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I am looking at purchasing the ASRock Z87 Extreme 6ac and I was unclear on if I should use onboard RAID or a dedicated card. My system will be well enough off that I won't have to worry too much on performance, but I was concerned on what would happen if the mobo should go bad.

Would I be able to plug in another mobo of the same model, could I do it with a different model/same company, or even a different company and still have access to my data?

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The onboard RAID is dedicated hardware its just on the motherboard itself. It would function exactly the same. If the motherboard went bad you would face the same challenges if the dedecated raid hardware went bad, so backup your data, that problem is easy to prevent. All your questions apply to both options and they both have the same solutions. Come up with those questions, find the solutions to those problems, and implement solutions to prevent those problems from the loss of your data. –  Ramhound Aug 15 '13 at 18:55

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Switching a RAID between manufacturers is almost certain failure. Although, it "should work" companies often place a header containing data about the RAID there and these headers are different. However, backward compatibility within the same company usually works. For example going from a Adaptec 3805 to adaptec 5805 should work.

You could plug in the exact same mobo and it would work. A different mobo with the same raid controller might work.

The built-in RAID controllers general use the CPU to do there work instead of any independent CPU.

Hardware RAID controllers are entirely self sufficient and have there own dedicated CPU on the card. These cards are generally faster and have features that make them way better. Also if the motherboard goes you just plug the hardware raid controller into the new motherboard of any make/model and go. If the hardware controller dies replace it with the same or newer card and you should be fine.

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+1 I also want to add, even if you use the onboard RAID and it goes bad, moving to another motherboard/RAID will be fine if you restore from a backup –  Keltari Aug 18 '13 at 2:29

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