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Building ASUS Z87-Pro as Video editor - what is suggested ? Would it be to config Raid 0 for data + SSD for OS?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I have a 7 year old Asus MB, with a 10K Raptor as multi OS boot drive (Win 7/Win XP), plus two 1TB Hitachi configured in Raid 0 used as my video capture drive and those 2 configured using IRSM in the bios of the existing Asus motherboard. I also have one more SATA data HD attached to the MB for storage and another large SATA HD for Acronis backups. I also have a low-end external eSata RAID1 storage array attached to the eSATA external port on the old Asus MB.

I want to upgrade. So I am thinking a SSD as the boot/OS drive and 2 WD Black drives, perhaps config Raid 0 and of 2TB each? (Would be within my budget.)

Will this work? I believe my 7 year old MB was the last to allow this configuration. I know this because the last time I was considering an upgrade a couple of years ago, there was an issue with having onboard Raid 0 and not using it as the OS or boot drive. That was the main reason I decided to wait for an upgrade a little longer. Is this still the case?

As far as the eSata rear connector loss, I suppose I could run a SATA to eSATA conversion cable out an empty slot or a hole in the back of the case, with one end attached to an unused SATA port on the MB and the other to the external case with eSATA input. This worked on this old system when I needed more than the 1 eSata port for external drives. Is this a common way to resolve this or there a better yet economical way? ( When I tried to add a JMicron eSATA PCI-e card with this old MB, I got port contention problems.)

P.S. I know there are better drive solutions for this MB but my data and OS drive budget is no more than $500 US, which gives me enough for 1 SSD and two 2TB to run in Raid 0 (assuming that is better performance than say a 4TB drive stand alone)

post #2 of 3
Thread Starter 
No one can offer advice if using a SSD as a boot drive and using as a video capture drive two 2TB WD black drives with the onboard Intel Matrix storage manager to provide Raid 0 is possible or not? If I am missing something or need to clarify, let me know. Thanks!
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
OK, I gave up here and decided to try Asus pre-purchase technical support and I was pleasantly surprised. Only about a 5 minute wait and they answered all my questions.

First of all, here are the internal SATA connection choices on the board:

Intel® Z87 chipset :
6 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), yellow
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Supports Intel® Dynamic Storage Accelerator, Intel® Smart Response Technology, Intel® Rapid Start Technology, Intel® Smart Connect Technology*5
ASMedia® ASM1061 controller : *6
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), dark brown

To my understanding, if you use any of the yellow SATA ports to configure a Raid array, then Windows prohibits you from booting from another non-Raid drive attached any of the yellow SATA jacks and even though the other drive on the yellow SATA jack may not be part of your defined array but still work find as a stand-alone data drive. For example, if you defined yellow SATA jack 1 & 2 as a Raid 0 array, then Windows would refuse to boot from a SSD on any of the other yellow SATA jacks/ports. (I can only assume that if you wanted to boot from an optical drive, and you plugged that optical drive into one of these yellow SATA ports not part of your Raid array, that you probably could not boot from the optical drive either, but this is only speculation on my part and has not been proven by me or confirmed by ASUS.)

In this instance, where you would want to define a Raid array attached the yellow SATA jacks, you would need to attach the SSD boot drive to one of the ASMedia SATA jacks (can't see the color of them with the photos I have of the MB, but it looks like anything that is not yellow). You could then fill out the remaining yellow jacks with other non-bootable devices.

Now I have yet to discover how or where my external Raid 1 enclosure eSATA cable can be connected. There are a number of SATA to eSATA brackets sold on eBay which face the eSATA jack toward the back of the case, but I don't know if there are any "gotcha's" with plugging this cable into any particular one of the ASUS Z87 SATA jacks, for example if I would see an issue plugging in the external enclosure eSATA cable into one of the unused yellow SATA jacks whenever I have an on-board Raid array defined. This is yet to be discovered (the external enclosure Raid1 eSATA setup is never booted from).

P.S. I believe the brown SATA connectors are not part of the Intel Raid controller and they can be used for a boot device as well. Of course if you attach a common 3GB to these high speed 6GB ports, they only run at the slower speed.

(I welcome anyone to correct any of my assumptions here, particularly in the area of adding the Raid1 eSATA external drive to an unused yellow SATA jack, and whether booting off an optical drive that is on a yellow SATA port when part of the yellow ports are used as a Raid array will work or not.)
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