17 Replies Latest reply on Nov 16, 2012 4:25 AM by Alan Craven

    Questions on Marvell vs. intel Raid setup for new build

    Stu S Level 1

      I’m getting ready to do my first build this weekend, and had some questions on the Asus p9x79pro motherboard’s raid controllers.  They are:

       

      What is the difference between the Marvell controller and the intel software controller?

       

      Why would I use one over the other?

       

      Do the Marvell raid controllers need to be pre-installed using the F6 method, same as the intel raid controllers?

       

      Here is my planned drive arrangement, feedback appreciated.

       

      (1) Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)  - OS (win7 64 bit), pagefile, & programs,  6gb sata on SSD caching port

      (2) Western Digital WD Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - RAID 0 Media and projects, 6b sata port

      (1) Western Digital WD Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - media cache & renders

      (1) WB Black 32mb cache 3.0 Sata - Exports and non video file storage

       

      Asus BD burner on 3gb port

       

        Thanks

        • 1. Re: Questions on Marvell vs. intel Raid setup for new build
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          What is the difference between the Marvell controller and the intel software controller?

           

          I haven't tested it, but rumors are that Intel is marginally faster than Marvell.

           

          Why would I use one over the other?

           

          It depends on the number of ports in your system. That can be motherboard dependent.

           

          Do the Marvell raid controllers need to be pre-installed using the F6 method, same as the intel raid controllers?

           

          No. You can define a raid after you installed your OS by simply going into the BIOS.

           

          On my motherboard, I have 2 Intel SATA 6 G ports and 2 Marvell SATA 6 G ports. The rest are SATA 3 G.

          If that is the same in your case, I would do the following:

           

          Crucial M4 on Intel SATA 6G

          WD Black on Intel SATA 6G

          2 x WD Black/64 on Marvell SATA 6G in raid0

          WD Black/32 on Intel SATA 3G

          DVD/BDR on Intel SATA 3G

          one SATA 3G for eSATA connection.

          • 2. Re: Questions on Marvell vs. intel Raid setup for new build
            Alan Craven Level 4

            On my Gigabyte X79 system, with the original drivers, the Intel RAID0 was subjectively significantly faster the an identical RAID0 on the Marvell ports, as Harm suggests.  Gigabyte released new Marvell drivers a couple of weeks ago, and these have transformed the situation - the Marvell RAID is now obviously faster than the Intel when copying files to the RAID.

             

            Note that for the Marvell chips on these motherboards, drivers are not available direct from Marvell, but only from the motherboard manufacturer.

            • 3. Re: Questions on Marvell vs. intel Raid setup for new build
              0to60tv Level 1

              Hi,

               

              Ive been looking into this aswell, and Im sure I remember reading that the marvell raid controller was considerably slower than the intel one...

               

              but I may be mistaken, Ive read so much over the llast week my brain has turned to mush!

               

              If I find the link....Ill post it up!

               

              On the driver question, you only need to "f6" if you want to install windows on the raid array itself...any other drives can be set up after install, (and from my experience it is best to install windows on as "basic" system as possible (IE minimum hdd/ram etc) and then once updated etc add the various bits and pieces in stages...(This also helps identify any faulty components/hardware conflicts as you add things one at a time...

               

              Hope this helps!

              • 4. Re: Questions on Marvell vs. intel Raid setup for new build
                Harm Millaard Level 7

                Ive been looking into this aswell, and Im sure I remember reading that the marvell raid controller was considerably slower than the intel one...

                 

                Whether one is faster than the other is often irrelevant given the number of SATA 6G ports. In my example, with only two Intel SATA 6G and two Marvell 6G ports, there are no other options than I described in #2. On other motherboards the situation may be different.

                • 5. Re: Questions on Marvell vs. intel Raid setup for new build
                  Alan Craven Level 4

                  This has nothing to do with the theme of the thread - memory, but as I said in my earlier post , originally Marvell was slower, but not with the new drivers.

                   

                  With my Gigabyte motherboard, to install Windows on a single non-RAID drive connected to the Intel port, I had to enable RAID before starting the OS install, and install a pre-install driver using F6.  Windows does not include a suitable driver, so the drive would not be recognised without this. 

                   

                  If you install Windows with EIDE/AHCI selected, and then later change the BIOS setting to RAID, Windows will become un-bootable, and in my experience, this is impossible to reverse.

                   

                  I did my install with just the SSD connected to Intel Port 0, the DVD drive on Intel port 6, and 1 stick of RAM.  I took care to set the Intel ports to RAID before I started as I knew that I wanted to create a RAID0 later.

                  • 6. Re: Questions on Marvell vs. intel Raid setup for new build
                    El_Plates Level 1

                    I'm taking notes here. Setting up Raid 0 and at what point/step in the build process it should be done is something I need to learn about.

                    My build will have to use a software Raid, until I can afford a Raid card.

                    • 7. Re: Questions on Marvell vs. intel Raid setup for new build
                      Stu S Level 1

                      Harm,

                       

                      I just checked my specs, and the Asus p9x79pro has the following sata ports:

                       

                      Intel® X79 Express Chipset

                      - 2 x SATA 6Gb/s ports with RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 support

                      - 4 x SATA 3Gb/s ports with RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 support

                      Marvell® 9128 SATA controllers

                      - 2 x SATA 6Gb/s ports

                      ASMedia® 1061 SATA controllers

                      - 2 x Power eSATA 6Gb/s ports

                       

                      I haven't seen ASMedia discussed much here, but it appears that there are also two ASMedia 6 gb sata ports, for which ASUS has driver downloads on the motherboard's download page.  Can these be used for RAID0, and does this change anyone's ecommendation as to the best/fastest ports to use?  Also, this may seem like a silly question, but can the Marvell and ASMedia ports be used for non-raid drives, or are they strictly raid controllers?

                      • 8. Re: Questions on Marvell vs. intel Raid setup for new build
                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                        AFAIK ASMedia are USB3 ports, not SATA.

                         

                        SATA 6G is faster than USB3. Marvell connectors can be used for single disks or raid arrays, as you like.

                        • 9. Re: Questions on Marvell vs. intel Raid setup for new build
                          Alan Craven Level 4

                          My Gigabyte GA-X79-UD5 has the same Intel SATA ports as in StuS's Asus board, but I have 3 Marvell 6Gb/s controllers with 2 ports each.

                           

                          I have no knowledge of the ASMedia ports, but with Intel you can have non-RAID drives attached with RAID turned on in the BIOS.

                           

                          I have an SSD system drive on port 0, a 500GB non-video files drive on 1, a RAID0 pair on 3,4, and a Blu-ray drive on 6.

                           

                          Each pair of Marvell ports has a separate controller, and they can be set as IDE, AHCI, or RAID independently. 

                           

                          I have a RAID0 on one Marvell port, a single drive on the second, and the third has one rear panel port, and I have the other connected to an eSATA port on the front panel.

                          • 10. Re: Questions on Marvell vs. intel Raid setup for new build
                            Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            El_Plates wrote:

                             

                            I'm taking notes here. Setting up Raid 0 and at what point/step in the build process it should be done is something I need to learn about.

                            My build will have to use a software Raid, until I can afford a Raid card.

                            There is a slight mistaken impression here.  Setting up RAID 0, 1, 10 on either the Marvell controllers or the Intel controllers is not software RAID.  Both Intel and Marvell have the hardware to support these simple modes, but not for instance RAID 5.which with the the ICH10R chipset Intel controller requires an awful lot of CPU and therefore is not recommended.

                            • 11. Re: Questions on Marvell vs. intel Raid setup for new build
                              Stu S Level 1

                              0to60tv, Alan Craven's post on this topic in another thread reads that you need to pre-install the drivers at the outset, regardless of whether your boot drive is a raid.

                               

                              http://forums.adobe.com/message/4813422#4813422

                              • 12. Re: Questions on Marvell vs. intel Raid setup for new build
                                El_Plates Level 1

                                Thank you for clearing that up, Bill. I assumed that if a Raid 0 configuration wasn't using a discrete Raid card, then it was 'Software Raid'.

                                I'll definitely be consulting you guys when setting up my computer.

                                Dumb (but necessary) questions from me will ensue. ...such as the following question --

                                How many SATA connectors are used in for Raid 0, or 1 when it involves 2 drives?

                                • 14. Re: Questions on Marvell vs. intel Raid setup for new build
                                  0to60tv Level 1

                                  I stand corrected, apologies for my misleading (ie wrong!) advice...

                                   

                                  Thanks for setting me straight as I am about to build a PC today and wasn't planning on installing the raid until after windows so you've saved me a few hours today :-)!!

                                  • 15. Re: Questions on Marvell vs. intel Raid setup for new build
                                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                                    Stu,

                                     

                                    I recently built a new Monster and since I intended to use the Areca raid controller, I did not use the F6 approach. While waiting for the card to arrive, I decided to try out the Marvell controller, just like in my old system. In both machines, I did not need to use the F6 approach to get the Marvell in raid. Just simply go to the Bios and set up the raid in the Marvell bios.

                                     

                                    I'm not saying Alan is wrong, but my experience on two different machines show that you do not need the F6 approach, at least for the Marvell.

                                    • 16. Re: Questions on Marvell vs. intel Raid setup for new build
                                      Stu S Level 1

                                      Thanks Harm, I was thinking of just using the Marvells, but of my two Marvell sata ports, one is the SSD cacheing port, so my OS SSD will go on that, leaving only the two intel 6gb ports for my media raid.  I wonder why the Intel drivers don't come pre-installed?

                                      • 17. Re: Questions on Marvell vs. intel Raid setup for new build
                                        Alan Craven Level 4

                                        My experience with F6 relates to the Intel ports only - my post above describes my installing Windows on a single system drive on Intel port 0.  Initially I tried to install Windows without loading a driver but this failed as the HDD was not recognised.

                                         

                                        I brought the Marvell ports into use some time after Windows and all other software was installed.  As Harm says, all I did at that stage was make the necessary changes in BIOS, Windows automatically installed a suitable driver.  I then updated this with a later driver available from Gigabyte.  For these Marvell ports, it seems that drivers are available not from Marvell, but only via the motherboard manufacturer.

                                         

                                        The motherboard manual for my Gigabyte board states clearly that when installing Windows on bare metal, a pre-install driver will be required for both Marvell and Intel ports.  They offer up-to-date pre-install drivers for both sets of ports on their web site. 

                                         

                                        Perhaps the situation with Asus boards is different - I believe that Harm is using an Asus motherboard?