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Smitty2k1

Sil Raid 5

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I know everyone hates on the Sil for any raid (especially the raid 5) however I am considering doing it and seeing how I like the results (I can always uninstall if I want.) What I'm assuming is going to happen is it's going to work but be slow, and so I'll deal with it and upgrade later. Which gets me to my real question:

 

If I build a raid 5 array (I'm planning on using 4x500GB Samsung Spinpoints or 4x500 WD RE16) on the Sil chip, can I move the array to another raid card (for example some Pci-e x4 raid solution?) The raid card I would be buying in the future would be Sata300 instead of 150. Would this be an additional problem? Also, will a cheap hardware solution (one that still has the CPU do a lot of the work) be much of an upgrade from the Sil chip? Or would I have to go with a full blown $600 raid card that uses true hardware processing?

 

By the way, I would still want to game on my machine with the Sil Raid 5 installed. I'm not overclocking and I don't need THE BEST performance, I just want to be able to run games smoothly... would using the Sil raid slow down my machine to the point of making gaming wothless?

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I can only answer one your of questions relative to moving the array from one controller to another. In all likelyhood this won't work, because the chipset on the add on controller won't be the same as the SIL chipset onboard. When you create your array, information about the exact RAID controller you are using is written to the boot block of your RAID array. Since this information will be different from one controller to another, there isn't any way for the old array to work on a new controller. Exactly the same reason you can't swap from the nVidia RAID controller to the SIL RAID controller without breaking the array and rebuilding it.

 

On the subject of add on RAID controllers...

 

You probably won't notice much of a performance improvement between the onboard RAID controllers and add on RAID controllers unless you spring for the high dollar controller. And even then you probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference. IMHO, both the nVidia and SIL RAID controllers that are onboard DFI motherboards are extremely capable for the majority of desktop applications.

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1) You need only 3 hard drives for Raid 5, not 4. If you are going to get 4 hard drives then go for Raid 0+1.

2) You will be able to keep the raid as long as the chipsets are the same. The DFI boards come with the si3114 chipset. So if you want 3G speed and plan to move your raid, the si3114 is not gonna do it for you, which means new chipset, and yeah your raid is gonna break.

3) All raid on mobos and pci and pci-e cards are basically some form of software raid. For true hardware raid you need to invest in some good scsi card and scsi drives. And yes hardware raid kicks software raid in the nuts.

4) I will not recommend installing an OS on a raid 5 setup. You will get better performance by connecting a single drive to the nvidia controller and installing the OS on it. Games will load much faster from a single drive than from a Raid 5 setup.

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Colonel,

I didn't even think about raid 01. Reading about it looks good, I'll still have to sacrifice 1/2 my available space, but I get raid 0 speeds... right? How is it in terms of stability/rebuild ability? I've read somewhere that it is quite inferior to raid 10. Anyways, I think I'm going to ignore the Sil chipset and add in cards and just do a raid 01 on the nvidia raid. I see 4x500gb Samsung Spinpoint T's in my near future :)

 

Maybe I'll raid 0 my two IDE drives for a boot drive (This 4 disk array is going to be for music/movies/downloads/archives etc) is it easy to set up a raid on both the IDE channel and SATA channel?

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Maybe I'll raid 0 my two IDE drives for a boot drive (This 4 disk array is going to be for music/movies/downloads/archives etc) is it easy to set up a raid on both the IDE channel and SATA channel?

 

Yes, it is.

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