Advice on SAS controller cards. Have done some research, but still need help.

Hello! Thanks for taking the time to read this. Hopefully you can help me out.

I am building a new computer (see specs below) and need to add more storage. I will primarily be using 3-4 TB 5900 rpm drives, maybe some 7200 RPM drives to connect to the controller. I used to get SATA expansion cards, but after learning about SAS, I am thinking of going that route. I would like to add 6-8 more internal drives and will probably have to add another 4 drives along with the 16 I have in enclosures for back ups. The back ups are enclosed in 2 - 4 bay enclosures and 1-8 bay enclosure, where 4 drives are grouped to use one esata cable each. I guess I could do that with the additional drives, so I may only need one more esata, BUT, I would like to incorporate everything into one card, because posting all these cards takes FOREVER and I do have limited PCIe slots.

I have been looking long and hard and doing lots of research by reading posts on this and other forums and have narrowed things down to this card: THe Adaptech 71605E (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816103250&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleAdwords&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleAdwords-_-pla-_-Controllers+%2f+RAID+Cards-_-N82E16816103250&gclid=CNWt1rGb8bYCFUFo4Aod_nAA2Q).

This card may be overkill, as my drives may never reach the speeds it can handle, though the increase bandwidth MAY be used by my enclosure with 4 drives in each lane. I could go SATA II, but I have found that going with older technologies usually cost me another upgrade in a year or two. However, if there is a better low cost solution, I am open to suggestions. I have checked out options from Highpoint, LSI, Intel & Supermicro.

Also, I may move to some SSHD in the future as they become more affordable and prolific. I also may move to more SSDs. The problem I have with this card is that I have no idea how I will turn around the SFF-8643 mini HDSAS connectors, which are meant for internal connections, to SFF-8644 or SFF-8088 external connectors, in order to connect my future enclosures. From those external eclosures I can buy fan-out cables that are more readily available.

So this is what I need my card to do:
1-Support 6-8 internal SATA drives and at least 6 esata bays (preferably more).
2-Support for, and the ability to take advantage of SSDs
3-Ability to control raids (though I usually don't run raids, so this may not be important, but I want this card to be future proof (at least for 5 years).
4-Must be able to work in JBOD mode
5-Must be able to talk to an expander

I have looked into highpoint, LSI, Intel, IBM, Adaptech and Supermicro. Looking back, I should have invested in SAS enclosures and may have to go that route in in the future because the bandwidth is higher. I wish I had done my research earlier.

Any questions, comments, suggestions, and even criticisms are welcomed and greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
Mario

My Computer
ASUS Maximums V Formula
i7-3770K
Corsair Vengence Memory (16 GB)
Corsair Neutron SSD (256 GB)
No video card (for now just using stock, but will get a nicer one soon)
ROsewill Blackhawk Ultra Case,
4 answers Last reply
More about advice sas controller cards research
  1. Right now I need to add at least 4, but preferably 8, sata/SAS ports to my tower. I need something that is as fast, or faster than what I have on my Maximus V Formula board. I would want the card to have Raid 0, 1, & 10, capability, because, even though I've read there are no real world gains, I am considering going raid 0 with 2 Intel 520 120 GB drives for my OS.

    I realize that I will have to spend at least $170 to get a decent card (PCI 3.0. SATA III/SAS (6 Gb/s)) that will match the SATA III software raid on my motherboard, and that is a conservative estimate.

    My computing consists of multitasking, video, photo, and music editing, AutoCAD, music encoding, extraction, constantly moving large files, heavy browsing, backing up and torrenting, sometimes a lot of them at the same time. No gaming. My computer also hosts all the media files for my house and is on 24/7.

    So my questions are:
    Is a 2 SSD RAID 0 going to provide any noticeable difference in performance for my style of computing to warrant the risk?

    Is investing in a hardware raid card going to afford me any real world gains, especially since I will probably on construct 0, 1, or 10 (I back up weekly)?

    ]If a hardware raid is the way to go, then will cache or processing power offered by controller such as Adaptech's 7805, help me at all, considering I will be using raid 0,1, & 10 (I read that cache was mostly used for parity calculations)?

    Is it even worth it to get the 71605E at $360, or should I go with a different, lower cost option, such as an HBA or JBOD controller with no raid (I will look into any suggestions)?
  2. I have considered High Point, LSI and Adaptech and am thinking of going with a 71605E, but I don't know if I should invest in something more robust, or if I am spending to much and going overkill. I chose Adaptech because Highpoint's technical support does not have a good reputation, & their products are inferior and buggy, albeit at a nice pricepoint, and most of LSI's stuff cant do JBOD, and if it can, it can only do JBOD or Raid.

    I would appreciate any input please
  3. Man, are you serious? 10 days and no one has any input?
  4. ARECA cards we used for raid5 or 6, raid5 on maxtrix fails fast.

    maxtrix raid is best in dual volume raid0 or short stroking the first 1/3 of the drive and raid10 for storage. I suggest you skip it and go all raid10.

    ARECA 8 drive raid card has some powerful software and that was many years ago. I had a customer that let 2 drives die and lost 1000 movies! lol!

    my 2 cents!

    we used raptors as boot drive in raid 10, board intel matrix, and 8 drives in acrea. got out of the video server due digital rights rules. Areca worked wel with vista - boot limit, 4gb, was a pain though.

    note: i suggest this read if your building large arrays: http://forums.storagereview.com/index.php/topic/34094-is-raid-56-dead-due-to-large-drive-capacities/

    that really a mirror NAS is better choice now of days. i mention this since i am building a new raid card system and new hybrid drives vs ssd.

    SSD primary and raid card storage with nas third is an opition, i am looking at. sorry too hijack the thread but it was closest relavent thread.


    ps: i have an old ARCEA card, 4 drive i can run raid5 or should i run 4 drives in the matrix in raid10??????

    thx!
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