Skip to main content

Any recommendations on $500 SATA-II RAID-5/6 PCI-e Cards?

What's up.

Anyone have a good recommendation on a $500 8-Port PCI-e SATA-II RAID-5/6 XOR Card? This will not be used on my Primary Tracking DAW, but on my Multipurpose PC (which also dabbles in some DAW stuff here and there - mainly mixing). I want a solid, FAST & reliable Back-Up array in this PC. It will be Gigabit networked, and act as a form of NAS for the other PC's. I'll start off with 4x Seagate 320GB SATA-II Perp's, and expand to 8 total drives as I need the capacity. RAID-6 uses a good chunk of the drive for its dual-parity, so the 4-drive array will not be as large as it seems ;) .

I have looked into the Areca 1220 8-Port @ $495 (has some issues with 975 chipsets and 2GB of RAM as well as crappy XP Drivers - anyone know about that?) and the 3-Ware 9650SE 8-Port model @ $520 (but I have not found much info on it and XP just yet).

What else deserves a look? Anything else to consider? I run RAID-0 with my PC's ICH7R on-board controller, but I have never dabbled in Hardware XOR type RAID-5/6 cards.

Thanks for any input, and any known issues. I currently run a Asus P5WD2-Premium 955x+ICH7R and a Pent-D 930. I will, however, migrate this card to a e6600 Core-2-Duo 975/965 system (Asus, I'm sure) early next year... Whichever C2D MoBo I buy will have Crossfire/SLI, and I will not use the 2nd PCI-e Video Slot for Video - so I am not concerned with the restrictive limitations of 4x/8x PCI-e cards (as long as they work on the MoBo). I will not boot off this card either, if that is a concern.



Randyman... Sun, 12/03/2006 - 21:34
Quick Bump. Does Sonica-X or ADK Audio still post here? I haven't seen them around lately...

I guess my main concern is that these RAID cards are not awful for a DAW PC that is used for Mixing (not for Tracking). I already have a modest PCI-Express Video card in this PC, and adding a RAID-5 card will surely put more bandwidth on the PCI-e bus.

This PC is mainly used for Mixing (with 2-4 outputs only - no inputs), so I am not too worried about massive Audio I/O going on, and latency is not really an issue either (I usually mix at 1024 samples or higher).

I have a dedicated PC DAW for Tracking (lots of I/O and low-latency are no problem there).

I'm looking to drop cash soon - so any experienced input is greatly welcomed. Thanks!


Randyman... Mon, 12/04/2006 - 21:39
Hey there, Big D. It has been a while indeed! Been busy with this and that - you know the drill. Nice to "see" you :wink: . I have not been able to surf as much from Work lately - hence my sparse postings around here... :roll:

I went ahead and dove in on the Areca 1210 just a few hours ago (PCI-e 8x; 4-SATA Ports, Intel IOP331 processor and 128MB DDR333 RAM ECC). It got fantastic reviews, and I decided it was likely the best/most stable card in this range. I was "This Close" to getting the 8-port model, but I thought that getting more than 5 or 6 HD's (4 drive RAID-5 for Data, and a 2-Drive RAID-0 for OS) in my Mid-ATX case would be next-to-impossible.


I hope this card will not cause any issues on a Mix-down DAW PC (fingers crossed). I'm sure the PCI Bandwidth issues will not be too detrimental on a low-I/O Mixing PC. It will be nice to have a quasi-reliable storage array. I'll still back-up to removeable HD's, and the really important stuff also goes on DVD-R's offsite - but I will not have to back-up so often to remain safe :)

Anyway - I'd still LOVE to hear any input you have or other info you have found about DAW PC's and PCI-e RAID Cards in general. I still haven't built a Core-2-Duo system yet (the Pentium-D and a mild Overclock is doing well), but a C2D build is in store for early/middle next year.

What is the scoop with Sonica-X and ADK? Are they still around these parts?

See-Ya 8)