kreativ

RAID1 - Use Dell SAS RAID Controller or Intel motherboard RAID?

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I have a Dell Precision workstation with an Intel server motherboard. It has a Dell SAS RAID Controller as well as the Intel RAID that's built into the Intel motherboard chipset. I thought a SAS controller was only for SAS drives, but apparently it works with SATA drives as well.

For RAID 1 with two WD Black 640GB SATA drives, which controller should I use?

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Any idea which SAS RAID controller it is?

And yes, SAS includes SATA as a subset, so it does support it...

It's the "Dell SAS 5/iR Integrated Controller" The SATA connections for this controller are on the motherboard.

I figure it's hardware-based and probably better than the RAID built into the Intel chipset? But the Intel probably has more frequently updated drivers.

Oh yes, and it's a Dell Precision WorkStation 690.

Edited by kreativ

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Hmm. Yes, the Dell should be better, but I'm not sure by how much. I think it's the same controller or similar chipset, at least, to the PERC 5/i which is pretty well known for being low/mid-range but decent.

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Any idea which SAS RAID controller it is?

And yes, SAS includes SATA as a subset, so it does support it...

It's the "Dell SAS 5/iR Integrated Controller" The SATA connections for this controller are on the motherboard.

I figure it's hardware-based and probably better than the RAID built into the Intel chipset? But the Intel probably has more frequently updated drivers.

Oh yes, and it's a Dell Precision WorkStation 690.

I do not know exact benefit for RAID1. I do know that degraded RAID 5 shows a HUGE advantage with dedicated RAID card. I suspect this is because the processor handle intelligent the rebuild process and the XOR computation.

I have seem very few benchmark on RAID1. This probably means not much performance difference.

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Intel's motherboard RAID is just crap. Do not use it. It may not be as crap as it usually is with a pure RAID-1 array but it is still crap.

Edited by qasdfdsaq

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Hmm. Yes, the Dell should be better, but I'm not sure by how much. I think it's the same controller or similar chipset, at least, to the PERC 5/i which is pretty well known for being low/mid-range but decent.

They share the same driver. I believe the PERC 5/i is an add-on adapter while the SAS 5/iR is a motherboard-integrated solution.

Intel's motherboard RAID is just crap. Do not use it. It may not be as crap as it usually is with a pure RAID-1 array but it is still crap.

Why is it so bad? And is this the case even with their latest ICH10R?

Edited by kreativ

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Its crap because performance can be very erratic (and terrible in RAID-5), write-through cache actually makes things slower in my experience, and it forces a rebuild of every array after any unclean shutdown (e.g. crash, power loss, reset, or blue screen). If there are multiple arrays on one drive (thanks to their much coveted "matrix raid" feature), it rebuilds all of them simultaneously making things even slower. Oh, and you can't control AAM, NCQ, or drive power management.

That, and their "latest" ICH10R gets soundly beaten in performance by NVidia's 5-year-old NForce 4 (NVidia are now on NForce 9, go figure). RAID-1 performance isn't too bad, if it's not busy rebuilding (on some of my systems it's rebuilding about 3/4 of the time :P), but RAID5 performance of NVidia's 5 year old chipset can be about 4-8x higher than that of Intel's latest.

Edited by qasdfdsaq

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Its crap because performance can be very erratic (and terrible in RAID-5), write-through cache actually makes things slower in my experience, and it forces a rebuild of every array after any unclean shutdown (e.g. crash, power loss, reset, or blue screen). If there are multiple arrays on one drive (thanks to their much coveted "matrix raid" feature), it rebuilds all of them simultaneously making things even slower. Oh, and you can't control AAM, NCQ, or drive power management.

That, and their "latest" ICH10R gets soundly beaten in performance by NVidia's 5-year-old NForce 4 (NVidia are now on NForce 9, go figure). RAID-1 performance isn't too bad, if it's not busy rebuilding (on some of my systems it's rebuilding about 3/4 of the time :P), but RAID5 performance of NVidia's 5 year old chipset can be about 4-8x higher than that of Intel's latest.

Hello, I'm new here. I've been trying to understand more about RAID storage, and also ATA vs SCSI protocols.

So is it the cold reality that I'll be only wasting money if I want to make RAID-1 with SATA disks, namely using the controller of Intel's ICH10R?

I was told that for a desktop user, RAID is almost useless to achieve any performance and that RAID-1 does not provides twice the speed, as in theory.

Also I'm looking forward to buy the ASUS P6T Deluxe OC-Palm board. Besides the Intel Matrix in the ICH10R, they have put an onboard Marvell 88SE6320 SCSI controller with 2 SAS ports (able to manage RAID 0 and 1). Is this SCSI controller any good? Can I benefit from it to increase loading performance with SAS disks?

What would be the best solution for getting the best performance with such a board?

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Also I'm looking forward to buy the ASUS P6T Deluxe OC-Palm board. Besides the Intel Matrix in the ICH10R, they have put an onboard Marvell 88SE6320 SCSI controller with 2 SAS ports (able to manage RAID 0 and 1). Is this SCSI controller any good? Can I benefit from it to increase loading performance with SAS disks?

What would be the best solution for getting the best performance with such a board?

88SE6320 just gives you ability to use SAS drive and software RAID. If you use SATA drive, you are better off with Intel if you ask me. This review gives some good background.

Tom's Hardware Review of South Bridge

I am currently using RAID0 using a 3ware 9690SA RAID card from using just NVIDIA SATA controller (no raid.) The performance is noticeably faster. Is it dramatic? No, the system is more responsive but my old one harddisk configuration was pretty fast already.

My recommendation is to do RAID0 of two drive. Use a third drive/external harddisk/network storage as a backup system. I actually think even a lowly 7200RPM drive is good enough. This should be good enough for most desktop/gaming system.

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Hmm, it'd be nice if Tom's Hardware had used standard 7200rpm or 10k mechanical disks, too... going to X25-E's pushes the controller much harder, which is nice but runs into potential performance limits that the average user with mechanical harddisks may NEVER be able to touch in the expected lifetime of the system... :)

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I forgot to add why hardware RAID is nice:

1. low CPU utilization

2. RAID migration! Yes RAID0 to RAID5. At least I know 3Ware has claim to have them. My ICP5085BL (Adaptec) claim to have them. I did not read in manual to figure out how yet.

3. RAID still works across different motherboard. If you always buy Intel, you are all set. If not, good luck.

I normally replace my computer system every 2 years. My harddisk is replaced on the order every 3 years or 5 years. The reason is simple. Changing computer is quicker than moving data into backup and etc.

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Damn, so these onboard RAIDs are all software RAIDs... big deal... It's only a bait for desktop users to spend money. <_<

Well, after analysing what you told me and reading several sources, I decided to go for the said Asus P6T Deluxe OC-Palm but leave the SAS drive aside. I went for a single SATA WD5001AALS hard-disk. It's the Black Edition Caviar from WD, with 32MB cache and some special features. Gonna make 4x120GB partitions for 4 different operative systems. Should be enough... I guess.

(I'll leave my old Samsung HD501LJ alone for storage only.)

Should I buy another twin WD and make RAID? which RAID would be performing better between 0 and 1 then? (I cannot afford RAID 5... I'm zero'ed for now. <_< )

Or better hang one with this single Caviar and wait for the SSDs to improve?

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