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Looking for a sata raid controller

Lillebror

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#1
Hey all!

Im looking after a sata raid controller - its gonna be used to build a storage server for all my pictures. Im not looking after something really expensive, just something thats simple and does a good job. Im thinking about installing freenas (http://www.freenas.org/) or Winxp pro on it, so it should work in either of those.
 
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#2
Whats wrong with an onboard raid controller?
 

Lillebror

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#3
Cause they are never as good as a dedicated card :)
 

DanTheBanjoman

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#4
Whats wrong with an onboard raid controller?
They tend to lack all the functionality you'd want for your RAID array. For your cheap RAID 0 setup they're fine, making an actual array is a different story. This week I tried making a RAID 5 array on one, been regretting it since. Now looking for an actual controller again. My previous doesn't work with the disks, so f you want a 6 port SATA150 133MHz PCI-X controller I have one spare :)
 
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#5
Not always true for cheaper raid cards.

A cheap card is not going give you any advantage and if its a pci card it will greatly cripple the read/write speeds of the drives.
 

Lillebror

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#6
I didnt say i wanted a cheap one, just one that is not really expensive. After some reading, im looking for something that does raid 5. And its gonna be used in a desktop motherboard, so either pci-e or pci :)
 

DanTheBanjoman

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#7
Not always true for cheaper raid cards.

A cheap card is not going give you any advantage and if its a pci card it will greatly cripple the read/write speeds of the drives.
That's why there is PCI-X/PCIe.

Your logic applies to basically all hardware, why not use your on board videocard? $30 PCI cards aren't any faster.


Look at Perc 5 cards on ebay.
 
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#8
That's why there is PCI-X/PCIe.

Your logic applies to basically all hardware, why not use your on board videocard? $30 PCI cards aren't any faster.
I see what you are saying, but that is not what i meant at all. A pci raid card is going to be much cheaper than a pci-e version. However the pci but is limited to 133 mps. Greatly hurting the read and write speed.
 

Lillebror

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#9
Its gonna be used as a file server, not a render\i-need-a-million-byts-a-second machine ;)
 
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#10
Its gonna be used as a file server, not a render\i-need-a-million-byts-a-second machine ;)
True but you don't want to create a future bottleneck just in case you decide to do more with it. Plus SSD drives are starting to come down in price and in crease in speed. Just might want to take this into consideration.
 

DanTheBanjoman

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#11
I see what you are saying, but that is not what i meant at all. A pci raid card is going to be much cheaper than a pci-e version. However the pci but is limited to 133 mps. Greatly hurting the read and write speed.
For network usage it's not even that bad (unless the NIC is on the PCI bus as well:)). Though nobody who does their homework and is serious about making a nice array will use PCI. Same as a serious gamer who does his homework won't buy some low end videocard.

Considering it will be used to store pictures over network the 133MB/s limit won't be _that_ bad. If budget would be an issue an older PCI card or PCI-X card in a PCI slot would do the job. All depends on budget and usage.
 

DanTheBanjoman

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#12
True but you don't want to create a future bottleneck just in case you decide to do more with it. Plus SSD drives are starting to come down in price and in crease in speed. Just might want to take this into consideration.
How is an SSD related to a RAID array?
 

Lillebror

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#13
Ssd's are way to expensive in denmark! I just need a sata raid controller so i can run raid 5, with some small disk, until i get money to get some larger disks :)
 
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#14
How is an SSD related to a RAID array?
Nothing, other than the fact that they can be put into raid just like traditional HDDs. I am just saying that they are always an option if you do need speed and extra reliability. But considering he doesn't need speed traditional HDDs are fine.
 

Woody112

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#15
Hey all!

Im looking after a sata raid controller - its gonna be used to build a storage server for all my pictures. Im not looking after something really expensive, just something thats simple and does a good job. Im thinking about installing freenas (http://www.freenas.org/) or Winxp pro on it, so it should work in either of those.
Give us a budget and well see what we can dig up for ya.;)
 

Lillebror

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#16
Something around 100-200$
 

DanTheBanjoman

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#17
Since you use small disks, why not buy two 750/1000GB disks and put them in RAID 1 using the onboard controller instead? You can do that for under $200, 1TB disks are under $100.
 

Lillebror

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#18
Sadly, 1 tb disks are not under 100 in denmark.. and i got 3x 400 gig sata disks laying around, so i was thinking about ordering 2 more, and a sata raid controller to add em up in a raid 5
 

DanTheBanjoman

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#19
Sadly, 1 tb disks are not under 100 in denmark.. and i got 3x 400 gig sata disks laying around, so i was thinking about ordering 2 more, and a sata raid controller to add em up in a raid 5
I'm sticking with my PERC5 suggestion then. Just make sure you get the right cabling with it.
 

newtekie1

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#20
First, the topic at hand:

I use a HighPoint RocketRAID 2300. It is a great little card, and seems to have drivers for most everything. Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OSX, and Windows(x86 and x64) are all supported.

I went with it for several reasons. It is PCI-e x1, but if you want there is a PCI-e x4 version(2310) that is identical and uses the same drivers even, but I wanted the compatibility of PCI-e x1. I have it plugged into one of my PCI-e x16 slots right now though.

Also, it is rather inexpensive, about $115 USD, but not bottom of the line either. It does have a minor issue. There is no option to adjust the time out for detecting driver when booting. So it adds about 30 seconds to the boot-up of the machine if you don't have all 4 ports filled with drives. Other than that, I haven't had a problem with it.

Whats wrong with an onboard raid controller?
Several things really. The biggest one is that you are screwed if you upgrade your motherboard, unless you are upgrading to a board that has the same RAID controller on it(which is unlikely with an upgrade). RAID 1 usually doesn't have a problem with this, but RAID 0 and 5 both do. When you switch out the motherboard, you lose your data. Dedicated cards don't have this problem, you just plug the dedicated card into the new motherboard and all your data is there.

Not always true for cheaper raid cards.

A cheap card is not going give you any advantage and if its a pci card it will greatly cripple the read/write speeds of the drives.
It depends on the onboard card and the dedicated card used. Some onboard cards perform like utter crap, and cheaper dedicated cards suffer the same problem.

I see what you are saying, but that is not what i meant at all. A pci raid card is going to be much cheaper than a pci-e version. However the pci but is limited to 133 mps. Greatly hurting the read and write speed.
Not true, there are a lot of PCI RAID cards that are more expensive than PCI-e RAID cards.

True but you don't want to create a future bottleneck just in case you decide to do more with it. Plus SSD drives are starting to come down in price and in crease in speed. Just might want to take this into consideration.
Yes, but SSDs still have a limitted life cycle, RAID in this situation is for data longevity the exact opposite of what SSDs provide. Your logic is sound, it just doesn't apply to this situation.
 

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Lillebror

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#22

DanTheBanjoman

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#23

newtekie1

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#24

Lillebror

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#25
Asus P5QPL-VM, G41, Socket-775, DDR2, m-ATX, GbLAN, PCI-Ex(2.0)x16
Cooler Master Elite 333, Sort, Midi tower
Corsair Powersupply 400W, 120mm Fans 6xSATA, ATX/EPS, 1xPCI-E, 20/24pin
Corsair TWIN2X 6400C4 DDR2, 2048MB CL4, Kit w/two 1024MB XMS, 800MHz Dimm`s
HighPoint RocketRAID 2310 4P SATA II/300 RAID5, NCQ, PCI Express x4
Intel Pentium® Dual-Core E2200 2.2GHz, Socket LGA775, 1MB, 800MHz

Ive ended up with this stuff for the file server - does it sounds okay..?