Motherboard for HTPC/server with 8 sata ports


I am planning on building a server/htpc using the NZXT Source 220 as the case:

Now I'm shopping for ATX motherboards that can support 8 sata harddrives, with enough expandibility to do light graphics. I am hoping to get something cheap and basic for the motherboard, under $250 maybe. a) i want 24 TB of storage, b) to be able to play bluray rips on a 1080p television and maybe play BF3 on the lowest settings.

Can someone point in the direction of a motherboard that would work for this? Any other part recommendations are also welcome.
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More about motherboard htpc server sata ports
  1. Get a regular board for around $70-$100 and get one of these:
  2. that looks interesting. This adds 4 sata ports. Will those 4 synchronize with the other 4 i hook into the motherboard when i use raid. Also raid 5 and raid 6 sound awesome. Does that require something fancier?

    Also, i just found this which looks decent:

    What do you think?
  3. Its expensive but its not a bad board. I honestly don't know too much about Raid. I Raid 0 three drives but they are on my board.
  4. Right on. Thanks tiny voices
  5. Right on. Thanks tiny voices
  6. If you want to RAID together more than 2-3 drives, you really need to spend some money on a good RAID controller with dedicated cache and a battery backup. Onboard/cheap SATA controllers have terribly RAID 5 performance. It's a lot more complicated than simply striping data or making a second copy.
  7. thanks a bunch for the heads up! Do you recommend a good raid controller for my use case? The prices seem to vary wildly.
  8. i'm researching and it looks like I can do software RAID using windows 8 storage pools and completely avoid a RAID controller. I don't see why i wouldn't just do that:
  9. It depends if you are just looking for capacity or good performance. I'm used to building big servers for enterprise systems, so maybe I'm not a great person to ask how to do this on a budget. All I know is that I've tried a 4 disk RAID 5 with the motherboard RAID controller and it was awful. It's slower than a single disk.

    I really like HP smart array or Adaptec controllers with about 1GB of Flash backed write cache, but you probably won't like what they cost.

    I've not used software RAID in Windows 8, but previous versions required a Server OS to do software RAID 5.
  10. I got ya. I think I'll sacrifice performance to save $500, that's for sure. It's just for my home, with 3 users max. I don't need crazy performance, just file browsing and streaming HD video from the drives. I plan on running the OS from a separate SSD too.

    Windows 8 is the successor to Windows Home server now, and there are components that you can buy. I think with professional you get "storage pooling" for free anyway.

    Thank you for your help though Twelve25 :).

    BTW, i posted the parts i'm thinking now, here:

    it'd be awesome if you let me know what you think.
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