PCI-E x4 SATA RAID controller in SLI motherboard - possible?

Posted on 2006-06-15
Last Modified: 2008-01-09

Is it possible to connect PCI-E x4 SATA RAID controller (for example, HighPoint RocketRAID 2220) to one of PCI-E x16 slots, or i must have motherboard with separate PCI-E x4 or x8 slot?
Question by:tapkep
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LVL 69

Accepted Solution

Callandor earned 300 total points
ID: 16910608
I think it is possible - I installed an Areca 1220 PCI-e controller in an Abit KN8 Ultra x16 slot.  For an SLI configuration, the two SLI slots share the x16 bandwidth, so a video card in the other slot will not have 16 lanes.  I was considering trying this out myself on my Crossfire board.  The Areca website has a list of motherboards that it says the controller will work in, so check there for one.

Assisted Solution

cooljai1 earned 100 total points
ID: 16910695
you can use the X4 card in an X16 slot, it will work fine.
The SLi will work only with two different video cards in both the slots connected together.


Author Comment

ID: 16911474
Callandor: Areca is unavailable, so i must choose between 3ware and HighPoint. SLI motherboards looked an option because they have 2 PCI-E x16 slots (while it is very difficult to find non-server motherboard with x4 or x8 slot).

cooljai1: yes, i knew that x16 slot can be used by slower cards. It is just unclear, if "SLI" motherboard can accept other cards that video in second x16 slot :)  Everybody talks about video, but not video+raid.
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Author Comment

ID: 16911595
Looked at Areca site - only server motherboards tested. Still not sure if it means NO for desktop motherboard.

The problem is - i do not think, that i need server platform. Speed is not an issue, storage space is.

Author Comment

ID: 16911678
Sorry, found another page with continued compatibility list. The answer is yes, it will work (mostly...).
LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 16911688
Areca is unavailable?  Too bad - it's a great card!  Using HDTune, I measured a range of 250MB/sec to 150MB/sec on a RAID-5 array I built.  A HighPoint 1820A RAID-5 array on a 64-bit 66MHz PCI-X slot only achieved 50 MB/sec with the same drives, so choose your controllers wisely.

What cpu do you have?  The DFI LanParty NF4 and Asus A8N-E have x4 slots.

Author Comment

ID: 16911978
No, at this time i can only choose between 3ware and Highpoint. Areca last seen was only on 2005.

CPU can be various. Right now i planned Intel 820 and (Asus P5LD2 Deluxe) SLI motherboard.
Or i can replace one workstation with dual Xeon 2.8GHz and Intel SE7525GP2 with AMD x2 4200+ system. In this case i get server with both PCI-E x4 and PCI-X 64/66 slots.

P.S. sorry for error during points split.
LVL 69

Expert Comment

ID: 16912349
I would recommend the 3Ware over the HighPoint, then.  In an SATA RAID card comparison, Areca and 3Ware held the high marks:  The HighPoint was good for its price, but not if you want performance.

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