Help me do RAID 5 on mini ITX HTPC

Hello everyone! First, thanks for taking the time to read my build question and help with your advice. It is greatly appreciated.

So, here's my problem. I am building an HTPC using an Intel i3, mini-ITX mobo and case. I want this sytem to be able to do RAID 5 with at least 5, and ideally 6, hard drives. I haven't been able to find a mobo that does this, and am not sure of the best way to get there. (found a case I like that will hold 6 hdds)

Mobo Option 1 - Intel BOXDH57JG

Mobo 1 already supports RAID 5, but it only has 4 SATA connections. Can I just use the PCI slot to add 2 more SATA ports? If I have 4 drives connected to the mobo, and 1-2 drives connected to SATA's via the PCI slot, can I combine all of these drives into a single RAID5 volume? Or, does a RAID 5 require that all member drives be connected at the same place (all connected to mobo, or all connected to the PCI card?) I honestly don't know the answer... I do know that PCI RAID cards that have 6 sata ports are expensive, so I'm hoping that's not the only way to do this.

Mobo Option 2 - Zotac H55ITX-C-E

Mobo 2 has the bonus of already having USB 3.0 and Wifi-N (thus leaving the PCI expansion slot open). This board has 6 SATA connections, but does not support RAID. Is there a cheap PCI card that allows me to RAID 5 the hdds connected to the mobo? Or would I still need an expensive PCI RAID card with 6 SATA ports even though the mobo already has 6 sata ports?

Hopefully I've explained my issue clearly. Thanks again for any help on the best way to do a 5-6 drive RAID 5 on a mini-itx board.
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  1. Hi, I have the same requirement. Did you ever get to the bottom of this?
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