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GA-EP35-DS3R Rev 2.1 - multiple raid arrays?

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July 16, 2008 6:22:44 AM

I have recently built a system using a GA-EP35-DS3R Rev 2.1 mainboard and I would like to know if it would supports a SATA OS disk, 2x RAID0, and 3x RAID5.

My Antec P182 case can hold 6x 3.5'' drives (and has eSata slot on back). It's a video-editing and light gaming machine. I want 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'll probably use an external USB drive to back up OS and RAID0 via imaging.

I am open to other configuration suggestions.

I'm thinking 1x 250gb OS drive, 2x 250gb RAID-0 for capture and games, and 3x 750GB RAID-5 for final and long-term storage. I might put temp path, profile, and swapfile onto RAID-0.

1- My motherboard (Gigabyte EP35-DS3R) has two RAID controllers. Is one preferable over the other for the raid-5 versus raid-0 sets?

2- Can I run multiple raid arrays off the more preferable one? I've read the ICH9R is the better raid controller of the two.

3- Any thoughts about where to locate temp path, profile, and swapfile?

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 this storage mix.

5- 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?

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.

I know very little about RAID (older computer has 2x160 in raid-0) so if I need read up on some concepts and strategies I'd be happy to.

Thank you all. This is my first post... I've found many other answers in these forums so I figure I'd give it a go.
July 19, 2008 5:23:25 AM

I've heard I can put two RAID arrays on the Intel controller. So now I would like to know, if I create a 3x 750GB RAID5 array would it allow me to add a fourth drive at some point in the future to expand the array size? Maybe that's called raid expansion?
July 31, 2008 4:09:27 AM

Gigabyte tells me raid5 cannot be expanded. They also tell me only one raid set per controller (1 on Intel and another on Giga's). They also told me if I have raid on intel I can boot off a non-raid drive by telling boot order which drive to boot from. I'd have to try that one to believe it. Anyone confirm or deny this?
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