TechSpot

SATA PCI card for RAID

By mke
Jan 2, 2007
  1. Hi there techspot people. I have a question in regards a sata raid controller card. Currently am searching for a decent card to allow me to build a RAID 5 array, with atleast 3 disks, expandable on the next few months to more than 4-5. I've noticed that adaptec has a reasonable choice for a sata raid controller with 6 ports, however i would like to know what the experts thing about these cards and this manufacturer. Also is there any alternative to this card? I have no pci-x slot on my mobo, its a common old MSI K8N Neo Platinum with an althon 64 3.4Ghz.
    Any recommendations much appreciated, or maybe an ebay listing of the card :) to check the price too. The one i mentioned goes for 50-70GBP new.

    Anyhow.
    Thanks
     
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 9,431

    Which exact model are you talking about?

    Do not buy an Adaptec HostRAID device - those are rebranded fakeraid cards, not real Adaptec products.

    Actually, don't buy any fakeraid device - RAID5 on these is slow, 1990s desktop computer kind of slow. Excellent information on SATA RAID cards here: http://linuxmafia.com/faq/Hardware/sata.html
     
  3. mke

    mke TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 146

    hi and thanks for the reply. the card i mentioned is branded and named as ADAPTEC 2610SA 6 PORT SATA RAID CARD, atleast on ebay. dunno much about em, its my first raid card, but need it for speed and reliability and not 90s remake model, so any ideas much appreciated :) thanks for the site also :)

    edit.
    hi again, wow have i got a question :) i though rocketraid cards were good as most magazines i've read this year raved about em and said decent stuff. what happens to them? i dont get it. also what exactly is a fakeraid??? is it a normal raid card with poor features? or performes slow??? there was another card i though always to buy that i've read, that swowed a dinosaur or something on the box, fitting in their advert perfectly with raptor HD and NCQ or something. cant remember the name though but was supposed to be superb....
    anyhow thanks for the eye opener :)

    dankeshon
     
  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 9,431

    Fakeraid means that the SATA chip on the card is a plain non-RAID SATA controller with some extra BIOS code added. All RAID functionality is done by SATA drivers (= your CPU).

    Now, RAID0 and RAID1 fakeraid is somewhat bearable, since all the CPU has to do is set up DMA between the controller and RAM. (Take this block of data and write it to this drive, now take that same block and write it to that drive.) With RAID5, the CPU actually has to process every byte of data going on the disks. (Calculating the parity information) That is slow and will hog your CPU :)

    This is an old benchmark, but gives you the idea: http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content.asp?id=raid505&page=9

    This Adaptec card is real hardware RAID, so you get my thumbs-up with that.

    Do not believe any "reviews" that do not have proper comapartive benchmarks attached.
     
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