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PCI-e 1x raid controller search

Last response: in Components
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November 17, 2010 3:52:26 PM

Hello,

I have searched this forum and other Google sources looking for a 1x pcie sata/esata raid controller card with no good luck.

My system - HP Pavilion p6340f has internal sata support but no raid functions. I already have a 1x pcie esata raid controller for the drives in my external enclosure.

What I would like to locate - since I have no extra pcie slots - is a 1x pcie esata & sata combo raid controller card to replace the existing esata card. I would like to have raid 1 on the two internal sata drives and raid 5 on my esata drives. The raid support, in both cases needs to be hardware raid, not host/software raid. I want to boot Windows, Linux or OS X from the partitions on the internal daid 1 drives.

If anyone in the forum community knows of such a card I would really appreciate some pointers.

Many thanks for any help.
November 17, 2010 6:35:31 PM

Your problem is that PCIe x1 cannot support the bandwidth required by more than 2 drives, and therefore, no manufacturer is putting more than 2 ports on a PCIe x1 card. For RAID 5 eSATA, what you need is a port-multiplier box. For instance, you can try this Areca duo:

Controller Card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816151091
Port Multiplier: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816151095
(however, this combo only makes sense if you need to RAID more than 4 drives, otherwise, forgo the controller card and just get the box itself).

For 4 or less drives, try a RAID enclosure like this: http://www.google.com/products/catalog?client=opera&rls=en&q=eSATA+RAID&oe=utf-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=17215209651548000523&ei=vTLkTLSKB5_hnQe4pMSGDw&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CEEQ8wIwAg#. The box has the controller card built in and can connect to any eSATA port (and can RAID together up to 4 drives). Combine this with a standard eSATA PCIe x1 adapter card.

Of course, none of these solutions buys you internal RAID1, and again, with only 2 ports you can't achieve internal and external on the same card unless you could find an internal port multiplier (i.e. one port on that areca to an external box and one port to an internal multiplier).

The bigger problem here is that even a single external RAID enclosure will run you a couple-hundred dollars. To me, it seems like it would be more worthwhile to purchase a new computer that supports RAID natively, than spend several hundred dollars looking for the perfect hardware PCIe x1 RAID card. Heck, maybe just look into a replacement motherboard, you don't necessarily need to replace all your hardware.
November 17, 2010 7:44:45 PM

hellwig said:
Your problem is that PCIe x1 cannot support the bandwidth required by more than 2 drives, and therefore, no manufacturer is putting more than 2 ports on a PCIe x1 card. For RAID 5 eSATA, what you need is a port-multiplier box. For instance, you can try this Areca duo:

Controller Card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816151091
Port Multiplier: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816151095
(however, this combo only makes sense if you need to RAID more than 4 drives, otherwise, forgo the controller card and just get the box itself).

For 4 or less drives, try a RAID enclosure like this: http://www.google.com/products/catalog?client=opera&rls=en&q=eSATA+RAID&oe=utf-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=17215209651548000523&ei=vTLkTLSKB5_hnQe4pMSGDw&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CEEQ8wIwAg#. The box has the controller card built in and can connect to any eSATA port (and can RAID together up to 4 drives). Combine this with a standard eSATA PCIe x1 adapter card.

Of course, none of these solutions buys you internal RAID1, and again, with only 2 ports you can't achieve internal and external on the same card unless you could find an internal port multiplier (i.e. one port on that areca to an external box and one port to an internal multiplier).

The bigger problem here is that even a single external RAID enclosure will run you a couple-hundred dollars. To me, it seems like it would be more worthwhile to purchase a new computer that supports RAID natively, than spend several hundred dollars looking for the perfect hardware PCIe x1 RAID card. Heck, maybe just look into a replacement motherboard, you don't necessarily need to replace all your hardware.


Thanks for the quick reply. Your comments make sense. I will need to rethink my plans for this system. I may skip the internal raid and just work on a raid 5 solution for the external drives. Again, thanks for the help.

Riddick.
!