Would upgrade from MB SATA to 3ware RAID card be of benefit?


G

Guest

I built a nice, fast system for myself recently, and have been using the
onboard SATA II controller for the 2 hard drives (1 velociraptor, 1 Hitachi 7k1000)
and 1 optical drive (Blu-Ray burner) I'm using. I may install more drives in
the future, but probably not.

In any case, I'm wondering if throughput and dependability could be improved
if, instead of using the cheap Marvell SATA chipset on the motherboard, I
installed a lower-end-but-still-good 3ware RAID card, but only used it's
regular SATA abilities, no RAID.

This is the one I'm thinking of:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816116042

Would a high-quality card like that make any difference, if I'm not using
all 4 channels and not using it for a RAID?

- Tim

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A

Arno Wagner

Previously Spammay Blockay said:
I built a nice, fast system for myself recently, and have been using the
onboard SATA II controller for the 2 hard drives (1 velociraptor, 1 Hitachi 7k1000)
and 1 optical drive (Blu-Ray burner) I'm using. I may install more drives in
the future, but probably not.
In any case, I'm wondering if throughput and dependability could be improved
if, instead of using the cheap Marvell SATA chipset on the motherboard, I
installed a lower-end-but-still-good 3ware RAID card, but only used it's
regular SATA abilities, no RAID.

Very unlikely. Very likely the disks are already the bottleneck.

Arno
 
S

Squeeze

Spammay Blockay wrote in news:[email protected]
I built a nice, fast system for myself recently, and have been using the
onboard SATA II controller for the 2 hard drives (1 velociraptor, 1 Hitachi 7k1000)
and 1 optical drive (Blu-Ray burner) I'm using. I may install more drives in
the future, but probably not.

In any case, I'm wondering if throughput and dependability could be improved
if, instead of using the cheap Marvell SATA chipset on the motherboard, I
installed a lower-end-but-still-good 3ware RAID card, but only used it's
regular SATA abilities, no RAID.

This is the one I'm thinking of:

Uhuh. And what chipset is that card using?
Oh look, it's a "cheap Marvell" chipset.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?Image=16-116-042-05.jpg

And it only costs $329.99 more.
 
G

Guest

Very unlikely. Very likely the disks are already the bottleneck.

That's what I was thinking; I just wondered if the cheaper motherboard
SATA chipsets might possibly impose their own bottlenecks in the forms
of wait states or other things beyond my ken that could slow down
performance, which might be avoided on better designed cards.

- Tim

--
 
A

Arno Wagner

That's what I was thinking; I just wondered if the cheaper motherboard
SATA chipsets might possibly impose their own bottlenecks in the forms
of wait states or other things beyond my ken that could slow down
performance, which might be avoided on better designed cards.

The suspicion is justified historically, but at the moment SATA
and PCI-E are relatively new and have significant reserves.

Arno
 
G

Guest

Squeeze said:
Spammay Blockay wrote in news:[email protected]

[ Snippage ]
Uhuh. And what chipset is that card using?
Oh look, it's a "cheap Marvell" chipset.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?Image=16-116-042-05.jpg

Oh, is THAT what that big "M" stands for? :)

I didn't recognize the logo - but I kept reading tons of people's
complaints about Marvell chipsets, so I associated the name with
"not particularly good".

Examining the photos for the top-end SATA RAID cards for 3ware and HighPoint, I
see they all are using Marvell controllers as well.
And it only costs $329.99 more.

Soch a deal.

So, do you happen to know if Marvell actually makes great chipsets, as well as
some so-so ones, and the reputation I'd heard of came only from lower-end
ones used on motherboards?

That is... what controller chipsets do you know of that are considered some of
the very best, if such a thing exists?

After a bit of research, it appears that Intel's own controllers seem to get
good reviews.

Google is my friend, but perhaps someone here has some suggestions?

- Tim

--
 
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S

Squeeze

Spammay Blockay wrote in news:[email protected]
In article [email protected] said:
Spammay Blockay wrote in news:[email protected]

[ Snippage ]
Uhuh. And what chipset is that card using?
Oh look, it's a "cheap Marvell" chipset.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?Image=16-116-042-05.jpg

Oh, is THAT what that big "M" stands for? :)

I didn't recognize the logo - but I kept reading tons of people's
complaints about Marvell chipsets, so I associated the name with
"not particularly good".

Examining the photos for the top-end SATA RAID cards for 3ware and HighPoint,
I see they all are using Marvell controllers as well.

Well, as for 3ware, that was not my impression.
But then all the photos they provide themselves either have 3ware stamped on the
SATA chips or they were blanked. I take it the blanked ones are the Marvell ones.

http://www.3ware.com/reference/photogallery.asp#9650SE
Soch a deal.
So, do you happen to know if Marvell actually makes great chipsets, as well as
some so-so ones, and the reputation I'd heard of came only from lower-end
ones used on motherboards?

I have no idea.
Marvell themselves are not telling unless you first start a business relation with them.
http://www.marvell.com/products/storage/sata/index.jsp
Btw, not all Marvell chips are controllers, there's convertors too.
That is... what controller chipsets do you know of that are considered some of
the very best, if such a thing exists?

Unless there's something wrong with a chipset they should all be the same.
Doesn't necessarily mean all drivers are the same (performance wise) too.
After a bit of research, it appears that Intel's own controllers seem to get
good reviews.
Google is my friend, but perhaps someone here has some suggestions?

Watch babblebot 'advise' Areca which he spells 'Arcea'.
 
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G

Guest

Spammay Blockay wrote in news:[email protected]

Well, as for 3ware, that was not my impression.
But then all the photos they provide themselves either have 3ware stamped on the
SATA chips or they were blanked. I take it the blanked ones are the Marvell ones.

http://www.3ware.com/reference/photogallery.asp#9650SE

Huh - I wonder why they'd do that.
I have no idea.
Marvell themselves are not telling unless you first start a business relation with them.
http://www.marvell.com/products/storage/sata/index.jsp
Btw, not all Marvell chips are controllers, there's convertors too.

Yeah, I don't know all the parts that go into creating a controller board, nor
other things that Marvell makes. I'm coming at this from the "programmer who
builds his own computers sometimes" angle, so there are gaps in my knowledge.
Watch babblebot 'advise' Areca which he spells 'Arcea'.

Thanks for the pointers!

- Tim

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