Setup advice SATA3 ssd + HDD RAID array

Hi, i am currently building a new PC and i have a few questions regarding the ssd and hard drives setup using my ASrock z77 board.

First of all, i will be usinig an ASrock z77 pro4-m board with intel ivy bridge i5-3570K CPU. The storage will include two identical seagate baraccuda 500gb HHDs(one of them is refurb) and one corsair force GT 120GB SSD(refurb). All of which are compatible with the SATA3 technology.

One of the reasons why i chose this particular board is because it features 4 SATA3 ports. Two are natively supported by the Intel z77 chipset and two are supported by an ASmedia controller. Now, i do know that Intel controllers are the best for SATA3 operations. On the other hand, i don't know much about ASmedia. ASrock specify the intel controller to be compatible with most SATA3 interfaces, including RAID, AHCI, IDE, and so on. However, the ASmedia controller is not listed as RAID compatible.

My first question is regarding the best possible setup of the storage. I originally planed to set both HDDs in RAID 1(for data safety, knowing that one of them is refurbished), and use the SSD on it's own as my system drive. Would i have to re-install windows if i wanted to add an identical SSD and set both of them in RAID 1 for safety? I would then have to use the intel controller. Which leads me to my second question.

Would i loose much using SATA2 for my HDDs in RAID(with intel controller) instead of SATA3? Or would it just be better to use my HDDs on the SATA3 intel controller in RAID and the SSD on the ASmedia controller in AHCI mode?

Regarding the SSD, would i be better off with a backup solution instead of RAID 1? knowing that i loose the TRIM function in a RAID array.

Thank you for your help.
4 answers Last reply
More about setup advice sata3 raid array
  1. No mechanical HDD will max out SATA II controller so no loss. I would do a backup rather than raid 1. Use the Intel for the SSD and Asmedia for your Raid array.
  2. You not putting your SSD in raid are you? Your SSD will be by itself, and you only thinking about putting your HDD's in raid so you won't lose trim. I agree that you won't really gain much with a raid-1 over a good backup scheme.
  3. rolli59 said:
    Use the Intel for the SSD and Asmedia for your Raid array.

    That's the thing, on the ASrock site, the ASmedia controller is not listed as RAID compatible. I am a bit confused by that because it seems to me that in 2012, RAID is a pretty standard technology for any SATA controller.

    Well, i guess it's the kind of sacrifice you have to make in order to get 4 SATA 3 ports on a budget Matx board.

    Anyways, i assumed that all of them 4 were RAID compatible. How bad is the ASmedia controller compared to the intel one or even say MARVELL?
  4. Then you will have to put the SSD on the asmedia, probably no noticeable difference.
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