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Old August 19, 2010, 07:04 PM
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Default RAID5 of 3x1TB drives

Question for those who run RAID...

Is the ICH10R okay with RAID5 for 3x Samsung F3 1TBs? Or should I consider investing in a decent RAID controller? If we remove the cost factor, and focus on performance, is it a noticeable increase from the ICH to a RAID controller?

If it is, what would you suggest? Ideally something in-stock on NCIX and around/under $500.
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Old August 19, 2010, 08:19 PM
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ideally for RAID 5 you should be using a hardware controller as you will get much better performance since RAID 5 uses parity. Also for raid 5 i would recommend a minimum of 4 disk. 3 in the array and one as a hot spare to be added in the event a drive dies or is dropped from the array.

in regards to raid cards if you stick with something from 3ware/LSI, Areca or Adaptec you should be fine. i would look at the SAS/SATA raid cards with the breakout cables you could then later move to a larger chassis and use a SAS expander.

Also keep in mind that sometimes there are issues with consumer drives (ie: non raid edition) in the area of TLER or power saving modes while that is good for single drive solutions it can cause headaches in raid configuration. Just google TLER and Western Digital and you will see what i mean.
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Old August 19, 2010, 09:05 PM
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In my opinion the ICH10R does fine.

It does online RAID migration and expansion which allows you to start off with 2 drives that are mirrored and then add 2 more drives and switch them to a 4 drive raid 5. The speed increase is there but it sucks if you lose power or hard lock in a game that causes a rebuild as your computer is going to be running slower than normal for a while.
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Old August 19, 2010, 09:58 PM
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A dedicated raid controller will help drastically with RAID 5. Since it uses it's own processor instead of putting stress on your CPU.
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Old August 19, 2010, 10:12 PM
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"drastically" is up to the person using it, and only if the card does xor calculations for the parity.

ICH10R raid is essentially free, whereas a good dedicated card is not. Is it worth the money? Probably not....
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Old August 20, 2010, 03:08 AM
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Depends on what he's expecting from it.
If it's a simple HTPC, or media server then sure an onboard will be fine, but if it's his normal computer he'll notice the drop in speeds.
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Old August 20, 2010, 04:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perineum View Post
In my opinion the ICH10R does fine.

It does online RAID migration and expansion which allows you to start off with 2 drives that are mirrored and then add 2 more drives and switch them to a 4 drive raid 5. The speed increase is there but it sucks if you lose power or hard lock in a game that causes a rebuild as your computer is going to be running slower than normal for a while.
and what happens when this happens with his onboard controller and it starts to do a rebuild in raid 5 it wil take even longer. There is a reason that hardware raid is still used in enterprise solutions. Also the ichr10 is still essentially a software raid. a very good one, but still software. ( and while i use it for my boot ssd array i don't keep anything on it that isn't backed up elsewhere as i don't trust it.) if you were to run raid levels 1, 0 or 10 then i would say don't bother with a hardware controller but anything that requires parity you really should.
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Old August 20, 2010, 06:05 AM
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And just to elaborate, this array is going along side my Vertex 2 120GB. It'll basically hold all my games and static files (music, pictures, videos etc). I'd say all my apps will be on the SSD, maybe with the exception of CS5. I also run VM's from time to time as required by my school courses or for personal usage, so those will be off the RAID5 too. Just normal VMWare Workstation though.

I'm aware of the TLER issues, but isn't that mainly with WD only? Haven't seen much about Samsung having that.

As for a hot-spare, does that mean the drive is just sitting there idle in my case? If a drive dies, I'd be ordering a new one same day and it'd be there within a day or 2, which I think I could live with the degraded performance.

Would a 4-port 3Ware 9650 be a good choice? I have an offer for a used one at a pretty affordable price.
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Old August 20, 2010, 07:54 AM
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hot spare is just there spinning idle, if a drive drops from the array the controller will automatically begin the rebuild process with the spare drive. Without a hot spare in the event of a drive failure you run the risk of another drive failing before you can replace it. If you lose 2 drives you would be looking at a very long and lengthy recovery process.
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Old August 20, 2010, 10:08 AM
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IMO, test out R5 on ICH10R first. If performance is satisfactory, keep using it. I was able to max out my gigabit LAN with a 5x1 TB RAID5 on ICH10R.

TLER is WD's name. Other companies have their own acronyms... best thing is to check if your desired hw RAID controller has a configurable time-out for drives dropping out.
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