[thelist] [OT] Hardware question about RAID...

Jason Handby jason.handby at corestar.co.uk
Wed May 7 09:56:18 CDT 2008

Hi Tris,

> Hi all...
> I'm building my first PC..
> I want to use a RAID configuration and see that many 
> motherboards offer raid 5 as standard.
> This is what I was after, but assumed I'd need a raid card to do that.
> so my question is, will a motherboard such as:
> http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Motherboards/Socket+
> 775+%28Intel%29/Gigabyte+GA-P35-DS3L+iP35+Express+%28775%29+Mo
> therboard+?productId=30549
> Offer me a reliable raid set up?
> I've just using it to host media through my house, so the 
> load will be minimal...
> Any tech heads out there, know what's what?

I built my current PC around a Gigabyte P965-DS4 motherboard, and was
originally running 3 disk RAID 5. It worked OK, but it was a little slow
(I think because the Intel chipset RAID implementation has to "steal"
CPU time to do the parity calculations for RAID 5).

I've since switched to 4 disk RAID 10, which is quicker.

The single most annoying thing is that, if your PC shuts down in any way
unexpectedly (i.e. crashes), the Intel controller will likely insist on
verifying and repairing your RAID array when you reboot. This can take
hours, and your PC will run slower until it's done.

The motherboard you're looking at has the Intel ICH9 chipset (note the
absence of the trailing 'R'), and this doesn't support RAID (
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I/O_Controller_Hub#ICH9 ). So you may find
that you need to get a more expensive motherboard.

Alternatively it's possible to do your RAID from within Windows by
creating dynamic volumes, but I've never tried this and I don't know how
well the performance compares to the Intel version.



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