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I have two options to implement raid5 in the server, 6 SATA 2T disks is expected.

option1: New Motherboard using Intel Z68 chipset, support 6 SATA disks total and raid 0,1,5 etc.

option2: Used Dell Raid card, like PERC5i.

their cost are almost same, so need help to decide which one is better on 1. performance 2. stability 3. user friendly

thank you!

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closed as off topic by Bryan, RobM, MDMarra, dyasny, Shane Madden Jan 26 '12 at 18:07

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A bit more info on the use of this array could give some more detailed info. –  Dave M Jan 26 '12 at 15:06
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3 Answers 3

Intel motherboard RAID is fakeraid (it looks like hardward raid, but it's actually software raid and very touchy about what software you're using).

The Dell PERC cards are real hardware raid. I'm surprised the actual hardware raid manufacturers haven't sued the fakeraid manufactures yet for misleading/false advertising.

Performance: You must not be worried about performance if you're using a bunch of SATA disks in a RAID5 configuration. RAID10 is going to be notably faster for most workloads. SAS disks are going to be faster. 10k or 15k SAS disks are going to be faster. 2.5" SAS disks are faster than 3.5" disks. Your 7.2k SATA disks are scraping the bottom of the performance bucket.

Stability: PERC cards are interchangeable and store the configuration on the drives themselves. This makes replacing any component of the array almost trivial (including the whole server).

Friendliness: Really not sure how this has anything to do with server hardware. I can understand you'd want proper documentation as to configuring the device. I can also understand you'd want support from the manufacturer when you have problems. The PERC card is going to win on both those fronts. The actual configuration interface for both is intuitive from the viewpoint of someone who knows RAID.

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From personal experience, a dedicated RAID card is often better than those that are built into motherboards.

Performance : Generally a dedicated RAID card will have better performance than a built in one as by its very nature it is dedicated. That said, some of the cheaper ones may not offer that much in the way of improvements

Stability : We stopped using the built in Intel RAID controllers recently as we were seeing so many disk problems that ended up being problems with the raid controller.

User Friendly : Not much difference between the two I'd say, they both generally need to be initially configured from the BIOS and then most have applications that can be used once the OS is installed

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option1: New Motherboard using Intel Z68 chipset, support 6 SATA disks total and raid 0,1,5 etc.

Simply put: Don't. When something goes bad, you're stuck finding anything you can get your hands on that will have the same onboard raid controller (Something consumer motherboards change as often as we change a pair of socks).

As mentioned, the on-board raid is just a 'hidden' software raid underneath it all. All forms of software raid offload the RAID workload to your CPU, and you can't benefit from the significantly larger buffer offered on dedicated add-in hardware RAID cards.

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