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I want to know what hardware is necessary for a typical RAID 10 configuration

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  • NAS / RAID
  • Configuration
  • Storage
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a b G Storage
March 13, 2014 5:09:01 PM

I have a desktop PC that I finished building several months back that I want to incorporate RAID 10 into. In my "signature at the bottom of this post you can see my configuration. One thing in particular that I want to know is, "Do I need a RAID controller with an i7-4770k processor?" I read that the 4770k is RAID 10 compatible, but I do not know if that means that I do not need a RAID controller or not. I know that 4 drives are the minimum for RAID 10, but I know little more about the hardware requirements. I am fully aware what RAID 10's function is, but I have never set up RAID before and would greatly appreciate the input of someone who has had experience with RAID, particularly RAID 10. Thanks ya'll!

More about : hardware typical raid configuration

a b G Storage
March 13, 2014 5:16:04 PM

The RAID chip is on the motherboard, not so much the processor.

I don't think that board supports RAID, you'll need a RAID card
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a c 133 G Storage
March 13, 2014 5:24:05 PM

Actually, that board does support RAID. It's part of the chipset. 0, 1, 5, or 10.

You'd need to have all the drives plugged into the Intel (blue) SATA ports, set the SATA mode to RAID in the BIOS, then open the RAID config from there. It should be fairly obvious. Just make sure you don't have any data you need on the drives, and probably unplug all but the ones you intend to use for RAID. You don't want to wipe the wrong drive by accident.

EDIT: Ninja'd.
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a b G Storage
March 13, 2014 5:26:49 PM

Alec Mowat said:
The RAID chip is on the motherboard, not so much the processor.

I don't think that board supports RAID, you'll need a RAID card


This sounds funny, but treat me like I'm a RAID idiot. LOL One thing to take into consideration......I truly do not care how much it costs, I want the best. I'm not rich, but if it's worth doing, it's worth buying the best. That said, what would be the absolute best, fastest, most reliable hardware configuration for setting up RAID 10. Before I do set it up, I will also be buying a Corsair 900d case, so I will have tons of room internally. If it is an internal setup it will be PCI of course, externally I will probably go with Thunderbolt. Should I go internally or externally? What is a solid RAID controller that you would recommend? When setting up RAID 10, does the system actually run off of the 4 hard disks in the RAID configuration or are they used for backup storage only and require a primary hard drive to run? These are some of the main questions that I have.

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a b G Storage
March 13, 2014 5:31:59 PM

Oh, it does. Didn't see that.

There's two SATA controllers, the 6 Port INTEL branded one contains the RAID controller, you'll need 4 matching drives. Pref WD RED, or 4 RAID compatible SSD's

You'll have to enable the RAID in the controller, than set up the disks as RAID 1-0, then install Windows to the new RAID.

Sometimes you need to install the RAID driver in the Windows setup, but that was not an issue in mycase.
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a b G Storage
March 13, 2014 5:34:17 PM

dustinhunt78 said:
And the DZ87KLT-75k does support RAID 10. Here is the documentation:
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=w...

Do I still need or would I benefit from still having a RAID controller?


For performance, the onboard RAID controller isn't that great. I actually get better performance (almost double) from two drives in a Windows software RAID than I did on my onboard hardware RAID.

A RAID controller has a dedicated processor and will max the output of the PCIe slot it's connected too. In this situation, you may need to install the driver if you want to install Windows onto the RAID controller disks.

Mind you.... a good RAID card isn't cheap.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
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a b G Storage
March 13, 2014 5:40:33 PM

Alec Mowat said:
dustinhunt78 said:
And the DZ87KLT-75k does support RAID 10. Here is the documentation:
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=w...

Do I still need or would I benefit from still having a RAID controller?


For performance, the onboard RAID controller isn't that great. I actually get better performance (almost double) from two drives in a Windows software RAID than I did on my onboard hardware RAID.

A RAID controller has a dedicated processor and will max the output of the PCIe slot it's connected too. In this situation, you may need to install the driver if you want to install Windows onto the RAID controller disks.

Mind you.... a good RAID card isn't cheap.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...


I have noticed that a good RAID controller isn't cheap. The one you have listed here is an 8 port controller. I should only need a 4 port controller for RAID 10, correct? I have noticed that there is a direct correlation to number of ports and price. Could you (or anyone else) recommend a 4 port (if 4 ports is indeed what I need for RAID 10) controller that is near the top of the line?

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a b G Storage
March 13, 2014 5:42:44 PM

Thank you everyone. If anyone has any recommendation for top of the line or very near top of the line components I would be very grateful to hear them. I have studied this for some time, but much of what I know isn't that helpful because I am (or at least was before the posts here) very ignorant to what I actually need in terms of hardware to make up a good RAID system.
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a b G Storage
March 13, 2014 5:45:26 PM

dustinhunt78 said:
This sounds funny, but treat me like I'm a RAID idiot. LOL One thing to take into consideration......I truly do not care how much it costs, I want the best. I'm not rich, but if it's worth doing, it's worth buying the best. That said, what would be the absolute best, fastest, most reliable hardware configuration for setting up RAID 10. Before I do set it up, I will also be buying a Corsair 900d case, so I will have tons of room internally. If it is an internal setup it will be PCI of course, externally I will probably go with Thunderbolt. Should I go internally or externally? What is a solid RAID controller that you would recommend? When setting up RAID 10, does the system actually run off of the 4 hard disks in the RAID configuration or are they used for backup storage only and require a primary hard drive to run? These are some of the main questions that I have.



That's a lot of questions.

That said, what would be the absolute best, fastest, most reliable hardware configuration for setting up RAID 10

A dedicated PCI Express x16 RAID card will give the best performance, if you want operating system performance.

Should I go internally or externally?

If you want to go External, you could only do a storage drive and not an OS installation.

In this situation, I would actually recommend a 2 port NIC card and a NAS, like a QNAP TS-419P
http://www.qnap.com/en/?sn=822&c=1655&sc=1656&t=1660&n=...

Directly connected both Network ports on the QNAP to the NIC on the system and set them to Teamed, that should give you 2x 1GB transfer speeds and a reliable, fast dedicated RAID-10.
The limiting factor for speed in this situation is the speed of the drives.

What is a solid RAID controller that you would recommend

I don't generally work with purchased RAID controllers. Depending on the situation, I'd actually recommend a storage server with a built in RAID card. It's easier to monitor and manage.
But Tom's has reviewed them in the past; http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sas-6gb-raid-contro...

When setting up RAID 10, does the system actually run off of the 4 hard disks in the RAID configuration or are they used for backup storage only and require a primary hard drive to run?


yes, it reads and writes to all four disks simultaneously
RAID 10 is for redundancy. You can drop two drives and maintain the structure.
The RAID5 with 4 drives would give you more available disk space but only allow for 1 disk failure.

Just to expand to the first part; you can install Windows on the RAID, if you are using the on board RAID controller.
If you are using a RAID card, you may need to install the RAID driver during the Windows installation first.
If you are using a NAS, you'll need to install Windows on the local system drive, than add the NAS.
If you just want it for storage, you can leave it as storage.

You can also use an SSD as a cache drive in some RAID controllers, which will boost read/write performance.
Share
March 13, 2014 5:48:25 PM

Why are you looking at RAID 10? RAID 5, only requires 3 drives, it stripes and has parity for backup. You'd get good performance from this setup. I'd use the RAID built onto the motherboard, and see how it run, before shelling out money on an additional card. Just make sure you have up to date drivers, BIOS, and firmware from Intel.
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a c 133 G Storage
March 13, 2014 5:52:33 PM

The other thing I'd suggest considering is an SSD - far better performance than any RAID setup.

Then have a pair of drives in RAID 1 for storage, and possibly keep an image of the SSD there.
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a b G Storage
March 13, 2014 5:55:22 PM

Thank you so much. Having learned what I have learned, I think that I will go with the internal method so that I can run OS on it. That should give better performance due to RAID 0 part of RAID 10. And if I am correct, a 4 port PCI-e x16 controller is what I am looking for. I already
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a b G Storage
March 13, 2014 5:59:58 PM

Freakboi_pa said:
Why are you looking at RAID 10? RAID 5, only requires 3 drives, it stripes and has parity for backup. You'd get good performance from this setup. I'd use the RAID built onto the motherboard, and see how it run, before shelling out money on an additional card. Just make sure you have up to date drivers, BIOS, and firmware from Intel.


So how does RAID 5 compare/contrast to RAID 10? I assume that RAID 5 offers better performance, but RAID 10 offers better redundancy and protection. If you would be so kind, what is the determining factor in your preference to RAID 5 over RAID 10?
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a b G Storage
March 13, 2014 6:01:38 PM

dustinhunt78 said:
Thank you so much. Having learned what I have learned, I think that I will go with the internal method so that I can run OS on it. That should give better performance due to RAID 0 part of RAID 10. And if I am correct, a 4 port PCI-e x16 controller is what I am looking for. I already


Just check the speeds on the RAID controllers. Some only perform at 6 Gbp/s, which is the same speed as normal HD. You want something that's 12.
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a c 133 G Storage
March 13, 2014 6:30:36 PM

What? 6Gb/s is the fastest SATA currently available. Unless you're running SAS drives, which are pricey.

Normal HDDs can't even max out a 1.5Gb/s SATA port.
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a b G Storage
March 13, 2014 6:37:46 PM

Someone Somewhere said:
What? 6Gb/s is the fastest SATA currently available. Unless you're running SAS drives, which are pricey.

Normal HDDs can't even max out a 1.5Gb/s SATA port.


In one of the posts up above someone recommended 12gb/s raid controller with 12gb/s ssd's. I thought that sounded a bit odd, as I already have a Samsung 840 Pro that is rated at the top of SSD's, and it's only 6gb/s. Seeing as that I am far more than satisfied with the Samsung 840 Pro, I think that I should stick to the 6gb/s RAID configuration to avoid what I see as a possible headache. LOL

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a c 133 G Storage
March 13, 2014 6:42:26 PM

Any RAID is a step down from the 840Pro...

Personally, I think the time for RAID has passed for everything but servers.
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a b G Storage
March 13, 2014 6:44:31 PM

Someone Somewhere said:
Any RAID is a step down from the 840Pro...

Personally, I think the time for RAID has passed for everything but servers.


Suppose you run your system on the 840 Pro, but have an external RAID solution simply for the purpose of redundancy?
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a c 133 G Storage
March 13, 2014 6:59:55 PM

Then I'd suggest just using RAID1, because external stuff tends to be limited by the interface. And there's not a lot of random access on most external drives.
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a b G Storage
March 13, 2014 7:09:56 PM

Someone Somewhere said:
Then I'd suggest just using RAID1, because external stuff tends to be limited by the interface. And there's not a lot of random access on most external drives.


If I went with the internal method and just used the RAID controller built in to my DZ87KLT-75k motherboard I could more than likely come out looking pretty good. All that I would actually need to buy is another 840 Pro SSD that way. I'm very happy with the overall speed of my system anyway. The 840 Pro is absolutely amazing! While more speed would be nice (it always is), my primary reason for wanting to set up a RAID configuration is for redundancy. Does that sound like a good idea to you?
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a c 133 G Storage
March 13, 2014 7:14:33 PM

Yup. A second 840Pro in RAID1 will give you the same speeds you have currently, but you can have a drive failure and still be fine.
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March 13, 2014 7:17:39 PM

If it were me, I'd set the 840's up as RAID 0 for speed, running only my OS and some programs on it. Storage would be on standard magnetic drives, with back up's done every month or so, depending on how much the data changes.
I use my 3 SSD's for OS, programs, and SOME games. Steam is just to large for SSD's at this time.
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a b G Storage
March 13, 2014 7:18:01 PM

Thanks....wish I could award two people with the "Solution". Both of you gave valuable intel. :) 
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March 13, 2014 7:24:18 PM

The other thing is.... Just because you run a redundant RAID setup, doesn't mean you shouldn't do other back ups. Always keep a backup of your important data. External Hard drives that are disconnected from the system and only used for backup purposes, a NAS, or an online service <Carbonite>. If a nasty virus hits a RAID 1, 5, or 10, it will won't matter. The data is toasted.
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a c 133 G Storage
March 13, 2014 7:32:22 PM

Yup. If you get something like Bitcrypt, you want it offline - I'm not sure, but I think I read somewhere that it can even attack SMB drives.

RAID 0 on SSDs is a big no-no, IMO. The speed increase isn't major (a good SSD won't be your bottleneck in anything), and you're doubling your chances of it failing.
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March 13, 2014 7:39:10 PM

currently the main bottleneck of the SSD is the port. If you want better speed, do a PCIe based drive. RevoDrive's aren't badly priced, but the Intel 910's have up to 2GBps speeds.
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a b G Storage
March 13, 2014 8:02:22 PM

I've actually been looking at pci-e ssd's. Found a 10.24TB PCI-e SSD for a cool $124,000.00. I sh*t you not. LOL My house AND my car don't run in to that kind of money! But there are some reasonable prices out there as well. This is what I would go with should I ever take the plunge:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0058RECOU/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_n...
Doesn't get much better when it comes to performance vs. cost.
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March 13, 2014 8:26:20 PM

I was looking at that drive on newegg, before I bought my Samsung 840, but I am not too big of a fan of OCZ anymore. I had 1 of their SSD's fail 2 months after buying it. I did get a replacement, but I had already bought my Samsung by then. So I use the OCZ for some games <Guild Wars 2, DC Universe> and I use my Samsung as boot.
I don't need a ton of SSD storage, my other magnetic drives are fast enough at the standard 6Gbps SATA speeds, and with a total of 10+ TB of storage, I don't need anymore large drives. The ONLY good point to that drive is the speed is awesome, but not at that price. a 240GB would be fine, but once again, I am not a fan of OCZ.
Newegg has other brands coming on the market, but only the Intel have the speed that matches. Most of the other drives are hovering around 800 - 900 MBps.
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a b G Storage
March 13, 2014 9:11:58 PM

dustinhunt78 said:
I've actually been looking at pci-e ssd's. Found a 10.24TB PCI-e SSD for a cool $124,000.00. I sh*t you not. LOL My house AND my car don't run in to that kind of money! But there are some reasonable prices out there as well. This is what I would go with should I ever take the plunge:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0058RECOU/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_n...
Doesn't get much better when it comes to performance vs. cost.


It's not fast enough to justify the extra cost.

"Thing is, the Samsung 830 Series actually scores better in a few DriveBench 2.0 metrics, and it's very nearly as fast in that test overall. The RevoDrive simply doesn't provide an appreciable performance advantage over the best 2.5" SSDs in typical desktop tasks. Neither games nor Windows loads substantially quicker on the PCIe SSD, and even when the Revo is in a fresh state, its file copy speeds are nothing to write home about. Those results shouldn't be affected by the lack of TRIM at all."

http://techreport.com/review/22663/ocz-revodrive-3-x2-2...

It being PCIe x1 was a bad sign.
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