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Looking for a RAID card and some FS questions


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#1 Migelo

Migelo

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 05:24 PM

Hi!

Currently I have HTPC configured like this;
HW:
  • AMD Athlon II x2 260
  • GIGABYTE GA-M68M-SP2
  • 4GB DDR2 800MHz RAM
  • 1xWD 500GB 7.2k
  • 3xWD Green 2TB in RAID5

SW:
  • Win 7 x64
  • XBMC
  • Folder Sync
  • .....
On my array, I mostly save large media files and important family photos (they're also synced to another PC).
The array itself is managed by the on-board RAID controller and is using NTFS.

Now, I want to expand my array, switch to a dedicated RAID card that's future proof and maybe change the FS, although the latter is probably not feasible if I stay on Windows.
I'm fully aware that I'll have to delete the array in order to migrate to another RAID card.

I want to go with Hardware RAID, not any Software solutions like FlexRaid, RaidZ, or any kind of snapshot RAID.
I also want the array to be expandable and the only possible way with HW raid is the OLCE feature, as far as I know.
The NTFS has the array limit of 16TB, is there any way around it? Is it possible to avoid those nasty passive errors that come with storing a lot of data for longer periods of time?

Is it possible to get a raid card with let's say 4 ports and then just buy expansions cards to increase the SATA port count?

Does a raid card I'm looking for exist in the under 150$ range, which one?

Cheers

#2 Stoyan Varlyakov

Stoyan Varlyakov

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 03:38 PM

To answer you directly:
1. go for 500$ budget
or
2. go for SW raid

A proper HW RAID card will need a BBU for RAID5, or else cache is limited to read only operations.
Your money is better spent for a UPS with decent software and a SW RAID, especially if you are dealing with media files.
Large sequential reads/writes are handled not-that-bad with SW RAID.
Another point - your drives are Greens. They suffer from TLER problem, which means they will be rejected from a decent HW RAID Controller every now and then.

So if you want to replace drives and buy controller and BBU, then 500$ will be just the start of it...
I am not sure your money is justified with that performance requirement.
What you see above is my personal opinion. Don't take it as the holy bible and the one-and-only truth :)



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