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Question Want to build a simple 3 drive RAID 5. What card should I get?

Tarvaln

Senior member
Apr 28, 2004
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Looking to build a simple RAID 5 with three drives. I don't know much about RAID controllers. I'm setting up a raid for video editing with very large files both 4k and 360/VR footage.
I'm not sure what a good raid card is for this. All the cards around $100 are from 2012. I'm not sure if they will work for what I need. All the ones over $200 seem to be more than what I need. Not sure if that will be acceptable for what I need.
I will need a raid card for both the extra ports and my AMD MB does not support RAID5.

Thanks!
 

damian101

Senior member
Aug 11, 2020
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Get a used one. I bought two used LSI 2008 based 8x6Gbit/s hardware RAID controllers from Fujitsu for less than 30€ each on eBay a while ago. They even got flash+capacitor instead of a battery to save the cache content in case of a sudden power failure. Every RAID mode up to RAID 60 is supported, they don't have an HBA mode though.
I also got a PCIe mounted fan from AliExpress to blow air at the small heat sink, those RAID controllers are made for high airflow server cases, I don't want them to overheat.
Adapter cables can also be bought cheaply from AliExpress, which you will need unless you have a workstation or server case with a SAS backplane.
 

damian101

Senior member
Aug 11, 2020
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Have you thought of just using software RAID? On Windows Dynamic Disks are an easy (and I think the only solution) to do that.
 

Tarvaln

Senior member
Apr 28, 2004
309
2
81
Have you thought of just using software RAID? On Windows Dynamic Disks are an easy (and I think the only solution) to do that.
Yea, I thought about software RAID but, I still have a port issue. I only have 1 SATA port available and I want to add two more drives.
 

Tarvaln

Senior member
Apr 28, 2004
309
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81
Follow up question. After the pandemic is more under control, I plan to move into an office for video editing and have a few staff members. Would I be better off just getting a raid enclosure now? If so, any recommendations on a good 4 bay?
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
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do NOT RAID 5 spinners.
Only RAID 5 SSD's

URE on RAID 5 makes it dangerous.

Rebuilding RAID 5 arrays also take a ridiculous amount of time unless its a SSD.

On that note, i would look at ebay for Adaptec 6805 for a 8 port... or a 6405 for a 4 port.... personally go with the 8 port anyhow for future upgrades.
You will need a special sas SFF-8087 to 4 SATA cable.

Total should not cost you very much.

I recommend you going with adaptec and not LSI, because LSI backup module is a Li-ion, while Adaptec's is a super capacitor. Meaning, you will need to replace the LSI battery after a few years, however the adaptec will probably go as long as you own the card.

Follow up question. After the pandemic is more under control, I plan to move into an office for video editing and have a few staff members. Would I be better off just getting a raid enclosure now? If so, any recommendations on a good 4 bay?
IMO i think your better off getting or building a dedicated NAS.
It would also make sharing over network a lot easier as most NAS when done right are basically set and forget.
 

damian101

Senior member
Aug 11, 2020
279
99
61
I recommend you going with adaptec and not LSI, because LSI backup module is a Li-ion, while Adaptec's is a super capacitor. Meaning, you will need to replace the LSI battery after a few years, however the adaptec will probably go as long as you own the card.
There are many LSI RAID cards with capacitor+flash backup solution instead of a battery. I mysefl own two of those as I've already mentioned.
However, I also prefer Adaptec, but for different reasons (easier to read drive smart values on Linux behind RAID volume and more cheap models with HBA/IT mode).
 

Tarvaln

Senior member
Apr 28, 2004
309
2
81
TL /DR: If I'm using a raid controller do I need to switch my BIOS to raid mode? Also, I'm having issues getting Adaptec 8405 driver/firmware from their site. Is there an alternative site you trust for those drivers?

Thanks for the advice guys. I ended up getting an Adaptec 8405 from Ebay for $30. Seller has 99.7 satisfaction rate and 3k stars so I'm confident it's a good product. I decided to go for a 4 instead of 8 since I might add another drive next year but, I doubt I'll go beyond 4 for while. Also, this was the cheapest option. I spent the weekend looking into NAS enclosures with a 10gbe (I would be editing video on the NAS) and they are either very expensive (Synology and Qnap) or the 10 gbe had reported lag issues (TerrraMaster). I could build a cheaper NAS later and just pull the card over. But even that is about the price of the TerrraMaster plus the network cards.
 

damian101

Senior member
Aug 11, 2020
279
99
61
TL /DR: If I'm using a raid controller do I need to switch my BIOS to raid mode? Also, I'm having issues getting Adaptec 8405 driver/firmware from their site. Is there an alternative site you trust for those drivers?

Thanks for the advice guys. I ended up getting an Adaptec 8405 from Ebay for $30. Seller has 99.7 satisfaction rate and 3k stars so I'm confident it's a good product. I decided to go for a 4 instead of 8 since I might add another drive next year but, I doubt I'll go beyond 4 for while. Also, this was the cheapest option. I spent the weekend looking into NAS enclosures with a 10gbe (I would be editing video on the NAS) and they are either very expensive (Synology and Qnap) or the 10 gbe had reported lag issues (TerrraMaster). I could build a cheaper NAS later and just pull the card over. But even that is about the price of the TerrraMaster plus the network cards.
No, don't change anything in the BIOS settings to RAID mode, that would most likely change the onboard SATA ports from AHCI to the onboard RAID solution, which would probably prevent you from using SATA devices normally.
A hardware RAID controller works independent of
the CPU and operating system and only provides the finished RAID volume(s) to the operating system.
You normally configure the RAID controller by booting into its configuration utility during boot.
Most RAID controllers are natively supported by Windows and Linux, no special driver needed (a special driver might have benefits though).
Updating the firmware is not necessary.
 

MalVeauX

Senior member
Dec 19, 2008
618
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I would echo to not bother with RAID5 and RAID controllers. If you need more SATA, expand with SAS controllers.

If your goal is to expand and you need redundant high capacity storage, then start researching and exploring 10Ge Networking and a NAS running ZFS file system with parity and mirror control such as TrueNAS or FreeNAS (FreeBSD based) and use SSD, not spinning hard disk to create large pools to work from that everyone can access and use. The 10Ge networking is faster than SATA, so it ultimately will be better for your needs for large video editing and production and again for several to have access to.

Don't bother with a RAID controller; hardware RAID is just a thing of the past, there's no reason to run RAID5 either with hardware. The complications of RAID5 are not worth it and high capacity is now affordable and easy. You also do not want to house the storage and working data on the same drive as the editing and workflow. Move it to networking.

Very best,
 
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Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
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I use a freenas, but I use spinning drives for the storage. They are good quality drives though, WD red pros with 5 year warranties.
 

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