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SATA Controller Question

Tags:
  • ASRock
  • NAS / RAID
  • Controller
  • SATA
  • Motherboards
  • Product
Last response: in Motherboards
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March 5, 2012 8:41:02 PM

Hello,
I have an ASRock X79 Extreme9 mobo and 2 OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSDs that I'm going to set up in RAID 0. The mobo has 3 possible SATA controller sets that support RAID 0; Intel X79, Marvell SE9172, and Marvell SE9220. I've done some checking around the intarwebs but there doesn't seem to be any actual specs or info about SATA controllers. I know that Marvell controllers don't support TRIM, but you can't use TRIM in RAID anyways. Would it make any difference which controller set I use for this set-up?

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a b V Motherboard
March 5, 2012 10:23:22 PM

You better use the Intel X79 for your RAID set up..if that is for your OS Drive.
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March 6, 2012 4:02:09 AM

Any particular reason why the Intel X79 is better than the Marvell SE9220? I've been checking around more and have seen that people seem to shy away from Marvell controllers, but no one gives an actual reason. Aside from lack of TRIM support, why does Marvell suck so badly?
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March 13, 2012 4:56:52 AM

So, from what I've been able to gather, the Marvell SE9220 controller is actually looking to be a better choice than the Intel X79 controller for an OS RAID configuration. The Intel X79 is a software RAID, which relies on actual software to run the RAID, and leaves it suseptible to virus'. It also relies on the CPU to do any processing involved in keeping the RAID together.
The Marvell SE9220 controller allows a hardware RAID, where the software is more of a firmware built into the chip itself. The Marvell controller also handles the RAID computations on its own CPU, thus taking the burden from the main CPU.
Supposedly the Marvell SE92XX set has fixed a lot of the big problems that the SE91XX series had. If my information is incorrect or I'm missing/misinterpreting something please correct me.
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March 23, 2012 3:22:11 AM

As no one seems to know what the difference in controllers is I request that this thread be closed, please. Thank you~
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September 8, 2012 1:20:40 PM

luke4507 said:
So, from what I've been able to gather, the Marvell SE9220 controller is actually looking to be a better choice than the Intel X79 controller for an OS RAID configuration. The Intel X79 is a software RAID, which relies on actual software to run the RAID, and leaves it suseptible to virus'. It also relies on the CPU to do any processing involved in keeping the RAID together.
The Marvell SE9220 controller allows a hardware RAID, where the software is more of a firmware built into the chip itself. The Marvell controller also handles the RAID computations on its own CPU, thus taking the burden from the main CPU.
Supposedly the Marvell SE92XX set has fixed a lot of the big problems that the SE91XX series had. If my information is incorrect or I'm missing/misinterpreting something please correct me.


I just read a thread on hardocp.com that reviews the ASRock X79 EXTREME9 and they go into some depth on these 3 raid options. If you're looking for speed the Marvell SE9220 is quoted as, "being among the fastest controllers out there." which, says to me throw SSD raid 0 on that one. If you need a bootable controller though it looks like you'll need to use the intel software raid.

I hope this points you in a positive direction.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
September 8, 2012 2:01:03 PM

Okay, the reasons to use the 'native' Intel SATA ports vs any third-party:
1. Full vs Shared - Intel offers full bandwidth to each SATA Port and the others do not and is shared.
2. Marvell SE9220 x1 PCie 2.0 (shared/2 ports) - 500MB/s / 2 = 250MB/s vs Intel's 600MB/s
3. Marvell SE9172 x2 PCIe 2.0 (shared/4 ports) - 1000MB/s / 4 = 250MB/s vs Intel's 600MB/s + Intel 300MB/s (SATA2)
4. Intel X79 supports RAID 0,1,10 & 5 vs Marvell RAID 0,1
5. Intel X79/RSTe supports Migration and Hot Spare and is a much more matured RAID.
6. Reduced latency, the Intel Chipset are a 'DMI 2.0' connection to the CPU the other third-party chipsets are not an must be switched through the PCIe.
7. Often Third-Party SATA Controllers are NOT bootable and are DATA only, check your specifications and manual.

Both Intel (Ctrl+I) and at least (1) one of the Marvell (Ctrl+M) are ROM 'hardware' based.
Neither supports TRIM in any form of RAID, you'd need an Intel 7 Series Chipset (e.g. Z77) and RST v11 or later and then only in RAID 0.

Now if you want a >2 drive RAID 0 with SSD then I really recommend a Dedicated RAID Card that's supported by your BIOS (resources) and one with both a large 'RAM Cache' (e.g. 512MB or 1GB) and a battery backup.

/edit - I've seen some garbage out there regarding Intel vs Marvell vs other third-party SATA chips, unless the RAID is indeed 'hardware' (ROM) based it won't boot. The Intel (e.g. Z77/X79) is hardware based and the 'software' RST/RSTe adds management but is NOT required.

IF you need something extreme then look at Adaptec, Intel or example the LSI MegaRAID Internal SAS 9265-8i 6Gb/s, 1GB cache, Kit - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... The LSI as offers a battery backup option and a FastPath kit - http://www.provantage.com/lsi-logic-lsi00289~7LSIG0MV.h...
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October 27, 2012 4:51:43 PM

Best answer selected by Luke4507.
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October 29, 2012 10:51:51 PM

Jaquith FTW
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