10 Replies Latest reply on Jan 13, 2012 2:21 PM by Harm Millaard

    Best 4-port Hardware Raid Controller Card

    AdamJRead Level 1

      I am researching hardware raid controller cards to improve data throughput with PP.

       

      Does anyone have experience with any of the 4 port cards, and can anyone make a recommendation?

       

      Many Thanks

       

      ADAM

      InterMedia

        • 1. Re: Best 4-port Hardware Raid Controller Card
          Baz R Level 3

          Intel & Areca are a good choice.

          • 2. Re: Best 4-port Hardware Raid Controller Card
            Harm Millaard Level 7

            To add to Baz's post, Intel uses LSI, so the answer is LSI or Areca, but it is wise to invest in an 8 or more port model. 4 will soon be pretty limiting and then your only choice is to discard the 4 port and get an 8-port or better card.

             

            Also read this thread: http://forums.adobe.com/message/4135427?tstart=0#4135427

            • 3. Re: Best 4-port Hardware Raid Controller Card
              AdamJRead Level 1

              Thanks for the information and link.  I am going to stick with a 4 port card for this particular rig as budget is an issue.  However.. If I look at the LSI line up, there are a couple of models/options, and I'm struggling to understand the difference between the 9240i, 9260-4i and 9750-4i.

               

              Does anyone own or have experience of any of the above 3 models?

               

              Thanks in advance

               

              ADAM

              • 4. Re: Best 4-port Hardware Raid Controller Card
                Baz R Level 3

                Eric at ADK should be able to help with Intel/LSI cards.

                 

                Baz

                • 5. Re: Best 4-port Hardware Raid Controller Card
                  AdamJRead Level 1

                  Harm

                   

                  Accepting that my budget is limited to a 4 port card.  Is this a reasonable choice?

                   

                  http://www.scan.co.uk/products/lsi-megaraid-4pt-sas-sata-6gb-s-pcie-raid-mrsas9240-4i-kit

                   

                  Many Thanks

                   

                  ADAM

                  • 6. Re: Best 4-port Hardware Raid Controller Card
                    RjL190365 Level 5

                    Adam,

                     

                    To be honest with you, that 4-port card is not worth the extra cost if an improvement in performance is your goal. If anything, with all four drives in a single RAID 5 array on that card, it is actually slower in CS5.5 editing performance than one 2-disk aid0 array using the onboard Intel SATA controller. This is due to the added overhead of the LSI RAID drivers, plus the fact that a 4-disk RAID 5 is no faster than a three-disk aid0 array in sequential performance. Plus, that particular card has no onboard RAM cache, which means that the caching is done by the system RAM and thus the system's CPU, which results in even more overhead and thus further reduced performance.

                    • 7. Re: Best 4-port Hardware Raid Controller Card
                      Harm Millaard Level 7

                      Instead of the 9240, I would try to stretch the budget and get the 9260. It is significantly faster and has 512 MB cache on-board. It is about the most affordable decent 4 port controller available.

                       

                      I will be posting a separate article on raids and rebuilding time, but am still writing it, so forget about typo's. Nevertheless, even without explanatory text to accompany it, this may be helpful:

                       

                      Raid Performance.png

                      • 8. Re: Best 4-port Hardware Raid Controller Card
                        AdamJRead Level 1

                        Hmm... that's a worry.  Yes, absolutely performance (on a realistic budget) is my main goal.

                         

                        So why would someone buy one of these cards if performance is less?

                         

                        FWIW - I am assuming I'll be going with Raid0 over Raid5, as I'm assuming Raid0 is overall faster (I back up every day to an external drive).

                         

                        The plot thickens.

                         

                        Thanks

                        ADAM

                        • 9. Re: Best 4-port Hardware Raid Controller Card
                          AdamJRead Level 1

                          Thanks for the advice Harm.

                           

                          Yes, my budget will stretch to that.

                           

                          However, RjL's comment has now thrown me even more.  Will Raid 0 perform faster with the 9260 over software raid?

                           

                          I'm assuming that anyone with a card greater than 4 ports has a cable coming out of the box and into an external disk enclosure - am I right?

                           

                          Thanks again.

                           

                          Thanks

                          ADAM

                          • 10. Re: Best 4-port Hardware Raid Controller Card
                            Harm Millaard Level 7

                            Adam,

                             

                            Not really. If you go for raid0, consider the following scenario:

                             

                            Ingest at 09:00, edit the whole day, end editing at 18:00. At 19:00 one of your disks fails, gone are all your data before your planned backup at 21:00 hours. You are f***ed.

                             

                            Same timeline but with Raid3/5/6. Something to worry about, you need to get a replacement disk tomorrow, but at least your complete editing session is still intact and you have not lost a complete day of editing. The backup is made without a worry.

                             

                            The choice is simple I think and performance wise, which would you prefer?

                             

                            PS. I just saw your reply. Why would someone go for a dedicated raid controller? Because they want a parity raid (3/5/6) over an Aid0 for security reasons. If one only wants speed at the expense of security, there is no need for a dedicated raid controller. On-board is just as fine for striped arrays (Aid0).

                             

                            Good raid controllers have two sorts of connections: SSE-8087 using multi-lane cables for internal disks and SSE-8088 using multi-lane cables for external disks. One cable typically connects four SATA disks to the controller in a forward break-out method.

                             

                            Curently my favorite raid controller, the Areca ARC-1882iX-16, has 4 SSE-8087 connectors for 16 internal SATA3 disks plus one SSE-8088 connection for 4 external SATA3 disks, a total of 20 disks (without SAS expanders). I use an older raid controller, with only 12 disks in a raid30, but have 17 disks internally with room for two more, so my next build will have at least 16 disks internally in a raid30 (of which two as hot-spares) plus 4 SSD's in raid10 and some disks in aid0 for scratch.