Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Hard Drives & Storage › "Cheap" Hardware RAID Cards
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

"Cheap" Hardware RAID Cards

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Wow.. I was looking around on eBay today looking for a hardware SATA RAID controller. Then I remembered that a SAS RAID card can support SATA as well.

Wow... SAS cards are noticeably cheaper than SATA cards due to availability. For example, an 8 port SAS card with 64MB is only around $75 shipped! A similar SATA only card would run $300-500. These are real hardware RAID cards with onboard memory and processor. To bad they all are PCIe 4x or 8x... I only have 1x in my motherboard.


This is something to check out if you ever want to improve your RAID performance.
Once again...
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 920 [4.28GHz, HT] Asus P6T + Broadcom NetXtreme II VisionTek HD5850 [900/1200] + Galaxy GT240 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaw X [1632 MHz] 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Intel X25-M 160GB + 3xRAID0 500GB 7200.12 Window 7 Pro 64 Acer H243H + Samsung 226BW XARMOR-U9BL  
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Antec Truepower New 750W Li Lian PC-V2100 [10x120mm fans] Logitech G9 X-Trac Pro 
  hide details  
Reply
Once again...
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 920 [4.28GHz, HT] Asus P6T + Broadcom NetXtreme II VisionTek HD5850 [900/1200] + Galaxy GT240 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaw X [1632 MHz] 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Intel X25-M 160GB + 3xRAID0 500GB 7200.12 Window 7 Pro 64 Acer H243H + Samsung 226BW XARMOR-U9BL  
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Antec Truepower New 750W Li Lian PC-V2100 [10x120mm fans] Logitech G9 X-Trac Pro 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 18
Good call, but I doubt for the price, many could benefit from this performance increase. Those PCI cards are made primairily for servers. Plus, the average user just uses a 7200rpm HDD, so an upgrade to a raptor (or in my case 2x500GB 7200rpms in RAID0) would be a substantial benefit for them. What most people dont realize is how important a good hard drive is to their system- and it is the bottleneck to speed for most modern day systems.

Good find though, and I am sure that your find will be helpful. +rep!
New Build!
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5 2500K Gigabyte Z68X-UD5-B3 Sapphire 5770 Microcenter 2x2GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
1x64GB SSD, 2TB WD LG Sata DVD+-RW, Sony Blu Ray Windows 7 Enterprise x64 / Debian 6.0 / OSX Samsung SyncMaster P2450 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Ergo Kingwin 650W CoolerMaster Razer Salmosa 
  hide details  
Reply
New Build!
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5 2500K Gigabyte Z68X-UD5-B3 Sapphire 5770 Microcenter 2x2GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
1x64GB SSD, 2TB WD LG Sata DVD+-RW, Sony Blu Ray Windows 7 Enterprise x64 / Debian 6.0 / OSX Samsung SyncMaster P2450 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech Ergo Kingwin 650W CoolerMaster Razer Salmosa 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sc30317 View Post
Good call, but I doubt for the price, many could benefit from this performance increase. Those PCI cards are made primairily for servers. Plus, the average user just uses a 7200rpm HDD, so an upgrade to a raptor (or in my case 2x500GB 7200rpms in RAID0) would be a substantial benefit for them. What most people dont realize is how important a good hard drive is to their system- and it is the bottleneck to speed for most modern day systems.

Good find though, and I am sure that your find will be helpful. +rep!
RAID itself is primarly for servers. However, we reap the benefits as desktop users. Also, these are PCIe cards and not PCI cards.

I've seen one card get sold for $40. For that price, users would see a benefit if running 3+ HD in RAID or RAID5. Even a 2xRAID0 performance would be improved.
Once again...
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 920 [4.28GHz, HT] Asus P6T + Broadcom NetXtreme II VisionTek HD5850 [900/1200] + Galaxy GT240 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaw X [1632 MHz] 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Intel X25-M 160GB + 3xRAID0 500GB 7200.12 Window 7 Pro 64 Acer H243H + Samsung 226BW XARMOR-U9BL  
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Antec Truepower New 750W Li Lian PC-V2100 [10x120mm fans] Logitech G9 X-Trac Pro 
  hide details  
Reply
Once again...
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 920 [4.28GHz, HT] Asus P6T + Broadcom NetXtreme II VisionTek HD5850 [900/1200] + Galaxy GT240 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaw X [1632 MHz] 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Intel X25-M 160GB + 3xRAID0 500GB 7200.12 Window 7 Pro 64 Acer H243H + Samsung 226BW XARMOR-U9BL  
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Antec Truepower New 750W Li Lian PC-V2100 [10x120mm fans] Logitech G9 X-Trac Pro 
  hide details  
Reply
post #4 of 18
RAID performed by a dedicated processor can be significantly faster than that performed by the southbridge on your motherboard. People running 2+ drives would see noticeable increases, especially with proper NCQ support and the additional cache. Burst speeds in the gigabytes /second.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
RAID itself is primarly for servers. However, we reap the benefits as desktop users. Also, these are PCIe cards and not PCI cards.

I've seen one card get sold for $40. For that price, users would see a benefit if running 3+ HD in RAID or RAID5. Even a 2xRAID0 performance would be improved.
BTW duckie, don't you have a PCIe16 that's not going to use?



You sure these are up to the stuff of the $300 SATA cards duckie? Any hardware comparisons available?
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Xeon E5645 Asus Rampage II Gene eVGA GTX460 SSC 3x4GB Corsair Dominator PC3-12800 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOS
Crucial C300 64GB Seagate Momentus XT 750 Western Digital GP 2TB EARS Windows 7 Premium 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus VE278Q DSI SMK-88 Seasonic X-660 Lian Li U6B 2011 SE 
MouseMouse Pad
Logitech G500 KAI.g3 HIEN - HARD 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Xeon E5645 Asus Rampage II Gene eVGA GTX460 SSC 3x4GB Corsair Dominator PC3-12800 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOS
Crucial C300 64GB Seagate Momentus XT 750 Western Digital GP 2TB EARS Windows 7 Premium 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus VE278Q DSI SMK-88 Seasonic X-660 Lian Li U6B 2011 SE 
MouseMouse Pad
Logitech G500 KAI.g3 HIEN - HARD 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonindeBeatrice View Post
RAID performed by a dedicated processor can be significantly faster than that performed by the southbridge on your motherboard. People running 2+ drives would see noticeable increases, especially with proper NCQ support and the additional cache. Burst speeds in the gigabytes /second.

BTW duckie, don't you have a PCIe16 that's not going to use?



You sure these are up to the stuff of the $300 SATA cards duckie? Any hardware comparisons available?
His motherboard only has one PCI-Express x16 slot.
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by RussianGrimmReaper View Post
His motherboard only has one PCI-Express x16 slot.
mmmm gimpy
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Xeon E5645 Asus Rampage II Gene eVGA GTX460 SSC 3x4GB Corsair Dominator PC3-12800 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOS
Crucial C300 64GB Seagate Momentus XT 750 Western Digital GP 2TB EARS Windows 7 Premium 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus VE278Q DSI SMK-88 Seasonic X-660 Lian Li U6B 2011 SE 
MouseMouse Pad
Logitech G500 KAI.g3 HIEN - HARD 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Xeon E5645 Asus Rampage II Gene eVGA GTX460 SSC 3x4GB Corsair Dominator PC3-12800 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOS
Crucial C300 64GB Seagate Momentus XT 750 Western Digital GP 2TB EARS Windows 7 Premium 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus VE278Q DSI SMK-88 Seasonic X-660 Lian Li U6B 2011 SE 
MouseMouse Pad
Logitech G500 KAI.g3 HIEN - HARD 
  hide details  
Reply
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonindeBeatrice View Post
RAID performed by a dedicated processor can be significantly faster than that performed by the southbridge on your motherboard. People running 2+ drives would see noticeable increases, especially with proper NCQ support and the additional cache. Burst speeds in the gigabytes /second.

BTW duckie, don't you have a PCIe16 that's not going to use?



You sure these are up to the stuff of the $300 SATA cards duckie? Any hardware comparisons available?
NCQ hurts performance for desktop user. It adds overhead overly sequential read/writes. Desktop users requests aren't random enough to benefit.

I don't know if these are up to the SATA RAID cards. There really isn't a WHOLE lot of benchmarks of different controllers. However, these do have dedicated memory and processor. They definitely do not rely on the CPU and everything is done onboard.

If I had usable PCIe slots, I would drop $40-60 for testing. Oh, make sure you have drivers for the card!
Once again...
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 920 [4.28GHz, HT] Asus P6T + Broadcom NetXtreme II VisionTek HD5850 [900/1200] + Galaxy GT240 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaw X [1632 MHz] 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Intel X25-M 160GB + 3xRAID0 500GB 7200.12 Window 7 Pro 64 Acer H243H + Samsung 226BW XARMOR-U9BL  
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Antec Truepower New 750W Li Lian PC-V2100 [10x120mm fans] Logitech G9 X-Trac Pro 
  hide details  
Reply
Once again...
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 920 [4.28GHz, HT] Asus P6T + Broadcom NetXtreme II VisionTek HD5850 [900/1200] + Galaxy GT240 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaw X [1632 MHz] 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Intel X25-M 160GB + 3xRAID0 500GB 7200.12 Window 7 Pro 64 Acer H243H + Samsung 226BW XARMOR-U9BL  
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Antec Truepower New 750W Li Lian PC-V2100 [10x120mm fans] Logitech G9 X-Trac Pro 
  hide details  
Reply
post #8 of 18
This is interesting. What kind of cables would I need to use (for SATA drives), and where would I buy these cables?
The Fox Box
(16 items)
 
Macbook Pro
(10 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3930K ASUS P9X79 ASUS GTX 570 DCII 4 x 4GB G.Skill Sniper 1600MHz LV 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Intel 330 - 180GB LG HDDVD & Blu Ray Reader Cooler Master Hyper 612 Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
HP ZR30w Samsung 2243BWX Ducky! PCP&C 750w Silencer (coppa) 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Lian Li PC-E8 G9x S&S Steel Onkyo Receiver/Design Acoustics 2.1 system 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Core i5 2410M HD 3000 8GB 120GB SSD 
Optical DriveOSOSOS
Super Drive OSX 10.7.2 Win 7 Enterprise (In VB) Ubuntu 10.04 (In VB) 
MonitorPower
13" 1280x800 65w Magsafe 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Q9300 Gigabyte P35 8GB DDR2 2TB WD 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
2TB WD 2TB Seagate 1.5TB Seagate 1.5TB Seagate 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
1TB Hitachi 1TB Hitachi 500GB WD DVD-RW 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Win Server 2012 Headless/15" touchscreen Apple mini USB PC P&C 500W 
  hide details  
Reply
The Fox Box
(16 items)
 
Macbook Pro
(10 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3930K ASUS P9X79 ASUS GTX 570 DCII 4 x 4GB G.Skill Sniper 1600MHz LV 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Intel 330 - 180GB LG HDDVD & Blu Ray Reader Cooler Master Hyper 612 Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit 
MonitorMonitorKeyboardPower
HP ZR30w Samsung 2243BWX Ducky! PCP&C 750w Silencer (coppa) 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Lian Li PC-E8 G9x S&S Steel Onkyo Receiver/Design Acoustics 2.1 system 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Core i5 2410M HD 3000 8GB 120GB SSD 
Optical DriveOSOSOS
Super Drive OSX 10.7.2 Win 7 Enterprise (In VB) Ubuntu 10.04 (In VB) 
MonitorPower
13" 1280x800 65w Magsafe 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Q9300 Gigabyte P35 8GB DDR2 2TB WD 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
2TB WD 2TB Seagate 1.5TB Seagate 1.5TB Seagate 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
1TB Hitachi 1TB Hitachi 500GB WD DVD-RW 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Win Server 2012 Headless/15" touchscreen Apple mini USB PC P&C 500W 
  hide details  
Reply
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootsfox View Post
This is interesting. What kind of cables would I need to use (for SATA drives), and where would I buy these cables?
It depends on the SAS Plug Type: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_...CSI#Connectors

If the card has SFF 8482 plugs (aka SATA Plugs), then a standard SATA cable would work. Otherwise, you can get adapters.
Once again...
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 920 [4.28GHz, HT] Asus P6T + Broadcom NetXtreme II VisionTek HD5850 [900/1200] + Galaxy GT240 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaw X [1632 MHz] 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Intel X25-M 160GB + 3xRAID0 500GB 7200.12 Window 7 Pro 64 Acer H243H + Samsung 226BW XARMOR-U9BL  
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Antec Truepower New 750W Li Lian PC-V2100 [10x120mm fans] Logitech G9 X-Trac Pro 
  hide details  
Reply
Once again...
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 920 [4.28GHz, HT] Asus P6T + Broadcom NetXtreme II VisionTek HD5850 [900/1200] + Galaxy GT240 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaw X [1632 MHz] 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Intel X25-M 160GB + 3xRAID0 500GB 7200.12 Window 7 Pro 64 Acer H243H + Samsung 226BW XARMOR-U9BL  
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Antec Truepower New 750W Li Lian PC-V2100 [10x120mm fans] Logitech G9 X-Trac Pro 
  hide details  
Reply
post #10 of 18
Make sure that if/when you buy cables for your SAS/SATA raid card that you get the correct cable. Most SAS/SATA raid cards come with no cables. You have to specifically order the correct model number of the card to get the cables and then they usually are the wrong ones (Isn't that the unwritten law of cables?).

As far as the quality and speed of the cards, this is what I have found;
The best? Adaptec. Almost as good? LSI. This is based on testing under both linux (RHEL5) and windows (win server 2003 x64). The more drives you have the better the LSI card seems to perform. I say "seems" because it also depends on the drive's firmware and model.

There are also differences in the backplanes for storage arrays. Some have no logic whatsoever up to and including backplanes that monitor and condition the signals coming from the controller (including limited write caching on the backplane (bad idea IMO)). As you would expect the performance drops the more logic on the backplane (as well as MTBF).

Also some of the cheaper cards do not have write caching or hot swap ability (for when a drive fails). There _is_ also a difference in command queuing, supported raid levels, battery backup (very important for critical data since the data is not written to the drives until the buffers get full (based on stripe size)) and you can be hosed if the power drops and the data has not been flushed to the drives.

/wordy...
Gaming rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
C2D E8600 ASUS Striker Extreme eVga 8800 gts 640 OCZ Platinum 4gb 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD2500JS NEC DVD+-RW Windows XP SP3 2x LG L226WTX 22" widescreen 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Ideazon Merc Stealth Ultra Atx 600 Cooler Master CM690 Logitech Mx 518 
  hide details  
Reply
Gaming rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
C2D E8600 ASUS Striker Extreme eVga 8800 gts 640 OCZ Platinum 4gb 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD2500JS NEC DVD+-RW Windows XP SP3 2x LG L226WTX 22" widescreen 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Ideazon Merc Stealth Ultra Atx 600 Cooler Master CM690 Logitech Mx 518 
  hide details  
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Hard Drives & Storage
Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Hard Drives & Storage › "Cheap" Hardware RAID Cards