Recommend new motherboard for 6TB RAID 1

Bilge

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Mar 21, 2012
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Hello Hardmannens,

I just bought a pair of Seagate IronWolf Pro 6TB drives hoping to run them in a RAID 1 mirror on my 9-year-old ASUS P6T (x58) board. I didn't realise the Intel RAID BIOS only supports drives up to 2TB! Now it seems I must purchase a new board.

What board should I buy to support this configuration? I would like another high quality Intel chipset board that could last another 10 years, with at least 8 SATA connectors, including 2xM.2 for future upgrades. I don't need SLI. What do you recommend?
 

NukeULater

Gawd
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Sep 12, 2006
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I had a 6+TB raid 10 running on an old X38 motherboard. I ran into the same issue as you but intel does have a software fix that works around the problem. The only drawback is that it can't be used as a boot drive. Can't recall the name of the fix though.
 

Bilge

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Mar 21, 2012
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I don't want to use it as a boot drive but I fail to see how a software fix would help, unless you mean BIOS "software". The Intel RAID BIOS simply doesn't recognize the drive's real capacity at all, so it's impossible to configure the RAID at full capacity. Even modern motherboards claim the Intel BIOS utility still doesn't support drives over 2.2TB; you have to use the UEFI interface to format it properly. I presume this is a limitation of BIOSes in general, rather than a case of Intel dropping the ball. Considering my BIOS has absolutely no support for UEFI I fail to see how any amount of software could fix this hardware RAID issue.
 

Master_shake_

Fully [H]
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how about an HBA?

the LSI 9211-8i supports >2tb drives. seems like a waste to buy a new platform. to me anyway.
 

Bilge

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how about an HBA?

the LSI 9211-8i supports >2tb drives. seems like a waste to buy a new platform. to me anyway.

That sounds interesting and much cheaper than a whole new system. However, are third-party RAID arrays compatible with the Intel RAID chips? I mean, if I later buy a new mobo with an Intel chipset RAID controller, will I be able to just transfer it over without any compatibility issues?
 

Master_shake_

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That sounds interesting and much cheaper than a whole new system. However, are third-party RAID arrays compatible with the Intel RAID chips? I mean, if I later buy a new mobo with an Intel chipset RAID controller, will I be able to just transfer it over without any compatibility issues?

i don't know. sorry

sorry i misunderstood you.

yeah you can typically drop in the card to any system and it should pick it up.
 

Master_shake_

Fully [H]
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Not the card; the drives. Can they be moved from an "LSI" RAID chip to an Intel RAID chip successfully?

not sure.

a backup before trying is recommended.

if it's raid 1 then there is no real computation being done by the controller or anything.

it should just be data on a drive.
 

Bilge

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Mar 21, 2012
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it should just be data on a drive.

I don't believe that's true. I think RAID controllers write a header to the drive so they can identify which drives are part of which array and what role they play in that array. Furthermore, I believe that header is non-standard and vendor-dependent so they would not work cross-vendor unless they implemented specific support for competing brands.
 

Master_shake_

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I don't believe that's true. I think RAID controllers write a header to the drive so they can identify which drives are part of which array and what role they play in that array. Furthermore, I believe that header is non-standard and vendor-dependent so they would not work cross-vendor unless they implemented specific support for competing brands.

you are very mucvh correct.

just tried taking an intel raid 1 built on an ich10r and moving it to an LSI 9260-4i and it wasn't recognized.
 
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Bilge

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Mar 21, 2012
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I very much appreciate you trying that out. Of course, it doesn't mean the reverse isn't true (i.e. moving LSI -> Intel), but I very much doubt there are any vendors implementing support for each others RAID controllers at this time. There is even a question mark over whether RAID migration can be achieved across different RAID controller models from the same vendor. According to this article from Intel, Moving a RAID Volume to a Different System, in general it is possible to move the RAID to another Intel controller, but not if the RAID volume was bootable, which will definitely cause problems for my Windows 7 SSD RAID 1 array if that turns out to be true.

I have been looking for Intel PCI RAID controllers but I can't seem to find any in the UK. I found a few (expensive) ones for at least $100 on Amazon US, but I can't tell if they're intended for consumer use or not, and I'd rather purchase from a local retailer. Failing that I'll have to go back to the original plan and get a new motherboard. Currently considering the ROG STRIX X299-E, but X299 boards don't seem very popular with other consumers at the moment for whatever reason.
 

Pocatello

DC Moderator and [H]ard DCOTM x5
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There is a great review here on this web site about the new Intel X299 motherboards.
 
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