Currently I have a raptor 150, and 6x seagate 400 7200.8 and 2x seagate nl35 drives. Most of the drives were bought 2 at a time and I think the nl35 drives are pretty much the same as the 400 7200.8's. System specs athlon 64 3800X2+@ 2.7ghz, 2gigs of ram, high end videocard x1900 or 7900, and sound blaster xfi elite pro, on a dfi nf4 expert mobo. I use the system for pretty much everything like a media pc, and for gaming, work, school. I wanted to put 8x 400 in raid 5 or 6 array using my pci-e 8x slot, and just give my graphics card 8x.
Since I have 9+ drives in my system, I have to use the sil controller that is on the pci bus, and a promise pci sata controller. This easily overloads the pci bus and causes my soundcard to stall or creates static when the drives are underload. Trying to decide on a pcie raid5/6 controller since I have alot of lossless audio, and dvds imaged, and other files I'd like to have some redunecy with incase one drive fails. Right now I have all my hard drives on an antec 550truecontrol psu, and my main system off a seasonic s12 600. I was thinking of getting another 600seasonic if it would be better since the voltages should be closer, not that I think it matters much for hard drives, and fans. I was looking at the areca 1220 and 1230, I don't think I will need the 12 port consider all new motherboard should have 4+ sata ports, but if you can run multiple arrays on them, and if it would perform better then the default chipset ports I think it might be worth it. For instance if I have 8x400 raid5 array and 2x150 raid0 array on the 1230 would performence suffer? Would I be better off just using raid 0 on the chipset native ports or off the the controller? I am also wondering how easy it is to expand the array, since I already have atleast 2tb of data I would need to move to the array. I heard it takes along to expand arrays any estimates though if I start with 3x400 and go to 8 drive by drive? I never had any problems with the ntfs file system corrupting but is it something I should worry about with tha large raid 5 array?
I am also wondering how the cpu usage is on the areca controllers, or if anyone has any other to recommend, that are hopefully cheaper but reliable. I heard there can be upto 1 gig of ram on the controllers and there is a sodimm slot but I can't see it on the cards. Is it possible for me to order a 1gig ecc sodimm(laptop memory) and just stick it on the card for a performence boost, and how much would it cost?