Advice request

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Cheesy Toes

New Member
Nov 20, 2023
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Hi all,

I use my own PC as a storage server of sorts. It has a 7 series 16 port Adaptec RAID controller with eight identical 3.5" HDDs (Raid level 60) and eight identical 2.5" SSDs (RAID level 10).

This is my first taste of a "serious" RAID controller and it works incredibly well. Except for one thing.... my PC is water cooled as I like silence, but in order to keep the Adaptec controller within temperature specifications I have had to mount a Noctua Industrial 3,000rpm fan with a 120mm to 50mm plastic duct. It is set to 50% but it is incredibly noisy still.

Even at 50%, if I set off an antivirus scan on the RAID 60 array the good old temperature alarm goes off on the controller.

Please, please, can someone with some experience point me in the direction of a "cool running" RAID controller that doesn't require so much active cooling.

Thank you so much for your time, I appreciate any help.

Best regards,

Richard
 

gea

Well-Known Member
Dec 31, 2010
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Is this on Windows where a hardware raid may make sense or Linux/Unix?

On the second you can use ZFS software raid with a much higher security level than classic mirror or raid 5/6
due end to end checksums, Copy on Write (no corrupted raid or filesystem after a crash during write) or readonly snaps.

With ZFS you can use any dumb power efficient onboard Sata or SAS HBA like a raidless 12G SAS LSI 9300 in IR/IT mode (8W).
You can even mix different controllers.
 
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Cheesy Toes

New Member
Nov 20, 2023
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Hi, thanks for your reply.

I apologise, I should have named the OS. Sadly it is on Windows 11 as it is my main PC, so I opted for hardware RAID functionality so I am free to constantly reinstall Windows when I manage to stuff it up by messing around with it.

I guess I should also mention I am sticking to SATA drives and not delving into SAS ones. (Yet) (Or NVME) (Yet)

What I really want is a cool-running 16 port "SATA" RAID controller, capable of RAID 10 and RAID 60 which doesn't kick out enough heat to cook a turkey.

What I should REALLY do is buy myself a decent storage server chassis and go with some variant of reliable Linux. However, my wife may become violent if I buy any more noticeable computer parts. She has anger management issues when it comes to computers. I can hide a new RAID controller and she will never know it's been installed.

Thanks again for your reply, sorry I am such a N00b.
 

nexox

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May 3, 2023
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That fan should be able to cool any PCIe RAID card (they can only draw 25W,) perhaps the heatsink needs new thermal compound or your duct could be improved.
 
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Cheesy Toes

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Nov 20, 2023
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Noctua's 3krpm F12 is not noise-optimised like their ULN or Redux lines. Arctic P12 are another quiet and cost-effective option. You won't need a lot of static pressure for this application.
I've standardised on Noctua Industrial fans and have 27 of them installed in total, I use an Aquacomputer Aquaero and Quadro to precisely control the rpm and they are normally silent, but have the potential to spin up to 3,000rpm if needed. At 1,500rpm I am still getting a thermal alarm from the controller under heavy usage.

I used Noctua because I needed the static pressure for my twin 360mm radiators and I really like them a lot.

I could use a more silent "air flow" fan, it is a possibility I will have a think about.

I just need someone to suggest a reasonably priced 16 port RAID controller that runs cooler than Adaptec controllers. Modern Broadcom ones (going by the photos on google) have much much better full sized heatsinks and I wondered if they run cooler?
 

Cheesy Toes

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Nov 20, 2023
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That fan should be able to cool any PCIe RAID card (they can only draw 25W,) perhaps the heatsink needs new thermal compound or your duct could be improved.
I actually believe there is no TIM used at all, it appears to be bare. I will Thermal Grizzly it, thanks for the heads up, it might solve the problem!
 
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Sean Ho

seanho.com
Nov 19, 2019
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In my experience, Adaptec HBAs do tend to run a bit hotter than the equivalent LSI, very broadly speaking. But funnelling a 12cm fan at 1.5krpm directly through the HBA's heatsink should be plenty of airflow. So I agree re-pasting may be worthwhile. Even when there is paste, it's usually old and crusty.
 

BeTeP

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Mar 23, 2019
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9300-16i (full-height, expensive)
$55 shipped is not that expesive. Also you listed the HBA models - that's what most people want anyway. But the OP wanted a RAID. A 9361-16i still sells for like $150 - no idea who buys these. The problem is that a proper LSI RAID controller does not run that much cooler.
 
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mattventura

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Nov 9, 2022
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You wouldn't want a 9300-16i if you're going for cool anyway - those things are just two 9300-8i chips and a PLX, so they use more than double the power (thus more than double the heat). The fact that they have a PCIe 6-pin power connector should be a red flag.

You don't need a 16i RAID controller - you can get a 4i or 8i, and get a $25 SAS expander like the 82885-T.
 

Cheesy Toes

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Nov 20, 2023
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LSI 16i options include 9211-16i (full-height, harder to find, expensive), 9300-16i (full-height, expensive), 9305-16i (even more expensive), etc.

Those LSI ones look good, do you think they would still require an active fan? Or does that massive heatsink mean it is passively cooled? Or maybe could make do with a small "silent" 80mm fan?

Thank you so much for your suggestions, I am off to look at them all again on eBay. I might be some time. Thank you again.
 

Cheesy Toes

New Member
Nov 20, 2023
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You wouldn't want a 9300-16i if you're going for cool anyway - those things are just two 9300-8i chips and a PLX, so they use more than double the power (thus more than double the heat). The fact that they have a PCIe 6-pin power connector should be a red flag.

You don't need a 16i RAID controller - you can get a 4i or 8i, and get a $25 SAS expander like the 82885-T.
You have a very, very good point. Except I am a total n00b and have never ever used expanders. But believe it or not, I just purchased that very expander you mentioned and am anxiously awaiting the delivery all the way from mainland China.

Please, please tell me, does the 82885-T require active cooling?
 

mattventura

Active Member
Nov 9, 2022
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You have a very, very good point. Except I am a total n00b and have never ever used expanders. But believe it or not, I just purchased that very expander you mentioned and am anxiously awaiting the delivery all the way from mainland China.

Please, please tell me, does the 82885-T require active cooling?
According to the manual, you're supposed to give it 200 feet per minute of cooling at 0-55C ambient, but if your ambient temperature is significantly lower than 55 (I'd hope...), then you can get away with a lot less. Mine sits at 70-75 measured by the card and it doesn't seem to have any temperature-related issues, nor does it trigger an alarm. In fact, it reports a warning temp of 100C and a critical temp of 105C.
 
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i386

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This is my first taste of a "serious" RAID controller and it works incredibly well. Except for one thing.... my PC is water cooled as I like silence, but in order to keep the Adaptec controller within temperature specifications I have had to mount a Noctua Industrial 3,000rpm fan with a 120mm to 50mm plastic duct. It is set to 50% but it is incredibly noisy still.
Can you take a picture of that setup?
I had a 6805 in a lian li chassis with industrial 3000 fans (obstructed airflow thanks to the hdd "cages") and it was enough to cool that card.
 
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Cheesy Toes

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Nov 20, 2023
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According to the manual, you're supposed to give it 200 feet per minute of cooling at 0-55C ambient, but if your ambient temperature is significantly lower than 55 (I'd hope...), then you can get away with a lot less. Mine sits at 70-75 measured by the card and it doesn't seem to have any temperature-related issues, nor does it trigger an alarm. In fact, it reports a warning temp of 100C and a critical temp of 105C.
Interesting! My ambient is currently 14C. I am loathe to use the Storage Manager because it requires a Local Account on Windows which infuriates me for some reason. I guess what I should do is add a thermal probe to the Adaptec controller and monitor it.

My alarm goes off at 80C. When you say 105C is critical, in my humble opinion that is really high. I understood the silicon in the processor would be damaged above 105C. I know the TJMAX for my processor is 105C too.
 

Cheesy Toes

New Member
Nov 20, 2023
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Can you take a picture of that setup?
I had a 6805 in a lian li chassis with industrial 3000 fans (obstructed airflow thanks to the hdd "cages") and it was enough to cool that card.
I only have a photo of it from the outside, the inside is currently a mess which I need to sort out.

The chassis is also a Lian Li one, but it was a special one.

Most of my drives are in the right hand side in caddies with the little green, blue and red lights. The Aquaero is the blue LCD screen with the time on it.

It's a "double wide" chassis. You need two people to lift it. It is a monstrosity.