Looking for decent SATA RAID controller


B

BD

Hi, all.

I have an Asus M4A79 mainboard, and 4x640GB WDD SATA disks.

The mainboard has RAID controller functionality, but I wasn't able to
get it to work before my patience ran out, and I've seen some reviews
that the stability of RAID under this chipset is questionable.

I want to find a decent, reliable PCIE RAID controller that won't
break the bank.

I'm not as interested in data protection (parity disks) as I am in
performance, specifically read performance. I expect I might go with
straight striping across the 4 disks.

I've seen some reviews of brand names like Areca (looks entirely rock-
solid, but looks too pricey - looks like more server-class stuff) and
3ware (haven't dialed in a specific model that I'd likely go for).

I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations for manufacturers (or
specific models) to look at for such stuff...

Thanks!!

BD.
 
Ad

Advertisements

A

Arno

BD said:
I have an Asus M4A79 mainboard, and 4x640GB WDD SATA disks.
The mainboard has RAID controller functionality, but I wasn't able to
get it to work before my patience ran out, and I've seen some reviews
that the stability of RAID under this chipset is questionable.
I want to find a decent, reliable PCIE RAID controller that won't
break the bank.

Does not exist. In my experience, you are going to pay
more for the controller than the disks, if you want to avoid
FakeRAID controllers (i.e. BIOS software RAID). In data
point: Avoid Adaptec. Their products are utter Trash and
have been for decades. It seems they enjoy a good reputation
though (just like 3COM, the worst network cards I ever saw),
so some people recommend them highly. I can only guess they
have not tried the alternatives or that most alternatives
are even worse.

Arcea is fast, expensive and does not have an in-kernel
driver under Linux.

3ware has a good name, works well in Linux, but again, expensive.
I'm not as interested in data protection (parity disks) as I am in
performance, specifically read performance. I expect I might go with
straight striping across the 4 disks.
I've seen some reviews of brand names like Areca (looks entirely rock-
solid, but looks too pricey - looks like more server-class stuff) and
3ware (haven't dialed in a specific model that I'd likely go for).

If you want a real RAID controller, you basically have not much
choice. And the prices are entriely ordinary for hardware RAID.

In addition, you need to get a second controller for data recovery
if the controller fails.
I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations for manufacturers (or
specific models) to look at for such stuff...

Use software RAID. At least under Linux with PCI-E attached
SATA controllers, it is pretty fast. If not fast enough,
ude 3ware or Arcea.

Arno
 
B

Bob Willard

BD said:
Hi, all.

I have an Asus M4A79 mainboard, and 4x640GB WDD SATA disks.

The mainboard has RAID controller functionality, but I wasn't able to
get it to work before my patience ran out, and I've seen some reviews
that the stability of RAID under this chipset is questionable.

I want to find a decent, reliable PCIE RAID controller that won't
break the bank.

I'm not as interested in data protection (parity disks) as I am in
performance, specifically read performance. I expect I might go with
straight striping across the 4 disks.

I've seen some reviews of brand names like Areca (looks entirely rock-
solid, but looks too pricey - looks like more server-class stuff) and
3ware (haven't dialed in a specific model that I'd likely go for).

I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations for manufacturers (or
specific models) to look at for such stuff...

Thanks!!

BD.

For simple RAID1 (or equally-simple RAID0), I'd use software RAID;
the OS-version, not a controller. The OS overhead for simple
RAID should be very low.

You'll need to check the docs for your favorite OS to see if
it supports RAID for more than two HDs. And, if your OS doesn't
have decent docs, then just try it.
 
B

BD

FakeRAID controllers (i.e. BIOS software RAID). In data
point: Avoid Adaptec. Their products are utter Trash and
have been for decades.

Interesting. First I've heard of that.

Sounds like you've had some bad experiences with Adaptec and have
condemned the whole line as a result.

So to be clear: what specifically should I expect to be 'trash' about
the Adaptec 5405, which is the unit I'm considering? Tomshardware,
MaxPC both seem to favor it. Do you know something they don't about
this one?

If there's nothing 'trash' about this specific model, perhaps if you
could avoid generalization and suggest something that I can
quantify... clearly you know about Adaptec and whatever problems
they'd be expected to have. A couple of specific examples against this
model would be helpful.

As to the second controller - no, I don't need that. Well, to be
specific, my data protection needs are not to the point that I will be
buying two controllers.

Thanks.
 
A

Arno

Interesting. First I've heard of that.
Sounds like you've had some bad experiences with Adaptec and have
condemned the whole line as a result.

Well, I lost 300MB of data back in the ESDI days, and I had
a more revent 8 drive SATA RAID controller from them, that was
missing half the promised features (well, no SMART support despite
is being advertized, no commandline utility, despite it being claimed)
and crashed every few weeks. I addition, RAID resync took about
15h (software in Linux 4h). Both were aparently design problems.

That is 2/2 bad designs about 15 years apart and enough for
me to not like them. I also had problems with 2 Adaptec SCSI
controllers (of two), after my very good NCR controller lost
Linux support. Adaptec SCSI controllers are picky about their
cabeling, which is an absolute no-no in a supposedly professional
product.
So to be clear: what specifically should I expect to be 'trash' about
the Adaptec 5405, which is the unit I'm considering? Tomshardware,
MaxPC both seem to favor it. Do you know something they don't about
this one?

I cannot comment on this one. I only know that Adaptec
has systematic engineering problems. You may get lucky
with a product they have not screwed up.
If there's nothing 'trash' about this specific model, perhaps if you
could avoid generalization and suggest something that I can
quantify... clearly you know about Adaptec and whatever problems
they'd be expected to have. A couple of specific examples against this
model would be helpful.

I am not a hardware evaluator. But after having seen bad design
several times out of a company, with no example of good design
to offset it, I will stay away and warn others.

For this specific model, you need to be sure to have a functional
8x slot or at least a shorer one that is upwards compatible
(rear-open connector). Beware that graphics card slots may not
work.
As to the second controller - no, I don't need that. Well, to be
specific, my data protection needs are not to the point that I will be
buying two controllers.

Just a warning.

Arno
 
B

BD

For this specific model, you need to be sure to have a functional
8x slot or at least a shorer one that is upwards compatible
(rear-open connector). Beware that graphics card slots may not
work.

Okay, I'll keep those things in mind. I'm pretty sure I have a full
slot free. Physical space in my case is a different issue.

I'll keep scouring forums for additional feedback on the model I'm
considering. I agree that I'd be pretty annoyed if I'd experienced
what you'd been through - but it seems to me that if all their gear
were that dodgy, they'd have a tough time staying in business at
all. ;)

Thanks!
 
Ad

Advertisements

A

Arno

Okay, I'll keep those things in mind. I'm pretty sure I have a full
slot free. Physical space in my case is a different issue.
I'll keep scouring forums for additional feedback on the model I'm
considering.

Always a good idea.
I agree that I'd be pretty annoyed if I'd experienced
what you'd been through - but it seems to me that if all their gear
were that dodgy, they'd have a tough time staying in business at
all. ;)

Well, that is what I thought when I bought the second controller.
Turns out I was wrong. They might have mended their ways
by now, but I somehow doubt it. On the other hand, I was
pretty angry at them with more than a week of time wasted,
so I am certainly not the most objective judge here.

Anyways, please post your experiences here, so that they
get documented.

Arno
 
L

lars

BD said:
Hi, all.

I have an Asus M4A79 mainboard, and 4x640GB WDD SATA disks.

The mainboard has RAID controller functionality, but I wasn't able to
get it to work before my patience ran out, and I've seen some reviews
that the stability of RAID under this chipset is questionable.

I want to find a decent, reliable PCIE RAID controller that won't
break the bank.

I'm not as interested in data protection (parity disks) as I am in
performance, specifically read performance. I expect I might go with
straight striping across the 4 disks.

I've seen some reviews of brand names like Areca (looks entirely rock-
solid, but looks too pricey - looks like more server-class stuff) and
3ware (haven't dialed in a specific model that I'd likely go for).

I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations for manufacturers (or
specific models) to look at for such stuff...

Thanks!!

BD.


Go SW-RAID on so few disks.
Modern multi cores -> you wont feel a thing :)

Og buying SATA RAID complete system, but that is another thing.

/Lars H.
 
E

Eric Gisin

Avoid Arnie's bullshit advice, especially on RAID.
Software RAID is the proper desktop solution, you only use hardware RAID 5/6 on servers.

DO NOT use RAID controllers for RAID 0, this has been part of Window for ages.
 
A

Arno

Eric Gisin said:
Avoid Arnie's bullshit advice, especially on RAID.
Software RAID is the proper desktop solution, you only use hardware
RAID 5/6 on servers.

Interestingly, I advised using software RAID. I take it then,
that you consider your own advice "bullshit"?

Arno
 
M

Mike Ruskai

Hi, all.

I have an Asus M4A79 mainboard, and 4x640GB WDD SATA disks.

The mainboard has RAID controller functionality, but I wasn't able to
get it to work before my patience ran out, and I've seen some reviews
that the stability of RAID under this chipset is questionable.

I want to find a decent, reliable PCIE RAID controller that won't
break the bank.

I'm not as interested in data protection (parity disks) as I am in
performance, specifically read performance. I expect I might go with
straight striping across the 4 disks.

I've seen some reviews of brand names like Areca (looks entirely rock-
solid, but looks too pricey - looks like more server-class stuff) and
3ware (haven't dialed in a specific model that I'd likely go for).

I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations for manufacturers (or
specific models) to look at for such stuff...

If you don't want to break the bank, then use software RAID0. It's quite good
in Linux, and passable in Windows.

Otherwise, I myself would go with something like these:

http://computers.pricegrabber.com/s.../search=LSI00112/st=sort/sort_type=bottomline
http://computers.pricegrabber.com/s...l/search=saswt4i/st=sort/sort_type=bottomline

They are the same card, with one branded by Intel.

When I build servers, I use only LSI or the Intel branded versions (the latter
tend to be cheaper).

I used the above for a boot mirror in my latest build, which has been running
24/7 for about five months now, without issue.
 
Ad

Advertisements

B

BD

If you don't want to break the bank, then use software RAID0.  It's quite good
in Linux, and passable in Windows.

Otherwise, I myself would go with something like these:

http://computers.pricegrabber.com/s...abber.com/storage-device-controllers/Intel-Ra...

They are the same card, with one branded by Intel.

When I build servers, I use only LSI or the Intel branded versions (the latter
tend to be cheaper).

I used the above for a boot mirror in my latest build, which has been running
24/7 for about five months now, without issue.  

Hmm - certainly a more appealing price point than the $500 Adaptec
option.

I'm a bit anxious about using software RAID under Windows. But, then
again, it's free. ;)
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top