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Two separate RAID arrays? How?

  • Homebuilt
  • NAS / RAID
  • PCI Express
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
July 17, 2011 4:46:58 PM

Hi guys, long time reader but first poster here.

I'm planning on building my next PC but I have a couple of questions that I need to solve before I even start thinking about the components. I want to build a "killer" computer with a i7-990X CPU and a 3-way SLI made of 3 x GTX580 from EVGA but for the first time ever, I also want to have really good speeds from my disks.

The problem is that having 3 graphics cards will leave me only with one spare PCI-e left but what I want is the following:

- A fast SSD in RAID 0 as the OS drive (was thinking about the PCI-e RevoDrive 3 from OCZ)
- A RAID 5 made out of SATAIII 7.200 rpm HDDs for my files

As far as I can tell from all the reading I've done, having the Revo drive installed in a PCI-e slot will stop me from using the on-board RAID controller in the motherboard I'm planning to use (EVGA X58 Classified3). To make it worst, I don't even trust on-board RAID controllers (specially Marvell).

The only logical way to go seems to be a PCI-e RAID Controller. I've never installed one before so I don't know exactly how they work. For example I've been looking at the ADAPTEC 6 series but I don't know if one card can support 2 different RAID arrays (one in RAID 0 and the other in RAID 5). Another thing I'm affraid is the bandwidth with the host. Adaptec states that the maximum transfer rate on the series 6 controllers is 4 Gb/s which would give me a bottleneck right there, speccially if I'm using SATAIII drives. Won't it?

Of course I could go with only two graphics cards, a PCI-e Revo drive and a PCI-e RAID controller for my files but I really really want to have a 3-way SLI. What do you guys think about this? What would be the best way to go?

Thanks in advance for any tip!

More about : separate raid arrays

July 18, 2011 7:39:26 AM

Regarding the raids - I don't know your level of experience or what you are building it for but you might think of dynamic raid under w7 ultimate 64. I use it for raid 0 so I don't know the other raid types it is capable of off the bat. I know you cannot use it for you boot drive however.
July 18, 2011 10:47:30 PM

Hi joojoo1234. I don't really mind the performance of the second RAID (files disk - RAID 5 preferably) but I do care for data redundancy/backup. The main disk I do need it to be blazing fast (that's why I'm thinking about the RevoDrive 3). My problem is that I can't have a RAID with my on-board controller with the RevoDrive installed and trully, I won't be able to trust a software-based RAID.

I think I might go with only two graphics cards in quad SLI (2 x GTX590 or whatever is out there when I finally build this). Not as good as I intended but... data will be safe and accesible pretty darn fast :p