Recommend me a RAID controller.

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Gob, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. Gob

    Gob Illusion, Michael. A trick is something a whore do OT Supporter

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    for my Windows 2003 Server at work. I've got 3 of these drives sitting around, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148309
    and I'd like to put them in a RAID 5 configuration. Currently all our data is sitting on a single drive, it is however backed up on a few different external drives.

    So I ran it by the boss, he gave me the go ahead for a card in the $200 - $250 dollar range. As I've never set up a RAID system, I don't really know what brands are considered quality, As far as I've read I'd want something that uses internal hardware rather than software.

    What would you get? Also, should I be considering anything but RAID 5? Our data consists mostly of photographs, shape files and word/excel/access type documents.
     
  2. dissonance

    dissonance reset OT Supporter

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    What connections are available for the RAID card (ie: PCI, PCI-X, PCI-Express x1,4,8,16)?

    I've heard good things about LSI, 3Ware, Areca. Don't know much about others. I use LSI personally.
     
  3. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    LSI is good. I've been considering buying a 3ware for my next build, but I think they hit a lower price point by reducing the cache RAM, which can decrease throughput during simultaneous reading and writing.
     
  4. Gob

    Gob Illusion, Michael. A trick is something a whore do OT Supporter

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    Sorry, I knew there was more info I should've included in the original posting. I'm afraid I've only got standard PCI slots available on the motherboard.

    Generally speaking how would I be able to tell if a RAID card was hardware or software based? (I assume the cheaper ones are generally software)
     
  5. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    You can get a RAID card for a PCI slot (NetCell cards are reliable and crazy-cheap nowadays, but they don't support SATA 2), and that will improve simultaneous read/write speed because of the cache RAM, but the throughput when streaming data won't really improve any because PCI slots are old and slow at this point.
     
  6. dissonance

    dissonance reset OT Supporter

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    You be hard pressed to find a midrange RAID card that uses PCI and connects SATA-II. As for a SATA-I card, I would recommend this:
    LSI MegaRAID 150-4 - $216.99

    If you plan on expanding beyond the limits of that card then you will probably have to pay more upfront.
    - Limits (SATA 150GB/s only, 2TB max logical drive capacity, no battery-backup, 4 internal connectors)

    Older tomshardware review here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cheap-reliable-raid-5-storage-compared,832-8.html
    (has benchmark results starting on page 12)
     
  7. TheRider

    TheRider Geeky OT Supporter

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    I think I'd take a slightly different path and look for a PCI SAS Raid Controller not SATA. It will give you flexibility to upgrade later to SAS drives, in addition you can use an expander backplane to hook up additional drives.
     
  8. dissonance

    dissonance reset OT Supporter

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    That would also be more money. I dont see him getting a good (more than decent) SAS controller for less than a SATA-I. Mine are SAS/SATA and are well beyond his price range...

    I hate to keep spamming this, but if he were to upgrade the computer to a server motherboard with PCI-X support, I would sell him my SAS/SATA LSI RAID card for half of retail (it was sent to me by mistake and I was told to keep it... I don't have a PCI-X motherboard and can't even test it let alone use it) ....
     
  9. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    If SAS drives weren't expensive and hot and power-hungry, I'd agree. Besides, it's an old desktop, not a new server -- he's never going to do anything that will use the bandwidth an SAS RAID can provide.

    EDIT: PBSlayer, just post that shit on Craigslist. Someone will want it.
     
  10. Supernaut

    Supernaut New Member

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    I've seen a number of Perc5/i pulls on eBay for ~$150 with cache and BBU. Put one in my PC at home and have been very happy with it. 180MB/s sustained reads, slightly less sustained writes with 3x74GB RAID-5 Seagate 15K SAS drives.
     
  11. XR250rdr

    XR250rdr OT Supporter

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    PCI not PCIe
     
  12. Supernaut

    Supernaut New Member

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    My bad. I second the LSI MegaRAID then.
     

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