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Old 07-13-2006, 10:10 PM   #1
Registered: Jun 2005
Distribution: debian, ubuntu, redhat,knoppix
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cheap sata raid or software raid?


I am going to build a couple nas using my old pIII 450 pc. I wonder if its better i use some cheap sata raid pci card or simply just do it in linux software raid?

Can someone give me some suggestion which one is more practical in term of performance? Besides, i look up the HCL but there isn't any sataII raid card there. Can some one give me some suggestion which card is easier to use (preferably no kernal recompilation).

thx in advance
Old 07-14-2006, 11:31 AM   #2
Registered: Feb 2005
Location: Kansas
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Software RAID

Software RAID in RHEL4 will out perform all but the very best hardware controllers and in the case of your hardware, would be the easiest to set up. It really is quite powerful and easy to administer.
Old 10-13-2006, 07:32 AM   #3
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On a PIII-450, I'm not so sure that's the best choice.
Old 10-13-2006, 08:56 AM   #4
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How many drives ?

What Level of RAID ? 0, 1, 5, 10, 50 ?

Why RAID ? Perfomance, Larger storage area, what goals are you trying to accomplish ?

As for cheap RAID cards.. they are a waste of money.. Either do software RAID, or buy a REAL Hardware Based RAID controller.

And Yes there are absolutely SATA II RAID controllers that are well supported in Linux, but they are Hardware based controllers and are not cheap..

3Ware RAID Controllers - Supported Operating Systems
4 port PCI Sata Controller
8 port PCI-X SATA II Controller
8 Port PCI Express SATA II Controller

but no your not going to get the SATA II Controllers into a PIII 450 and get decent performance out of it.. the PCI-X card would plug in to a standard PCI slot and work, but you would be loosing Speed, and bus width because you lack the proper Interface slot to fully support the card.
Old 10-13-2006, 10:58 AM   #5
Registered: Aug 2006
Location: Near Binghamton, NY-the recent FLOOD zone
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Exclamation Cheap SATA pci add-in cards=Problems with BIOS conflicts even on newer nF4 mainboards

My experiences from 3+ months of testing w/ M$ indicated BIOS conflicts when booting with RAID pci add-in cards installed & power applied to the HD(s) that were attached. If I booted w/o the pci RAID powered and then applied power from my 2nd Power supply after O/S started it always locked up. Many emails to mainboard tech support & pci card mfr (Including tech Department heads) have been unremarkable, Always got prompt replies, but no real solutions. May try some BIOS tweaks now that I know about them, but concerned of breaking BIOS completely!
Only way I could avoid all the BIOS conflicts was to DISABLE all RAID options (S&I) & both IDE channels, which I found unworkable as I lost use of 2 HD & 2 DVD burners.
Would have returned the cards, but were out of warranty period, ya want to try any of them?
Only <$100 PCI add-in that worked as I recall had 4 WD740GD attached (RAID 0, 1, or 0+1, all options worked booting O/S)
HW used for those tests; socket 939 nForce4 mainboards, tried Mandrake, oSuse 9.1Pro, RHEL3 & had same BIOS boot problems even though I never used the linux O/Ss. I have not tried my various PCI Add-in cards yet w/ any recent Linux distro, but FYI my 2 installed PCI Express x1 SATA 3.0 cards (w/o any HD attached yet!) are recognized by FC5, Slack 11, the sil-### drivers are loaded during recent installs on Tyan S2865.

BIOS on an IBM (PII-350) Aptiva would not recognize any of the SATA RAID PCI add-in cards I tried; IDE was OK, SATA 150=nada.
Chris, IMHO your BIOS on the older systems may not allow (aka SUPPORT) cheaper SATA RAID cards to operate, for O/S boot or storage! SATA 3.0 is probably completely out-of reach, btw SATAII is not=SATA3.0 Gbs as SATAII includes SATA 150Mbs!
Your best bet might be IDE RAID, which controllers are you considering (VIA ##, Sil##, etc)? Edit original thread, add reply, more HW specs
Echo farslayer EXCELLENT post
Originally Posted by taiwf
Snpd use some cheap sata raid pci card or simply just do it in linux software raid? chris


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