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i'm trying to find a SATA Controller that has a PCI-E connecction of at least 4x, and has also at least 4 channels for SATA disks. I need it to make a real raid 5 system, the fakeraid on my motherboard is absolutely crap.

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internal or external ports? –  Chopper3 Oct 28 '09 at 14:21

8 Answers 8

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Are you looking for something like this?
http://www.areca.com.tw/products/pcie.htm
http://www.areca.com.tw/products/pcie341.htm

ARC-1210 (4 ports, raid 5 and 6).

ARC-1210

ARC-1260 (16 ports, raid 5 and 6).

ARC-1260

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This is indeed hardware RAID5 using the popular Intel IOP333 processor. Can also do RAID6, though you'd probably want more than 4 ports. –  ChrisInEdmonton Oct 28 '09 at 14:57
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I have their 8 port card and I love it! If you look closely you'll see that the ports are staggered and sitting on top of each other (the first picture does have 4, two in front slightly lower than the two behind it, both visible in the picture, same with the 16 port and 8 port version). –  Joshua Oct 28 '09 at 15:31

3Ware makes a number of these in varying configurations. I've had several of their cards before, and I've like them very much. I've not bought a new one in a while, though -- the last one was 64-bit PCI. I've never had one of their PCIE cards.

Newegg carries many of these: http://www.newegg.com/

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I have a 3Ware 9650. Hooks up via PCI-e 4x, and provides real hardware RAID5 and RAID6. My particular model is the 8 port version of the SATA II card. The data sheet is here and here's a pic of the card:

3Ware 9650

I used it successfully in Windows XP and Vista, though they were very late to the game with Vista drivers. I see they shamefully do not have Windows 7 drivers yet, but state that their products do unofficially support that operating system and official support is due in late 2009. I had good experiences with the card in Linux.

They also sell a battery backup unit for this card.

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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816152105

And

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816115064

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Hrm, I guess that only does RAID 0/1/10/JBOD. Bummer. If it's Linux, MD does a good job with RAID-5... –  Kyle Smith Oct 28 '09 at 14:24

I've had success with the cards from Sonnet.

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/tempo_sata_e4i.html

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These also don't appear to support RAID 5. Also, I like how their website doesn't understand RAID: "Set up your drives in a RAID 0 (mirrored) or RAID 10 (striped/mirrored)...". I'd like to be on that tech call "But you told me RAID 0 was mirrored!" –  Kyle Smith Oct 28 '09 at 15:06

ArsTechica published their October 2009 System Guide and had the Adaptec 5805 SAS RAID controller on their God Box recommendation.

Specifications look pretty impressive with tons of OS support. NewEgg prices aren't too bad - Adaptec 2244100-R PCI Express (PCIe) and Adaptec 2244300-R PCI Express (PCIe8x).

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You know that their God Box is essentially a joke. It's not necessarily the best hardware but the most costly that stays in reach for the consumer. They thankfully avoid Apple Cinema displays and the Bigfoot "killer" network card. –  dlamblin Oct 29 '09 at 19:15
    
Yea, but understandably their hard drive sub-system is based off of a server productuct config. Certainly a little different wtr SSD's vs. high speed disks, but the need for high throughput, low CPU usage controllers is the point. –  Christopher_G_Lewis Oct 29 '09 at 21:47

I personally use the Highpoint RocketRaid 2320 controller in my workstation rig. It's working well and fast so far - and I found it to be the most cost effective controller card out of the whole lot up there with good support and market penetration.

alt text

  • PCI-E x4
  • 8 SATA ports
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Actually - methinks I have an extra 2 or 3 of such cards lying around in the office that have not been touched for awhile. If you want them, I could give 1 to you - though it's not a promise, I have to check if they are available. –  caliban Oct 28 '09 at 14:30
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The RocketRaid 2320 does not provide real hardware RAID5. See linuxmafia.com/faq/Hardware/sata.html It is really quite CPU-intensive. –  ChrisInEdmonton Oct 28 '09 at 14:55

http://www.3ware.com/products/images_new/AMCC_9650SEe_kit.jpg

3ware 9650SE-4LPML PCI Express Lanes: 4 SATA II Controller Card RAID Levels 0, 1, 5, 10, Single Disk, JBOD, KIT - Retail

from Newegg. Pricey, though.

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Wrap that jpg url with ![name](url) –  dlamblin Oct 29 '09 at 0:16
    
Sorry, my bad. I wondered how to do that... –  tahdhaze09 Nov 5 '09 at 18:59

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