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8457 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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5247 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.

I'm a geek, a gamer, a dad and an IT Professional. I have a full rack home lab, size 15 feet, an epic beard and Asperger's. I'm a bit of a Cypherpunk, who believes information wants to be free and the Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.


You will find anything you want at MightyApe (affiliate link).
3086 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)

4785 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.

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Ultimate Geek

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  #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.

4785 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


Click to see full size


Click to see full size


Click to see full size


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

4785 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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