hey guys i need help picking out a raid card. I have 4, 1 tb hard drives that i will be using to setup a raid 5. my mobo will only support pci not pci-x. the price range that i am looking to spend is around 200-300. Ideally I would like reliability, storage, then performance. the hard drive that i will be using are 2 x 1tb western digital "black and green" and 2 x 1tb samsungs. "they all have identical specs". please if some one can help me out because i am really new to the raid stuff but i understand how beneficial it can be.
If you are looking for raid 5 and your priorities (in order) are reliability, storage then performance, you may want to just skip out on the raid card go with a new file system called ZFS. If you need this to be on windows, then don't bother, but if you don't mind Linux or another OS read my reply here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/258741-32-does-this
well pci or pci express doesnt matter my board supports both. i also realize that they are not designed raid hard drives but i do not have that much to buy specific drive. furthermore i want to stick with windows 7. thank for the suggestions plz keep them coming.
There's a significant performance difference between PCI and PCI Express RAID controllers. If performance matters, the 3ware 9650SE-4LPML should be a good buy (a bit over your budget). Their latest drivers (9.5.3) support Windows 7. For better performance in RAID 5, add the optional 3ware BBU-MODULE-03 Battery Backup Unit (BBU). Another similarly priced controller is the MegaRAID SAS 9260-4i. A BBU also is available for this controller. I presume that your motherboard has a free PCIe x4 or faster slot.
It allows for write caching and that can provide a significant performance boost. Write caching requires BBU just in case of a power outage during a write operation; without it you'd lose data. If most of your I/O is reading back from the RAID, then it isn't worth it.