Choosing the correct SATA Raid Array controller for a PC

Due to several concerns (noise, cooling, space restraints) I will be setting up a good Dell PC with an i5 processor, 8 GB’s RAM running Windows server 2008 R2. Done this several times and it works out very successfully for 3 users. Normally I would be using an HP ProLiant G7 or G8 server. But that's not an option in this particular scenario.

In my particular scenario, I want to add a 2 port SATA “hardware controlled” raid array controller set up as RAID1 using 2 x 1 TB drives.
-      The problem I am running into is finding the correct SATA RAID array controller. I find many choices under $100 specifically on
-      some controllers are “hardware controlled” and others are software controlled. The prices between the two of them fluctuate. I would think that a hardware controlled controller would be more expensive
-      Some mention SATA 2 and other SATA 3

I am very familiar with Dell servers and HP servers and their SAS array controllers but I have little experience using SATA RAID controllers for PCs

My question
-      What type of controller is the best option for my scenario without having to spend $200 or $300.

I find many of the expensive cards support SATA and SAS I don't need it to support SAS.
Andreas GieryicComputer Networking, OwnerAsked:
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
2 ports only is hard to find.. SATA 3 is twice the speed of SATA 2

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Andreas GieryicComputer Networking, OwnerAuthor Commented:
I appreciate your feedback

So my question is, does the software raid performs less or greater than hardware raid?
I also see the throughput of this card is only 3 GB versus some of the other cars that were doing five or 6 GB. Maybe I'm reading this wrong but just want to be sure. It's confusing because some of the hardware raided cards are cheaper.
Andreas GieryicComputer Networking, OwnerAuthor Commented:
I do see good reviews and comments from SYBA's tech support. I should've also mentioned that it needs to be a full height card for this is a full-size Dell OptiPlex tower. I'll check on their website.
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Andreas GieryicComputer Networking, OwnerAuthor Commented:
I'm Okay it is a four-port card because many folks choose this -  if they want to have other options other than RAID 0 and RAID1
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
used perc controllers are also an option from ebay/amazon
Andreas GieryicComputer Networking, OwnerAuthor Commented:
David, sorry for taking so long getting back to you.
I purchased the SYBA SI-PEX40057 PCI-Express 2.0 x2 Low Profile SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) 4-port RAID Card. Close to the model you recommended.

I installed the card, went to its configuration page to setup RAID1. Every time I went to save it, it locked up the PC. I tried the same install on a different PC. locked up when I tried to save the RAID1 configuration.

I ended up not doing the RAID1 and removed the card. I had to get the box up and running.  I didn't have any more time to troubleshoot and email the support folks.

You mentioned the perc controller. I am very familiar with them on a server. When I search for them on eBay, I don't find any feedback as to how they would work on a PC bus. It's something I will look into in the future.
I would think that these perc controllers are far more reliable than all the Chinese brands.
Andreas GieryicComputer Networking, OwnerAuthor Commented:
I didn't actually resolve my problem but have more information for future reference. In this scenario, I ended up not using the RAID controller and just using the SATA connection on the bus of the motherboard for a single hard drive.

I do use a server backup software that creates system images every day. This way I am covered with a lot less to restore time in the event a hard drive fails. However, having RAID1 is still a good option in addition to backups
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