ASUS P5WD2-P Raid controller

By Sparky Joe
Jul 17, 2006
  1. I'm about to set up a RAID-0 on an ASUS P5WD2 premium, so I've been reading the user guide and found that there 2 RAID controllers to choose from, one is the Intel ICH7R southbridge and the other is a Silicon Image 3132. Does anyone know about these or which one I should go with?

    Thanks -Joe
  2. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Hi SparkyJoe-
    I just built a similar system (ASUS P5WD2-E Premium), which also has an on-board RAID controller and the Intel ICH7R chipset.

    What we found was- finding RAID compatible drivers for the on-board chip was problematic at best. The mainboard CD is bootable and has a utility for making a driver floppy for Windows XP and Win 2000/2003 installation, but neither would see the RAID group we created. It just treated it as a SATA controller with all RAID drives visible but no RAID volume at all. This was a problem for us as we wanted to put the OS on a RAID device.

    As we only wanted RAID 1 (or RAID 0), we just said "the heck with it" and disabled the on-board RAID controller and used the Intel ICH7R- which worked with flying colors. XP, 2000 & 2003 see the RAID volume vs. the individual drives this way, as well as the CTRL-I bios setup-screens built-in to the Intel Raid Utility are very nice and full featured. This also allowed us to remove to other raid controller/hardware entirely and save some address/rom space as well.

    The main advantage to struggling with the Asus 3rd party RAID controllers is mainly if you want beyond RAID 0 or 1. The on-boards will support additional RAID forms, but at the cost of additional/non-standard drivers and processes. If you're not choosing to install the core OS to a RAID partition, you can pick & choose however you want as once the OS is installed, you can add RAID drivers for Windows that will allow maintaining raid groups. But if you're planning on installing the OS on RAID or don't need anything aside from RAID 0 or 1, I'd say just use the tried-and-true, Intel ICHxR chipset as it's solid, has great support and performs fantastic.
  3. Sparky Joe

    Sparky Joe TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Thanks for the great reply, my drives came in the mail today(2 80g seagate 7200 for RAID-0) I'll post again when I get it set-up.
  4. Sparky Joe

    Sparky Joe TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Set-up went very smooth, though I had to dig out a floppy drive, and some disks which I haven't used in 2 years (why don't those things obsolete yet).
    Wish I could compare the performance increase over just SATA2 drives, but oh well.

    System restarts before I can even get back from taking a leak, wow. Istalling programs that are already stored on the volume is incredibly fast. Haven't put my music back on yet, or tried to play with any movies, but I'm sure I won't be disappointed.

    One more question though; for what I do, music and movies, I set a 64k stripe size, should I have gone bigger?(128k is the max)

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