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Elie
9th April 2005, 14:07
Do you recommend a PCI-X or PCI SATA raid controller?

One that I can boot from as well.

Thanks,
Elie

Jammrock
9th April 2005, 14:13
personal opinion... wait for PCIe SATA-II RAID controllers to come out later this year (if not already). Assuming ou can wait that long and have the cash for the PCIe infrastructure.

If you need something sooner, and want the best performance, then you go with PCI-X if you can aford the solutions.

Elie
9th April 2005, 14:27
Thanks I found this, just don't know if it's PCI-X or not

Promise FastTrak S150 SX4-M 4-port SATA 64MB ECC, JBOD RAID $268

I'm going to check the Promise web site, hold on...

Jammrock
9th April 2005, 20:14
Ixnay... PCI rev. 2.2 compliant, 32-bit/66 MHz.

http://www.promise.com/product/product_detail_eng.asp?segment=RAID%20HBAs&product_id=124

Highpoint has some: http://www.highpoint-tech.com/USA/sataraid.htm

As does Areca: http://www.areca.com.tw/products/html/pcix-sata.htm
Areca's are supposed to be very, very fast, and support RAID 6 (2 drives can fail and you can still restore your data, however, it uses twice as much parity data as RAID 5, so you have less space).

And 3ware has some as well: http://www.3ware.com/products/serial_ata.asp

Just expect to spend a mint on any memory enhanced PCI-X RAID solution...

Jammrock

agallag
10th April 2005, 08:18
Just to make sure, I hope you realize that PCI-X is very different from PCI-Express. Totally different. Make sure you don't buy the wrong thing...

Elie
10th April 2005, 16:47
Thanks, and yes I do know the difference, as I have both types of slots in my new workstation :)

Wombat
10th April 2005, 17:32
Go for the PCI-X ones. Even the Dell Poweredges with SATA RAID I just got at work comes with only PCI-X RAID, even though it has 2 PCI, 2 PCI-X, and 2 PCI-E slots.

Average drive throughput: 15-60MB/s sustained.

PCI: 133MB/s.
PCI-X: 4-8 times that.

Lots of things need massive bandwidth, hard drives aren't one of them.

I've been hearing complaints about 3ware lately - some serious data corruption issues, IIRC.

I've been working with the Silicon Image SATA cards lately, but not under Windows, so I can't really give much insight into them.

SATA-2 might be nice though, if you can get it. Protocol enhancements are nice.


RAID-6? Why? I think I'd prefer RAID-5 + hot spare.

UtwigMU
10th April 2005, 18:35
Promise ones generally are 66MHz/32-bit which is OK. Note that I'm not sure if they support opticals (there's only Plextor 716SA DVD burner out but there will be more SATA opticals in the future). The ones marked SATAII support NCQ. Benchmarks have shown it only makes improvement in Windows boot and in single user scenarios makes for slight impact. They are also more expensive than SI (see bellow)

Silicon image chip based suppor opticals for sure but I'm not sure if they support SATA2/NCQ (the 4-port silicon image controller is not available arround here, so I haven't researched in depth).

As for slots - generally modern drive has a STR of ~50MB/s so as you add 2 drives you're aproaching 133MB/s limit of standard 32-bit PCI bus. I'd go for higher PCI if I were buying more than 2-port card. For plain 2-port it's OK.

I also have MPX board and I have put 4-port 66MHz/32-bit PCI Promise 150TX4 SATAII controller on my upgrade roadmap.

Wombat
10th April 2005, 19:17
As for slots - generally modern drive has a STR of ~50MB/s that's max STR. Profile the whole thing and they're much slower in a lot of places.

Jammrock
10th April 2005, 20:57
Go for the PCI-X ones. Even the Dell Poweredges with SATA RAID I just got at work comes with only PCI-X RAID, even though it has 2 PCI, 2 PCI-X, and 2 PCI-E slots.

Average drive throughput: 15-60MB/s sustained.

PCI: 133MB/s.
PCI-X: 4-8 times that.

Lots of things need massive bandwidth, hard drives aren't one of them.

I've been hearing complaints about 3ware lately - some serious data corruption issues, IIRC.

I've been working with the Silicon Image SATA cards lately, but not under Windows, so I can't really give much insight into them.

SATA-2 might be nice though, if you can get it. Protocol enhancements are nice.


RAID-6? Why? I think I'd prefer RAID-5 + hot spare.

RAID-6 is just an option. 5+spare is another. RAID 6 is still more secure if it's absolute mission critical data. You can still lose your RAID 5 array if a second drive fails before the RAID 5 array is restored with the spare.

PCI-X is currently a faster option than PCIe, because most PCIe based mobo's only pack 16x and 1x slots. Only a very few of them have 4x and 8x, and even fewer (virtually none) peripherals exist, which is what you need to gain any perfomance advantage over the upper tier PCI-X slots/peripherals.

PCIe will [should?] eventually be the better choice, but PCI-X is the best for non-SCSI arrays at the moment.

Jammrock

UtwigMU
11th April 2005, 04:37
So far there are only Areca PCIe RAID controllers.

What are you looking for here:
- just basic SATA card for more channels - 2 or 4 port silicon image is the way to go, maybe Promise, modern moderboards such as Thunder K8WE come with 4 onboard SATA channels which should be enough for a workstation
- RAID1/0 controller, consider Promise
- RAID5 controller for Terrabyte of storage (or close to that) - 3WARE is an option and other controllers, there was a RAID5 controller roundup recently somewhere but I don't have the link to review

Elie
11th April 2005, 07:36
It's primarily for throughput plus storage (NLE...video storage)

I was also considering this....

http://www.hugesystems.com/Products/

The advantages here of course is the fact that you do not use your powersupply, and the drives are easily accessable, plus the throughput here is awesome.

Regards,
Elie

agallag
11th April 2005, 09:36
Thanks, and yes I do know the difference, as I have both types of slots in my new workstation :)

Ooo, fancy! :D

Elie
11th April 2005, 10:31
LOL, I will post system specs shortly :D