I am piecing together some old stuff for a home file share and I have two questions:
1) Will Sata3 drives work on an old Sata2 board. Specifically, I am thinking about putting three WD Caviar Black (WD1002FAEX) on an old Asus P5B deluxe. I know the cables are the same but...will the board/RAID controller have problems with that?
2) Which RAID would be best for a home file share? The read/write size will range from very small .01k (eg, SVN commits) to large 100mb/2gb (eg, images/movies). I was thinking RAID5 for performance/redundancy... but then I read that its not good when dealing with small data writes if they're less than the stripe size (which, I have no idea how big that is) and I worried that it wouldn't be good for small SVN commits. I DO want redundancy BUT the full-on mirroring of RAID1 seems like a waste.
1) The SATA drives will operate on the slower 3GBs port just fine. I don't see an issue with the ICH8R controller and newer drives. It would just be a waste of $$$ to splurge on the extra bandwidth unless there is some other feature of the drive which you can use.
2) If you're going with 3 disks and want redundancy then you'll most likely be losing 1 full disk for parity. A RAID5 setup should yield 2 TB with the 3 drives. Mirroring with a hot spare would be even worse at 1 TB of space. Also remember that 2TB partitions are usually the max with a 32 bit Windows system and most older RAID controllers.
You can always create logical partitions and disk to overcome the limitation though. I'm currently using WHS and it's drive pool functionality works well. I can just add a disk to the storage pool as needed. It offers folder duplication as well to address redundancy since there is no true RAID involved.