Hello there. I finally have something new to add when it comes to the build design. I managed to get a hold of the manual for the G1 and SOC boards from gigabyte and consulted them to figure out what kind of configurations are possible. Now that I have done that, I am looking for advice on how to configure the drives. It turns out the two drives I got in advance are infact SATA M.2, which uses the B+M key connector. This means that the two one terabyte drives should preform with similar results to standard 2.5" SSDs due to the fact the maximum speed they are rated for is 6.0Gbps. If my theory is correct, because these are indeed treated as standard SATA drives on the part of the Intel SATA controller, that means I could use them in a RAID array with standard 2.5" drives. In addition to this, some of the SATA ports are blocked out so that the M.2 ports may be used.
The SATA port configuration of the motherboard looks something like this, I will be posting the SOC config as well In the diagram, SATAE stands for the third plug used in a SATA Express setup:
SATA3_9 SATAE_2 SATA3_5 SATA3_4 BLANKl_0 SATA3_7 SATA3_6
SATA3_8 SATAE_0 SATA3_1 SATA3_0 SATAE_1 SATA3_3 SATA3_2
SATAE_2 SATA3_5 SATA3_4 BLANKl_0 SATA3_7 SATA3_6
SATAE_0 SATA3_1 SATA3_0 SATAE_1 SATA3_3 SATA3_2
Cross-referencing the diagram with another chart within the manual, in the case of the G1 board, by populating the two M.2 ports with M.2 SATA drives in a raid array, ports SATA3_0 and SATA3_4 are disabled for use as standard SATA ports, SATAE_0, SATA3_1 and SATA3_0 however can still be used in SATA Express configuration, which I would probably make use of to connect the front IO USB3.1 header that comes with the board.
The SOC board has the same limitation, only this time with a third M.2 drive, SATA3_3 is also disabled, depending on how many of the M.2 bays are being used.
So now I am at a bit of a crossroads on which direction to take the build. I say this because I origionally had intended on using the two M.2 drives in RAID 1 specifically for the operating system, and have four to six 2.5" SSDs in RAID 10 for primary file storage, and then game storage once the RAID controler card and platter drive array are added later on.
Option one would be to have the two M.2 drives in RAID 1 like in the original concept and turn the three 2.5" drives into a small RAID 5 array.
Option two, assuming the controller would support it is to group all five drives into a larger RAID 5 array.
Option three, again, if the hardware supports it, would be to set up a four drive RAID 10 with half of the drives using the M.2 interface, and the other half using standard SATA.
Assuming all three options are viable, which would you suggest?
In the case of the SOC board, the options are a little bit more versatile, but not by a whole lot, as the board has two less total SATA ports.
If I continue to use a total of only two M.2 drives instead of filling up all three slots, I would have four SATA ports on the controller available because the board does not include the USB 3.1 header. This would allow for the same configurations mentioned above, plus once again having the RAID 1 option with a four drive RAID 10.
Edit: It also just occurred to me that IF the M.2 SATA drives are cross-compatible with the standard SATA SSDs, I may be able to set up the RAID 10 on the SOC board with three 2.5" drives, with the fourth occupying the third M.2 slot. No idea if this would actually work, but it's a thought.
Edit 2: The final option I neglected to mention would be to not use the USB 3.1 IO unit that plugs into a SATA Express port on the G1 board and go with the option mentioned with the SOC board of using four SATA drives in RAID 10.
Edited by Elanachan - 5/14/16 at 10:05am