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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know nothing about RAID but I was told today by an IT technician at work that motherboards do not have real RAID they only have software RAID. Is this true? I was wanting to use a RAID 0 on my main board (GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS4 (rev. 1.3)) you see and the technician said I can't do it.
 

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That is untrue, your motherboard does support RAID. The important thing to know is that motherboard RAID is not as powerful as using an integrated card. Simply put this is because the south bridge is substantially slower at doing calculations that a processor on a dedicated RAID card would be. Motherboard raid IS hardware raid.
For doing RAID levels 1 or 0, a motherboard controller is sufficient. Raid 0 or 1, does not require significant computational power to run, unlike other levels (ie RAID 5). It is possible to run RAID 5 from a motherboard, but the performance will be VERY bad because the South Bridge must calculate the parity data to write. Use a RAID card for higher RAID levels, but use your mobo for 0 or 1. The important thing to know is that there will be no discernible difference between mobo RAID 0 and dedicated card RAID 0.

To setup your raid you need to go into your bios, find something that says SATA configuration and change it to "RAID", reboot, when the intel RAID controller screen pops up press ctrl+I to enter the RAID menu. Follow the on screen instructions to create your RAID. Proceed then to boot and install your OS, or do whatever. Back up ALL data first if disks are currently being used.

More Information on RAID:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID
 

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There is a lot of confusion around different types of RAID - hardware, firmware and software.

The only way to offload all processing from the MB and CPU is to use an expensive, dedicated RAID card - not the $20-$50 ones that you see available. They have dedicated processors to do any required data handling and parity calculations.

Otherwise, with both onboard RAID and the cheaper RAID cards, the CPU and chipset to the bulk of the work. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however, especially with most modern systems.

Onboard RAID, and the ones using the cheap cards, are *not* software RAID. They have controllers that handle some of the work, but still need the chipset and CPU for heavy lifting.

Software RAID is used when you have *no* hardware support for RAID at all, and using the OS to provide RAID-like functionality. Only Unix systems can boot from software RAID.
..a
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
rep for both of you - cheers

he is a apple mac technician could that be the reason he does not know?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by adebisi View Post
rep for both of you - cheers

he is a apple mac technician could that be the reason he does not know?
He wasn't that wrong, still impressive for an apple tech. I wouldn't expect him to even know what RAID is.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by eflyguy
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Some people call onboard (firmware) RAID "software" RAID because it still uses CPU resources. You can argue it either way, but real "software" RAID is different.
..a

Real 'hardware' RAID is different too (don't worry efly - I know you know this, but as it isn't actually stated in this thread I thought I'd add it in
).

It seems the Apple tech was either confusing for the OP or confused himself. As you say, most do not know what the differing types of RAID implementations mean, and if they do they usually don't fully understand what it actually means in practice anyway.

One more thing - Windows 7 *can* now boot from a software RAID0 array - this wasn't possible with earlier versions. I wouldn't recommend it though. Windows can also boot from a software RAID1 array, but as Windows RAID1 is poor (and is not really RAID1 in the true sense) I wouldn't go that route either if you have another option.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by the_beast
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One more thing - Windows 7 *can* now boot from a software RAID0 array - this wasn't possible with earlier versions. I wouldn't recommend it though. Windows can also boot from a software RAID1 array, but as Windows RAID1 is poor (and is not really RAID1 in the true sense) I wouldn't go that route either if you have another option.



Did you find resources that document the Windows-7-booting-from-software-RAID-0 thing? I still couldn't get my Windows 7 virtual machine configured to do so... and spent about an hour or so Googling instructions, but to no avail... <boo>


Not that I'm going to ever go that way in a production machine, but it's one of those useful-to-know-but-useless-features....
 

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All I know is:

On my old ICH8R my seagate 7200.10 320 gigs in single mode get 70 mb/s transfer rate, and in raid 0 get up to 133 mb/s, so it doubled the speeds of my hd's so i'm happy with "software" raid
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by adebisi
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I know nothing about RAID but I was told today by an IT technician at work that motherboards do not have real RAID they only have software RAID. Is this true? I was wanting to use a RAID 0 on my main board (GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS4 (rev. 1.3)) you see and the technician said I can't do it.

Everyone above me has answered your question, but I still have to add something...

Tell that IT tech to shove an ICH10R up his
 

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Id say get a Raid card.. I like Adaptec.. I got one for a steal at $950 (51645) It has Dual 1.3 Ghz processor and 512ram. It gives burst rates over 1200Mb/s and read write on a 4 500 gb seagates of 450/300
Best part is if your motherboard goes down just pop a new one in slap the card on and everything is good to go.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kiwwanna View Post
Id say get a Raid card.. I like Adaptec.. I got one for a steal at $950 (51645) It has Dual 1.3 Ghz processor and 512ram. It gives burst rates over 1200Mb/s and read write on a 4 500 gb seagates of 450/300
Best part is if your motherboard goes down just pop a new one in slap the card on and everything is good to go.
For 4 drives your 51645 is a complete waste (TBH a high port count card is a waste of money now).

And an ICH10R will match those speeds in RAID0 anyway...
 
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