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running raid 5 with 4 drives?

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February 16, 2006 9:00:43 PM

these are my specs,
asus a8n32-sli delux
amd 4200 x2
evga 7800gt
OCZ platinum pc 4800 1 gig (512 x 2)
antec 550 true power 2.0
nice aspire server case
4 western digital raptors (36 giggers)

My question, or more like a request is... i just got the second set of raptors, im very good at setting up a raid 0 with 2 drives. this 4 drives is killing me. i have no clue as how to set up 4 drives... im lost. i would like to run all four like raio 0. can i do it or am i misunderstanding something, and what would be my best choice??
this is the first time i considered sata 5 or raid 5 (not clear what its called)

any thoughts or suggestions would be great !!! thanks in advance !!
o and im mainly into gamming, but do alot of other stuff to, i dont do edditing or codeing, or any of the other things you guys talk about (sounds foregn to me....lol)

More about : running raid drives

February 17, 2006 2:48:54 AM

If your controller suports it, you would just delete the existing array and then create a new RAID 0 array, but add 4 drives instead of 2.

Of course if one drive fails you lose everything and 4 drives dramatically increase the chances of at least one failing.

Raid 5 wouldn't have that problem. Many NF4 MBs have a Silicon Image 3114 SATA controller which can be updated to support RAID 5.

Another post has a link to a benchmarks and other info on using the Sil3114 for RAID 5.
February 17, 2006 3:08:10 AM

thank you!! so if i am hearing you correctly, i can run the 4 in raid 0. making a total of 140 gigs or so? if so that rocks! im not worryied about drive falure, theres raptors are built like a tank, and like i said i mainly game, so a replacement and format is ok.
as to the controler.... im not sure what kind it is. its with the board, but i dont know if its software. etc... anyone know how i can find out. and do i really need to buy a raid controller card. asus a8n32-sli delux
i origannally had a 3700 sandiego core, and when my raid would think the cpu would max out, causeing lagg in game play. i replaced with this x2.
o and for some crazy reason asus made this board with 2 silicon plugs, and one is on the outside in the back????? what were they thinking, so i have to use the nvidia raid ports.
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February 17, 2006 3:39:47 AM

You wouldn't max a PII 400 out on a 4 drive raid 5, I had a 7 drive array with 18gig 10,000 rpm scsi drives and it used all of 25% cpu, with a crappy adaptec raid array 1000!! No harm in an X2 though :) 

The board uses a 3114r controller, do a google search on it for raid 5 drivers if you want to go that route, won't be as fast as a raid 0 but it will be faster than a mirror of two drives or a single drive plus it's redundant. Read the asus manual and it will tell you how to setup the raid 0 config. Turn off the NVRAID though! And use the 4 sata connectors that say raid on them, the others are the NVRAID ones.

Oh yeah, forgot, if you want I believe that chip will allow a raid 0+1, two drives mirrored, twice, then striped (raid 0), faster than raid 5 and redundant, but only half the space.
February 17, 2006 3:56:53 AM

ok, heres a picture of my board.

http://img45.imageshack.us/img45/8809/mb9pz.jpg

so i connect the 4 cables into the black plugs, and enable the silicon driver??? thought the black plugs were the nvidia ones??? now im really confused.... but would explain the maxxing of my cpu.
i cannot use the red plugs as there is only 2 and one is external.? the book or cd manual is not clear in this area.
February 17, 2006 4:08:25 AM

My bad, I was looking at the a8n-sli deluxe. You'll have to use the NVRAID utility for it, hit the bios, enable NVRAID and enable all four channels, then reboot and hit whatever hot key it says to use to enter NVRAID utility and make the stripe. Make a bootable floppy of the NVRAID drivers from your asus cd and boot your xp cd, hitting f6 to put in the drivers, select BOTH of them then continue the install, after hitting f8 you should see the whole deal as one drive.
February 17, 2006 4:21:55 AM

thanks, sounds exactly the same as if only running two. excelent !!! :lol: 
but back to the controler, now that we know its nvidia, is that a software controller?? cause ive read you dont want to use a software one, taxes the cpu like it did with the 3700. so if i understand and this is correct, then ill have to go buy a pci raid controler???? thanks again, dont want to be a pest, just got alot of money invested, and i cant get it to work right.
i already had to rma the board, asus told me to, said shouldnt tax cpu so much... blamed on a faulty south bridge.
February 17, 2006 4:58:29 AM

NVRAID is a combo, hardware software solution. Nvidia has some detailed info on their site, gotta hunt for it though. I like it better than the sil raid but I've never compared the two directly. I've run plenty of both and have never had a cpu taxation issue, the machine I'm on right now only has an XP 2600, 1 gig ram, and 4 250's in a raid 0-1 and when I'm copying files from other HD's, dvd's or my gigabit network, the cpu hardly strains, 5-10% at most and I'm usually doing something else at the time. I have an intel pro 1000 that offloads the network load other wise the cpu usage would go a bit higher.

Unless you do a large raid 5 or 6 array you shouldn't need an addon controller, and even then unless you spend a couple hundred on a 3ware or something like that, it's just the same sil type chip on a pci board, no real benefit. I do have an 8 port sonnet tempo-x hot swap card, it's got a marvel chip that offloads a lot of work from the cpu's, rocket raid products are also good but I've had issues with some of their drivers.

Mind you, none of these sata solutions are on the same level as scsi raid solutions, 3ware is the only company that comes close to making comparable products in my optinion. But then again they cost 5 times more!
February 17, 2006 5:35:58 AM

well i have to thank all that got involved, it REALLY helped me out. you guys are aces !!!!
February 19, 2006 2:13:44 PM

There are really no in between solutions or "combo's". Handling the RAID computations is a one man job, either the card does or the CPU does it, there is no way for them to improve performance by sharing the work.

NVRAID like all integrated and cheap addon RAID controller, is considered to be a "software" solution. All the RAID computations are performed on the system CPU using system memory its considered software RAID.

"Hardware" RAID is implemented on card featuring 128+ MB of DDR memory and a processor powerful enough to require a decent sized passive heatsink, hence the high price.

True the software RAID controllers do handle the setup and configuration and other light housekeeping chores, but they don't (and can't) do any of the heavy lifting.

---
Anyway the New SLI x16 Southbridge supports RAID 5! And THG did some benchmarks in the Dual Graphics Platforms, Part II article!

http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/12/15/dual_graphics_pl...
March 19, 2006 3:41:36 AM

Once again i want to thank you guys. I finally got up and running and with the four raptors in raid 0 it is simply amazing. I get a 194 sis sandra score in the hard drive bench mark, where with two raptors i was getting a mear 90.
But now my concern is i just got a second set of OCZ platinum eliet pc4800.... (sorry this is probably the wrong place to post this and if so yell at me and ill move) but now i lost the abillity to run T1.... is this common, and what can i do about it? Im currently looking at the new XMS cosaire mem pc4400, but its 310$. The system runs great with the four sticks, but my sis sandra memory benchmark has fallen from 6100+ to 5400. I cannot see a differance in gamming or every day use, but i no longer have bragging rights over my buddies Intel system.... Im wondering if there is anything I can do to bring it back up, instead of spending the 310$... I already got over $400 in the 4 sticks i currently have. O and with the 4 sticks all i can reach is 500 fsb, anything more and she crashes.
Thanks, and sorry if in wrong place!
March 19, 2006 4:02:07 AM

if you are using for stick of ram then you cant use the 1T (or was it T1) command rate.
November 18, 2006 3:30:43 AM

Hi
I am also very iterested in upgrading to RAID 5.
I have 3 SATA drives, but one is 50% full. Can I still stripe all the drives for RAID without formatting the full drive?
This can save tons of time.
BTW- Using the Asus P5B-E P965
!