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controllers on a budget, recommendation?


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I've decided to build a SOHO VM server, and have an array for storage of the VMs and other things.


Looking to at a budget ~250$USD, but it is flexible.


Since I'm just in planning phase, I'm open to ideas for this since it's been awhile since I've purchase an array controller that wasn't included with a system.


I use to have a few Adaptec controllers.. they were pretty reliable.  But LSI seems to be a fair competitor with prices to match.


Either something like: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816103231

or: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816118219



The LSI "MegaRAID" looks tempting, and I've heard of good things about them...but the price jumps a bit too on them.


I'm ok with only having 4 ports, but 8 would be nice if I need to expand.


I am a little concerned with the Adaptec being PCIe Gen 2 versus some of the others being full 3.0 port controllers.




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LSI controllers are really good, IMO. 


As for ports, what size case do you have? 

If you're willing to spend the money (later on, maybe), you can use SAS expanders to add additional ports:





That said, I'd recommend the LSI 9207-8i card, as it's a bit cheaper (you can find it for cheaper, at least), and it supports 8 drives (or more with an expander. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

What kind of RAID level support do you want?


I found an LSI MegaRAID 9261-8i with 512MB cache, brand new whitebox, with cables for $120 shipped about six months ago on eBay.  The only thing I didn't get was the backup battery; as I was using a UPS, this wasn't a big deal.  I ran two SAS drives in RAID-1 on the first connector, and a SATA drive standalone on the second connector, and it worked very well.

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