4x 6GB/s RAID with Z77/X79 and why Marvell sucks

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4x 6GB/s RAID with Z77/X79 and why Marvell sucks

Postposted on Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:01 pm

I am looking for a new board and could use some advice.

In one of my machines I have ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE board. I've observed constant (almost daily) HDD dropouts with Marvell controller. Both mechanical and SSD drives just disappear at runtime. Luckily my OS is on SSDs on Intel controller so it does not cause any crashes, but it's still incredibly inconvinient.

At home I have older EVGA X58 board with Marvell controller as well. There are no 6GB/s ports on Intel side, so I am forced to use Marvell controller. Since OS is installed on SSDs connected to that controller, machine crashes at about the same frequency, which I believe is caused by SSD drop. I've went through several makes of SSDs (Crucial, OCZ, Samsung) and even with latest firmware for all SSDs and Marvell controller, it still happens.

I've read many forums, newegg feedback section and contacted ASUS and EVGA support to no avail. From forum browsing it's apparent that I am not the only one with this issue.

For my new setup I'd like to have at least 4 6GB/s ports all capable of RAID 1/0. None of the boards except Intel one seem to have 4 6GB ports on Intel ICH. So you're stuck using 2 drives on Intel and 2 drives on 3rd party controller. I really would like to stay away from Marvell controller, but I can't seem to find a board that would fit my specifications.

Any ideas if there's a board besides Intel that will do what i need?
Last edited by jbraslins on Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 4x 6GB/s RAID with Z77/X79 and why Marvell sucks

Postposted on Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:46 pm

Also, doing more reading I am not 100% sure if Intel's DZ77RE-75K will do RAID on all 4 6GB/s ports. Maybe I just need a PCI-Express RAID controller. Maybe someone can recommend a good one for Z77s?
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Re: 4x 6GB/s RAID with Z77/X79 and why Marvell sucks

Postposted on Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:47 pm

That's a tough one. Intel is really dropping the ball only going with 2x 6GB ports on their high end (x79) chipsets.

The obvious answer is to get a PCIe RAID contr oller. But a decent one will likely set you back a couple hundred $.

Also, have you tried adding the 4 SSDs across the 2 6GB and 2 3GB SATA ports? Depending on the SSDs and general efficiency of the onboard Intel RAID, you may not be loosing that much performance (but I've not tried this myself). And it's surely a lot more convenient than having HDDs drop out.
Last edited by cynan on Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 4x 6GB/s RAID with Z77/X79 and why Marvell sucks

Postposted on Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:48 pm

cynan wrote:Also, have you tried adding the 4 SSDs across the 2 6GB and 2 3GB SATA ports? Depending on the SSDs and general efficiency of the onboard Intel RAID, you may not be loosing that much performance (but I've not tried this myself). And it's surely a lot more convenient than having HDDs drop out.


I have not. I've assumed that would not even be an allowable option. I guess I'll need to experiment. Seems if striping is involved, your entire array would perform at 3GB/s in that case.
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