RAID Card Recommendation


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I have an HP prodesk 400 G1 laying around and have decided to build a NAS. My co-worker recommended this operating system and I've created a flash drive boot loader. It looks like it will work, so the next step is to populate it with disks and a RAID controller. The HP prodesk has three mini PCIe interfaces on the motherboard. I think I can fit 4 or 5 HDD's in the case. 

 

Can someone recommend the best mini PCIe RAID card for something like this?

 

Thanks in advance.

Edited by JimW
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You are on the XPenology forum.  The point of DSM (the operating system enabled by the XPenology loaders) is to implement RAID in software, not at the hardware/ASIC level.  So what you really want for the best functionality and performance is drive port density to match your desired number of drives.

 

So you should look at the hardware compatibility threads for the SATA controller chips that are supported by DSM and see if any of those are implemented in mini-PCI.  I don't know of RAID controllers on mini-PCI, but again, that should not be what you are looking for.

 

FWIW, most modern RAID controllers can be reflashed to perform as multi-channel SATA controllers, which would maximize their usability for DSM/XPenology.

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Hey Flyride, 

 

Thanks for setting me straight on this subject. I thought DSM needed a RAID controller. Having never seen or worked with DSM, I had no idea that it implemented RAID in software. Your advice is great and I will do exactly what you said. Search for the SATA controller chips that are compatible, have the port density I need, and are implemented with mini PCIe for this motherboard.

 

Cheers!

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  • 3 years later...

Flyride is not completely right!

 

I have a few servers, all old Core 2 Duo bit-buckets, however they only have SATA-II which is a huge bottleneck.

 

So I use Syba 40064 RAID cards which are very cheap, SATA-III, work natively under Windows, Apple and Linux and which add support for all drives up to 4Tb (some over 10Tb, depends on the drive). I run these on Intel motherboards with onboard gigabit ethernet however, any old machine can benefit from more RAM, SSD on a SATA controller or NVMe on a PCIe card.

 

I came here looking to see if there was a card that supported >4Tb reliably.

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@CatWhisperer I'm afraid you may be missing the point entirely.

 

DSM offers the most value when it has control over the disks and manages the RAID array in software. OP was asking about a "hardware" RAID controller which makes an array appear as a single, plain disk drive to DSM - therefore preventing DSM from doing the things it does best.  This isn't window dressing - the btrfs bit-rot healing features that DSM has pioneered leverages direct control over the array and available redundancy to correct errors in real-time, and this simply cannot be done with a hardware RAID controller.

 

The Syba 40064 card you are referring to is not a RAID controller but a multi-port SATA controller - exactly what I was talking about.  However, it is a PCIe 2.0 x1 device which will bottleneck if you install sufficiently fast disks.  There are better add-on cards to use rather than that one.

Edited by flyride
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5 hours ago, CatWhisperer said:

however they only have SATA-II which is a huge bottleneck.

 

nothing wrong with these as long as its not a ssd, ~250MB/s, most normal disk will not do more then that and even if a disk can reach up to 280MB/s, in most situations there will be no loss

 

5 hours ago, CatWhisperer said:

So I use Syba 40064 RAID cards which are very cheap, SATA-III, work natively under Windows, Apple and Linux and which add support for all drives up to 4Tb (some over 10Tb, depends on the drive). I run these on Intel motherboards with onboard gigabit ethernet however,

 

that will limit your speed to ~112MB/s (for one 1G connection), so you really dont have to worry about just using sata-II

also you Syba SI-PEX40064 has only one pcie 2.0 lane, thats 500MB/s for 4 drives - even your onboard can do better

depending on your board at least use a controller with 2 lanes (i guess as the board so old there is no pcie 3.0)

 

5 hours ago, CatWhisperer said:

any old machine can benefit from more RAM, SSD on a SATA controller or NVMe on a PCIe card.

not with a 1G nic, waste money, maybe if you use storage local as vm/docker you might have benefits with a ssd (as a volume, not as cache), when using ssd the sata-II will be a limiter, so in that case you would use a controller and calculate one pcie lane per ssd, so you syba might be useful for just one ssd

nvme might be not usefull at all in you case as it can only be used as cache and for a write cache you would need two of them

the cache adds risks and will not gain much performance with just a 1G nic

 

5 hours ago, CatWhisperer said:

I came here looking to see if there was a card that supported >4Tb reliably.

afaik there is no problem with >4TB with that marvell 88se92xx

 

as long as you keep to ahci compatible controllers there should be no driver problem

planing might be important for such old hardware, even the way you connect your drives might be important

you can also use newer controllers like jmb585 bases, it uses 2 lanes, is pcie 3.0 capable but will also run on pcie 2.0, two ssd's on that (and the other three ports unused) will use most of your ssd's performace

depending on the dsm version you plan to use you might plan wit not more then 12 sata ports (used and used count), using more the the default of the loader can result in headaches when updating later

 

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