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Discussion Starter #1
Hello there, this is an extension of an issue I'm having on my build thread, but I decided to re-post here with the intention of getting my question out there more. I managed to get a hold of the manual for the Gigabyte G1 and SOC boards from their site 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 in fact 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:

Gaming G1:
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

SOC Force:
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 originally 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.

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.

The final option 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 an option that would also be viable with the SOC board, using four SATA drives in RAID 10 and the two M.2 drives in RAID 1.

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 configuration mentioned above, the twin M.2 RAID 1 option with a four drive RAID 10.

IF the M.2 SATA drives are cross-compatible with the standard SATA SSDs, I may be able to set up 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.
 

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Perhaps we could better answer if you said what you hope to accomplish with these arrays? Those seem to be some rather unusual options for a gaming machine. As well I'm not sure why you selected those particular drives. Your motherboard, you paid a huge premium to get all these PCIe 3 lanes, but you selected drives that can't take advantage of those lanes.
 

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I had purchased the M.2 drives without realizing that they were restricted to SATA speeds until after I got them. I went with them due to the 1TB capacity. They are intended to contain the operating systems (windows and linux), and my initial plan was to put the two in RAID 1. I have not ruled out the possibility of exchanging them for 512GB drives that would be able to take advantage of the faster speeds, but that would also further restrict the available SATA ports on the motherboard more than they already are.

The system is going to be for both work and play, there are plans to add an additional RAID array that is going to be on a separate controller from the motherboard with a future expansion that will contain a database containing large media files, but that is neither here nor there sense I cannot afford to build it all at once. What was originally to be the second array that used the motherboard's controller will be first and foremost for game storage, and until the database drives are installed, will also contain any other media files, including large quantities of RAW files from my photography work.
 
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