them with big files get well over 500 mb/s or more sustained - nvme are faster than that obvs but its not i suspect a normal use case to be using them for cache on a pool. I have a 10g network so can take advantage of the extra speed. I have only seen a small decrease in speed with the 850 compared to when not in the pool but its marginal to a couple of percent - which i put down to the controller not the disks doing the double copy/move operations.

Obviously if you copy a lot of small files or a mixture of file sizes you are going to get less performance - not much you can do with that.

 

So in summary better quality sata controller and ssd's will give you a better result than cheap/budget version of both. Also ensure you have latest drivers and latest firmware for the ssds as that can influence the disk speeds and interaction with the sata controller.

Assuming there is not actual fault/bug then the better kit the better result will be - that choice is yours to make to fit your budget etc

Have Fun

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