[SOLVED] Help choosing hardware to build a AM4 Ryzen 3 3200g pc with 1TB RAID 1 data storage array

RAIDGoblin

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Jan 10, 2021
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I'm new here, and new to SATA age PC builds (my last build was a single core Pentium 4 from 2002, my main use PC at the moment is a laptop) so be nice, I might make a fool of myself ;)



Use:
Debian is my OS of choice
Most of my usage is image editing/digital art (GIMP), video editing (blender) and web browsing
The main use for my desktop PC is data storage

Setup I have planned:
To have two 1TB HDD's set up in a hardware RAID 1 array for data storage, and the OS booting from a 3rd HDD, preferably an SSD for speed

Hardware:
I already have an AMD Ryzen 3 3200g CPU that I got second hand

Motherboard: Asus Prime B450M-A II (https://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-prime-b450m-a-ii-amd-b450-am4-ddr4-pcie-30-m2-gbe-usb-32-gen2-microatx) or Gigabyte B450M Gaming (https://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigabyte-b450m-gaming-amd-b450-am4-ddr4-sata3-m2-realtek-gbe-usb-31-gen2-a-micro-atx)



My first question: Will the Ryzen 3 3200g CPU be compatible with those motherboards without a BIOS update, because that will be the only CPU I have? If I've done my research correctly they should be but better safe than sorry (y)

My second question: what motherboard would be best?
I'd prefer to use the Asus because it has 6 SATA ports, it says it supports RAID 1 but there's there's very little in the operating manual about it, however the Gigabyte has very detailed instructions on how to use the hardware RAID (found here: https://download.gigabyte.com/FileList/Manual/mb_manual_b450m-gaming_e.pdf) so it would probably be a better bet? Has anyone here ever used either of these boards for a hardware RAID array using a smaller boot drive and two separate drives for data storage, specifically with the BIOS RAID?

And just another thought: since I last built a PC a new thing called an M.2 SSD has sprung into existence, I'm not totally familiar with it's use, but I'm wondering if it would be possible to use one to boot my OS from, then I would only need two HDD's for the RAID array, and have less need for cable messiness/case clutter etc... This might show up my lack of knowledge LOL


Any help at all would be greatly appreciated :D
 

RAIDGoblin

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Jan 10, 2021
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What will be your actual backup situation?
A bank of DVD's for photography and an external HDD drive for everything else, everything will be on both the RAID array and on one of the other two types of storage

It will just be a modernized version of the same setup I've always used, with one change, I want the desktop PC to be better than my laptop at digital rendering etc...

Since my old motherboard failed last week, and I only have an IDE DVD drive, I can't even burn disks to back stuff up so I need to fix this, and if I upgrade everything ideally I want something that will good enough to actually use instead of just use as a data center like I have been doing for the past 5 years
 

RAIDGoblin

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Jan 10, 2021
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OK, just checking.
Far too many people equate "RAID 1" with being an actual backup thing.
Agreed, the only thing it gives is protection against HDD failure, and not against corruption, viruses, RAID hardware faults etc... but that said, I'm unlucky enough to have fallen victim to HDD failure twice - hence making the choice to use RAID1

EDIT: I have de-railed my own thread, oops :unsure:
 

DSzymborski

Polypheme
Moderator
Agreed, the only thing it gives is protection against HDD failure, and not against corruption, viruses, RAID hardware faults etc... but that said, I'm unlucky enough to have fallen victim to HDD failure twice - hence making the choice to use RAID1

EDIT: I have de-railed my own thread, oops :unsure:
We get a lot of people who show up here having hard drive problems because they put all their important data in a RAID array they didn't need or understand how to use and then failed to back their important data anywhere else. So RAID tends to be a big red flag!

Your needs, however, put you in the 1% of home users that can actually use a RAID.
 

RAIDGoblin

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Jan 10, 2021
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Update: I contacted Asus with the question of CPU compatibility and if BIOS RAID1 would work in the way I need, this is what I got back in response, it's not the most informative reply ever



What I have learned from it is that, in order to use this board with my CPU I would need to update the BIOS, and that can be done without a CPU (something else I've missed in the evolution of technology LOL), even so, that seems to complicated for me, I'm still learning so instead I'm leaning towards this idea:

The Gigabyte motherboard claims seamless backward compatibility with Ryzen CPU's so in theory I shouldn't need to update the BIOS, it only has 4 SATA ports but if I use a RAID card, instead of motherboard RAID (this is the one I have in mind: https://www.scan.co.uk/products/2-port-highpoint-rocketraid-620-internal-pci-e-v2-x1-to-sata-6gb-s-raid-controller-card) it will free up 2 SATA ports, and booting of an M.2 SSD will free up another, if there's any reason why this plan won't work? plz tell me
 

RAIDGoblin

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Jan 10, 2021
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Another update: After several weeks of research (mainly reading this forum) I think I've become much less clueless about modern hardware, and I've read all the forum rules and guidelines, apparently it's ok to reply to your own thread if you have solved your own questions, so to save leaving the thread unsolved:


"Will the Ryzen 3 3200g CPU be compatible with those motherboards without a BIOS update?"

Both motherboards are compatible with the Ryzen 3 3200G, however the Asus one is more likely to need a BIOS update, and that can be done without a CPU

"what motherboard would be best?"

I've chosen the gigabyte motherboard because that model of Asus motherboard doesn't seem to support hardware RAID

"And just another thought: since I last built a PC a new thing called an M.2 SSD has sprung into existence, I'm not totally familiar with it's use, but I'm wondering if it would be possible to use one to boot my OS from, then I would only need two HDD's for the RAID array, and have less need for cable messiness/case clutter etc... This might show up my lack of knowledge LOL"

This did show up my lack of knowledge :oops: Yes this will work, it's exactly what M.2 SSD's are for!



I'm not sure how to mark the thread solved?
 

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