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Z97 Extreme 9 + PCIe3 RAID

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DevillEars View Drop Down
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    Posted: 09 Jul 2015 at 10:45pm
I am currently busy with a new PC build and require 14 x SATA 6G ports.
What I would like to know is whether or not it would be workable to combine the following to achieve this:
 
a) Motherboard: Asrock Z97 Extreme 9 (6 x SATA 6G ports on Z97 + 4 x SATA 6G ports via Asmedia)
b) RAID Controller: Intel RS3UC080 (PCIe 3.0 8-lane / 8-port RAID controller)
 
Follow-on question if above combination is workable:
 
Will system still be able to support a single NVidia GTX980 at 16x on PCIe 3.0 connection?
 
Any help / feedback would be greatly appreciated.
 
Dave
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2015 at 1:35am
I imagine you know that the Z97 platform (CPU) provides 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes. The Z97 Extreme9 board uses the PLX PEX 8747 bridge chip to multiplex the PCIe 3.0 lanes, which allows quad SLI at x16.

That should in theory allow you to use the Intel RAID card and a single GTX 980 video card at x16. How the Intel RAID card will react to the PLX PEX chip is the main question.

I think it should, since disk IO is much slower than video data transfers. But I have never done this myself.

The Intel and ASMedia SATA ports on the board don't use any of the PCIe 3.0 lanes from the CPU. The six Intel SATA ports support RAID, the ASMedia SATA ports do not support RAID.

The LSI chip on the Intel RAID card cannot be combined with the Intel SATA ports on the board to create RAID arrays.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote odiebugs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2015 at 1:40am
I think bottlenecking will start to impact the system.

You need -   

ASRock's X99 Extreme11



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DevillEars Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2015 at 2:25am
Originally posted by parsec parsec wrote:

I imagine you know that the Z97 platform (CPU) provides 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes. The Z97 Extreme9 board uses the PLX PEX 8747 bridge chip to multiplex the PCIe 3.0 lanes, which allows quad SLI at x16.

That should in theory allow you to use the Intel RAID card and a single GTX 980 video card at x16. How the Intel RAID card will react to the PLX PEX chip is the main question.

I think it should, since disk IO is much slower than video data transfers. But I have never done this myself.

The Intel and ASMedia SATA ports on the board don't use any of the PCIe 3.0 lanes from the CPU. The six Intel SATA ports support RAID, the ASMedia SATA ports do not support RAID.

The LSI chip on the Intel RAID card cannot be combined with the Intel SATA ports on the board to create RAID arrays.

#parsec:

Many thanks for response - you've identified the main concern which is what had been bothering me - the compatibility of the Intel RAID card with the PLX PCIe switch (maybe I should try a post on the Intel site?)

I was aware of the PCIe lane routings and allocations within the Z97 platform (Intel's diagrams are reasonably easy to understand - even for me... :) ).

I'm not looking to implement any RAID level in this system - just the ability to mount 9 x 6TB in a single chassis plus the usual complement of dual SSDs and dual optical drives (to give 13 drives).

The chassis is a Lian-Li PC-Z70.

Unfortunately, I've not been successful in trying to track down a less "heavyweight" SATA controller that would just add 4 ports via a 4-lane PCIe 2.0 bus interface so, if the 8-lane card won't work, I'll have to be satisfied with 2 x 1-lane 2-port SATA controller cards such as those from Sunix.

I think I will try a post yo the Intel site - maybe they can advise about other controller options.

Thanks once again - have a great day.

Dave
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote DevillEars Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2015 at 2:34am
Originally posted by odiebugs odiebugs wrote:

I think bottlenecking will start to impact the system.
You need -   

ASRock's X99 Extreme11


I hear you (hopefully my bank manager missed that one...)
I tried to source a Z87 Extreme 11 but there's only one available on the planet - in the UK - and the combination of a high price, airfreight costs and a significant risk if it dies (no replacement available) made it an unattractive option. The X99 Extreme 11 has its own challenges - not available locally (S. Africa) and, if it were, the pricetag would be horrendous. Back-channel sourcing would be required making any form warranty aspect a dicey proposition.

My current system has one those Sunix 1-lane / 2-port SATA cards and while not as fast as the chipset/ASMedia controller on a Fatal1ty Z77 Professional, is still faster than an external drive via USB 3.0.

Thanks for idea though...

Dave
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DevillEars Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2015 at 2:42am
Intel Support Site not the most helpful site on the planet... Unhappy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote odiebugs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2015 at 2:55am
If  you could go with any X99 series and the lowest price i7-5820 would be better than the Z97.  Maybe with a low end X board you can go up with CPU or even Xeon.

Thanks for reply.  I hope what you must use works out for you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DevillEars Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2015 at 9:16pm
Originally posted by odiebugs odiebugs wrote:

If  you could go with any X99 series and the lowest price i7-5820 would be better than the Z97.  Maybe with a low end X board you can go up with CPU or even Xeon.

Thanks for reply.  I hope what you must use works out for you.
 
After some discussions with a friend, I've decided to switch to an LGA2011-3 platform:
 
Asrock Fatal1ty X99X Killer motherboard
Intel Core i7-5820K CPU (not overclocked)
EVGA GTX970 GPU (not overclocked)
Corsair Vengeance LPX 4 x 8GB DDR4-2133 CL13 RAM
Corsair H80i GT Hydro Series CPU cooler
Corsair AX860 PSU
Samsung 850PRO 512GB SSD
6 x 6TB & 3 x 3TB 3.5" HDDs (mix of makes/models)
1 x BluRay combo plus 1 x DVD R/W drives
2 x Sunix PCIe 1x 2-port SATA controllers (temporary "fix")
Lian-Li PC-Z70 chassis
OS: Windows 8.1 Professional 64-bit
 
Given this above setup, are there any issues/potential challenges I need to watch out for?
Configuration conflicts? Bottlenecking? etc.
 
Dave
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote odiebugs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jul 2015 at 10:26pm
14 sata,  gtx 980,  and when the price can be close for a X99 over a Z97,  there's no reason to go with a 16 lane CPU over one with 28,  I would think you would go with the top 1150 CPU, so the difference is $49.  Board around  $20. 

Where do you plan to put the H80I,  you better read about the case. 

PSU looks good.   

Make sure the corsair memory finder checks ok with memory.

Other than case, checking memory, seems ok.

Let me explain in detail about case,  sometimes people don't know to look at all aspects when given info.

People are saying that the H series will not work with this case, the top mounts are 140mm not 120,  not sure about the back fan,  but if you don't have low profile  memory, it could be an issue. 

So do some investigating about this subject. Some of them also said that the Sata 2 and Sata 3 drives  fit good,  so when you stop laughing, you can see why you need to check.




Edited by odiebugs - 15 Jul 2015 at 11:09pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote DevillEars Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jul 2015 at 2:41am
H80I will be mounted just behind the drive cages and oriented top-to-bottom and at right-angles to the right-side base-plate.

Originally considered an H140 but the clearance at the top of the chassis - even with the 3 x 140mm fans removed - is just on the tight side.

Placing the radiator in the vertical plane just behind the drive cages is an approach that has worked with the PC-Z70 - some dude mounted a three-fan 140mm rad in this position in a rather garishly red build (my taste said no thanks, but some folk would like it).

As far as 28-lanes versus 16-lanes is concerned, that was the key factor that led to the decision to switch from LGA1150 to LGA2011-3. In fact, was tempted to really push the budget and opt for the Core i7-5830K with its 40-lane architecture, but the "degree of push" was just too much... 

Thanks for the heads-up on the RAM - will check into it via the dealer who is supplying and doing the build for me. (I would have tackled the build myself, but I am due to be admitted to hospital on 28th July for major surgery and want this build finished by then - something that would not happen if I was doing it on my own as I have too much else to sort out by the 28th).

In the short term, I will be using the Sunix cards to bolster the X99X's 10 x SATA ports - just as a stop-gap - before trying to scrounge an Intel 8-lane controller on an "appro" basis. If I can get that to work, then will flog the Sunix cards and replace the 3 x 3TB drives with 6TB units instead.

Thanks for your input - much appreciated.

Dave
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