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Z68 Motherboards Question(s)

Hello, I have been planning my build with a Z68 motherboard and have come across a bump in the road.

I am planning on have 4 drives, 1 SSD boot drive, 2 x Raptor drives in RAID 0 for applications, and 1 large drive for data storage. The "bump" in the road comes in with the 2 Raptors being in RAID when the SSD and larger data drive are not (I already have these drives).

Some of the reviews I have been reading on newegg seem to indicate that the intel raid controller with 4 x 3Gb SATA and 2 x 6Gb SATA cannot have some drives in RAID and others not, even though it seems like it is 2 different controllers (one for 3Gb and one for 6Gb). What is the truth behind all of this please? Does this mean I need to pick a motherboard that has another extra non intel drive controller on it?

The above is the main question, but I also have two side note questions...

1) Just to be 100% sure, the "Gen3" motherboards arenot just for USB 3.0, but also means they will support Ivy-Bridge 1155 CPUs, correct?

2) And more out of curiosity, can an SSD drive (say as 128GB) be split into a boot drive, and part of it being used for intel smart response drive caching?

Thank you in advance for any information.
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  1. Best answer
    You decide which drives are members of a RAID. As an example, DVD-RW drives never are members of a RAID.

    1) Yes.
    2) Yes.
  2. Thank you for the information.

    While I forgot to mention it, you did cover it with your reply (the optical drive).

    From the reviews, that was the problem for the reviewers (the optical drive). They were saying that if you connected the optical drive to the intel controller, it would then not let you put any of the hard disks on the controller in RAID, thus the need for a second (marvel, jmicron, or whatever) controller if you wanted to use both a RAID array and an optical drive. Something about the intel controller needing to be in either non RAID mode or RAID mode in the BIOS, but no mix and match. If I remember correctly, this was on one of the Asus Z68 Gen3 boards.

    Since I assume most people would want to use an optical drive, and many people use RAID, this sounded strange to me in the first place.

    Should I assume then that this was a problem with the reviewers, not the motherboards/controllers?
  3. It might be possible with some motherboards, but it's very unlikely that they all have that issue; otherwise one of my systems definitely wouldn't work. Which reviewer(s) ran into that issue? Tom's, Anandtech, other?

    Edit: It's possible that a bootable CD that doesn't include the required AHCI or RAID drivers fails to load, but that's a totally different issue.
  4. It's possible that I don't understand these things as well as I thought, but in regards to the original post, I thought that
    (1) any H61, H67, P67, or Z68 motherboard should theoretically be able to run Ivy Bridge but Gen3 refers to the ability to use PCIe 3.0 x16 slots with Ivy Bridge and PCIe 3.0 graphics cards and
    (2) it is not possible to partition an SSD and use one partition to boot and the other for ISRT. GhislainG is right
    Like I said, though, I don't claim to be an expert.

    Here's how RAID works on my motherboard (and I think it's pretty standard). You change the SATA controller to RAID mode (as opposed to AHCI or IDE). Then you go into the SATA controller and setup the individual RAID(s) that you want and during this process you chose which drives should be included in each RAID. Any SATA port that does not include a drive in RAID will default to AHCI mode.

    So basically you'll switch to RAID mode, set up a RAID0 with your velociraptors and the SSD, the data drive, and the optical drive won't ever notice the difference.
  5. Quote:
    it is not possible to partition an SSD and use one partition to boot and the other for ISRT.
    Like I said, though, I don't claim to be an expert.
    You can dedicate up to 64GB to Smart Response Technology and use the rest as a normal drive. Please read step 11 at http://download.intel.com/support/chipsets/sb/intel_smart_response_technology_user_guide.pdf
  6. GhislainG said:
    You can dedicate up to 64GB to Smart Response Technology and use the rest as a normal drive. Please read step 11 at http://download.intel.com/support/chipsets/sb/intel_smart_response_technology_user_guide.pdf


    You're right, thanks for the link.
  7. GhislainG said:
    It might be possible with some motherboards, but it's very unlikely that they all have that issue; otherwise one of my systems definitely wouldn't work. Which reviewer(s) ran into that issue? Tom's, Anandtech, other?

    Edit: It's possible that a bootable CD that doesn't include the required AHCI or RAID drivers fails to load, but that's a totally different issue.


    This was on some of the ASUS Z68 motherboards in the customer reviews at newegg, not one of the review sites, sorry if I mis-spoke.
  8. danraies said:
    It's possible that I don't understand these things as well as I thought, but in regards to the original post, I thought that
    (1) any H61, H67, P67, or Z68 motherboard should theoretically be able to run Ivy Bridge but Gen3 refers to the ability to use PCIe 3.0 x16 slots with Ivy Bridge and PCIe 3.0 graphics cards and


    Now see, this is what I thought too for some time, but then I started seeing hints here and there that it may require a Gen3 board, that and one of the manufacturers, I honestly do not rememeber for sure which one, but I think it was ASRock, was making a big deal out of how the Gen3 was IB compatible when the Gen3 first came out. Kind of confused me, but in my case is VERY important.

    Why? Because it is my intent to build this very soon and put a low end (read inexpensive) SB i3 in while waiting for the IB equal to the i7-2600K and then get one of those. Thus I need to be sure the MB I choose is going to work with the IB.

    Right now, I am looking at this MB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131790

    Comments on any of that?
  9. danraies is correct. Gen3 applies to PCI Express only.

    According to several reviews, that Asus motherboard is quite good.
  10. I own the non-Gen3 version of that motherboard and I am very happy with it.
  11. Best answer selected by phoenix32x.
  12. Thank you for all your responses.
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