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SSD in AHCI and HD's in RAID question.

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December 28, 2012 3:48:25 AM

Hello Tom's Hardware folk.

I'm starting my first HTPC build this week and have a quick question that hopefully one of you can answer for me :D  .

For starters here is my build:

Case: Silverstone Grandia GD06 HTPC Case
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K
PSU:
MB: Asus MAXIMUS V GENE Z77
RAM:
SSD: Corsair Force 3 Series 180GB
HD: 3 x Western Digital Red 3TB
BD: LG CH12LS28


ASUS's website for the Maximus V stats:
(http://ca.asus.com/en/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/Ma...)

Intel® Z77 chipset : *4
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red
2 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), black

ASMedia® PCIe SATA controller : *6
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), red


I was wanting to set the 3 x 3TB WD Red's up in RAID 5 and run the OS and Applications on the SSD.
How would I go abouts doing this if it is even possible..

1. Do all the WD's have to be on the same controller for RAID 5?
2. If yes to #1, will it matter that 2 will be SATAIII and 1 SATAII?
3. Is it possible to have the SSD set to AHCI while still having the WD Red's in RAID5?

Any other ideas/pointers/tips would rock as well.

Thanks, Pat.

More about : ssd ahci raid question

a b G Storage
December 28, 2012 3:53:21 AM

1) if using on board RAID, yes, if use win, no
2) no, or not in the real world
*3) No, unless they are one separate controllers or use Windows RAID
December 28, 2012 4:20:38 AM

I'm assuming I will be using onboard RAID? I dont really know of any other options?

If this is the case (assuming you guys dont inform me of a better way to do this), then I will have the SSD on the "ASMedia® PCIe SATA controller" as well as my BD Drive (http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=60288&promoid=1033)

And on the "Intel® Z77 chipset" I will have the 3 x 3TB WD Red's set up in Raid5, 2 on SATAIII one on SATAII.

This should work then correct?

One last question (May be stupid). But my BD Drive wont have any problems with my SSD being in AHCI on the same controller will it?
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a c 503 G Storage
December 28, 2012 4:40:31 AM
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TSSPat said:
This should work then correct?


Yes, that will work but for best performance you should have your SSD connected to the Intel 6Gb/s port.

1.) Connect the SSD to the 1st Intel 6Gb/s port.
2.) Connect your BD drive to one of the ASMedia ports.
3.) Change the SATA mode of all of the Intel ports to RAID.
4.) Change the SATA mode of the ASMedia port to IDE.
5.) Install Windows on your SSD.
6.) After Windows installation is complete shut down and connect your 3 HDDs to the remaining Intel 6Gb/s port and to the 2 Intel 3Gb/s ports.
7.) Reboot into RAID BIOS and create your RAID-5 array.
a b G Storage
December 28, 2012 4:46:16 AM

The other, best, original, and true RAID option (with a price) is an add-in card. Alot of great options on an add-in card, but I'll skip unless you plan to significantly increase your budget.

The intel chipset is faster than ASMedia for the SSD.

You may or may not have troubles booting to the BD, but once in windows using it *should* be fine.
December 28, 2012 5:34:48 AM

Great steps Dereck47, I really appreciate it.
One quick question though, will I be hurting my performance for not having the SSD in AHCI? .. I'm assuming the SSD will be is RAID as well following your steps, that I can just exclude from the RAID5 setup that my HDDs are part of?

If I will be hurting by not having the SSD an AHCI then I may be willing to look at some RAID Cards, can you suggest any good ones Abbadon?
a b G Storage
December 28, 2012 5:52:11 AM

On recent boards the RAID settings include AHCI on the Intel controller, double check yours please, but it would seem to be a simple solution.
-----

Most low level consumer grade RAID card have been integrated into todays motherboards, good and bad, more options good, confusing RAID bad. I'm guessing you'll be fine with out one. But for the sake of argument, Promise has make some great inexpensive consumer cards, but most features have been into the chipsets so not much benefit. You also need to watch for driver conflicts, they can be rather unpredictable with existing on-board drivers. The next step is essentially entry-level enterprise cards, LSI being one the best. Dedicated CPU, ECC memory, PCI-Express interface, 8 channel, RAID 0, 1, 3, 5, 6, etc. etc. Not cheap, but for those who need it, afford it, or just want a step above the average consumer, this is the starting point. Think SSD speeds before the SSD was invented, plus safety and such.
a c 503 G Storage
December 28, 2012 2:23:40 PM

TSSPat said:
One quick question though, will I be hurting my performance for not having the SSD in AHCI? .. I'm assuming the SSD will be is RAID as well following your steps, that I can just exclude from the RAID5 setup that my HDDs are part of?

If I will be hurting by not having the SSD an AHCI then I may be willing to look at some RAID Cards, can you suggest any good ones Abbadon?


No, as long as you do not select your SSD as part of your RAID-5 array it will automatically default to AHCI mode.
January 7, 2013 9:16:21 PM

Best answer selected by TSSPat.
January 11, 2013 1:56:50 AM

Waiiiiiiit a second. I've done some more reading and have another idea to bounce off you guys.

Would It be possible to add 64Gb of this SSD in an Intel RST Cache for the Raid5 configuration.

If it is possible is it worth it?

Thanks, Pat
January 14, 2013 4:08:59 AM

abbadon_34 said:
The other, best, original, and true RAID option (with a price) is an add-in card. Alot of great options on an add-in card, but I'll skip unless you plan to significantly increase your budget.

The intel chipset is faster than ASMedia for the SSD.

You may or may not have troubles booting to the BD, but once in windows using it *should* be fine.



You were onto something here Abbadon.. I was unable to load the OS on the Optical Drive so I had to move it to the Intel Controller.

Since then I have installed my OS on the SSD, as well as set up my Raid5 with the 3xHDD's onto the Intel Controller and moved the Optical Drive to the ASMedia Controller.. and you guess it, for the life of me I cannot get the ASMedia controller to show that the BD is even there..

Am I screwed? I NEED to use that BD.. :( 

Thanks ahead of time. Pat.
a c 503 G Storage
January 14, 2013 4:41:20 AM

TSSPat said:
for the life of me I cannot get the ASMedia controller to show that the BD is even there..


Change the SATA mode of the ASMedia port to IDE mode and see if that works.
January 14, 2013 11:48:52 AM

Unfortunately I cannot find that option ANYWHERE in the the BIOS
a c 503 G Storage
January 14, 2013 2:42:34 PM

Sorry, I looked at your motherboard manual and you're correct. You can enable and disable the ASMedia ports but that's it.

You can change SATA modes but all ports get changed to the same mode. You can't have different modes for different ports.

Sorry, don't know what else to suggest other than to buy an external USB BD drive.
a b G Storage
January 14, 2013 9:43:01 PM

Some people have had success uninstalling the ASmedia drivers and using windows defaults. Win7 that is, can't speak for 8. I think the manual says the ASmedia doesn't officially support ODD for whatever dumb reason, but some people on ROG have had success.
January 17, 2013 7:28:30 PM

So this was dumb luck but in a desperate last effort I switched the SATA cable to the second ASmedia port and even though it does show in the Device Manager or MyComputer screens it still plays a DVD when it's inserted...

Sorta strange but at this point ill take it.
Thanks again for everyone's help!
a b G Storage
January 17, 2013 8:13:13 PM

Glad it worked out!
!