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Best hardware RAID controller for my buck

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March 31, 2010 9:04:24 AM

What is the best hardware RAID controller for my buck?

I have a Tyan n3600b that has software NVRAID, the controller seems to keep losing its settings and I am constantly having to rebuild the array(raid 5).

I have read about the HTP RocketRaid 4320, but it is around $450 and I would like to avoid paying this much. I would really like a controller that is true hardware RAID.

I plan on buying 6 new drives that are around 500GB along with a couple 1TB drives for backup purposes. If I buy these 6 drives and setup a RAID 5 array on my NVRAID software, can I migrate the drives to a new controller or does it not work that way?
a b G Storage
March 31, 2010 1:24:46 PM

taylorjonl said:
What is the best hardware RAID controller for my buck?

I have a Tyan n3600b that has software NVRAID, the controller seems to keep losing its settings and I am constantly having to rebuild the array(raid 5).

I have read about the HTP RocketRaid 4320, but it is around $450 and I would like to avoid paying this much. I would really like a controller that is true hardware RAID.
A quality true hardware RAID card, and one with at least 6 ports, is not going to be inexpensive. The $400-$500 range is about right for the type of card you are looking for. Two companies and cards that are enterprise class and known to perform well are 3Ware and Areca. In addition to the HighPoint, I would take a look at the 3ware 9650SE-8LPML as well as the the Areca ARC-1220. All of these card are in the $450+/- range. I've used all three of these brands of cards in various builds and can recommend them. However, I've taken to 3Ware cards in-particular because I like their BIOS.

taylorjonl said:
I plan on buying 6 new drives that are around 500GB along with a couple 1TB drives for backup purposes. If I buy these 6 drives and setup a RAID 5 array on my NVRAID software, can I migrate the drives to a new controller or does it not work that way?
To clarify, you can migrate the data, as in copy the data to the new array and/or create an image and image the new array. However, you can not take the drives out of one array and then expect another brand of controller and RAID chipset to recognize the array and just start using it. Each controller/RAID chipset writes it's own unique config/parity on the array.

That's nice motherboard, btw! what are you using the computer/array for?
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March 31, 2010 11:01:05 PM

This is my personal PC. Here are the specs.

Dual Quad Cord CPUs
16gb RAM
ATI Radeon 4850 X2
30" Dell Monitor
3x250gb HDDs in RAID 5

I know it is overkill but I am a software engineer and can sometimes have a thousand things going on.

My main desire for a hardware RAID card is I would like to use CloneZilla to image my system but it states it doesn't support software raid, not sure if my NVRAID is considered software raid or just hardware-assisted raid. The OS install only sees the single drive so I think that CloneZilla may work with it.

With my system, would hardware raid work a lot better than a hardware-assisted raid card? Should I even go away from my motherboards built in raid?
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April 1, 2010 12:31:49 AM

the Dell Perc 5i / 6i are also a good cheap controller option.. support SAS and SATA disks

the main difference is the 6i is newer generation and supports RAID6 and has the cache onboard.

can be picked up on Ebay for about $160-180

depending on the seller and what the card came out of you may need to also get the PCI riser attachment so you can plug into a regular PCIe (x8) slot
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