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Thread: RAID suggestions

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    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    RAID suggestions

    My 5-port XFX REVO is getting binned, it's crap.

    But i need to get another RAID card to replace it. Getting a LSI, Areca or AMCC would be nice but out of my budget, so i've been looking at Highpoint.

    I want an 8 port card to build a decent sized array from 500GB drives. I already have 4, so would like online capacity expansion so i can add the others later.

    My AM2 system is PCI/AGP only at the moment so that forces me to go for a RR2220.

    The other option is to replace my mobo for one with PCI-E and PCI slots, then there is another option, the RR2320. It would mean i would need a PCI-E graphics card as well. I'd probably get an ATI HD2600 to handle HD decoding in the future.

    Basically, what do you think about investing in a PCI card at the moment. I'd like to think PCI slots will still be commonplace for a good while yet, I don't want to be left with a £180 RAID card i can't use. But then i also don't really want to spend the extra on a new mobo and vid card just now either.

    thoughts?

  2. #2
    radix lecti dave87's Avatar
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    Re: RAID suggestions

    IF you want sustained transfer rates that a 8 drive raid 5 array can do, then PCI is out of the question.

    PCI-e is a lot better, but you mentioned the cost of it. What do you actually put on the drives? Is it going to be the server for multiple computers/users? if so, then PCI-e would be a better bet. BUT - if its only light use, PCI would be fine.

  3. #3
    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    Re: RAID suggestions

    It will be hanging off my HTPC/media server. Main use will be for streaming music, DVDs and other video along with general file serving.

    It doesn't have to be blindingly fast, at the very most there could be two network connections to it and local playback. So worst case is 3x the speed of a DVD - About 4-5MB sounds about right

  4. #4
    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    Re: RAID suggestions

    OK, here's a question:

    Say i was to go the PCI-e route, what kind of slot can the x4 connector of the 2320 fit into?

    Actual x4 slots are quite rare, can x16 slots handle these cards, or are they just for graphics?

    I'm not up on the whole PCI-e thing.

  5. #5
    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    Re: RAID suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by dave87 View Post
    IF you want sustained transfer rates that a 8 drive raid 5 array can do, then PCI is out of the question.

    PCI-e is a lot better, but you mentioned the cost of it. What do you actually put on the drives? Is it going to be the server for multiple computers/users? if so, then PCI-e would be a better bet. BUT - if its only light use, PCI would be fine.
    I have a AMCC 3Ware 9500S-8 on PCI bus, and the top speed is 65MB/s start to end.
    I have it setup as two 4x300G RAID5 array.
    Bought the card cheaply on ebay, you can probably get one cheaper than a new Rocketraid card with same number of ports. You can buy one from USA for $150+shipping (and VAT if you got hit)

    To be honest depends on what you are doing with the RAID5, 65MB/s is just about the same speed as a single harddrive. Do you really have anything that can feed the array at 65MB/s? (I'm not talking about read speed, my array writes at 65MB/s as well).

    Internally the card self-verify at about 280MB/s and rebuilds at 70MB/s (not dependent on the PCI bus)

    I personally love my 3Ware card and won't go for anything else
    Last edited by arthurleung; 25-08-2007 at 08:23 PM.
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  6. #6
    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    Re: RAID suggestions

    never thought about going that route.

    There is a 9500-8 port going for $200 buy it now, or a 8506-12 currently at £52.

    Only thing about the 8506-12 is the limit of 3TB on one controller. That means only using 6 ports out of 12 for 500GB drives.

    the 9500-8 is tempting though

  7. #7
    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    Re: RAID suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkstar View Post
    never thought about going that route.

    There is a 9500-8 port going for $200 buy it now, or a 8506-12 currently at £52.

    Only thing about the 8506-12 is the limit of 3TB on one controller. That means only using 6 ports out of 12 for 500GB drives.

    the 9500-8 is tempting though
    I wouldn't recommend going RAID5 for greater than 6 drives as your risk of 2 disks dying together will be quite high.

    I think Windows have problem with drives/arrays >2TB
    http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device...e/LUN_SP1.mspx
    GPT disk is a mess though, back then my A8N-SLI Premium refuse to boot past IDE/SATA detection if it is using GPT not MBR.

    On the other hand, My friend's 7506-8 had 8 IDE drives running RAID5 for 4 years 7x24 and none of the drive ever failed (touch wood)
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    HEXUS.social member Agent's Avatar
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    Re: RAID suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkstar View Post
    OK, here's a question:

    Say i was to go the PCI-e route, what kind of slot can the x4 connector of the 2320 fit into?

    Actual x4 slots are quite rare, can x16 slots handle these cards, or are they just for graphics?

    I'm not up on the whole PCI-e thing.
    Rocket RAID are very good for home/mid range use. Solid driver support for most OS's and good firmware updates (I had an issue with my 3120 - They emailed me a new BIOS to test within 2 days with the bug fixed)

    PCI-e is downward compatible. For example, you can use 1x, 2x, 4x, 8x cards in in 16x PCIe slot.
    Obviously not the other way around though.

    As long as the port you plan to plug the card in is long enough, it will work
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

  9. #9
    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    Re: RAID suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    Rocket RAID are very good for home/mid range use. Solid driver support for most OS's and good firmware updates (I had an issue with my 3120 - They emailed me a new BIOS to test within 2 days with the bug fixed)

    PCI-e is downward compatible. For example, you can use 1x, 2x, 4x, 8x cards in in 16x PCIe slot.
    Obviously not the other way around though.

    As long as the port you plan to plug the card in is long enough, it will work
    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    It is not possible to place a physically larger PCIe card (e.g. a 16x sized card) into a smaller slot, even though the two would be signal-compatible if it were possible.
    You can plug a 8x card in a 4x open-ended slot if you want to I heard people doing it on Dell "servers" with a 8x slot
    Last edited by arthurleung; 25-08-2007 at 09:06 PM.
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    Senior Member charleski's Avatar
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    Re: RAID suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkstar View Post
    It will be hanging off my HTPC/media server. Main use will be for streaming music, DVDs and other video along with general file serving.
    Why not get a NAS RAID box then? No hassles with future upgrades and more flexibility.

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    HEXUS.social member Agent's Avatar
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    Re: RAID suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurleung View Post
    You can plug a 8x card in a 4x open-ended slot if you want to I heard people doing it on Dell "servers" with a 8x slot
    Yeah, very true. Some of the DFI boards have the 'open end' PCIe slots too, but IIRC it is not part of the PCIe specification and is discouraged.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

  12. #12
    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    Re: RAID suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    PCI-e is downward compatible. For example, you can use 1x, 2x, 4x, 8x cards in in 16x PCIe slot.
    Obviously not the other way around though.

    As long as the port you plan to plug the card in is long enough, it will work
    Thats what i assumed. I just got concerned when i kept seeing motherboard specifications with things like "2 x PCI-e x16 (Graphics)" and wondered if they could only be used for graphics cards.

    Quote Originally Posted by charleski View Post
    Why not get a NAS RAID box then? No hassles with future upgrades and more flexibility.
    Yeah thought about that. Thecus N5200Pro is about £570 where as a RAID card is £180.

    However i am very tempted with a N5200Pro. I'll have to see how fluch i'm feeling in the next couple of months i guess.

    Thanks for the input guys

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