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I am looking to buy a Raid card as I can not use the motherboard Raid to achieve Raid 5 or 10 with my 4 SAS drives. I am a bit confused on how I would connect the drives to card. Do I need to connect the drives to the card via SAS cables, or will it recognize drives that are plugged into the motherboard?

If I were to buy something such as this, would it be able to be plugged in and usable or would I need other supplies?

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The card you linked to (PERC 6/i controller) is one of two cards supported by that system for RAID (the other being the LSI 1068e for software RAID), both of which require separate cabling to drives (the system can't just "offload" RAID processing to the card while passing traffic through the motherboard's SATA controller).

Typically this would be done with Dell p/n JN331. One cable provides the SAS data connections from one connector on the PERC card to four SAS hard drives (or SATA drives with interposer boards). Then just cable up standard SATA power cabling to the back of each of the drive-side connectors.

Keep in mind that switching to a PERC-based RAID is essentially going to wipe data from those drives.

  • On ebay and other sites, I see Perc 6/i cards going for anywhere between $30 (like the one I linked) and $300. Would a better card give me better performance or would it be mostly the same. – Eric Johnson May 25 '16 at 1:18
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    They would be comparable - nowhere near a 10x difference for the increased RAM. It only equates to increased caching, particularly for writes. – JimNim May 25 '16 at 1:25

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