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Thunderbolt external RAID enclosure that works with Windows PC?

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August 3, 2013 10:12:45 PM

Thunderbolt being mostly found on Macs, only natural that some of the external RAID enclosures only seem to be fully supported with the Mac OS.

For example, I was very interested in the WD Velociraptor Duo Thunderbolt, but while it supports use with PCs, it only works in JBOD mode and won't do RAID 0 until WD makes the drivers/software to allow it.

I read somewhere that the Promise Pegasus enclosures will support RAID on a PC via Thunderbolt. Anyone know for sure if this is the case?

I'm using Windows 8 on a PC with an Asus Z87 Deluxe/Dual motherboard that supports Thunderbolt connections and would love to be able to use a couple fast drives in RAID 0 for my photography and video stuff.

The other option would be to do internal RAID, but I am intimidated by the guide for switching storage controllers without reinstalling Windows, and my new computer isn't set to RAID mode.

One more thing: I'm looking for an attached solution, not a NAS.

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a b G Storage
August 3, 2013 10:18:07 PM

I recommend a PCI-E hardware RAID card. You will almost certainly get higher performance, and they are usually cheaper than the good Thunderbold RAID enclosures. You also won't have to reinstall your OS unless you want to boot from it. I have good experiences with LSI cards.
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August 3, 2013 10:24:27 PM

loosescrews said:
I recommend a PCI-E hardware RAID card. You will almost certainly get higher performance, and they are usually cheaper than the good Thunderbold RAID enclosures. You also won't have to reinstall your OS unless you want to boot from it. I have good experiences with LSI cards.


Thanks for your reply. Can you recommend a specific LSI PCI-E card that will work with Windows 8 and not require some sort of special cooling arrangement? I've got a 512GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD for boot.
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a b G Storage
August 3, 2013 10:35:29 PM

Amin Sabet said:


Thanks for your reply. Can you recommend a specific LSI PCI-E card that will work with Windows 8 and not require some sort of special cooling arrangement? I've got a 512GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD for boot.


The LSI MegaRAID 9260-4i is a good card and not too expensive. If you need more ports the 9260-8i is the same card with support for 8 drives instead of 4. Newegg has the LSI MegaRAID 9260-4i for ~$300.
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August 3, 2013 11:57:21 PM

loosescrews said:
The LSI MegaRAID 9260-4i is a good card and not too expensive. If you need more ports the 9260-8i is the same card with support for 8 drives instead of 4. Newegg has the LSI MegaRAID 9260-4i for ~$300.


Thank you again. I was reading the reviews for that one and came across this:

Quote:
Pros: Worked great in an older Core 2 Duo SLI system.

Cons: Upgraded system to i5-3570 + Z77 (SLI and Crossfire capable) motherboard running UEFI bios. It will not recognize this card. After contacting LSI, who confirms the incompatability, I conducted an exhaustive search through forums trying to find ANY Z77 based boards this card will work with and can find NONE.

This is NOT a raid controller to get for gaming enthusiasts since LSI refuses to support non-server motherboards.

Other Thoughts: Encountered this issue upgrading a friend's system for her. She really wants to be able to keep using this card so will have to return the motherboard and buy a new motherboard + CPU that is Sandy Bridge where there are a few motherboards that are compatible.


Made me wonder if it will work with my Z87 motherboard :??: 
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a b G Storage
August 4, 2013 12:02:19 AM

I have no idea. I have an LSI 9260-8i and it works fine with my EVGA SR-2 motherboard.
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May 19, 2014 9:23:22 PM

11285766,0,1361196 said:
Thunderbolt being mostly found on Macs, only natural that some of the external RAID enclosures only seem to be fully supported with the Mac OS.

For example, I was very interested in the WD Velociraptor Duo Thunderbolt, but while it supports use with PCs, it only works in JBOD mode and won't do RAID 0 until WD makes the drivers/software to allow it.

I now own the WD Velociraptor Duo Thunderbolt. It works with my Asus Motherboard Thunderbolt connection using Windows 8.1 to make a dynamic raid 0 pairing. It is 30% faster than a similar raid 0 pair using 600 GB Velociraptors and an Intel raid hardware card. To make it work, I used Western Digital's free download software "Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows". First I used the software to quickly write zeros to delete the Apple software on each disc. I don't know if it was necessary, but I then gave each disc a complete check with the software. After that I used Window's Disc Manager to form the raid pair.
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