View Full Version : 3ware 9690SA SAS controller on a home system

03-08-09, 03:43 PM
I've been using mdadm raid5 on my machine for a few months and it's working well, but write performance isn't very good and it's really becoming a bit more tedious than I'd like. I recently came across a good deal for a 4 port 3ware 9690SA SAS controller, but some reviews aren't very good.. Severe compatibility with motherboards, drives, and enclosures are mentioned, and 3ware has up an extremely limited set of compatible equipment (one for the 9650SE as well).

I have a MSI P35 Platinum with a Seagate ST31000340AS and 2*WDC WD1001FALS in an iStarUSA 4 port hot-swap enclosure. When I built this system, I wasn't planning on anything beyond software raid1, but the extra storage is great and I wouldn't care to turn back now. A 2TB array is about 4 times what I had before and is probably a configuration I'll be using for several years. Hardware raid would be a huge bonus and is such a great deal at ~$220 (approx $350 total for the whole package - controller+BBU+cable), probably not one I'll see again for a while.

Does anyone have experience with the 9690SA and non-enterprise grade (SATA) hardware? I'd hate to trade a stable setup for something that's just going to be problematic (unable to boot off the controller, drives not showing up, drives dropping off, etc) and require hours of troubleshooting..

-- edit --

Well, the discounted stock has been sold.. Every once in a while Amazon has 9650SE-4LPML's for ~$250, which is the controller I'd prefer to get. I've read that people are successfully using WDC WD1001FALS, so that just leaves questions on the Seagate ST31000340AS and MSI P35 Platinum. Anyone?

11-19-09, 02:45 PM
I don't remember double posting this here, but I did end up buying a 3ware 9650SE and have been documenting my experiences in the other thread (http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=36800) on Debian's message board. Came across this while googling and thought it'd be best to have this going somewhere, in case anyone else was looking to do the same...