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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I got this motherboard thinking I could raid 4 wd raptors in a raid 0, not knowing that it had 2 channels on each of the 2 controllers... I tried a 4 channel sata rocketraid card but was limited to the 133mhz pci bus..... I actually got better performance striping 2 raptors on the intel southbridge... but anyways.. my question is...

Is there any socket 478 motherboards that have native 4 channel sata raid on the southbridge ( because its my understanding that even the added promise crontrollers still use the pci bus )......
..if anyone knows of a board, I would appreciate the feedback.

Thank you,

Godfrey
 

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No, there aren't ANY, the socket 478 boards only have the ICH5R Southbridge from Intel that only support 2 SATA conections. Only the ICH6 onwars support 4 SATA channels
 

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Sata controller card - maximum drive count

I have the P4P800-E deluxe too. I have been running two satas (non-raid) and one ata/133. Pick for what I had access to at the time of the build. Now I'm ready to upgrade the drive config. I have access to some sata 250's and/or some ata/133 320's.

If I put in sata controller card, could I install more non-raid sata drives, just for performance purposes? Is this a good idea, or am I asking for config problems?

If I don't add another sata card controler, how many total drives will this mb support with stock connections? Seems like six, two SATA and four ATA. Or is it 8 ATA and 2 SATA? Could I have 2 ATA on each PRI_RAID, PRI_IDE1, SEC_IDE1?
Like the original poster, I was thinking a three drive SATA raid but now need to rethink my plans. My interest in RAID is mostly for saftey, but I don't want to give up speed. I work with Photoshop.

Thanks for any experience, insight or help you might offer.
Thanks
 

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@ hardluck
Welcome to TSF :smile:
The P4P800 E-Deluxe with its on-board Promise controller can take a total of 10 drives! The Intel controller has 2 IDE channels, each with master and slave for 4 drives. The Intel controller also has 2 sata connections, for 6 total Intel drives.
The Promise controller has one IDE channel with master/slave for 2 drives and it also has 2 SATA connections for 4 total Promise drives available. So I don't think adding another Promise controller will help you.

IMHO, the 'ultimate configuration' for photoshop is to have three RAID arrays total running off the Intel chip(it's impossible..I know..read on). One RAID1(or RAID0 for speed) array for WinXP and program files, including Photoshop. Then have one RAID0 array partitioned with the first partition being for the Photoshop scratchdisk and nothing else(how much you need? 10GB? 20GB?). Then, a second RAID0(third RAID array) with the first partition going for the WinXP pagefile(~2GB partition for a 1.5GB pagefile and nothing else). And they would all be connected to the Intel chipset so as not to run thru the PCI bus and its limiting 133mb/s speed. They would all be SATA Raptors too :grin: . But there is no such Intel chip right now, so compromises have to be made. You will have to choose by what is more important to you. This link under 'Setting scratch disks' (near the top of the page) explains about separate HDDs for programs and pagefiles and scratchdisks. Separate partitons on the same physical HDD is not the same thing.

The faster interface is thru the Intel controller. But, you cannot put ROM drives on your Promise controller so the ROMs have to go on the Intel. If you have 2 ROM drives, that leaves 2 IDE and 2 SATA connections. SATA is faster than IDE, so once again you will have to decide what is more important to you. You could RAID1(or RAID0) your IDEs for WinXP and Program files, leaving your single SATA drives for Scratchdisk and Pagefile. Or RAID the SATA drives and have the 2 separate IDEs for Pagefile and Scratchdisk. You could also have a RAID1 array for safe storage on the Promise controller, if you want to do a RAID0 off the Intel for speed and sacrifice safety. Just don't put WinXP or Photoshop there.

Wow, I overanswered you I think, but there is a ton to think about. I hope this has been somewhat helpful.

Keep us posted with your progress.
 

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Maybe I need a mini van?

Thanks that helped, but I've still got questions. Keep the advice coming.

Well... I was thinking how sexy the raid configs would be, how I'd be able to pick up ckicks an' all. But now reality is sinking in. I'm married with kids and have many other piorities and responsibilities beyond fast hard drives and hot chicks. :cry:

So here's what I'm thinking... (How may cup holders can I get in this mini-van)
No raid, but three separate drives for OS/Programs, OS swap and Photoshop scratch.
SATA drive 1: OS/Programs and some on-line storage of stuff that's not active.
SATA drive 2: Photoshop scratch disk; back-up of OS/System Settings; storage for non-active stuff that is also backed up off-line.
ATA/133 1: OS swap file; more on-line storage of stuff that is backed up off-line.
ATA/133 2: Working image files, maybe My Documents too.

Could I use the PRI_RAID connection for the ATA/133s in non-raid mode? The mannual says a drive connected here defaults to non-raid. Would I need the Promise diver installed even if not using raid?

Would it help to partition the drives to separate the swap and scratch area from storage? The SATAs are 250GB the ATA/133s are 300GB? I don't want to waste all that space, but I know I need to keep traffic low to keep the swap and scratch space working well.

I could go get a couple cheap 80/100GB ide drives for swap and scratch, but since I do have two ROM drives on SEC_IDE1, the connections are filling up fast. Not to mention my poor little OEM (MGE) 400watt PS.

Could I have the two SATAs on sata1 and sata2, the two ROM drives on SEC_IDE1, the two 100GB swap/scratch on (PRI_IDE1) and two ATA/133s on the PRI_RAID?

From what I read (yes, I am making some effort), the PRI_RAID connections supports DMA133 speed dirves, but shares cycles with the PCI bus. The PRI/SEC_IDE1 connections only support DMA66/100 but is dedicated (133 drives are backward compatible, so they'd connect, just not go fast). I''m not sure how to weight that out. Or if it it is dictated by needing Promise or ICH5R setup.

Just slap me if I'm outa line.
Thanks!
 

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@ hardluck
Excellent questions and a well thought-out post :sayyes:
I hope I will be up to the task with some helpful answers.

Your 4 separate non-RAID setup sound nice. Another option that I would consider is to RAID the SATAs and partition them 120GB for OS/Programs and 120GB for secure storage like saved images etc. Then use the PATAs as single drives one with a Pagefile partiton and the other with a Scratchdisk partition. The rest of the disc space for whatever. The beauty of the OS/programs on one partition and the secure data on the other partition is if you need to reinstall windows, you can without messing with the other partition of secure data. This would have the security to satisfy the wife and kids and have a RAID(with partitions) to impress the hot chicks :cool: . But if 4 separate HDDs with tons of space works for you, go for it.
Could I use the PRI_RAID connection for the ATA/133s in non-raid mode? The mannual says a drive connected here defaults to non-raid. Would I need the Promise diver installed even if not using raid?
You can use the Promise 'PRI_RAID' controller as a non-raid setup. You will have to install the non-RAID Promise drivers, but that is no problem. Also enable the controller in your BIOS. Look at this tutorial by clintfan for instructions. Below in the post tho I discuss the Intel connection possibilities.
Would it help to partition the drives to separate the swap and scratch area from storage? The SATAs are 250GB the ATA/133s are 300GB? I don't want to waste all that space, but I know I need to keep traffic low to keep the swap and scratch space working well.
Separate partitions for the Scratchdisk and Pagefile are highly recommended. Place them as the first partition which is on the outer, faster part of the disc. The Scratchdisk partiton can be however big you need, but I would go at least 10GB and more is better. The pagefile partition needs to be ~33% larger than the pagefile itself or it won't work nice. I set my pagefile to minimum and maximum of 1.5GB on a 2GB partition so it doesn't get fragmented. A trick I learned here.
Could I have the two SATAs on sata1 and sata2, the two ROM drives on SEC_IDE1, the two 100GB swap/scratch on (PRI_IDE1) and two ATA/133s on the PRI_RAID
yes you could if you need that much storage but you may have enough HDDs already to accomplish what you want.
From what I read (yes, I am making some effort), the PRI_RAID connections supports DMA133 speed dirves, but shares cycles with the PCI bus. The PRI/SEC_IDE1 connections only support DMA66/100 but is dedicated (133 drives are backward compatible, so they'd connect, just not go fast). I''m not sure how to weight that out. Or if it it is dictated by needing Promise or ICH5R setup.
I don't think you need more drives, but that is up to you. I would consider attaching the remaining IDE HDDs to the Intel controller. I would try this, your ROM drives as PRI and SEC masters, your HDDs and PRI and SEC slaves and the SATA drives as SATA drives and not use the Promise controller. This will allow writing from IDE-HDD to IDE-HDD without using the same IDE channel and also allow writing to both IDE-HDDs simulateously(using PF and SD) without competing for the same IDE channel bandwidth. You would lose the Promise ATA133 bandwidth thru the IDE bus, but gain the faster response of not using the IDE bus at all. And you would not compete with other components on the IDE bus as well. Maybe you could test both possibilities(IDE on Intel and IDE on Promise) by using HDTach to test thruput of each config scenario and report back with your findings. :sayyes: :grin:

Well I think I answered all your questions and it seems you are moving in the right direction for configuring your setup for maximum efficiency and useability.

You would be wise to consider a new PSU for your system . I would recommend something from Antec or Enermax with 500 or more watts. The Antec SmartPower 2.0 SP-500 500W at $76 is the least expensive quality PSU I've seen. You may find it cheaper by searching more.

Keep us posted with your progress.
 
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