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GA-EP35-DS3R motherboard RAID 5, help?

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June 5, 2009 6:01:23 PM

I'm thinking about making a RAID 5 or 6, I were first looking for a raid controler when I remembered my motherboard got a raid setup. was thinking of putting 6x 1tb or 1.5tb HDD*s in the SATA-RAID'able connections, and then have windows on one of the 2 other HDD's that are left over.

my motherboard is a GA-EP35-DS3R. and I have been reading the manual and such, should be possible but would like to hear from others with the same motherboard or experiance with motherboard RAID 5's. problems and what I should look for of trouble.
a c 233 V Motherboard
June 5, 2009 8:04:16 PM

You'll connect 6 hard disks to the ICH9R in RAID 5 or RAID 10 (RAID 6 is not supported) and then use another hard disk connected to the Gigabyte SATA controller for the OS. That should work, but will you also connect a SATA DVD-ROM to that system (you have 8 SATA ports and 2 IDE ports)? There's not much to worry about, but you should be careful with your hard disk selection.

What OS will you run? Vista or Windows Server 2008?
June 5, 2009 8:25:40 PM

atm I will be running windows XP pro until windows 7 comes out. I know that windows XP do not support boot on HDDs over 2tb (raids also), there will be connected a IDE DVD(burner), a blu-ray and a system HDD.
The choice of HDD will most likely be some from WD, got good experiance with them. was just curious on if any people have had trouble setting up RAID 5 with a motherboard. and what speeds I should expect with 6 HDD's in RAID 5. optimal would be the same speed as 5 HDD's. but not sure how good the motherboard raid controller is
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a c 233 V Motherboard
June 5, 2009 8:32:31 PM

The motherboard RAID controller is decent, but since parity calculations are performed by the system, a more powerful CPU has a lesser impact. It will take a few hours to backup a 7.5 GB array.
a c 177 V Motherboard
June 5, 2009 8:49:32 PM

Read speed should be pretty close to what RAID0 will get you, writes will be the same as a single drive. The Intel s'ware RAID is about as fast as you'll see from any 'software' RAID - no matter what, the CPU is carrying the load! Stick with either WD RE3s, or the new Samsung F1-HE103UJs; I've tested Seagate 1.5s in both RAID0 and RAID1 configs, and, even after the 'repair' firmware upgrade, had drives 'falling out' of RAID - and the new WD 1.5s are 'green' drives - avoid 'green' like the plague for RAID! It'd be nice if the CaviarBlack 1Tbs would RAID, but they won't - WD has figured out how to charge us an extra thirty-five bucks to turn off a feature (deep recovery cycling - which kills RAIDs) to make RE3s out of 'em... I use two pairs of RAID0 Velociraptors for systems and swaps, and get roughly 200M/S average reads from them; my RAID1 pair of RE3s for data gets about 95...
June 5, 2009 9:15:13 PM

I know that the CPU will carry the load, how much will it be though? I got a 3ghz wolfdale duo core.
June 5, 2009 9:16:03 PM

and most for the price, what would people say is good HDD's for a 5-6 HDD raid? 1tb or more?
a c 177 V Motherboard
June 5, 2009 9:37:02 PM

Both questions are kind of like "How high is up?" The overall speed will see a boost, but I can't quantify how much - it will depend on your work load and mix; drive sizes depend on what you intend to do with it. I have a lot of cad drawings and logic software on my 1tb RAID1, just to be absolutely sure it can't 'vanish' on me! I have four Tb on line, for media storage - movies are 2-6 gig, recorded HDTV, about 7 gig per hour, before transcoding and commercial removal - and about 1.5 gig per hour after...
The RAID doesn't care about size; my VRs are 150s, which gives me a total of 300 G for three operating systems and three swap file partitions a piece.
June 6, 2009 2:05:07 PM

I think I settle with WS RE3 1TB's. my big problem is now if I should use the motherboard raid. og use 300$ on a RAID controler to PCIe x1. (all I got on my motherboard) and use that. but RAID controlers seems insane pricey :/  I know hardware would give better options plus I can take the RAID with me to another computer when it's time to upgrade.... the only that hold me back is the price of a raid controller.. 300$ is about what I can find a RAID 5 controller for in Denmark atm, one or two at 260$. but they can only handle 4 HDD*s. which is acceptable.. hm... Gotta love those headaches over stuff like this.
a c 233 V Motherboard
June 6, 2009 2:51:36 PM

A good RAID card requires PCIe x4 or x8. PCIe x1 would be slower than the on-board RAID. The main benefits of Intel Matrix is that it's inexpensive and if your motherboard fails, you can buy another motherboard with an Intel ICHxR controller and your RAID will still work. See http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/CS-022304...

Just bear in mind that using more disks also increases the risk of having two disks fail at the same time.
June 6, 2009 2:54:16 PM

Thanks, I Guess I settle with 4-5 1tb HDD*s for my storage then, I had prefered raid 6 because I really don't want to lose any data, but I guess raid 5 is better than nothing. Thanks :) 
a c 233 V Motherboard
June 6, 2009 3:22:15 PM

If the system will be used a lot and you're not always monitoring it, you could configure one disk as a hot spare. Regardless of the solution, regular backups are required.
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