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Bios Raid flexibility question

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Peter Dexter
Bios Raid flexibility question
on Sep 20, 2014 at 8:54:11 pm

I have six Sata ports available on my desktop PC. This is a general question really and I do appreciate that things may differ depending on one's particular set up...

I will be using one port (0) with an SDD for op system and programs. I would like to have two raid 0's using up four ports ( 1 -4 ) and the remaining port ( 5) will be for Data and general stuff. Two drive bays are front plate hot swap drive bays connected to the internal SATA/Power. I am fanatical about back ups and back ups will be frequent and on a variety of external devices.

The four drives that will occupy slots 1-4 are not in my possession yet. And therein lies the rub. Can I tell my bios that I wish to have raid 0. Can I select the ports I wish to be available for raid and then go ahead and install my Windows and all my software plug ins and huge variety of 'stuff' Is it possible at a later date to come along and then fit the drives and continue with the raid set up?

I am used to taking the side panel off and getting in and swapping drives around on my old set up. It worked for me :) I do wonder if there is a raid facility prepared in the bios then how flexible is that. Can one for instance switch one matching pair with another? (By that I mean swap them over and replace one pair for another).

I have a Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+ motherboard and I believe that it has a couple of options for raid.. ESATA raid for the two rear panel and something called 'Marvell' Not so sure I want to use that for some reason. I seem to have read something not so good about it.

Excuse for the long post but it is a matter of some great interest at the moment. I am hoping that bios raid is flexible and that it is happy once set up with having the drives changed. As long of course as the pairs are still paired 1 = 2 and 2 = 4 of course.

Thanks in advance.

We spent all the budget on doughnuts and now we have no money to make our film.

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Todd Perchert
Re: Bios Raid flexibility question
on Sep 26, 2014 at 2:45:58 pm

You can't set up your RAID without the drives.
Once you have the drives, you have two options. 1. Use the Marvell controller to setup the RAID, or 2. Use the OS to setup the RAID. From my experience, you'll probably get about the same speed out of the OS RAID-0 as you would the Marvell controller. Definitely don't do RAID-5 with the Marvell controller though, unless they've improved over the last few years - but I doubt it.
There is one caveat. I've seen Mobo SATA controllers that when they are set to RAID in the BIOS, want to take the entire set of ports for the RAID - others let you select the ports for RAID. I don't know your mobo, so I can't say what will happen. If you only want RAID-0, I'd say to use the OS to stripe the drives when you get them. Easy Peasy. Just make sure you do have a good backup solution.
Good Luck!

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