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Serial ATA RAID Controllers - Promise, Silicon Image, Highpoint and nVidia

By: Shawn Baker | RAID/HBA in Storage | Posted: May 7, 2004 4:00 am

Western Digital SATA RAID


- The Package



You really can't do much with a controller package. You don't get your free HL2 coupon or the latest and greatest home theater software, instead you simply get the card and the driver most of the time.


This isn't a bad thing because in all honesty it is all you really need. Western Digital also include a quick install guide which gives you a guide to install the card and setup your RAID array as well as a CD including RAID Array Management Software as well as some other small documentation.


- The Controller of Choice


Western Digital has always had quite a good name in the hard drive market. Recently they entered the Serial ATA controller market but it didn't take us long to notice the slight resemblance between the Western Digital SATA RAID controller and the Promise FastTrak S150.


Apart from Western Digital not including the PATA port, they are exactly the same controller. While this isn't really a bad thing, its worth noting that this controller isn't manufactured by Western Digital.



Western Digital, like Promise, uses the Promise controller which comes with two Serial ATA ports. The controller offers all the RAID modes you would expect including RAID 0, 1, 0 + 1 and JBOD. While the controller does support RAID 0 + 1, you wouldn't be able to utilize it on this particular card due to it only having two SATA ports.



We will see later on in the review how the Promise chip handles the tasks we set against the other competition.


- BIOS Setup Photos


Let's have a look at how we setup the RAID array.



Here we choose exactly what we want to do; in this case we will simple run Auto Setup which should do exactly what we want.



You can set up your RAID in two ways - Performance (RAID 0) or Security (RAID 1). We will be using RAID 0 so we get the maximum performance out of the hard drives here today.



From there we simply press Y and let the RAID setup do the rest.



That's it, press any key and your computer will be rebooted and you will be greeted with your brand new RAID setup.


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