My new build is based around the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H. This has two SATA 6 ports provided by the Intel Z77 and another two via a Marvel 88SE9172 chip. An SSD is located on the first Intel SATA 6 port. The Z77 also has four SATA 3GB ports available.
I have two Barracuda ST1000DM003 (1TB) drives that I want to pair in a Raid 1 array. I don't think either the Z77 or Marvell are dual controllers so expect no "dual path" read performance gains from either in Raid 1.
So my question is: Would I expect much of a performance difference between placing my Raid 1 HDD pair on two of the Intel Z77 SATA 3GB ports versus placing them on the two Marvell SATA 6GB ports (the latter of which traverses the PCIe bus)?
Thank you Alvine. I was thinking that, with the Marvell being a separate controller, placing the Raid array there (albeit "wasting" its Sata 6GB ports) would allow the Z77 to focus entirely on the SSD (in AHCI mode) without having to timeslice (and await) I/O operations for the mechanical HDDs as well. At least theroretically, I am guessing the Marvell could be queuing I/O commands simultaneous with the Z77.
This is going to be a fast system regardless, so am I being too anal?
One more question related to this: With an SSD on one Sata-III (6GB) port of the Z77, can I still run a Raid array on two of the four available Sata-II (3GB) ports on that chipset? And, with the Z77 set to RAID mode (instead of AHCI), will the SSD still be running in AHCI mode?