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Old July 16, 2008, 02:36 PM
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lowfat lowfat is offline
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It is definitely worth the money for a hardware RAID card for RAID5. RAID5 is very CPU intensive. Also lets say your motherboard dies. Your RAID array is useless to you unless you get the another board with the exact same chipest.

I myself bought a Dell Perc5/i controller recently. It is a great card considering the price you can get them on ebay ($100 generally). Although the downside is they aren't compatible with a lot of boards. You can comb through this thread here and see if anyone says anything about your board.

Dell Perc 5/i - Mainboard Compatibility List - 2CPU.com Discussion Forums

A lot of other DFI boards are listed as supported so you might be in luck.

The Perc5/i isn't an amazing controller, but it is significantly better than software/onboard. If you are willing to spend more on a controller, you might look at an Areca ARC-1210/1220. They are $400+ but they will perform better. The High Point RocketRaid3510/3520 is also another good card, generally in the $350+ range.

One last point, you generally want a battery backup with the RAID card, or otherwise you won't be able to use the cache on the controller card.
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