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Looking for motherboard/controller for SATA3 RAID5 with four drives

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October 3, 2011 6:35:50 PM

I currently have four Seagate Barracuda 2TB SATA3 drives (ST2000DL003) running in RAID5 in a Thecus N4100 Pro NAS. The NAS is fine and all, but performance is not what I was expecting and I've decided to build a home server instead.

What I'd like to do is build a mid-tower server to handle all my media storage, Subsonic, Minecraft server, etc. I'd have one boot drive running Windows Home Server and the four 2TB drives in a RAID5.

Where I'm running in to trouble is with finding a motherboard or RAID controller that can handle four SATA3 drives in a RAID5 configuration. So far, I've come up with a couple options but none seem ideal yet.

RAID Controller: HighPoint RocketRAID 640 (http://www.highpoint-tech.com/usa_new/series_rr600.htm)
Looks like it should solve my problem, but reading reviews and NewEgg feedback makes me want to think twice.

Motherboard: Supermicro C7P67 (http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Core/P67...)
One of the very few motherboards I could find that have four SATA3 ports that support RAID. Unfortunately, the SATA3 ports only seem to support RAID0 and RAID1.

So, that's where I'm stuck. Is worrying about SATA3 worth it? Should SATA2 suffice? Am I overlooking something that's blatantly obvious? Any other suggestions would be appreciated, of course.
a b V Motherboard
a b G Storage
October 3, 2011 7:26:42 PM

What about going with a separate RAID controller vs a built in one? I haven't looked around, just an observation.
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October 3, 2011 7:28:22 PM

A NewEgg search only came up with one RAID Controller, and that was the HighPoint listed above. I'll try Google too.
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a b V Motherboard
a b G Storage
October 3, 2011 7:39:54 PM

NCIX.com and Adaptec may provide a solution, but be prepared for the cost.
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a c 141 V Motherboard
a b G Storage
October 3, 2011 7:40:20 PM

Well, I believe ALL of the 900-series chipset AM3+ boards support RAID-5; my Asus Sabertooth does, BUT (and this but is big enough to be a keister, or at least a butt), mobo RAID-5 typically does not offer anywhere near the performance of a dedicated card. If performance is the issue here, you may not find it acceptable.
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a c 141 V Motherboard
a b G Storage
October 3, 2011 8:37:32 PM

RAID 10 isn't as slow on mobo controllers. You may not need an add-in card. You could always start without one, benchmark it, and if you're not happy, get a controller. That means redoing the RAID, but that's why you benchmark it first before loading all your stuff on it.
You also lose 2TB of capacity, but I'm sure you knew that.
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October 3, 2011 9:01:34 PM

Only reason I mentioned RAID10 is because that card doesn't seem to support RAID5. I'd still like to RAID5 if possible.

I'm going back and trying to find a motherboard that supports four SATA3 drives in a RAID5 or RAID10 but it's proving difficult.

This is the search I'm currently using on NewEgg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

I was looking at the MSI P67A-GD65 (B3) but the wording on all of these motherboard specifications makes it difficult to determine if they offer what I'm looking for.

Below is taken directly from MSI's website...

Quote:
• SATAII controller integrated in Intel® P67 (B3) chipset
- Up to 3Gb/s transfer speed.
- Supports four SATAII ports (SATA3~6) by P67 (B3) PCH

• SATAIII controller integrated in Intel® P67 (B3) & Marvell SE9128 chipsets
- Up to 6Gb/s transfer speed.
- Supports two SATAIII ports (SATA1~2) by P67 (B3) PCH
- Supports two SATAIII ports (SATA7~8) by Marvell SE9128
- SATA1~6 ports support RAID 0/1/5/10 mode by Intel P67 (B3) PCH
- SATA7~8 ports support RAID 0/1 mode by Marvell SE9128


If I understand that correctly, ports 1-6 can be RAID'd in a 5 or 10 configuration but only ports 1&2 actually support SATA3.
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a c 141 V Motherboard
a b G Storage
October 3, 2011 10:05:52 PM

Take a look at the AMD boards. A server box doesn't need the raw performance from a SB CPU, the only downside being the relatively poor performance of mobo RAID-5.
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October 3, 2011 11:13:06 PM

Been digging some more and I believe I've found my setup. Ended up going the AMD-route. Now, I plan on using the onboard RAID controller.

I've never setup a RAID5 onboard before. From what you've said and what I've read myself, this will obviously hit the CPU harder due to the parity. So, now I'm considering RAID10 to avoid the hit. Obviously, I lose out on storage space.

I'll more than likely still go the RAID5 route unless anyone has anything to say that's truly pro-RAID10 in this case.
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a c 141 V Motherboard
a b G Storage
October 3, 2011 11:20:46 PM

Serving media shouldn't be so performance-intensive that it will really matter. I suspect you'll be fine.
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October 4, 2011 12:45:59 AM

I am running raid using the 6 intel slots on my MSI Z68 GD65 board.

If I wanted to run more I have to purchase the LSI (Which has 8 SATA III for about 650) or wait for the new X79 motherboard that probably can put down... 10? 16 SATA III ports?

I've taken a wait and see position right now. I wish to consolidate 12 of my old spinners into one mega raid server type case.
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October 4, 2011 1:59:23 PM

Best answer selected by df1z.
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a c 141 V Motherboard
a b G Storage
October 4, 2011 9:51:56 PM

Thanks. Hopefully it will work out well for you.
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a b V Motherboard
January 26, 2012 11:33:24 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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