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Looking for a RAID controller card for 4-drive RAID 5 setup

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi, I have 4 WD green 2TB drives that I want to configure in RAID 5 for use with my computer that I use for file storage (intel core 2 quad q6700, 4gb ddr2, nvidia 780i motherboard). However, I do NOT want to do an on-board raid 5, for the reasons that it is not as fast, but even more so because it is an aging system and when I upgrade the cpu/motherboard, I want to be able to carry the raid array through with me.

From my research I have been doing, I have noticed that there are a few software raid 5 cards, but as this is not a particularly powerful system, I would prefer a hardware solution. I do want to keep my costs to a minimum, and after doing a lot of looking around, it does seem that some used hardware raid 5 capable cards are out there.

The difficulties that I am running into when looking at these used raid cards, is that my system is running windows 8.1 pro 64bit, and most of the cards I look at only have drivers for server 2008 64bit or vista 64bit... does anyone know if this will work in my system? Or is this something that is determined more on a card-by-card basis.

Anyways, as I have been looking at cards, I have come across a few options. The dell perc 6i looks like an interesting option, though I am unsure that I would have enough room for such a tall card as my case is quite narrow (since it is a full height card and then the SAS breakout cables connect to the length of it, adding even more height). Another option I have seen is the LSI megaRAID 8708, which looks like I can get one with a BBU for about $100-125 shipped to me, and is a low profile card so no doubt fit would not be an issue.

Has anyone had experience with either of these cards (especially that LSI one?) that could offer any advice, or suggestions for better options?

Thanks
post #2 of 14
I've personally seen multiple WD Green arrays fail.

Proceed at your own peril.
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Waiting on X399
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II B57 @ X4 3.9 Gigabyte 790FXTA-UD5 Sapphire Radeon 290 8 GB G.Skill 2133 
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250 GB 840 EVO Noctua NH-D14 Windows 10 Logitech K350 
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Seasonic x750 Corsair 600T Logitech G100s Razer Goliathus Speed 
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Plantronics Gamecom 788 
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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
I understand that some people have had issues with these drives. I suppose I could user these drives for something else, or trade for something else with a friend if need be.

Disregarding the type of drive, lets just say any 2tb sata drives (x4):

As far as the raid controllers go, is something like that LSI I mentioned in my previous post a good card, and a good price?
What about a card like the LSI megaRAID 8888, with a bbu, for more like $150-160? Is this a better deal?

Also, as far as other drive options go, how big of a difference moving from greens to, say, Seagate NAS, or WD Red's be, in reliability?
Edited by Nester92 - 3/15/14 at 1:02pm
post #4 of 14
I have a HighPoint 640L (L stands for 'lite' as it is raid 0 & 1 only)...they also make an identical non-lite which supports raid 0,1, 5, 10 and JBOD for a little more...dunno why they show an 'L' in both part #s tho. rolleyes.gif
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
I saw the 640 while looking around previously, I thought it was a software RAID card, that doesn't have a dedicated processor?
post #6 of 14
True...it is a soft-raid solution based on a Marvell controller.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
I think what I am looking for is more of a hardware solution, as the system itself is not particularly powerful, and I like the idea of having somewhat consistent configuration and performance across other hardware changes going forward.
post #8 of 14
Used IBM M1015 w/flexraid. Problem solved.

Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've seen mentions of flexraid... but from what I understand it is a software implementation of parity kind of like windows storage spaces or drive extender from WHS, right?
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Also for the hard drives, looking at selling my greens/trading them, seems like WD Reds or the Seagate NAS drives are the best balance between optimization for my 4-drive RAID 5 setup while still being reasonably priced. From reviews I've read of these, they seems pretty similar in most respects, though where I am, the seagate is $5-10 less per drive. Any reason I should get the WD Red drives instead of the Seagate NAS HDD? These would also be in 2TB capacities.
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