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I have a Dell 1950 config as per this service tag 1PLMP2J i.e. its only got the built in SAS controller, which I want to use in a RAID 1 config for the 2x SAS 146 HDD (and to add addional drives in Raid 1)

It seems there are (at least) two possible RAID controllers I could fit

Dell PowerEdge 1950 2950 2970 PERC 5/i SAS/SATA RAID Controller WX072 U8735,

or

Dell PowerEdge 1950 R610 PERC 6/Ir RAID 0/1 Controller CR679

I can get refurbished items both at the same price but which is the best option, how to select the most appropriate?

I phoned Dell, and am now more confused than ever. The spec via the service tag says only "SAS 5I INTEGRATED CARD" but Dell phone support told me that this would support RAID. What I had read from looking back to old web pages when the server was current was that there was an optional 5/i SAS RAID controller, so I don't get why people would specify an optional extr if the integrated SAS controller does it already? Its a shame that part numbers are not used/listed in the build spec. From what I read it looks like I could do software RAID for the two SAS drives through the OS (Windows Web Server 2008 R2), but the notes on system updates and restores etc look more complex than I was hoping for. Am I right in thinking that hardware RAID gives better performance/ease of management?

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OK so give me a clue with the downvotes, I'm here to learn –  Saul Aug 15 '11 at 8:37
    
Nothing to do with downvotes but if you are just doing a 2 disk mirror you may as well do this in the OS. –  JamesRyan Aug 15 '11 at 9:27
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2 Answers

I'd suggest the 5i as that was the model that was offered with the 1950 when it came out and should have the least compatibility problems. But the 6iR has external ports in addition to internal ports. Depends on what you want to do with the server.

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Its odd the PERC6 would list R610, the 1950 is a 9th gen server, whereas the R610 is an 11th gen server. The cards are very similar. Either would work with the system as far as installation. Just make sure that when you do purchase, you get the full kit instead of just the card. The kit includes the cables, the RAID battery and DIMM.

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