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PERC 5/i RAID Card: Tips and Benchmarks - Page 280

post #2791 of 7002
Quote:
Originally Posted by samstaee View Post
Is it worth getting this card for a Raid 0 with 2x WD Cav Black 500gb? When on a AMD Gigabyte 790fx with SB600?

Or would it be more worth it getting a 3x Raid 0 going on it?
You will see moderate improvements in performance using a dedicated RAID card like the Perc, however it really isn't enough to justify the cost IMO. If you plan to use RAID 5/6 or want to RAID more than three drives I would consider getting a dedicated card.
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post #2792 of 7002
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruestle2 View Post
Follow up question, could I get a 2nd Perc5i and have them work together? Or would that just be forced to have the arrays be completely separate?

The only reason I ask is, getting another one of these cards for $90, even if the arrays must be separate, would do me much better than buying a $300 SAS expander.....
You should be able to use a second card in the same system, but I have not verified it works in practise.

All the arrays must be completely separate though - you cannot create a hardware array spanning the cards. But you could software RAID the 2 together if you wanted, although if you intend to software RAID then you might as well not go with the PERC anyway.

As for which is better - well it really depends on how many drives you want. If you need 16 drives then 2 PERCs will be cheapest. But if you need 20+ drives then the expanders really start to become the best and cheapest option. A cheap board, 1 PERC6e (or internal, but the cabling would be less neat and the i's are usually more expensive on eBay) and 2 36-port expanders could happily run 48 disks (although these would have to form 2 or more virtual disks).
post #2793 of 7002
Quote:
Originally Posted by OmegaNemesis28 View Post
$119.95
Is it even that worth it?
It depends.

If you want an 8 port enterprise-class RAID card for the same price as a dumb HBA then it is definately worth it.

If you want a paperweight then it is a little on the expensive side.

Maybe if you said what you wanted to do (or what you hoped it would do) we could answer your question a little more usefully...
post #2794 of 7002
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalPhreak View Post
@ Blinky7

I haven't confirmed this with the Perc5, but usually with SAS raid controllers, you cannot mix SAS and SATA drives on the same channel. The perc has 2 channels with 4 ports each. I'm pretty sure I read about it in the manual for the equivalent LSI card.
I am curious as to where you have read this. I cannot find the links right now (although I will look later and edit if/when I do), but I am sure I have evidence to the contrary. In fact I have never seen mention of this for any SAS card. Not least because the cards do not have 2 channels - they have 8. Although most SAS connectors tend to group the channels together, they all act completely independently. This is not the same as the IDE or SCSI days where channels supported numerous drives.

The PERC6 manual is silent as to whether you can mix SAS and SATA on the different connectors, but it does state that Virtual Disks cannot span SAS and SATA disks, and also that SAS disks must be replaced with SAS disks and SATA replaced with SATA.
post #2795 of 7002
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruestle2 View Post
You will see moderate improvements in performance using a dedicated RAID card like the Perc, however it really isn't enough to justify the cost IMO. If you plan to use RAID 5/6 or want to RAID more than three drives I would consider getting a dedicated card.
Ok fair enough.
If I say had a RAID 0 with 2 drives, and then wanted to get 2 more drives into the RAID this is what I would want to get then.

On another note, can u set more than 1 raid up on this puppy?
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post #2796 of 7002
Quote:
Originally Posted by samstaee View Post
Ok fair enough.
If I say had a RAID 0 with 2 drives, and then wanted to get 2 more drives into the RAID this is what I would want to get then.

On another note, can u set more than 1 raid up on this puppy?
Yep. It can handle up to 64 Virtual Disks per controller. You can think of a virtual disk like a container. Each container can span part of one or throughout multiple actual physical disks. You can think of it in simpler terms as well: as how many actual arrays you can create. In my setup I have 8 drives in one RAID5, its one Virtual Disk. If I had set up 2 sets of 4, it would be 2 Virtual Disks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_beast View Post
You should be able to use a second card in the same system, but I have not verified it works in practise.

All the arrays must be completely separate though - you cannot create a hardware array spanning the cards. But you could software RAID the 2 together if you wanted, although if you intend to software RAID then you might as well not go with the PERC anyway.

As for which is better - well it really depends on how many drives you want. If you need 16 drives then 2 PERCs will be cheapest. But if you need 20+ drives then the expanders really start to become the best and cheapest option. A cheap board, 1 PERC6e (or internal, but the cabling would be less neat and the i's are usually more expensive on eBay) and 2 36-port expanders could happily run 48 disks (although these would have to form 2 or more virtual disks).
I am not sure what the limitation is on the 6/i or 6/e cards is, but over on the Dell forums one of the posters stated a limitation on the 5/i of 10 physical disks using 8 disks plus 2 on one expander. Not sure if he was blowing smoke or if this is true or not, especially since the logistics sound completely messed up... has anyone on here messed with expanders yet?
Edited by DJZeratul - 7/2/09 at 3:04am
    
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post #2797 of 7002
I searched a bit about the SAS drives, mostly the Seagates and read a couple of reviews. I saw that the 15k.6 is the last line that uses 3gb/s , the 15k.7 uses 6gb/s so it's not usable. The 15k.6 comes in sizes of 146/300/450 Gb, but although I wished this would mean they are 146gb platter based (making the 146gb one single platter and ideal) I couldnt find any info ont he platter size, but they said the 450gb part is 4-platter so this means they must use some platter-size around 110-120gb. I hope the 146gb one isn't crippled using smaller platters because I couldn't find any review of it.
So, in theory, going for a Cheetah 15k.6 146gb would be the best I could do for an OS drive other than SSDs.

Let's talk pricing :
There are :
http://cgi.ebay.com/Seagate-Dell-Che...3%3A1|294%3A50
And
http://cgi.ebay.com/Seagate-146GB-Ch...3%3A1|294%3A50

And I would also need these cables :
http://cgi.ebay.com/19-5-inches-SAS-...3%3A1|294%3A50

Am I correct?
Assuming shipping would be around 30$ if I contact the sellers, this brings the total price to : 125+30+32=187$= 133 euros.
It's not bad, considering you get the fastest 3.5 HDD available and it's in new condition too (though without warranty), however it's not cheap either...
For this price I can get a Samsung SSD with ~90mb/s read, ~70mb/s write, without the jmicron problems, and with the adorable 0ms latency plus with local 2year warranty. OR I can wait and get an X25-m 80gb sometime in the next 6months, they are currently at 250 euros.

My heart says "buy the cheetah" just because I wanna try the "different", I am bedazzled by the rpm numbered (15k! I used to have raptors in the 36gb ERA and loved them) and I wanna make use of my controller's ability to handle SAS.
But my mind says "you should keep the money and put them in an SSD later on...6ms response time will be fun for a while, but not life-changing in the long run...plus you will have 1 more port free for a 1tb drive in your raid5".

What is your opinion?
Edited by Blinky7 - 7/2/09 at 4:34am
post #2798 of 7002
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJZeratul View Post
I am not sure what the limitation is on the 6/i or 6/e cards is, but over on the Dell forums one of the posters stated a limitation on the 5/i of 10 physical disks using 8 disks plus 2 on one expander. Not sure if he was blowing smoke or if this is true or not, especially since the logistics sound completely messed up... has anyone on here messed with expanders yet?
All the info I posted referred to the 6-series cards - I don't own a 5 so haven't looked into it.

I am sure a while back I saw a max number of drives supported by the 6i/e cards, and I think it was 128 (or thereabouts - the max number may depend upon the expanders used as they can require ports too - it gets a little complicated & confusing). However I cannot find this link any more, and have tried searching several times. I find Dell's website almost impossible to find anything useful on, but that is a different story...

The only bit of information that I can confirm (from Dell docs) is that the PERC6 cards will support up to 32 physical disks per array. It doesn't mention the total number though, and I would assume it won't manage 32 disks in each of 64 arrays. But I think it's safe to assume the PERC6's at least will be able to address more drives than anybody is likely to need in a consumer-level setup. As for the 5 series, I have no idea, but it would seem silly to spend $300 on an expander to add 2 drives. What is the point of Dell supporting that?
post #2799 of 7002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blinky7 View Post
*SNIP*

My heart says "buy the cheetah" just because I wanna try the "different", I am bedazzled by the rpm numbered (15k! I used to have raptors in the 36gb ERA and loved them) and I wanna make use of my controller's ability to handle SAS.
But my mind says "you should keep the money and put them in an SSD later on...6ms response time will be fun for a while, but not life-changing in the long run...plus you will have 1 more port free for a 1tb drive in your raid5".

What is your opinion?
Honestly, buy the SSD. Whether you go for the Samsung based or the JMicron based you will get far better performance for an OS than you will see with the SAS disk. I believe that the stuttering issue (which I do not believe is actually due to the JMicron controller, but the underlying flash technology) will not be a problem when running on a card with built-in cache such as the PERCs, so if price goes in their favour you could try one of those (but ensure you test it thoroughly before your right to return it expires).

Having SAS is nice, but only really for 1 of 2 reasons. Firstly, you get a warm geek-like glow from knowing you are using a better class of hardware. Secondly, the reliability of SAS drives is likely to be higher than any other type of drive (cue flames about SSDs being invulnerable due to no moving parts - sorry this ain't true). If you would only being using a single drive then reliability can't be your primary concern, so that removes option 2. So if all that is left is a desire to use SAS because it's SAS, I wouldn't bother.

For the record, my SAS disks are set up in 2 independent RAID1 arrays, running my OS and VMs on my server. For what I paid they were far and away the best compromise of speed, reliability and price available. But for the money you're talking SSD is the way to go for sure.
post #2800 of 7002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blinky7 View Post
I searched a bit about the SAS drives, mostly the Seagates and read a couple of reviews. I saw that the 15k.6 is the last line that uses 3gb/s , the 15k.7 uses 6gb/s so it's not usable. The 15k.6 comes in sizes of 146/300/450 Gb, but although I wished this would mean they are 146gb platter based (making the 146gb one single platter and ideal) I couldnt find any info ont he platter size, but they said the 450gb part is 4-platter so this means they must use some platter-size around 110-120gb. I hope the 146gb one isn't crippled using smaller platters because I couldn't find any review of it.
So, in theory, going for a Cheetah 15k.6 146gb would be the best I could do for an OS drive other than SSDs.

...

It's not bad, considering you get the fastest 3.5 HDD available and it's in new condition too (though without warranty), however it's not cheap either...
For this price I can get a Samsung SSD with ~90mb/s read, ~70mb/s write, without the jmicron problems, and with the adorable 0ms latency plus with local 2year warranty. OR I can wait and get an X25-m 80gb sometime in the next 6months, they are currently at 250 euros.

My heart says "buy the cheetah" just because I wanna try the "different", I am bedazzled by the rpm numbered (15k! I used to have raptors in the 36gb ERA and loved them) and I wanna make use of my controller's ability to handle SAS.
But my mind says "you should keep the money and put them in an SSD later on...6ms response time will be fun for a while, but not life-changing in the long run...plus you will have 1 more port free for a 1tb drive in your raid5".

What is your opinion?
For the OS only I'm using a Seagate 15k.6 and I'm very happy with it.
About the platter size and data density, don't forget that a platter with high bit density is faster (from the transfer rate point of view) but it needs also a more precise mechanic to point ad the single bit of data and usually a faster disc (SAS or older SCSI) uses low density platters.

The 15k (and often the 10k) rpm disks uses 2.5" sized platters because a 3.5" platter would lead to a large mechanical stress and vibrations.

The future of the HD will be (probably) the SSD, but I don't think that actually the benefits are so huge as declared by advertisements.
For a notebook (that uses a slow 2.5" disc) probably an SSD is a big advance, but for a desktop PC the difference is less significant.
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