Do SSDs benefit from RAID 0?

Solid state drives (SSDs) have become increasingly popular in computers due to their fast speeds and lack of moving parts. Some users choose to configure multiple SSDs in a RAID 0 array to try and achieve even faster performance. But does combining SSDs in RAID 0 actually provide any benefit?

What is RAID 0?

RAID stands for “Redundant Array of Independent Disks”. It is a method of combining multiple physical disk drives into one logical drive to provide increased performance, capacity, or redundancy.

RAID 0 is one of the most basic RAID configurations. It involves striping data across two or more disks with no parity or duplication. This means the total storage capacity of a RAID 0 array is equal to the sum of the capacities of its individual disks. For example, two 500 GB drives in RAID 0 would create a single 1 TB logical drive.

The main benefit of RAID 0 is increased performance. By splitting and distributing data across multiple disks, read and write operations can be performed in parallel. This means throughput is multiplied compared to using a single disk alone. For example, two SSDs in RAID 0 can deliver close to double the read and write speeds of a single SSD.

The downside is RAID 0 provides no data redundancy. If one drive fails, all data on the array will be lost. For this reason, RAID 0 is primarily used in non-critical storage environments where performance is the priority over data security.

Do SSDs benefit from RAID 0?

When it comes to SSDs, the benefits of RAID 0 are less clear. There are several factors to consider:

  • SSD performance is already very fast compared to hard disk drives (HDDs). High-end NVMe SSDs can deliver sequential read/write speeds over 3,000/2,000 MB/s and random read/write speeds up to 750,000/700,000 IOPS.
  • SSD performance is limited by the drive’s controller and NAND flash memory. RAID 0 improves performance by allowing parallel operations across multiple disks. But with SSDs, the controller and flash are already very fast – often faster than the drive connectors like SATA or PCIe 3.0 x4 can support.
  • There is no seek time benefit with SSDs. RAID 0 helps HDDs by distributing data across multiple platters and read/write heads, decreasing average seek time. SSDs have no seek time penalty.
  • SSDs already saturate the bandwidth of most consumer computing interfaces. For consumers using SSDs with SATA 3.0 or PCIe 3.0 x4, a single SSD can already deliver speeds that max out the interface bandwidth limits (600 MB/s for SATA 3.0 and ~4 GB/s for PCIe 3.0 x4). Adding a second SSD in RAID 0 may not provide any additional performance benefit if the interface is already saturated by a single drive.

Because of the above factors, most benchmark tests find that RAID 0 provides little to no real-world improvement to SSD performance for typical consumer workloads. The differences tend to be small and only observable in certain niche scenarios.

When RAID 0 does help SSD performance

While most consumer uses won’t see a notable performance gain with SSD RAID 0 arrays, there are some cases where multiple SSDs in RAID 0 can be beneficial:

  • PCIe 4.0 or faster interfaces – Next-gen PCIe 4.0 and upcoming PCIe 5.0 provide double or quadruple the bandwidth compared to PCIe 3.0, which a single SSD may not be able to saturate. RAID 0 can allow hitting those higher interface limits.
  • Very heavy workloads – In niche scenarios with extremely heavy workloads involving massive files, like 4K video editing, scientific data analysis, or database applications, RAID 0 can provide a noticeable speedup by distributing data across multiple SSDs.
  • Enterprise environments – For mission-critical enterprise servers and data centers that demand the absolute highest performance, SSD RAID 0 can help eke out extra speed.

But for general consumer use cases like booting an OS, launching applications, file transfers, and gaming, single SSDs already provide exceptional performance. RAID 0 offers little real-world benefit in most standard use cases.

Potential downsides of SSD RAID 0

Beyond the questionable performance gains, there are also some potential downsides to keeping in mind with RAID 0 SSD arrays:

  • No fault tolerance – As mentioned earlier, RAID 0 provides no data redundancy. If one drive fails, all data on the array is lost. Important data should be regularly backed up.
  • Increased chance of failure – The probability of array failure is equal to the sum of failure probabilities for each drive. More drives means higher likelihood of failure.
  • Extra costs – Building a RAID 0 array requires purchasing multiple matched SSDs, along with a RAID controller if not using a motherboard with RAID support built-in.
  • Complexity – Configuring and managing a RAID array adds complexity versus using standalone SSDs. Software RAID management is also generally preferred over hardware RAID for SSDs.

Alternatives to SSD RAID 0

Given the limited benefits and added risks, SSD RAID 0 arrays are generally not recommended for most consumer use cases. There are a few alternatives to consider instead:

  • Single large SSD – A better performance per dollar option is often to simply buy a single higher capacity SSD rather than trying to combine smaller SSDs in RAID 0.
  • M.2 NVMe SSD – Switching to a faster M.2 NVMe SSD over SATA can provide a bigger performance boost than RAID 0 for many workloads.
  • Additional HDD storage – If more storage capacity is needed, adding an additional HDD for data storage is cheaper than buying another SSD for RAID 0.


While RAID 0 can provide big performance benefits with traditional hard disk drives, the advantages are much smaller for high-speed SSDs. For typical consumer use cases, a single SSD will usually provide great performance on its own without the risks and complexity of RAID 0.

RAID 0 SSD arrays only tend to help in niche cases like cutting-edge PCIe 4.0/5.0 builds demanding maximum interface bandwidth or very heavy workloads that can leverage parallel storage I/O. For general desktop and gaming use, there is little measurable benefit to combining SSDs in RAID 0 versus using a single fast NVMe SSD.