Hey everyone I am pretty new to building my own PCs and I am still trying to understand some things. Right now I am building a HTPC/NAS combo. I am using the ASUS P8Z77-V LGA mobo in a large silverstone case. The mobo supports RAID 0,1,5,10. I eventualy want a SSD for the OS and four 3TB drives running RAID 5 or 10 for media. I am not wealthy so buying all four HDDs at once will be difficult.
1. My question is if I only have two drives to start with, and I run them in RAID 0 or no RAID at all, can I just add the other two drives when I can afford them and change the RAID setting to either 5 or 10. I mean if I did that would the computer just make the adjustments and spread the data out on all the drives without a problem or am I looking at a possible disaster buy not just starting with all the HDDs?
2. I also have a question about which SATA sockets to plug everything into. The board has 4 Intell SATA 3.0, 2 Intell SATA 6.0, and 2 Asmedia SATA 6.0. I will have 1 SSD, 4 HDD, and an optical drive. I'm thinking the 4 HDDs in the 4 Intell 3.0s, and the SSD and OD in the Intell 6.0 sockets. Is that best?
3. And my last question is where do I plug in more HDDs if I ever need to add a fifth or sixth HDD? Can I just plug them in the Asmedia sockets or will I need a RAID card?
1. You would not be able to upgrade a RAID 0 to RAID 5 or 10 without breaking the array. In other words, you would loose all the information on the RAID 0 array by changing the RAID level. Some controllers will let you expand a RAID 0 to add more drives.
2. That seems best to use the ssd's on the 6.0's since the spinning disks won't saturate even the 3.0's
3. You will not be able to add disks to an array that are not using the same controller. In other words, the controller Asmedia is one controller, and Intel is another. I am not familiar with that chipset but I am pretty sure this is true.
Just as additional info, chipset raid controllers don't work as well as dedicated cards. My experience with them has been that they work fine, but can get flakey after a while and ask to be rebuilt time and time again. I store a lot of media and have been much happier using a dedicated controller.