RAID 5, hardware or software

Thanks to my discovery of this forum my video server is well on its way to being set-up (Thanks to Neemobeer). My next question has to do with setting up a RAID 5 array. As I understand RAID it provides some level of data redundancy and a higher read speed than a plain old JBOD (spanning) array.

My server is built on an Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe motherboard. Not the latest generation by any means but it does sport 4 Silicon Image SATA RAID ports and 4 nVidia SATA ports (configurable as a RAID array and 2 IDE ports (all four drives which can be combined with the nVidia SATA ports as a RAID array).

I have four Toshiba 2GB drives connected to the SATA RAID ports. I can either create a RAID 5 array using the Silicon Image controller which will show up as a single drive in Windows OR I can configure a RAID 5 array in Windows. Opinions please?


Windows Forum Team
Staff member
If you have a hardware raid card then I would use that since it will offload the raid management to the controller from the CPU and Windows. If you have it use it, but with the hardware that is available you wouldn't get much of a performance hit if you made it a software raid. If you want to be really resilient I would get a drive the same size as your OS and have that mirror your OS drive and and do a RAID 5 or 6 if the card can support it or if you want it to be that more resilient. Raid 5 you can lose 1 drive Raid 6 you can lose 2 but you lose more storage.

Of course if you have the drives you can get pretty crazy like a RAID 10 or RAID 50
10 is 2 sets of mirrored drives in a RAID 0 (4 Disks minimum)
50 is 2 RAID 5 arrays in a RAID 0 (6 Disks minimum)
The advantage of these configurations is you get the performance boost of a RAID 0 and the resilience of RAID 1 or 5

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