Is it possible to easily setup Raid-1 on this system ?

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Is it possible to easily setup Raid-1 on this system ?

Postposted on Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:38 pm

Hi,
I am buying Dell T5500 workstation from Dell with 500 GB HDD.
They want extra $250.00 if I select Raid-1 which requires only one extra 500 GB HDD because that motherboard has built in Raid Controller if I am correct.

In the quote they sent me it says following :

“ Integrated Intel® SATA 3.0Gb/s controller with support for RAID “

In the specs of the motherboard it says following :

Drive Controllers :

The T5500 uses an integrated SATA 3.0Gb/s host controller (part of the Intel chipset) and the optional PCI-e SAS 6/ir controller supports SAS drives with host based RAID 0 or 1.

The optional PERC 6/i PCI-e SAS/SATA hardware RAID card supports RAID 0, 1, 5 (RAID 5 in mini-tower orientation only). Single RAID 0 GPT DATA volumes greater than 2TB are available as factory installed option with the integrated controller and optional PERC 6/i RAID adapter under Windows XP64, Windows Vista 32Bit/ 64Bit operating systems.

Network Controller

Integrated Broadcom® 5754 Gigabit Ethernet controller
2nd Gigabit port is available with the optional PCI-e Broadcom Gigabit controller card

Questions :

(1) Is there a built in Raid Controller OR it requires something else besides second 500 GB HDD to setup Raid-1 ?
(2) Are they asking too much for Raid- 1 & should I pay extra $ 250.00 for Raid-1 ?
(3)I am not a techy at all so how hard would it be to setup Raid-1 on my own or with the help of you guys & what else would I need besides an extra 500 GB HDD ?
(4) This motherboard has 4 PCIe x16 slots. If I go with Raid-1, would it take up one of those 4 slots ? I need all those 4 slots for Video Cards.
(5) Do I need 10/100/1000 Ethernet card for connecting to Internet or home network OR Integrated 5754 Gigabit Ethernet controller does the job ?
(6) I have never used Raid-1 so Is it possible to disable Raid-1 if for some reason I don't like it ib future ?

Thank You
georgetok
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Re: Is it possible to easily setup Raid-1 on this system ?

Postposted on Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:49 am

1) It says it has an Intel 5500/5520 which is supposed to have onboard Matrix RAID. I have seen Dell desktops in the past where they do something different with the case design to accommodate the extra drive but it says 2 3.5" drive bays. Dell may have inflated their price due to the flooding in Thailand.
2) Personally sounds like a bit much to me. Why not just ask them what exactly they do for that $250.
3) Besides a SATA cable doubt you would need anything and onboard raid is typically easy to setup. You will need to re-install the system after setting it up.
4) If you use onboard raid no. Also specs state: "Support for 2 PCI Express x16 Gen 2 graphics cards up to 150 watts". You might want to look at another system if you need 4 video cards. Doesn't sound like this has the power supply to support that.
5) Integrated will be fine.
6) Not without destroying all the data on the drives and re-installing. But yes you can disable it.
grimbeaver
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Re: Is it possible to easily setup Raid-1 on this system ?

Postposted on Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:06 am

I'm not sure what your end goal is but it sounds like you need a pretty powerful rig and do not have a lot of tech skill to support the changes you want to make to it once you get it. There are many smaller PC vendors which will build custom solutions for you and support them. For example if you shove 4 video cards in this thing and something goes wrong Dell is not going to be a lot of help until you pull all of them and may actually void your warranty for overdrawing the power supply. I'm not real up to date on who the best vendors are but I know I've read about Origin customizing solutions for people. Falcon Northwest and Velocity Micro might also be good vendors to talk to.
grimbeaver
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