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Multiple raid arrays?

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July 17, 2008 7:23:31 AM

I have recently built a system using a GA-EP35-DS3R Rev 2.1 mainboard and want to know if it would support a configuration of 1x SATA2 drive for OS, 2x 320GB SATA2 RAID0 (video capture and games), and 3x 750GB SATA2 RAID5 (shared data).

1- Will this motherboard allow me to run both raid arrays?

2- Which RAID controller (Intel or Giga) is preferable for the raid-5 array? For the raid-0 array?

3- Can I run both raid arrays off one controller? I've read the ICH9R is the better raid controller of the two.

4- How do I get from where I am now to a Raid5? I have 2x 750 GB drives in my system currently, 1 with data and the other a backup for it (and misc junk on each), so I can trash one while building my array. Do I need to buy two more drives and use an existing one to build my 3x raid5?
If yes then I'll have an additional 750gb drive to throw into the storage mix.

5- Any thoughts about where to locate temp path, profile, and swapfile? Raid-0 array?

6- I am aware that XP 32-bit (which is what I'm running, SP2) has a 2TB limit, so if I build a 4x750GB RAID-5 array I'll need to make at least 2 partitions, right? Does performance suffer when writing to different partitions within an array like it does when writing to different partitions of a single drive?

7- I'd value your input on storage options. It's a video-editing and light gaming machine. I plan to capture to RAID0 array and save final cuts to RAID5 array, which I want to contain all my data which I share on my home network. I may use an external USB or eSata driveto back up OS and RAID0 via imaging. I am ok with going to a NAS device using matrix, raid-5 or other storage array. I am ok with converting an internal drive bay or two from 5.25 to 3.5. I am ok with looking at an eSata option. I am just not familiar with good solutions.

My Antec P182 case can hold 6x 3.5'' drives (plus the motherboard's eSata slot on back).

Thank you for any help you can provide!

-Drew

More about : multiple raid arrays

July 17, 2008 10:51:22 PM

1. Yes it will
2. The Intel would be better, the gigabyte doesnt support enough ports to have the RAID5 on it (nor will the controller configure RAID5) however, you should be able to run the RAID-0 on it and RAID-5 on the other. Although i would use the Intel for both.
3. Yes but only if its the intel one.
4. You will need 3 drives at least (clean formatted drives) to build the array in the first place so youll need another 750 by the sounds of it. I dont know if the Intel controller supports expansion or not (converting 3x750 raid5 into 4x750)
5. If you want to be anal about it you would create a small partition at the start of the RAID-0 and then the second partition for the OS install then local the temp and pagefile on the smaller first partition, however, i wouldnt worry about it. Id just make the RAID-0 one partition.
6. Someone correct me if im wrong however, 750gb drives are ~698gb usage space. Therefore a 4x750 RAID-5 would be ~2.1tb so you wont loose all that much space with a MBR + NTFS disk anyways. It usually depends on the controller as to wether it will suffer in performance, being onboard with no cache available i would say it will suffer a little on the second partition.
7. It really depends on your funding for this, if you have the money personally i would get a dedicated controller (something like an Adaptec 5xxx series) and then use an external drive or NAS to backup. But if your on a tight budget you are on the right track.
July 17, 2008 11:55:41 PM

Chookman, I can't tell you how much this helps me. Do you have any links to performance reports of raid cards versus onboard raid? I've had a hard time finding reviews to show the difference.

I've never had raid5 before (absolutely love the improvement from raid0 in my other pc) so I don't know what kind of hit it will be going with onboard versus a card.
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a b G Storage
July 18, 2008 6:16:52 AM

I know with the intel software you can migrate from jbod to either raid 1 or raid 0. While i've never tried raid 5 i don't see why it wouldn't work. But look into the intel matrix storage manager.
July 31, 2008 4:07:43 AM

Gigabyte tells me I can boot with a non-Raid OS disk if the Intel SATA ports are configured as RAID in BIOS, and to just tell the boot manager which drive to boot from. We'll see. They also said RAID5 is non-expandable, i.e. I cannot add another drive once it's set up.

Anyone help with links to performance reports of raid cards versus onboard raid?

How about raid5 versus raid0? I'm now thinking two 2x750GB raid0 sets, one to be a backup of the other, instead of one 3x250GB raid5.
a b G Storage
July 31, 2008 5:25:46 AM

RAID 10 (1+0) should be faster than RAID 5, with less CPU overhead.
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