I have quite a strange combination of drives at the moment, I'm out of storage and have some spare cash for an upgrade but I need some guidance on what to buy and how to use it.
Currently I have a 256GB SATA SSD (850 EVO) and a 256GB NVME SSD (960 EVO). I would like to use some sort of caching software/raid array just because it's fun to do so (and with a raid array I'd see less drives and have less organising to do?) but I don't know what's best with my existing combination of drives. My NVME drive could cache for a 1/2TB SATA drive as it has better r/w but then I'll have no use for my existing SATA drive or is there some way I can RAID a 1/2TB SATA drive with my existing 256GB SATA drive, then use my NVME drive as a cache for that array?
Quick googling says I can't effectively RAID drives of different sizes as it treats them all as the size of the smallest drive which is a phat waste.
I want at least a TB of total storage and *can* afford a TB NVME SSD but would obviously rather get a cheaper SATA one and use caching to get it working even better. (I have a caching software license but am AMD and I think they now have a free one)
I'm very lost, please help
NVMe for gaming really doesn't make any difference. I run a RAID 0 830 array of two 256 drives for the reason of "having a single 512 drive", but the performance of this is not noticeably any different than a single SATA SSD, or an NVMe SSD. So, don't worry about RAID for SSD's, there is just not real benefit...
Also, NVMe has no real benefit either. If you can get a 1 TB SATA SSD for less than a NVMe version, do that. You will not notice any difference at all. Additionally, never cache a SSD with another SSD, there is nothing to be gained here, just a reduction in overall useable space as the cache drive is now "wasted". You *could* use your NVMe drive to cache a 4 TB harddrive for example, but don't cache a ssd with an ssd, your just wasting an SSD.
You are correct, if you RAID drives of different sizes it has to use the smallest common denominator, so this is also a waste.
In your case, I would either get a 1 TB SATA SSD, use your NVMe for the OS as the C drive, use the 256 SATA SSD as a backup target or for additional game storage. You could use the NVMe drive for boot, buy a large standard harddrive and cache it with the SATA SSD as well.