Question Going to hardware RAID on ASUS B450M, Ryzen 5 + AMD BIOS

MD-PA

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Win 10 64 and apps are on a SATA SSD, all data on two 8TB HDDs RAID-1 mirroring via Storage Space. I had used (and preferred) hardware RAID on previous Intel systems, but when I put this one together 6 months ago I wanted to keep things simple and went with AHCI SATA (CMS enabled, so not full UEFI). Now I'm familiar with the AMD BIOS, have no legacy hardware needing AHCI/ CMS, and would like to make the most of what the mobo/BIOS/CPU combination can do. (Also I'm old and set in my ways, and -- rightly or not -- just feel better if the OS sees a RAID array as one drive from the start and doesn't manage it in software.)

I gather that AMD's latest RAID drivers have fixed a problem that earlier versions had with the May Win10 update. Everything on the Storage Space pair is backed up (BTW, USB 3.1 gen2 is a real blessing for large external storage). I'm prepared to reinstall Win10 + apps. The AMD RAID configuration looks straightforward -- but before taking the plunge, is anyone here using AMD's hardware RAID? Any gotchas I should look out for in setup or operation with Win10 ?
 

mitch074

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Win 10 64 and apps are on a SATA SSD, all data on two 8TB HDDs RAID-1 mirroring via Storage Space. I had used (and preferred) hardware RAID on previous Intel systems, but when I put this one together 6 months ago I wanted to keep things simple and went with AHCI SATA (CMS enabled, so not full UEFI). Now I'm familiar with the AMD BIOS, have no legacy hardware needing AHCI/ CMS, and would like to make the most of what the mobo/BIOS/CPU combination can do. (Also I'm old and set in my ways, and -- rightly or not -- just feel better if the OS sees a RAID array as one drive from the start and doesn't manage it in software.)

I gather that AMD's latest RAID drivers have fixed a problem that earlier versions had with the May Win10 update. Everything on the Storage Space pair is backed up (BTW, USB 3.1 gen2 is a real blessing for large external storage). I'm prepared to reinstall Win10 + apps. The AMD RAID configuration looks straightforward -- but before taking the plunge, is anyone here using AMD's hardware RAID? Any gotchas I should look out for in setup or operation with Win10 ?
Frankly, I wouldn't go for "hardware" RAID over a software RAID; when the OS can't see the actual volumes, it can't really deal with stuff like faulty cluster reallocation easily, if your RAID array breaks down the reconstruction depends on a hardly tested piece of firmware, and performance optimizations like NCQ become less efficient.
You have to understand that the RAID capabilities found on motherboards is software RAID, but instead of being driven by the OS it's the BIOS that's taking care of it. It also means that if your motherboard breaks down, your data is lost unless you can find the exact same motherboard.
If you want to got the hardware RAID way, then do so; but use and actual RAID controller, with a dedicated CPU and some RAM, to build it; it's faster, safer, more flexible (RAID 5 really is the best mix of performance and redundancy) and most also allow you to set up a hot spare.
 

popatim

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You have to understand that the RAID capabilities found on motherboards is software RAID, but instead of being driven by the OS it's the BIOS that's taking care of it.
True

It also means that if your motherboard breaks down, your data is lost unless you can find the exact same motherboard.
incorrect. AMD raid is usually transferable between the same chipset manufacturer. Ie - raids from one Intel chipset will work in another intel system as long as it supports raid mode in the bios. Same for AMD.
Amd raid will not work in an Intel system and vise-versa. though.

If you want to got the hardware RAID way, then do so; but use and actual RAID controller, with a dedicated CPU and some RAM, to build it; it's faster, safer, more flexible (RAID 5 really is the best mix of performance and redundancy) and most also allow you to set up a hot spare.
I agree here also but motherbd raid is fine if it allows the purchase of a means to back it up instead of buying the controller.
Please keep in mind that no form of Raid is a backup. Having a backup drive is more important then a dedicated controller.
You need to plan for the house getting hit by lightning and anything remotely connected to power, telephone line, or cable being completely destroyed. We even suggest having another off-site backup in case something even worse happens. It all depends on how important that data is to you.
 

mitch074

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incorrect. AMD raid is usually transferable between the same chipset [...]
'Usually' bites one in the arse when it happens. It's easier to replicate a software setup (i.e. windows build or Linux kernel) when you want to rebuild your RAID array than to find the same chipset.
I agree here also but motherbd raid is fine if it allows the purchase of a means to back it up instead of buying the controller.
Please keep in mind that no form of Raid is a backup. Having a backup drive is more important then a dedicated controller.
It's a backup in the sense that it allows you to keep working and rebuild your system if a single drive fails. However it provides no advantage over OS-driven software RAID, only drawbacks. Either go with a dedicated controller or with OS-driven software RAID.
The only advantage of chipset RAID is to show the same RAID array to several OSes (if dual booting windows and Linux) or if your OS doesn't do RAID at all. But in both cases, if you do that often, you really should consider a dedicated RAID controller: more often than not, motherboard RAID is buggy.
 

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