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[INQ] Gigabyte Onboard Hardware RAID

post #1 of 11
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http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquir...yte-packs-tech





Quote:
GA-EP45-DS5 board

The first board we were shown was at the higher end of the line, the GA-EP45-DS5, the second from the top of the line. It has almost all the goodies though, and is far from a run of the mill P45 mobo. The spec sheet shows two variations from the mainstream P45 boards, DDR2/1200 support and a 1600FSB. The DDR2/1200 was quite unusual, the 1600FSB is pretty common.

It doesn't stop there though, the listed 10 SATA ports have a unique twist to them, hardware RAID. There are two ports that allow for OS independent hardware RAID. You can set it in the BIOS and it looks like a single drive to any OS, completely transparent. Gigabyte also claims that it will back up the main non-RAID ports if you plug a HD in, but I am a little shaky on the details there.

The boards also have a TPM on them, something that attracted a great deal of attention a while ago, but now has come back down to reality. In addition to the normal TPM functions, you can also put in a USB drive and have it encrypted on the fly, or simply choose to apply crypto to a folder or file. Unfortunately, this only works on the Broken OS, so it is about as useful as a microwave oven option on a hang glider. I wonder if this is Gigabyte's fault or Intersil for not providing real drivers for their chips?
Note the additional HS around the Southbridge for the independent RAID controller.
Edited by DuckieHo - 6/9/08 at 6:26am
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post #2 of 11
source link?
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post #3 of 11
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There are two ports that allow for OS independent hardware RAID. You can set it in the BIOS and it looks like a single drive to any OS, completely transparent.
interesting... No more flippin RAID drivers! One of the more pain in the ass things was to hunt down a working RAID driver for those silicon RAID controllers. Not fun.
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post #4 of 11
I wonder what the performance will be like.

Probably no match for a discrete RAID card, but should match or best regular onboard RAID controllers.
    
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post #5 of 11
Let's see how they implement it first. The P5W had a similar on board raid controller but was slower than using the ICH7 intel raid as it was a shared channel split between 2 SATA ports afaik
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoBlo69 View Post
interesting... No more flippin RAID drivers! One of the more pain in the ass things was to hunt down a working RAID driver for those silicon RAID controllers. Not fun.
I believe RAID drivers are still needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trueg50 View Post
I wonder what the performance will be like.

Probably no match for a discrete RAID card, but should match or best regular onboard RAID controllers.
It better best current onboard RAID controllers or else it would be nearly pointless. If it has dedicated memory and is true hardware, I don't see why it won't match discrete hardware RAID cards. I just hope this isn't just a host-based RAID controller just to add a few more ports.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glenbuck1914 View Post
Let's see how they implement it first. The P5W had a similar on board raid controller but was slower than using the ICH7 intel raid as it was a shared channel split between 2 SATA ports afaik
Did the P5W use true hardware or host-based RAID?
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post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
Did the P5W use true hardware or host-based RAID?
It was hardware as far as I can remember... a "Silicon Image 4723 Hardware RAID controller" but as the SATA ports used a shared channel:

"I have seen at least one person who claims 330 MB/sec = 3.3 Gb/sec burst transfer rates in RAID 0 using direct connection to the ICH7R. This same person said they only got 191 MB/sec using the EZ-RAID connectors."

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/...up-intel-ich7r

Sorry for the vague quote off a THG forum, but this was fairly common knowledge for P5W owners on XtremeSystems as I frequent the P5W thread their a lot.

I'm just hoping Gigabyte don't pull the same stunt with there implementation.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
I believe RAID drivers are still needed.
Quote:
it looks like a single drive to any OS, completely transparent.
What does this statement mean if you still need OS drivers? I thought when something was transparent, that meant it wasn't seen/needed.

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post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoBlo69 View Post
What does this statement mean if you still need OS drivers? I thought when something was transparent, that meant it wasn't seen/needed.

Actually, you are probably right. The implementation is on the hardware level so the OS just sees another single SATA drive.
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post #10 of 11
Quote:
It doesn't stop there though, the listed 10 SATA ports have a unique twist to them, hardware RAID. There are two ports that allow for OS independent hardware RAID. You can set it in the BIOS and it looks like a single drive to any OS, completely transparent.
Hmmm, I thought Asus had that distinction of "Unique" - "First Hardware RAID" with the MIIF?!

And when it was posted everbody said - "Oh, that's useless- how hard is it to set up RAID" or "That's gonna cause Headaches" and such!
- now the same people are "Oooh... Aaaah!"; "Me want"

Maximus II Formula Thread -Asus ROG P45 First look!
http://www.overclock.net/hardware-ne...us-ii-p45.html
Quote:
We find another option at the two additional SATA-ports that are attached through a Silicon Image-controller. When you add two hard disks to these ports they are automatically configured in RAID 0 (striping), however this controller can easily be configured differently.
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