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So, I just discovered that the RAID controller within my Dell Precision 470 is software based. I never recognized until now that Adaptec CERC stood for "Cost Effective Raid Controller"... amazing.

According to this lovely Dell datasheet, it appears that my controller is a "driver-based software raid", which consumes host CPU cycles to operate.

My question, are there advantages to utilizing this "driver-based software raid" over the OS raid available in Windows7/Server2008 for RAID 1 (or RAID 0)?

Under most circumstances, I prefer having RAID handled outside of the operating system. However, I've discovered on this machine how much of a pain that can become -- I cannot easily run tools such as disk check tools on each drive independently without first splitting the RAID (as the individual drives are hidden behind the RAID controller). That consumes my time (split RAID, verify which HD is dieing, rebuild RAID).


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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Most people on here agree with you, as do I - software RAID us better than this crappy half RAID but really good hardware RAID is the best. I'd leave the one you have and use the Windows RAID myself.

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Yep, if the OS is going to be involved anyway it may as well do the whole job. – John Gardeniers Mar 6 '10 at 9:38

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