Is a raid card worth it?

By Deery50
Jun 11, 2013
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  1. I am soon building a small server computer and for this computer, I am getting 2 7200rpm drives. I am going to setup raid 1 for these 2 drives so if one fails, I have the other. I have never used any raid arrays before so I was wondering if it was worth getting a raid card supporting raid 1, or should I just stick with software raid. What are the downsides of using both? Thanks to anyone who helps.
  2. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar TS Evangelist Posts: 6,477   +965

    jobeard Will probably know best, but I can offer the little insight I know. RAID cards tend to be expensive, so that is something to take into consideration. Software RAIDs tend to slow down the CPU since the CPU must spend computing power driving the virtual (emulator) RAID array. I would personally avoid RAID, but for reliability purposes especially on servers, it may be worth looking into.
  3. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,202   +422

    RAID cards that only support a small number of drives are relatively inexpensive. They can be had for $100-200 from a reputable brand. I'd personally look for something from Areca or 3Ware.
  4. Deery50

    Deery50 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 27

    Thanks for all the responses but I have changed my mind. I am going to use 2 drives, one will be for running the servers and I will have a program do periodic backups to the other. This just seems like the best idea since Instead of having raid 1 with 2 drives that both undergo much stress, I can have 1 drive undergo this stress and the other just save backups every day.
  5. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar TS Evangelist Posts: 6,477   +965

    Backups are probably the best and cheapest option. Best of luck.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,148   +597

    If one opts for Raid-1 or any of those variations, then the on-board / software stuff should be avoided and an investment in a good RAID card is the right way to go.

    There's a ton of reasons why but suffice it to say here, "You get what you pay for".

    Searching Techspot for RAID will provide lots of background on the subject.
  7. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar TS Evangelist Posts: 6,477   +965

    That makes sense lol. What is the point of having a backup HDD RAID array on a unreliable RAID card/software. It is like having a kitchen with a stove that doesnt work.

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