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SATA 6Gbps Controller card recommendations?


SabatonFan80
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Hi guys,

 

This isn't really for my homeserver build, but I was just wondering if anyone's found a decent SATA III (6Gbps) controller card? I'm not looking for anything high-end since this would be for home use (so no battery-backup :( ), and I'm thinking of something maybe in the $200 price range..

 

Basically I just want something that'll work in Server 2008 a little better than the Asus U3S6 cards that I've got right now..

 

I don't need 8 ports so I'm really just interested in 4 or 2 port PCIe (x4/x8/x16) cards.. I'm looking in particular for any feedback (good or bad) or difficulties encountered with particular cards as well..

 

Clarrification: The card would be used for either a two-drive striped array of Velociraptor 600Gs (SATA 6Gbps@10000rpm), or a four-drive array striped of WD Black 1TB (SATA 6Gbps @ 7200rpm).

 

(Thanks to WHS, I'm not terribly worried if the array becomes corrupted or anything since all the data would be backed up elsewhere.)

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Honestly, unless you are planning to use SSD, you will not benifit what's so ever and even most SSD's will not outpace the standard Sata II. Unluess you have a compeling reason to buyt this card I would wait till things speed up a bit in the drive or SSD world. Just my two cents.

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How many spindle drives can max out the 150MB/sec of Sata1 for that matter. Although NCQ is a must for any modern drive.

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I'm with the rest. Unless you're running some high-end drives, you may not see a major performance gain. The Asus cards you've got do a fairly decent job for the money. Any performance gain from a new controller you get will be from having more SATA ports on the wider PCIe 4x bus. Individual controllers/drivers can have an impact as well. All that said, here's a good card that will meet your needs...

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816118130

 

I like the LSI cards because of their very thin drivers. This particular series has no onboard cache, but it should serve you well for quite some time.

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Don't forget that a x1 PCI-e 2.0 slot is already 500MB/sec each way. Even the PCI-e 1.0/1.1 is 250MB/sec, which aren't likely to hit with normal drives.

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The card would be used for either a two-drive striped array of Velociraptor 600Gs (SATA 6Gbps@10000rpm), or a striped four-drive array of WD Black 1TB (SATA 6Gbps @ 7200rpm).

 

I'm primarily interested in burst speed (these would store virtual machine files) so I wanted to remove the controller as a possible bottleneck.

 

SSDs would be nice, but getting a drive in the 300GB range (which is what I need) would be outside of my budget..

The Asus cards you've got do a fairly decent job for the money. Any performance gain from a new controller you get will be from having more SATA ports on the wider PCIe 4x bus. Individual controllers/drivers can have an impact as well. All that said, here's a good card that will meet your needs...

 

The U3S6 cards are also PCIe 4x. I'm fairly confident I'd planned appropriately for the bus bandwidth. My only problem with the U3S6 card is that there are no official drivers for Server 2k8 R2 which is what the systems they're in run.

 

Don't forget that a x1 PCI-e 2.0 slot is already 500MB/sec each way. Even the PCI-e 1.0/1.1 is 250MB/sec, which aren't likely to hit with normal drives.

With a normal single drive yes, that's true. However, I'd be looking to push two to four high-end drive's output in parallel, plus the system drive and a bulk storage drive. I'm leary of coupling all that to a x1 bus...

 

Individual controllers/drivers can have an impact as well. All that said, here's a good card that will meet your needs...

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816118130

Interesting. I've never used LSI cards personally, so that's great feedback. You're right, drivers can definitely have an impact and that's my main driver(hehe) for finding a better controller card.

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Unless I am wrong, the throughput of the raid configuration is additive and so are the controllers. Another words, if you put two a Velociraptor 600Gs on a 3G raid, you will not bottleneck the drives as each drive cannot max out a 3 gig channel it is on (minus overhead), therefor running two Velociraptor 600Gs on your Asus controllers should still be very quick. I do not think you would see significant differences.

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Sorry, but I missed the 2008 Server comment in your original post. It sounds like you're building a dedicated Hyper-V box. Since you've already invested in Enterprise (Velociraptors) grade drives, then I see no problems making a like-minded investment in your controller. This LSI card is a great class of card that will do exactly what you are looking for with official support for Windows Server 2008, making your life easier. The Asus cards are perfect for a workstation, but what you are really trying to build is an entry-level server.

 

Where you will see performance gains is in simulataneous I/O requests rather than overall transfer rates. The LSI card I posted is an excellent entry-level RAID card with SSD support. This basically means that the card supports TRIM at a controller-level, and it should be a versatile card that will last you quite a while.

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