Question about RAID

Ok, so I plan on running a 128 GB Corsair SSD as primary drive (OS, games, Apps) and 2 WD caviar black 640 GB in RAID 0.

I heard on this board, if you want to RAID, all your drives have to be same exact thing because you have to RAID, all your harddrives have to RAID. You can't have the SSD not RAID, and the WD caviars RAID.

Also, for this board and those drives, do I have to buy a RAID controller, or does my board have one.

Oh yes I forgot to add, I have a 750 GB external USB hardrive I use to store TV shows and movies, wondering if all this is compatible/good idea
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More about question raid
  1. and the mobo is?
  2. If your onboard chipset-powered RAID controller does not allow non-RAID disks you can always use single-disk JBOD arrays to use them as single disks. Some BIOS allow setting RAID mode per SATA port.

    Also, if you haven't yet bought the SSD, can i suggest you take Intel X25-M 80GB G2 instead? Its really the fastest SSD at this moment and unsurpassed in performance.
  3. Whether or not your mobo has RAID control built into its chipset should be clear from the mobo's manual or the manufacturer's webite. If you have this feature, look around and make sure you have the full manual for RAID setup and use (often a separate document, not in the main mobo manual). Most built-in RAID systems I've seen have four steps to setting up a RAID array. First, in BIOS Setup you select a mode for how the SATA port is operated, and one option is RAID. Then when you boot, one screen offers the option to enter the RAID Setup utility. Within that, you specify which disk units are to be used in the RAID array. Any you do NOT specify will NOT be part of any RAID array. Note that ONLY the disks you specify for the RAID array need to be matched; the others not in RAID can be anything. Third step is actually to create the RAID array from the devices you specified, then exit out. Last step will be to install the necessary RAID drivers in Windows.

    Sounds like you are building a rig. When and how to install RAID drivers in Windows depends on how you will use the RAID array. If it will be your "boot drive" (C: ), you must install the drivers as part of the Windows Install process. If the array will be used only for data storage, you can Install Windows to a non-RAID drive and, after it is running, install the RAID drivers to enable use of this type of "Disk". All the details are in the RAID manual or mobo manual, so make sure you get both and read them.
  4. So sorry, forgot to mention what board it was, and I have been very busy lately.

    Here it is.

    ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
  5. Best answer
    The ASUS website page for your mobo here

    clearly says it has RAID support built into the 6 main SATA ports so you do NOT need to buy a separate add-on RAID board unless you need special features or ultimate performance.

    You do NOT have to use ALL your storage devices in RAID arrays. To be more precise, IF you want to use RAID at all on some of your SATA devices, you actually end up setting the entire SATA port control system to RAID. After that when you boot up, one of the screen prompts you will see during the boot process will tell you to press certain keys (CTRL-I, I believe) to enter the RAID utility menu - this is covered in the mobo manual, Section 4. Within that system you can Create one or more RAID arrays. For each one created you then assign specific SATA storage devices as parts of that array. Then you specify required parameters for the array and finally finish the creation process. By default, NO device is assigned to any RAID array - only the ones you specify here will actually be used as RAID components.

    IF you plan to install your OS to the RAID array and boot from that array, then you have to install RAID drivers as an early step in the OS installation process. The manual covers clearly how to create and use a floppy disk (necessary if the OS you're installing is Win XP) or a USB drive (option available if you're installing Vista or Win 7) that contains such drivers. However, if your RAID array will only be used for data storage, and the boot device is NOT part of a RAID array, the driver installation does NOT have to be part of OS installation. The RAID drivers can be installed into Windows AFTER it is installed and operating, to allow it to access the RAID array created with the BIOS RAID utility.

    So in your case I believe you would install the SSD drive and both WD Black HDD's and set the BIOS SATA Storage configuration (Main Menu manual Section 3.3, then Storage Configuration Section 3.3.6) to RAID. Then from the BIOS opening screen choose Boot Menu Section 3.7 to set the Boot Device Priority. My recommendation is you set the optical drive as your first choice here, the SSD drive as second, and no other options. You would Save and Exit from BIOS Setup and watch for the prompt to hit CTRL-I to enter the RAID utility. Set up and create your RAID0 array by assigning to it only the two WD Black disks and configuring them. Finish this and go back out to reboot the machine with your Windows Install Disk in the optical drive. It should boot from that optical drive and the Install process early on should ask whether you want to install extra drivers by pushing the F6 key. I don't believe you do (if you do not plan to boot from the RAID0 array) so you just proceed past this to where Install shows you the devices available for installation of Windows. I expect only the SSD drive will show here and you use that.

    AFTER windows is installed and running you can use the optical disk of utilities that comes with that mobo to install all the necessary mobo device drivers and update them fully from the ASUS website. As part of that process, you also will need to install the RAID drivers. Until that step is done (and a reboot) you will not see the RAID0 array anywhere within Windows; after they are installed the array will show up in My Computer as a "normal" disk for data uses.
  6. Best answer selected by stopthe_bomb.
  7. Thanks for the answer, sorry I forgot to select best =[
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