Can I set RAID 5 on ICH6R or SI3114 ?

Hello experts !

I want to setup RAID 5 in GA-8AENXP - it has ICH6R (4 SATA) and SI3114 (4 SATA).  I use XP Pro (Windows 2003 Server is NOT usable to me due to it high price :) ) Can I do it ? If yes - what chipset is better  ICH6R or SI3114 ?And last -  can I boot Windows from this RAID 5 array ?
dvplayltdAsked:
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rindiCommented:
No, your mainboard doesn't support raid 5. The intel raid supports striping and raid 1, the Sil raid adds raid 0+1). I'd use the Sil system.

If you can get a XP driver for your raid controller, then XP will also be able to boot from raid 5. XP just doesn't support software raid, there is no problem with hardware raid.

You could get a pci express raid controller which supports raid 5. Look at

http://areca.com

models like arc 1200 series.

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dvplayltdAuthor Commented:
I know that ICH6R (4 SATA) and SI3114 (4 SATA) do NOT has hardware support for RAID 5, but actually I search for software RAID. I know that Windows 2003 Server can do software RAID 5, but price of Windows 2003 server is too high for me.

Actually I search for somethink like plug-ins to Win XP Pro (provided from RAID manufacture) that will allow to me to set RAID 5. I know about hack of Win XP Pro (modify dmadmin.exe, dmboot.sys and dmconfig.dll) but this is NOT legal.

So – is Silicon or Intel provide software RAID 5 based in ICH6R or SI3114 ?
rindiCommented:
No.

Also, even if it worked, software raid is not advisable, particulatrly not on the system partition. Before being able to load the array, you'd have to be able to access it, so you can boot from it, but because windows isn't yet loaded, there is no OS there which can read the array. Software raid would also be draining your CPU power too much, lowering your speed.

A hardware raid solution is allways better, and today's SATA Raid controllers come pretty cheap.
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dvplayltdAuthor Commented:
Hello rindi

Since it takes some days and I think that I will NOT get other answers I search more. I think you may learn somethink new :)

ICHR7R has RAID 5 support, but  ICH6R do NOT :(
http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content.asp?id=r52005&page=6

It's looks that SI3114  can do it
http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content.asp?id=r52005&page=6
http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content.asp?id=r52005&page=7

About perfomance - it shows reading are BEST while WRITEING is slowes 5-15 MB/s :)
http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content.asp?id=r52005&page=9
http://www.gamepc.com/labs/view_content.asp?id=r52005&page=10
rindiCommented:
If you can upgrade the mainboard's Sil firmware to support raid 5, then that would be OK. The driver alone won't help, you'd need both. This would still be some kind of hardware raid, although onboard raid needs some CPU and RAM support from the mainboard, you'd configure the array using the firmware setup tool, which is similar to the normal BIOS of PC's.

Performance of raid 5 is normal like that, the more disks you have in an array the faster you can read, but writes are allways similar or slower than a single disk. For both, fast reads and writes, you'd need raid 0+1.
willcompCommented:
Curiosity got the better of me here.  Some comments.

Silicon Image website has no mention of RAID 5 support regarding SI3114 controller and there are no utilities for download to configure a soft array within Windows.

http://www.siliconimage.com/products/product.aspx?id=28

Software used by GamePC sets array within Windows, meaning it could not be a bootable array.  Didn't see mentioned if software was beta or not.  If I had to guess, it was and SI decided it wasn't ready for prime time.

Mobo does have sufficient number of SATA ports (4 per controller) to support RAID 5.
dvplayltdAuthor Commented:
I am prety sure that SI do NOT has hardware RAID 5, but it has software. As you know MS server OS also has software RAID 5, but price of  MS server sustem is too high for me :)
So actyaly this drivers provided by SI make sofwtare RAID 5 but using WinXP PRO ! I suppose that perfomance is same as in Windows 2003 server :) and that is wath I need :) Since my server is powerful P4 3.6 GHz and it make almost ONLY file server I do NOT care that it will load CPU to 40-50 %

*********
Silicon Image does not try to hide the fact that the 3114's RAID-5 abilities are software driven, as you need to install a special driver to enable the chip's RAID-5 abilities. The driver installs the 3114 as a SCSI controller with the name of "Silicon Image Sil 3114 SoftRaid 5 Controller". As you can see below, their latest driver is indeed WHQL certified.
*****
willcompCommented:
You are quoting from a web site review.  My point is that the driver you refer to appears to be nonexistent.  Was probably beta that never was released.

Reread my previous comment carefully.  Then go to SI web site and see if you can find that driver.

Vaporware is of no use.
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