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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I've read through a horde of old onboard RAID threads, but at the end of all of the mayhem am still confused on how to best go about the following:
My old system configuration consisted of (hdd-wise)
2x 80GB Maxtors on the onboard PATA RAID connector, RAID 1 (important files)
and 2x WD Deskstar 75gxp drives on an add-on RAID card (ATA-100 only), RAID 0 (games/scratch disk, etc.)

One of the Deskstar drives has finally failed [no surprise]...so I'm wanting to re-visit the whole setup process again for space/performance.

What I'd LIKE to do is have:
2x 300GB Seagate SATA drives in RAID 1 (ALL important files here...) for security
2x 80GB Maxtors (from old config) in RAID 0 (purely scratch disk, games, etc) for performance

*SO*, my question is this:
I've heard a lot of bad things about the on-bard RAID, both PATA and SATA...or at least that's what I think I've read.
If I install the 2 Seagates on the P4C800-D's promise SATA RAID, I'll be limited by the pci-bus...and thus get crappy performance, correct? I do have a sound card and several other periperals, so I'm sure that would be an issue.
What would be the best way to set up the SATA array? An add-in card...but wouldn't that also be running through the pci-bus?
Would a PATA RAID 0 array even get material loaded faster than the SATA-mirrored drives?

And then, how should I ideally set up the PATA RAID array? On the add-in card (only ata-100, when the drives are 133), or onboard PATA RAID (limited by pci bus)?

I'm just really confused on how to get good performance/security...which is really all I'm looking for here....

I'm sorry for the lengthy description, but I know that more is better when diagnosing. I'll be picking up the Seagate hard drives "today" (2am right now), so if any of you have any input, I'll most certainly be eager to put it into effect immediately.

And just for good measure, here's my complete "projected" system setup (with the new seagates, and the failed deskstars erased...also listed are some irrelevant hard drives in the system that were ommitted above):

P4C800-D
2GB 3200 RAM
Radeon 9600 Pro 128mb (though an NVIDIA is en route)
True 480W power supply
2x Maxtor ATA 133, 80GB --> currently RAID 1, looking to go RAID 0 possibly.
2x Seagate SATA, 300GB --> Looking to go RAID 1
1x Maxtor ATA 100, 60 GB --> for linux
1x Maxtor ATA 100, 60 GB --> for misc fat32 storage
Plextor 740a dvd burner
Pioneer slot dvd rom
Audigy Plat
Pinnacle Capture card [likely to be pulled]

That's honestly everything I can think of mentioning. I have some external hard drives for archive backup...but I don't think that's relevant to the issue.

Like I said, with that failed drive I'll be looking to getting this whole system reformatted/running pretty quickly here [work and school require it]...so any/all advice is greatly appreciated!

Thanks again!

John
 

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Hi John,

You probably won't like my answer, but to be frank with you, it is necessary to read some more if you want it done correctly the first time around.

There is a person on this forum who is probably more knowledgeable about this subject than anyone I have ever come across. His name is Clintfan. You need to search his name on TSF, read his sticky's about this subject and browse his threads on these topics. I don't know of anyone who could guide you better than this master of the trade. Oh, don't misunderstand, there are others who can help you, but this information is so well documented and well written by Clintfan so it is easy to understand and implement. That is why I would advise you to go that direction. That is my two cents worth.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
can-do? ...and the 'revised' plans.

Thanks for the input...I'm reading through the clintfan guides now...however, I don't think I can go about things exactly the way you thought I might be able to...for the following reason:
I have a P4C800D ... not a P4C800-E Deluxe -- so I assume the intel ich5r raid setup is not an option for me?

With that having been said, here's my revised thoughts:
I can go two routes hard-drive-purchase-wise --
a) Get a 75gb sata WD Raptor for my scratch/performance disk, a 300gb Seagate sata barracuda for main storage & OS, and my already-existing 80gb PATA Maxtors as a mirror array on the promise controller for "safety" of stuff on the Raptor.

b) Two lower-capacity sata hard drives (around 70-80GB...any suggestions on models are welcome) in a RAID 0 array -- which I am told would likely outperform a single raptor, and then one main 300gb seagate barracuda for the os and all other storage. The only part about this setup I don't like is that I don't have any serious backup plan "baked-in", though I have 2 1-touch external hard drives that could cover that ground.

Any thoughts on which would be a better route to travel? I'm still kind of confused as to the actual usefulness of the P4C800D's raid...is just the PATA raid crappy, or is it the same for the SATA as well? I'm kinda assuming it's just the PATA, since you're forced to install them on the same channel...is this correct?

Thanks again for the input -- please keep it coming, as a sale for Raptor's ends tomorrow evening if I should take 'route A'!!!

John
 

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John:

Dont over look the value of a sata or raid PCI controller card as made by Promise @ newegg.com for about $40.00

they are hard to beat and one hellva lot less flaky than trying to force the buggy ICH5R to controll both IDE and Sata controlling

If it were me ? i would let the ICH5R run the IDE drives
a sata controller card for the sata drives
and let the onboard raid controller run your raid set-up

my two cents / wont even get you a cup of coffee

please let us know how you progress with this / I dont recall anybody's config quite like this before ????

PS you better have one hellva qulaity PSU to run all those drives and components like an antec 550 or enermax 550

@ Please / has a good grip on raid & sata configs as does Tumble ~~ I am anxious to see your results >>??

regards

joe
 

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Discussion Starter #6
purchases

Hey there,

Well I took a different approach than we had been discussing, though there's still some 'kinks' to be worked out.

Instead of going with a stripe array, for my scratch/performance disk I went with getting a single 74gb sata WD Raptor & connected it to SATA 1 on the mobo (not promise). It was on sale & I'll be getting even more rebates by mail, so for now it's a workable solution.

For my "big storage drive" I got a 300gb Seagate 300gb sata drive, and attached that to the other onboard-connector.

Presently I still have the two ata 100 drives (linux & misc fat32 storage) connected to onboard IDE, as well as the 80gb maxtor's in a mirror array (promise)...but that leads into my question:

It seems that you were right, and that even though I have an antect truepower 480, I'm not getting enough power. I say that because I also got a 6800GT, and with that taking a molex cable as well, I get a lot of artifacts while trying "anything 3d". I have read that this can be due to the card being underpowered, and when I unplugged both dvd drives/linux & 'misc fat32' hard drives, the artifacts were reduced significantly. They were not all the way gone, so I think in part I have just a bogus vid card (I had bought it refurbished; will be returning).

So anyway, this is where I have my question:
Should I get a 500w truepower & try to run everything in the same box, or should I consider setting up a server with all the 'extra' drives? I have an old P2 with a full-tower case that I think would suffice for now (since servers are mostly about the 'hard drives' & not cpu anyway, no?). However, for a RAID 5 setup I'd need to purchase a RAID 5 pci card...1 more 80gb maxtor (have 3, need 4), and also get a PS for *THAT* right that can support 4/5 hard drives (along with maybe one cd-rom or something)...and finally an 1gbit pci card, since transferring mass-storage over 100mbit I don't think would work too well....

So, which route sounds better overall? Any thoughts on things?
 

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I would shoot for a 600 watt enermax (look on ebay) if I was planning on running all that !! and better think about some more cooling fans / especailly exaust

I would shop for some Thermaltake Hardcano A1282 ( i found them once for $10.00 each ) drive coolers for your expensive drives / remember drive manufactuer's give no warranty for drives which you barbaqued !!

the full tower server case is a great idea if your case is atx compatible ????? you will need to do some modifing to get some 120 mm fans in there though unless you can get about 5 or 6 80mm's ??????

youre going to really have some heat there !! with all those drives spinning


regards

joe
 
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