New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.
I need to get a sata card for a server that I want to use as a nas, I would like to go for at least a 4 port card (believe they all come with inbuilt raid controllers), are there any chipsets that are particularly good / bad.
I'd like to get a card that as much as it can will keep all my options open, so one that can perform as many of the raid schemes as possible.
Would need to be a standard pci card.
My first criteria would be that it is compatible with my system, besides that I guess my wish list would include, there not being an limit on the size of the disk array (if that's poss) and it to be a quick card.
Depends on your definition of quick there are different options. When you suggest PCI slot only the best performance you can get is probably about 80MB/s even with the best card.
For PCI only I would suggest finding a 3Ware 9500S / 8506 (9550 does not work with regular PCI slot). These occasionally pop up on a certain auction site for relatively cheap price.
Otherwise use onboard SATA and Windows RAID (XP with hacked RAID5 driver or Windows Server). In this case it could be cheaper for you to replace the motherboard/cpu/ram, which will likely to reduce power usage AND higher speed as added benefits too.
If you go for PCIe there are cheap Dell PERC5/i or PERC6/i everywhere. Even better cards will run into hundreds so you might as well replace everything.
I found using a 50 quid one did not even work, I gave up and bought a newer Mobo..
Probably not an option for you, but as above poster suggested, could owe you hundreds and not worth doing.
I know that mobo raid is software controlled and not that good, Raid cards are just that and are obviously hardware, you wont get a cheapish one with good performance, you do get what you pay for..