8 Replies Latest reply: Jun 11, 2012 7:02 PM by amikoenig RSS

    Hard Drive Controller Configuration - Asus P9X79 Pro

    amikoenig

      I am building a computer for use with CS 6 Premiere Pro.  I purchased an Asus P9X79 Pro motherboard.  I  have bought 4 drives.  I plan to use a 256gb Samsung 830 SSD for the boot drive loaded programs and the operating system; two 500gb Western digital Velociraptor drives in Raid 0 for scratch disk; and a Hitachi 2tb Ultrastar 7K3000 drive for everything else. My question involves my confusion over selection of which controllers to attach the drive to on the Asus motherobard.  The X79 chipset comes with 2 x SATA 6gbs and 4 x SATA 3gbs.  The motherboard also has a Marvell 2 x SATA 6gbs controller.  My initial thought was to hook the 2 WD drives to the 6gbs connector and create the RAID 0.  I would then connect the Samsung SSD and Hitachi 7K3000 to the Intel 3gbs connectors.  Am I doing this properly or should I be using the SSD on the 6gbs connector and the set up the RAID on the 3gbs controller?  I read somewhere that it was not a good idea to use the Marvell controller for the SSD. 

        • 1. Re: Hard Drive Controller Configuration - Asus P9X79 Pro
          Harm Millaard Community Member

          Definitely the Samsung on a SATA 6Gb connection. I would use the Velociraptors on the Marvell connections, use the Marvell raid controller and that leaves the Hitachi the second SATA 6 Gb connection. That means your backup disk, if internal, is on a SATA 3 Gb.

          • 2. Re: Hard Drive Controller Configuration - Asus P9X79 Pro
            amikoenig Community Member

            Harm thanks for the response. I am a bit unsure about using the Marvell raid controller on the Asus P9X79 pro.  It is a hardware RAID that uses the ASUS Drive Xpert feature.  Some internet users have expressed problems with using Drive XPert with this motherboard.  Do you have any experience with the hardware RAID via Marvell controller on this motherboard?

            • 3. Re: Hard Drive Controller Configuration - Asus P9X79 Pro
              Harm Millaard Community Member

              First of all, it is a software raid controller, because there is no dedicated IOP. I have not yet had any experience with the Marvell controller on this mobo, but with older generation ASUS/Marvell mobos I've never had any problems. Even if Marvell may be slower than the Intel chipset based raid, I don't think you have any choice unless you get a dedicated raid controller ($$$).

               

              I think the Drive Xpert tool from Asus is just a software layer over the BIOS installation and will probably be nothing more than crap that should be removed as most of the other ASUS software. Raid settings are done in BIOS, not under Windows.

              • 4. Re: Hard Drive Controller Configuration - Asus P9X79 Pro
                amikoenig Community Member

                Thanks for your response Harm.  The Marvel 9128 is described as a hardware raid host controller.  "It features a hardware RAID to offload CPU and AHCI interface for inboard driver support."

                 

                http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/datasheets/Marvell-88SE91XX-Host-Controllers.pdf

                 

                My understanding is that people often buy the Pro motherboard of the Asus P9X79 because of the presence of the additional Marvell hardware RAID controller that is not present in some of the other P9X79 versions.  The Asus Drive Xpert tool appears to be a rebranded version of the Marvell based software suite used to manage the Marvell controller's RAID 0/1.

                 

                I agree with you that the better solution would be a dedicated RAID controller card.  What is the best affordable solution available for a RAID controller card given the limited number of hard drives that I want to populate the RAID 0 with?

                • 5. Re: Hard Drive Controller Configuration - Asus P9X79 Pro
                  Harm Millaard Community Member

                  Areca ARC-1882 series is the best IMO, followed by LSI. Even if you have limited disks, I suggest to go for a model with at least 8 ports to prevent outgrowing the controller in the future.

                  • 6. Re: Hard Drive Controller Configuration - Asus P9X79 Pro
                    R4yMoNd Community Member

                    if your samsung is a Sata III SSD why not using it in 6Gbs SATA port?

                    • 7. Re: Hard Drive Controller Configuration - Asus P9X79 Pro
                      lasvideo Community Member

                      Atto is another industry leader used by professionals for 20 years (Avid,etc)

                      • 8. Re: Hard Drive Controller Configuration - Asus P9X79 Pro
                        amikoenig Community Member

                        Harm,  I tested several configurations of drive installation on the Asus 9PX79 and in fact your recommendation provided the optimal results.  Using AIDA64 the read results on the Samsung 830 256gb were 496 Mb/s with .7 ms latency using the 6gbs SATA port.  Using the 6gbs Marvell controller in RAID 0 with 2 VelociRaptor drives I was able to obtain tested random read speed of 324 MB/s and Ave Read Access of  6.94 ms.  The Marvell 6gbs SATA controller easily outperformed the 3gbs SATA port Intel RAID where i was only able to achieve Random Read of 240 MB/s.   One thing that I did not fully understand is why the block size for testing used by AIDA64 on the Intel Raid 0 was 2MB whereas an 8MB block size was used for testing the Marvell Raid.  Unfortunately I cannot test write performance with AIDA64 as it is destructive of the disks. I probably will need to do another benchmark tool to test write performance of the drives.