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Any affordable SATA II RAID 0 controller?

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May 13, 2009 10:06:25 PM

Hi guys, Im looking for a good and affordable RAID 0 SATA II controller. Price range is about US$70. I have two WD Cavier Black 500g drives and I want to put them in RAID 0. Im using Vista 64bit. If anyone can suggest a good controller, really appreciated it.
May 14, 2009 4:56:20 AM

Is this even a good product? I looked at the review from newegg and it was horrible.
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May 14, 2009 4:56:53 AM

if your motherboard supports raid0 already, you don't need to buy an extra controller. The most common integrated controllers are ICHR9/10 nowadays. Performance-wise, you won't see a difference for only two drives.
a c 127 G Storage
May 14, 2009 8:05:15 AM

ICH9 / ICH10 do not offer RAID functionality, you need the ICH9R / ICH10R chips for that. Intel is the only one who differentiates between this functionality. All other chipsets natively offer Onboard RAID functionality. You will need to enable it in the system BIOS by setting the SATA mode to "RAID" instead of "AHCI" or "IDE".

Never buy a PCI controller, that's a waste of your money and will be slower than a single disk in realistic scenarios.
a c 127 G Storage
May 14, 2009 8:06:34 AM

PCI-express is fine though, since its totally different from the shared-access model which PCI uses.
May 14, 2009 5:13:44 PM

Yea I know, my board doens't have RAID support, that's why I want to get a controller. So you're saying those $70 price range aren't bettter than those on board RAID such as those with ICH9R or 10R chipset?
May 15, 2009 3:12:09 AM

There are some cards using a SiI 3124 based card with pci-e bus, should be under $70.
a c 127 G Storage
May 15, 2009 8:27:09 AM

They should be around $20 and i wouldn't spend $70 on them since this is the price of a new motherboard with 6 onboard SATA. But generally you should not use the RAID drivers that come with either Silicon Image, Promise FastTrak and JMicron (JMB363). Although these are fine SATA controllers, the RAID drivers adding RAID functionality to these SATA controllers are of bad quality. Performance and reliability might be affected.

Intel RAID drivers are on top when comparing features, performance and reliability. Intel onboard RAID might be especially suitable to RAID0 setups because they offer optional write buffering support which uses your RAM as write-back buffer just like expensive hardware RAID controllers do with their onboard RAM. This is dangerous (crash or power issue can corrupt your filesystem) but if performance is of primary concern and you have proper backups this would be the prefered choice. Second choice would be using software RAID instead, but you cannot boot from a software RAID0 array. If you need to boot from it, you have to compromise.

If you care about reliability and have no good backup and no money to spend on this, you would be better off not using RAID at all IMO.
May 16, 2009 2:45:05 AM

sub mesa, Got you on the raid 0 software issues, I'm using the board as a JBOD controller with descrite ports. My mobo has 4 ports, and the silicon graphics cards adds 4 more internal ports. I'm using them in a WHS setup with 8 removable disk trays. I also use a docking station for simple backups I can take off-site. My next build with use a 6 port mobo, so I can bios raid 0 the boot disk and let WHS manage the rest. Cheers.
May 17, 2009 8:57:00 PM

So they dont sell any Intel raid controller separately?
a c 127 G Storage
May 18, 2009 12:21:21 PM

Nope. And not all intel-based chipset motherboards can do RAID either, since you need a ICHxR chipset, the "R" signifying RAID-support.

The problem quickly disappears when using any non-windows solution with software RAID, but if that is no option for you the Intel RAID engine probably offers superior performance.
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