8 Replies Latest reply on Dec 22, 2011 4:14 PM by spearson

    DZ68BC Motherboard Configuration


      I am considering buying a DZ68BC motherboard for a new computer using an i5-2500K CPU.


      The computer will have 2 SATA drives in a RAID 1 configuration using the Intel SATA ports and Z68 chipset.


      Does anyone know if the Intel Smart Response Technology using a 20 GB SSD will cache the Raid Array?



        • 1. Re: DZ68BC Motherboard Configuration

          Yes, that's the idea of the feature...

          • 2. Re: DZ68BC Motherboard Configuration

            Thanks, spearson, for your prompt reply to my post.


            Your answer triggers some follow on questions/consideration:


            The motherbpoard has four (4) 6 Gb/s SATA ports (2 Z68 and 2 Marvel) and four (4) 3 Gb/s Z68 SATA ports.


            Will two (2) 6 Gb/s drives for the RAID 1 array on the Z68 controller and a SATA III SSD (6 Gb/s) on the Marvel controller work for iSRT?


            Or would it be more reliable and stable to use two RAIDed 3 Gb/s SATA drives on the Z68 controller and place the SATA III SSD also on the Z68 controller's 6 Gb/s port?


            If both will work, Is there a performance difference?  What is the best way for me to make RAID1 with iSRT?


            Thanks for your help with my question.



            • 3. Re: DZ68BC Motherboard Configuration

              You can read section 1.6.2 of the board's Technical Product Specification (TPS) for more information regarding its SATA/RAID architecture. Here's the pertinent information:


              • RST supports only the headers managed directly by the PCH (the chipset). This includes the 2 dark blue Gen3 (6Gb) and the 4 black Gen2 (3Gb) SATA ports. Using RST, you can create a RAID array that utilizes any/all of these 6 SATA ports.


              • The other two (light blue) Gen3 ports are managed by a separate Marvell controller. As well, a second Marvell controller is used to manage the eSATA port on the back panel. None of these ports can be used for RAID.


              • If your intent is to use all or part of the SSD as a performance cache for the RAID array, then the SSD needs to be connected to one of the RST-managed (dark blue or black) SATA ports. I am not sure which will garner the best performance (there are arguments to be made for both possibilities; I leave this to the true SATA/RAID experts to answer); you either have the HDDs on the Gen3 ports and the SSD on a Gen2 port or you have the SSD on a Gen3 port and the HDDs on Gen2 ports.


              • If your intent is to use the SSD exclusively as a boot/system device, on the other hand, then you could connect it to one of the light blue, Marvell-managed Gen3 SATA ports. This would leave the two dark blue Gen3 ports for your HDDs...



              • 4. Re: DZ68BC Motherboard Configuration

                Hi Scott.


                Thanks again, you were very helpful.  I just ordered the DZ68BC motherboard, an Intel 320 series (40 GB) SATA II SSD, and two Seagate 6 Gb/s SATA drives.


                I will use them per the third bullet in your reply to my question.


                Hopefully the speed of the Seagate SATA drives will work on behalf of non-cached random file access (such as database) while the SSD caching provides the speed boost for frequently used programs etc.





                • 5. Re: DZ68BC Motherboard Configuration

                  Hi Hal--


                  You might be interested in an issue I've run into between my DZ68BC motherboard and a new Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001 3TB hard drive.  This drive is supposed to be SATA 3 (6 Gb/s), but only shows in the bios as a 3 Gb/s drive, even when connected to one of the Z68's SATA 3 ports.  More details can be found in my post at the Seagate support forum:


                  While I'd love to know if this "handshake" problem is on the motherboard side or hard drive side, it probably doesn't make too much practical difference: even running at 3 Gb/s, this drive benchmarks at over 200 MB/s read/write speed, which is about as good as it gets for a single mechanical hard drive.


                  Good luck with your build,


                  • 6. Re: DZ68BC Motherboard Configuration

                    A couple of further comments:


                    • The Marvell controller should be capable of use in RAID mode.  I have not tried it on the DZ68BC myself, but there is a BIOS setting to select mode on that controller.
                    • From what I understand, the performance of the Intel controller is far superior to that of the Marvell.
                    • I am running two Seagate 3TB ST33000651AS in RAID 1 on the light blue (Intel 6.0 GB) ports and an SSD (which is my boot disk) on the Marvell dark blue port.  My drives all show up at the proper speeds.



                    Good luck with your build...



                    • 7. Re: DZ68BC Motherboard Configuration

                      I hope you have your colors backwards; the TPS indicates light blue is Marvell and (dark) blue is Intel (PCH). As for RAID support, while the TPS indicates that RAID functionality is only supported on the Intel headers (see section, one of the BIOS engineers verified that RAID is indeed a choice in BIOS Setup..

                      • 8. Re: DZ68BC Motherboard Configuration

                        Aye - I did switch the colors.....  I have an Asus board also that does use dark blue for the Marvell controller.


                        Anyway on my DZ68BC its the Marvell for the SSD and the PCH for the RAID 1.


                        I wish we could see more ports on the PCH and eliminate the Marvell completely.