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Hardware RAID Controller?


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Heya, this be my first post so a warm welcome from sunny australia. Getting to the point, if you read my sig, you can see that i have a half decent system and im quite happy with it but it's main limitation is hard drive space, as of late i only have a 120gb SATA as my main and a WD80gb IDE for backingup purpouses and lastly a Samsung 4gb as a network swapfiles.

 

I am finding this really insuffecient as i have already run out of space, now i might as well make a highend storage solution for the rest of my system (my mobo has room for 5 SATA connectors, and molex connectors or wattage wont be a prob, i have a TAGAN TG900 900watt).

 

Im thinking 4 350gb SATA Seagate Barracudas as my maindrive, the 120gb SATA seagate as my backup drive (only really my docs i want saved) and the WD80gb IDE as my swapfiles. I also intend to run those 350gb in RAID 0 config. Now my question is, if im not running a server style 24/7 comp with over 5 case fans plus harddrive rack fans on each hard drive is a hard drive failure really all that likely? because it's never really happened to me before.

 

Also my other option is to buy 5 350gb Barracudas and run them in a RAID 5 config that way i can scrap the 80gb WD ( i really hate IDE cables) and buy a pci SATA port adapter and then i wouldnt have any need for the backup drive and i could just use the 120gb as the swapfiles. except the problem with this is that i constantly edit video files (convert formats of DVD movies, cut out snippets, make my own movies ect) so i really wouldnt mind the performance boost of RAID 0 and in such a write intensive environmeent the parity would severely bottleneck the drive performance. I guess the only way around this is to use a Hardware RAID controller but good ones that allow RAID 5 and over a tb of partitions aer seriously expensive and im just not sure its worthit.

 

 

so any ideas on this? are hard drive failures really all that common in properly cooled, pcs that only run for maybe 12 or 14 hours a day?

 

do appreciate fellas

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First of all, Welcome to the Pit :wp:

 

ice_maggot, I have tried just about every RAID configuration since I too do a lot of movie editing, music ripping ect...

 

I found RAID 5 fast but no where near as fast as RAID 0. The issues with stability comes down to this, if one of your 4 drives fail, then you loose all your data on all drives in this configuration. The way I get around this is, I save all my data once a week to a drive (5th drive) that is not part of the RAID array.

 

I have only had to re-install once in a year due to a bad drive but I did not lose any data due to my back up.

 

RAID 0 is smokin fast for the applications you speak of and you will love the added speed in video editing.

 

As far as drives, I suggest the new WD 350 GB SATA2 HDDs, your motherboard will run them and the added 3GB bandwidth will be a bonus for your RAID speed.

 

Just use the RAID controller from your southbridge, and make sure you have the newest bios. Your MOBO specs show that your southbridge will handle this task, look here.

 

X_C

Edited by X_C
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hey, thanks for that, and im thinking i might actually just do that. going with a hardware controller just doesnt seem worth it right now. id rather spend that money on something else like an encryption board or something.

 

its a shame that i cant get the WD350SATAII in my local store, theyre out of stock on all WD SATAII drives from the 200gb to 500gb range, so i can either get a 160gb or nothing at all for about 3 or 4 months, lol

 

looks like ill have to be getting the Seagate SATAII 320gb 16mb cache. just one more quick question though, does the 16mb cache make that much of a difference over the 8mb?

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