how much power do you need for software raid 5 under windows 2003 server

im working on a new server for a client who needs alot of storage, right now the system is a dell Precision workstation 420 with dual 1Ghz Cpu's 768 rambuss memory 2 9.1gb 10k scsi boot drives mirrored under windows and 9 ide Maxtor 250GB drives under sw Raid5, im getting very poor performance, reads of ~5mb and it seams to stop when trying to copy over 3 gb of data, the throuput just seams to drop off to around 10KB after transferring afue gig... i was wondering if it was a HW problem, how much power do i need to run SW raid effectively. FYI dont really have the money for HW raid card but  i was looking at the megaraid i4 tho.

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In my opinion and experience, it's not worth the money for SW raid. I know that's now what you hear, but that is just how I see it. The poor performance you see, well that is just the result of using SW raid.

heres a small reading on hardware and software raid

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I agree.  SW raid historically gives poor performance, particularly on writes.  With that said, here's a great calculator for figuring out what power requirements you have:

I would be VERY worried about 9 Maxtor drives under SW raid.  Maxtors don't have a history of long running (life).  If you lose a drive, adding a new one to rebuild in Raid V will completely cripple the server until the rebuild is done, which might be OK, but don't expect it to be a quick process..
Careful with the raid cards.  They can use various numbers of drives.  Some are 4 drives, some 6, I know of a good Highpoint that holds 8.

This LSI is a little more pricey but gets you 40 devices

donickcoAuthor Commented:
ll the drives are IDE ATA 133 ata 100 will be fine tho
OOPS!  Sorry, thought I read SATA, not ATA.  Here's the best one for ATA (It is 133)

The highpoint is the only Raid ATA card I know of that supports 8 drives.  It is a steal at $89.  8 is OK, you would keep #9 as the spare incase one blows, which tends to happen with Maxtors.....
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