Motherboard: Asus P5QPL-VM EPU
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 2.33Ghz 4MB 1333FSB CPU
Ram: Corsair 4096MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz
HDDS: 4x 1TB Seagate's On Raid 5
Purpose: NAS Server / FTP
O/S: Unknown but most likely server 2003 unless you guys suggest something else like FreeNAS but would freeNAS work with this hardware?
Using onboard network / GPU so there will be availability of a PCI SLOT / PCI-E 1x and / PCI-E 16x
Looking for raid controller recommendations up to $300. Thanks
Also Can I have a 5th Hard Drive plugged into the motherboard and use this for the OS and applications and just use the raid array as storage? is this possible? Also how much watts should i have on my power supply to handle either 4 or 5 HDDs? Thanks
I don't have too much raid experience, im in the same situation as you, I want to setup a raid 5 and I am searching for a good raid card. I've found this page, it describes a Dell PERC 5 & 6 raid card. Apparently they can be bought used/refurbished on ebay for around $100 and they preform as good as the $300+ raid cards, anyway check out this link
I'm looking to do a 4 disk Raid 5.
Also Can I have a 5th Hard Drive plugged into the motherboard and use this for the OS and applications and just use the raid array as storage? is this possible?
yes it is possible.
I'm looking to do a 4 disk Raid 5.
Also how much watts should i have on my power supply to handle either 4 or 5 HDDs? Thanks
For your current setup, I would probably use at least a 650watt psu to run 5 HDDs
I can't say for sure, it is designed for pcie x8 slot, which will fit into a pcie x16 slot and would just run at pcie x8 speeds. But I can't say for sure, on your motherboard the single pcie x16 slot maybe dedicated to video cards only.
Let me know what raid card you do decide on purchasing
For a cheap & good option I recommend the Dell PERC 6/i, which from what I understand are rebadged LSI cards meaning you can use LSI's MSM software to manage your card remotely. I have one in my home server (Intel X58 based board), and managed to get it off Ebay with a battery backup unit for around a quarter of the new price of any competing product (Adaptec, LSI, etc). Depending on your motherboard you may have to apply a "tape mod" to get it to work in your system, however this is dead easy and simply involves putting a piece of tape over a few pins on the PCIe interface. There are plenty of photo based instructions for this around the net.
Also Can I have a 5th Hard Drive
plugged into the motherboard and use this for the OS and applications and just use the raid array as storage? is this possible? Also how much watts should i have on my power supply to handle either 4 or 5 HDDs? Thanks
1. Yes, of course you can operate off of a non-RAID drive. But why would you want to? Your main operating drive and/or data drive vulnerable to crash? Makes no sense.
(1a. For Windows or Mac, always use separate partitions/separate drives, keeping your OS and apps on C: and everything else on other partition. RAID will not protect you from a system crash, corrupted data, etc.)
2. I'm running a tower with 3 HDs, 2 CD/DVDs, two floppies (yes.), and an assortment of USB devices (mostly with outside power). With not quite so much load, I burned out a 400W PS. I'm running a 750 now, which probably has a large margin of safety.
(3. I HIGHLY recommend a UPS as a part of your security system. Get a unit with a W rating [not VAh rating] of at least the capacity of your PS.)
4. I have no experience with the setup you're looking for, but I've used Highpoint 372A as a PCI card and on the mobo (IDE drives) for several years (LAN server) and have had absolutely no trouble--rock solid. I would recommend anything Highpoint.
I disagree with the power supply requirements a little, but its not really such a big deal. I'm running 6 7200 rpm 1-TB drives in a raid 5 with a 7th boot drive. I also have a Radeon 5750 and an i7-860 as a processor. I idle at a little over 110 watts and peak at about 250 watts. This is all measured with a battery backup. My power supply is a 530 watt Enermax model. Those huge power supplies are more for the SLI crowd than the RAID crowd. At 10-15 watts a piece your drives consume at most 75 watts. Mid range video cards use that much power.
Also, I like to have the OS not on the RAID. I just use a good backup strategy that stores an OS backup on the RAID.
Another thing to think about, why not save some $$ and use an integrated raid? Its not going to set a speed record, but is that what you really need? Streaming a few HD sources from a 5 disk array is no big deal these days. If this hardware is going to be used in a business where downtime and speed mean lost productivity, the the $300 is well spent. Put this $$ towards a good UPS, some larger drives, or towards an upgrade for your surround sound or something more rewarding. Integrated RAID works, yes some have had problems, but failed hardware can happen to anyone. Degraded performance is much worse with integrated solutions, but just wait a day for the array to rebuild and everything will be fine.