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Please help in choosing a RAID Controller

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Hello everyone,

Hope you are well. This is my first post here. My name is Manzur and I am an IT Engineer, looking to setup a storage system using a hardware RAID controller.

I am looking to buy a hardware RAID controller, and am currently deciding between these ones:

1. Areca 1883ix-16

2. LSI 9361-8i

3. Adaptec 81605ZQ

I have used an Adaptec controller as well as a LSI 9271-8i before. I will be using the controller in a desktop system, and initially will be using 8 x 4TB HDDs, each four in a RAID10 configuration.

I was wondering if anyone has any experience with any of these cards? From my past experience, LSI and Adaptec do get very hot. What kind of cooling can be used with these two cards?

Areca 1883ix-16 has its own cooling fan, and the cache can be upgraded to 8GB, which is really tempting. However, looking at compatibility report, it was only tested against a very few hard drives, and no 6TB drives have been tested. LSI and Adaptec both have a good number of drives tested and supported. If anyone is using Areca 1883ix here, please do let me know, as I cannot seem to find enough information.

So, please help me decide which would be my best option here. Going to a 16-port card is not mandatory, but it does give me option to upgrade in future. But I also want good performance, and am not sure what to go for here.

Thank you very much in advance, I really appreciate your help.

My system spec if it helps: Intel i7 4930K | ASUS X79 Deluxe | 64GB DDR3 2133MHz

Hard drives that I will be using with the controller: 4 x 4TB Hitachi NAS 7200 RPM SATA and 4 x 4TB WD RE4 7200 RPM SATA

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Personally I might lean towards the 9361-8i since it seemed to offer the highest performance in our environment. The Areca model is based off it with some minor additions... but why not just buy the deal deal instead?

In terms of running hot, all the models that you listed are somewhat designed to be operated in an environment with a certain amount of airflow. If you are using them in a server they will operate for many years just fine. In a desktop, you would need to make sure a gentle/brisk breeze is always flowing over the card's heatsink.

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IIRC, TheSSDReview also has reviewed those cards... but most sites now are reviewing them only with SSD's, not with harddisks.

Both should be fine with 7200rpm harddisks, in fact I suspect differences would be much smaller than wtih SSD's...

As far as cooling-- check the specs. The manufacturers spec a certain amount of airflow over the passive heatsinks used, usually 200LFM. You may be ok under that, but they're definitely going to need a certain amount of airflow.

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