I have 6x320GB HDD and I was considering to create a RAID 5 system (it's for storage only).

I use Ubuntu 14.04 and I want to ask what RAID controller card allows for 6 (or more) ports without requiring too much configuration under Linux-Ubuntu.

As said, the goal would be to be able to use all 6 drives in a RAID 5 system.

I'm looking for a PCI, PCI-X, or PCIe card with hardware RAID 5 support and SATA or SAS connectors. My overall budget is around $100.

  • 5
    New or used? SATA, SAS, PATA, SCSI? PCI, PCIe, or PCI-X? Software RAID or hardware RAID? Do you need staggered spinup or can your PSU spin up all six drives at once? Do you need to boot off the array, or do you have a separate boot disk? Do you have a price range?
    – Mark
    Jan 25, 2016 at 21:15
  • I think you're on the wrong track looking for a hardware raid card. Consider software raid as a more flexible and faster solution. You're already running linux which has supported software raid for many years. Use a cheap PCI or PCIe sata controller to get more ports if you don't have enough on the board.
    – Criggie
    Jan 30, 2016 at 21:44

1 Answer 1


For $100, you're not going to get a new card. New hardware RAID cards typically run several hundred dollars. What you can get is an old server-class RAID card pulled from a retired system.

I recommend the Areca ARC-1120 8-port card. It's a universal PCI/PCI-X card, so it can fit in almost any PCI or PCI-X slot (the exception being those few PCI mainboards with components blocking the area occupied by the PCI-X part of the connector). It supports RAID 5 (as well as a variety of other RAID levels), supports up to 8 SATA hard drives, doesn't require any drivers under Linux for basic operations but has them (as well as management software) for advanced functionality, and you can usually find one on Ebay for under $100. Two things to watch out for when buying off Ebay: people sometimes mislabel the ARC-1120ML (two SAS multilane connectors rather than eight SATA connectors) or the ARC-1110 (four SATA connectors) as the ARC-1120.

I can also strongly dis-recommend the 3Ware 9500S-8. On paper, it looks similar to the ARC-1120, but appears to be optimized for benchmarking, and performs quite poorly with small-random-write workloads.

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