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6018 posts

Uber Geek

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#233469 17-Apr-2018 15:34
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I have spent several days searching Google, without success, looking for a hardware RAID card that meets these requirements:


  • costs less than NZD $500 (happy to consider personal imports)
  • 8 ports, 6Gb/s
  • low profile  <<<  essential
  • capable of handling 4 or 6 x 10TB HDDs (WD Red)
  • compatible with Windows 10 64-bit
  • supports hardware RAID 5 and 10   (I'm not interested in software RAID, and I don't have enough free SATA ports anyway - see below)

Another major complication is finding suitable SAS x4 to (4x) SATA fanout cables to suit the card - there seem to be at least 3 different standards for these.


The new build:


  • Inwin IW-MS04-01 Microserver Chassis
  • Gigabyte GA-Z370N-WIFI Motherboard (has only 4 SATA headers, 2 of them in use)
  • 500GB M2 SSD system drive
  • Gen 8 Intel i3 CPU
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • WD Red 10TB HDDs

I have two old 4-port entry-level RocketRaid cards (running on Widows 7) which do NOT support Windows 10.


Expert advice please re card and cables   wink  wink


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4185 posts

Uber Geek

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  #1998218 17-Apr-2018 23:36
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I'm a pretty big fan of LSI/Broadcom cards, but that's kind of outside your budget.

2203 posts

Uber Geek

  #1998393 18-Apr-2018 11:03
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just my 2c

Get a well known name brand card
Because if the card fails , you'll need to replace it with the same or compatble
Also, look for Brands that having ongoing support (firmware updates etc)


3284 posts

Uber Geek

  #1998466 18-Apr-2018 11:44
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I've got an HP P420 on a slow boat from China at the moment, which I'm hoping will work with 12TB HDDs. About $140 delivered, so not the end of the world if it doesn't work.


Once it arrives and I can test it I'll let you know.

685 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1998510 18-Apr-2018 13:01
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I use a Dell PERC H310 which I've been quite happy with, these can often be found on Trade Me or local used hardware retailers around the sub $100 mark although usually you'd need to pickup the low profile bracket separately.




A quick google suggests the cable required would match an item "Generic 40" Multi-lane mini SAS 36pin to 4x SATA Breakout" I believe my card came with one but I don't believe it survived my last move as I fitted my card into an actual rack mount server with it's own SAS Backplane.

3284 posts

Uber Geek

  #2006537 2-May-2018 13:19
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So I got my HP P420 with 1GB FBWC and capacitor. It was ordered from Ebay and cost NZ$140 delivered.


I was able to install it into my very non-HP Windows 10 PC and update the firmware and install the HP Smart Storage Administrator with no issues. It also recognised my WD Gold 12TB HDDs without any problems.


I'm using a StarTech fanout cable, quite pricey but the cheap one I had didn't work (I suspect it was a reverse fanout cable) and StarTech was what I could get quickly locally.


I haven't got it in RAID 5 at the moment, so can't comment on it write performance when parity creation is required. However, having used other similar HP cards in Proliant servers I have no reason to think the speeds shouldn't be pretty good.


A couple of downsides, which aren't deal breakers for me are:


- I don't think I can set this as a boot device in my non-Proliant PC. Although I haven't had a good look as I only want it for storage anyway.


- It appears that it will only report the card temperature if it is in a Gen8 Proliant, which means for me it doesn't report it's temperature (strangely it happily reports the HDDs temperatures). This is a little annoying because...


- It runs VERY hot. You will need good airflow to keep it cool.


Overall, for $140 I can't complain at all.


I've put some extra fans in my PC, plus I called in a favour and had some brackets 3D printed to mount a 40mm fan directly over the heat sink:


Click to see full size


Click to see full size


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Click to see full size


EDIT: Capacitor not shown, but is attached to a long cable that plugs into the card. 

3284 posts

Uber Geek

  #2008625 6-May-2018 10:48
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I setup a RAID 5 for testing with three old WD Black drives (8 years old, SATA II/3Gbps, 500GB).


The write speed when copying large files to the array hovers around 150MB/s (capital 'B').

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