For reference, here's my current setup:
Everything is running reasonably well, but I'm out of SATA ports now, and I'd like to add some more drive flexibility. I have another Wiebetech bay I'd like to use for another random hot-swap drive, and I'd also like to enable my case's eSATA port for the 2.5" drives I use with my laptop for acquisition. I was using the eSATA port until I got the Wiebetech; everything is neat and tidy now, but I need more.
So, what to do? Ideally, I'd take RAID duties away from the mobo and assign them to an dedicated RAID card, but I know you hardware gurus say there is nothing worth looking at under $400. Is this really the case, even if I'm just looking for a simple 4-port card for RAID 5, like I'm using now? I don't need any additional flexibility above that at this point, or for the foreseeable future (thanks Scott, for your wake-up call in your recent thread!). I'm making the assumption that I'm getting slightly better results by using the ICH10R controller in RAID mode, versus AHCI mode and building the RAID with software in Windows.
If I can't find a respectable RAID controller for less than $400 (which is OK, I'm fine using the mobo, and I'd rather not cheap out needlessly), is there a decent SATA card I can get to add 2-4 internal ports? An eSATA port or two would be great, but is not necessary, as the case as provisions for this. I wouldn't be looking for RAID in this case; just additional connectivity for single drives.
Finally, for my present configuration, and potentially my future configuration depending on the answers to the above, am I properly utilizing my drive connectivity options at this point? As mentioned, everything is running well enough, but I'm just curious if there is anything I can do to improve the situation.
Thanks to you gear geniuses in advance...
Thanks, Harm. Looks like the 1210 might be about as basic as I can get, and that's still around $300 new at Newegg. There are some on eBay right now for around half that, but that's not likely permanent. I'm thinking that just adding some additional non-RAID SATA ports will be the most cost-effective thing I can do. I'm guessing Areca makes something like that...
colin the areca 1210 is not to bad, I am using one in my photography PC running 4x drives.