advice: cheap, RELIABLE mobo that supports the 3Ware 9650SE

As I posted elsewhere in the MSI forum, I got screwed by buying an MSI mobo that doesn't support the 3ware 9650SE I bought at the same time.

Looking at vendor compat. lists it seems most of the boards supporting RAID cards are high end expensive server boards. My IDEAL is a non-expensive board that will be of the reasons I bought the stupid MSI POS is that it has solid caps.

Has anybody gotten a RAID card running on one of the new Gigabyte "Ultra Durable 2" boards? What I'm worried about is that it seems that, if a RAID controller is integrated on a bleeding-edge chipset, it is impossible to turn it off, as appears to be the case on the mobo I bought.

I'm not asking anybody to "spend some time" on this I'm just hoping someone has configured something along these lines and can tell me about it. I've built a couple machines in the past successfully and have never had to post to a messageboard like this to resolve what should be a non-issue. If a mobo has a slot labeled PCIe it should damn well work with any PCIe device, that's the point of having a bus standard. If the nforce 500 series won't work with certain cards they should say that in their online product descriptions.

BTW the MSI support person said it wasn't a 4X in 16X slot issue. He/she said it just won't work, period.
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  1. I have a Gigabyte K8NXP-SLI motherboard and the 8 port version of 3Ware's PCIe RAID card. The motherboard is an old socket 939 board. It is not on the list of supported motherboards but the only problem I had was that my video card (a 8800 GTX) was blasting too much heat onto the RAID card. I swapped them around and everything's fine.

    Note that I had to enable SLI mode which means my video card "only" runs at PCIe x8 instead of x16.

    My BIOS allows me to enable or disable any of the onboard RAID or SATA ports, though it's just software RAID really.

    I cannot guarantee that the RAID card will work in any other Gigabyte motherboard, of course, but only point out that it is working great in mine. And for the record, the 4X card should work for you in a 4X slot or a 16X slot. Just check to see that the slot isn't configured as 1X, as would be the case on my motherboard in "Normal" instead of SLI mode. I can't think of any other GOOD reason why the card would not work for you.
  2. Thanks. It seems a number of nForce4 boards are supported, according the the lists I mentioned. What I'm having trouble finding is any nForce 500 series (the nvidia AM2 successor to nforce4, apparently) board that supports external RAID, or for that matter, ANY AM2 chipset that will allow me to use the card.

    I'm curious, as configured, have you disabled the onboard RAID/SATA, even tho it really is just software? It shouldn't matter of course and it doesn't sound like you had to.
  3. I currently have the onboard raid disabled. When I first installed the card, I had the onboard SATA enabled but the software RAID function DISABLED.
  4. I got a reply from 3ware that the Asus M2N32-SLI deluxe and Gigabyte GA-M61P-S3 are known to work with the their 9650SE card. I'm probably going to try the cheaper Gigabyte. Hopefully even it is isn't part of the "Ultra Durable 2" line they've sorted out their problems with capacitors and I can count on the board not failing in a year or two.
  5. Good luck!

    Oh, and by the way, you'll want to grab the latest stable BIOS for the RAID card. It at least doubled my rebuild speed.
  6. Hey Yamla, Salmagundi.

    I have both the 9650SE 4ML and the M2N32 SLI Deluxe and my 9650SE is not recognized by the board. EVERYTHING ELSE on the board seems to work and just updated to the 2001 BIOS. Originally I had called 3 ware TS and the phone op stated that the board (which does have a dedicated 8x PCIe slot) may not be running true 8x. I have tried both the 8x and the 16x with different settings and still no go. I have had a M2N SLI Deluxe and 9650SE 8ML for over a year and they work fine.....

    Any suggestions or links??

    Can anyone help???

    PLease let me know

    Thanks in advance....
  7. This is a very old post, but I just recently picked up a 9650SE 4ML and have tried 3 motherboards, but have yet to get the card to work. I am able to see the Card and Bios of the Card at boot, but it will not detect any of my hard drives, I have 4 1.5TB Black WD disk. I also updated the firmware of the card to the latest and still nothing. I ordered a new Multilane cable and still not seeing any disk :fou:

    Motherboards I've tried the card in :
    M2N3-SLIP Deluxe
    BioStar TForce 550 (nforce 550 chipset)
    gigabyte MA785GM-US2h
  8. I'm hoping to find a low power mobo to get my 9650SE-4ML to run on as well.

    So far I've tried an ASRock H55M-LE and it didn't work. The card is detected and it shows the attached drives correctly (1TB Hitachi) but it gives me the error ""Insufficient PMM RAM to load controller software."

    I updated the mobo BIOS but that didn't make a difference. I'd really like to find a compatible mobo that isn't a big expensive power hungry board for a low power server.
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