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 PostPost subject: Cheap SAS Controller?        Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:06 am 
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I was looking into buying an 15k SAS drive just for the speed, but looking at the price of controllers, even the cheap ones, I might end up paying more than I did for the drive. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places. I don't care about RAID, so whether or not it's software RAID or not doesn't really matter. Can anyone help me out here?


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 PostPost subject: Re: Cheap SAS Controller?        Posted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:50 pm 
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SAS? What purpose are you going to use it for?

SAS drives are very expensive, noisy (but durable). They definately are not intended for everyday usage.
If I were after speed, I would place my bets on a SSD configuration. Also remember that RPM numbers mean nothing, I could have a 10K RPM SCSI drive that does 30mb/s read, while a cheap 1tb drive does over 100mb/s read with 7200RPM

They are meant to be in raid configurations and places where many disks are needed.
If want to be even cheaper with performance, then go with raid0. Striping 2 disks together (let's say two small but fast ones) could yield you a big speed boost (at the cost of data redunancy, but what is the luck really? If one breakes then you are going to lose lots of data anyway). So keep backups elsewhere ! (Really rare that it breaks).

BUT if you still must have a SAS controller, then you can always go with something as highend ASUS workstation class motherboards which have SAS integrated in them (not really cheap either, but gets you a quality mobo. Possible upgrade route too?).

Hope this helped. :)


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 PostPost subject: Re: Cheap SAS Controller?        Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:17 am 
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Well, right. They're meant for constant usage, I can tolerate the noise, and they're fast.

The fastest SATA drive on the market right now, AFAIK, is the VelociRaptor drive. I can get an open-box SAS drive that's the same capacity with better performance, and a higher MTBF, and what I'm assuming is better quality control and reliability, along with a better warranty.

I'm not going to dump $1k into an SSD because that's WAY more than I would ever spend, they haven't been around long enough for all the kinks to have been worked out or even found, and from what I read their performance degrades over time. I'm just not ready to make the switch yet.

The controller is the hurdle, and it looks like it's too big for me to jump over, at least for the time being. The SSD hurdle in comparison is much higher. I think I'll just stick to a fast SATA drive with a decent warranty for now, unless anyone has any other suggestions?


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 PostPost subject: Re: Cheap SAS Controller?        Posted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:28 am 
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Fast SATA and raid0.
While SAS is cool to have, it's still impractical and the real advantages come from raid configurations.

Controllerside, Adaptec 1405 Kit HBA SAS Is like 130e, which is the cheapest. The reason being that enterprise stuff is [censored] expensive and corporations will pay for what they need.
I myself have 2x 10KRPM raptors in raid0, but even a 1tb samsung is faster alone than those two, Times really change.
So just get a 2x 1tb fast HDD in raid0 or something along the lines. Will set you back only 150~euros and you will still get practicality AND speed out of it.
Hard disks are prone to errors someday anyway, that is why you should ALWAYS have backups. I've even seen quality SCSI drives fail, it's not a magic zone really :p

I think that with 2x1tb you can even exceed a single SAS drive speed (Since SAS isn't magically faster).

On the SSD I want to add that you can get sub-500e easily (capacity around 128gb or so). The point is that SSD are way different in how they work so the speed advantages over SAS are _HUGE_ on most cases. What you read about degrading is what people spread rumours. Intel had those issues once but they have been fixed a long time ago. The tech has matured a lot.
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/storage/2009/06/05/corsair-p256-256gb-ssd-review/1 NO sas drives, but gives you a nice comparsion on modern SSDs. This one has some degrading issues, but for example the OCZ vertex hasnt. They will be fixed eventually with a firmware update like intel did most likely. But just look at the practical use charts for boot/loadtimes and you will see how far mechanical drives actually are set. :)


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