Author Topic: The Perc 6/i Raid 5 "budget" project.  (Read 22314 times)

jason

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The Perc 6/i Raid 5 "budget" project.
« on: October 23, 2008, 01:46:45 PM »
Following on from my previous posts on sorting out some sort of storage solution for my expanding data, I came to the conclusion that I need not build or purchase another PC / NAS box to solve my problems.

The aim of this project is to add a fast RAID 5 disk array which is expandable to 8 disks & will reside within my existing rig

I intend to use my current gaming PC with no additional hardware purchases (all be it with a motherboard upgrade) with a disk holder & Dell Perc6/i raid card.

The costs so far (Inc VAT & Delivery)
  • Raid controller -
« Last Edit: February 25, 2009, 03:28:08 PM by jason »
i5-2500k
Asus P8P67
2x 4gb DDR3 1600 hz OCZ
1 x Dell Perc 6/i
4 x Samsung 2TB (raid 5)
1 x WD VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS
Asus 5870 1gb PCI-E

jason

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Re: The Perc6/i Raid 5 "budget" project.
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2008, 10:36:43 AM »
Heatsync: Zalman ZM-NBF47 Northbridge cooler

The cooler arrived this morning :)




Let's say that up until now, I've really loved Zalman products. This particular one is a complete sod to set up.  First off you have to assemble your mounting point of choice (the hook one in this case) Then you have to attach it to the cooler for mounting.

It took about 20 minutes to assemble the nut & bolts as they are so small and the thread doesn't align properly. Anyway, that effort turned out to be a complete waste of time as the nuts were too big to fit into their locators on the cooler, & the orientation that it is needed to be would cause problems fitting the card.

Plan B then.  I've got some thermal compact adhesive which I'll use to secure the cooler to the processor.

Pics:

Base of the Zalman vs the Dell



Looking at the two side by side, I was concerned that the CPU surface area might be too big for the Zalman. Fortunately, this was not the case.  They are pretty much an exact match. It won't leave much room for error when gluing them together though.



And some side by side comparisons:





You can clearly see that the zalman has a much greater surface area compared to the stock dell cooler.  This will easily compensate for the lack of forced airflow.


Next - Waiting for new mobo & cables.
i5-2500k
Asus P8P67
2x 4gb DDR3 1600 hz OCZ
1 x Dell Perc 6/i
4 x Samsung 2TB (raid 5)
1 x WD VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS
Asus 5870 1gb PCI-E

jason

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Re: The Perc6/i Raid 5 "budget" project.
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2008, 09:20:10 AM »
Been having some fun over the last couple of days.

Aside from having one of my 1tb disks fail (didn't contain anything too drastic), I've got the card up and running.

First off I'd cemented the zalman cooler to the chip on the Perc using some Arctic Silver Thermal Adhesive which I'd had kicking around for a couple of years.  It takes about 10 minutes to "go off" once mixed, so I'd recommend taping or using an elastic band to hold the cooler in place (with some light pressure).

Here's a couple of images with the cooler attached.





The observant amongst you may have noticed some tape across pins 5 & 6 on the PCB (on the side of the heatsync). This is due to a compatibility problem with Intel's P35 & P45 chipsets.

Without the pins covered, the PC refuses to boot & issues a "graphics card failed" message (in my case a single tone looping two second beep).  With the pins covered - it POSTS and you can see the DELL config screen.

In this case I have used electricians insulating tape. Others have used nail varnish.  If you use tape, remember to extend a portion above the pins to let you retrieve it should it come adrift.

Some close ups of the pins:

« Last Edit: October 30, 2008, 09:52:01 AM by jason »
i5-2500k
Asus P8P67
2x 4gb DDR3 1600 hz OCZ
1 x Dell Perc 6/i
4 x Samsung 2TB (raid 5)
1 x WD VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS
Asus 5870 1gb PCI-E

jason

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Re: The Perc6/i Raid 5 "budget" project.
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2009, 05:49:32 PM »
Sorry for the lack of updates, but I've been tied up what with Christmas, work, lack of funds & new system build.

Anyhow. .

Following my upgrade to the new motherboard  GA-EX58-UD5, I've had some issues with clearance.

If I put the RAID card in slot two - there is insufficient air flow to my GFX card and it overheats quickly.

If I put the raid card into slot 3 - I don't have enough clearance for the cooler.

Hence the cooler got its top cut off:









I can't see that it'll make that much of a difference, but at least now it fits.

As soon as my main OS drive is back from an RMA - I only need to purchase one more disk and I can install!

I'm also moving to Vista 64bit as it easily supports partitions of 2TB + and will allow them to be dynamically expanded.

More after next pay-day!
i5-2500k
Asus P8P67
2x 4gb DDR3 1600 hz OCZ
1 x Dell Perc 6/i
4 x Samsung 2TB (raid 5)
1 x WD VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS
Asus 5870 1gb PCI-E

jason

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Re: The Perc6/i Raid 5 "budget" project.
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2009, 10:55:27 AM »
Just waiting for my disk to be returned so I can install Vista 64.

I've located the vista 64 drivers & software on dell's site (without having to alter anything).

The Perc 6/i is a standard bit of kit on a Precision T5400 workstation (which supports Vista 64 & XP)

Quick-link


Both the driver, firmware & Management utils can be found there.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 10:58:10 AM by jason »
i5-2500k
Asus P8P67
2x 4gb DDR3 1600 hz OCZ
1 x Dell Perc 6/i
4 x Samsung 2TB (raid 5)
1 x WD VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS
Asus 5870 1gb PCI-E

jason

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Re: The Perc6/i Raid 5 "budget" project.
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2009, 01:10:18 PM »
Picked up a couple of samsung 1tb disks for
i5-2500k
Asus P8P67
2x 4gb DDR3 1600 hz OCZ
1 x Dell Perc 6/i
4 x Samsung 2TB (raid 5)
1 x WD VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS
Asus 5870 1gb PCI-E

jason

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Re: The Perc6/i Raid 5 "budget" project.
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2009, 07:21:02 AM »
Ok, here are my benches.

I ran both the 64k test (default) and the 8mb test (which I feel represents a more accurate real usage - given that all files on the RAID are over 600mb).

So, 64k results first:


Raptor


Perc 6/i



And the 8mb results:

Raptor


Perc 6/i




I was quite disappointed by the PERC's 64k results, but thinking about it, it is not designed to throw about small files, and a larger file test does show it's intended usage results.

Quite happy with that  :)

J
« Last Edit: February 13, 2009, 07:25:03 AM by jason »
i5-2500k
Asus P8P67
2x 4gb DDR3 1600 hz OCZ
1 x Dell Perc 6/i
4 x Samsung 2TB (raid 5)
1 x WD VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS
Asus 5870 1gb PCI-E

Critters

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Re: The Perc6/i Raid 5 "budget" project.
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2009, 11:01:59 AM »
How many drives is that?

jason

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Re: The Perc6/i Raid 5 "budget" project.
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2009, 11:26:19 AM »
It's 4 in raid5
i5-2500k
Asus P8P67
2x 4gb DDR3 1600 hz OCZ
1 x Dell Perc 6/i
4 x Samsung 2TB (raid 5)
1 x WD VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS
Asus 5870 1gb PCI-E