I'm hoping someone will respond who has had a lot of direct experience with Windows software RAID 1.
For the last 6 years, I've been a happy RAID 1 camper using my Intel motherboard's builtin ICH RAID controller; which worked quite well. I didn't even notice when the disks were synching back.
However, recently I switched to two 4TB HDD's. Unfortunately, my current embedded controller can only RAID disks which have a a maximum capacity of 2TBs; luckily, that size limit doesnt apply to non-RAID disks.
My question is if there's actually a noticeable CPU/memory hit when using software RAID during heavy reading/writing; such as when recording multiple TV channels at the same time AND/OR when the disks are synching. I never noticed any significant resource utilization hit when using my ICH controller under any circumstance.
My next question... is there are dual HDD enclosure under $200 that offers a great builtin RAID 1 capable controller that's compatible with 4TB HDDs? Using a RAID controller PCI card is out of the question since I'm all out of PCI slots.
One big benefit to pure soft raid is you can take that raidset to any other computer to read from or recover it. Intel ICH is fairly common but not universal and there could be blocking differences between versions.
ICH raid is already software/fake raid via drivers, there is no real controller. (meaning anything with parity/xor will suck, though even that is not hard with modern cpus)
It can do some things that window's non-server raid cannot (10, matrix, etc) but nothing that a full fledged unix engine or hardware card doesn't do better.
SAN shares via 40GbE tunneled over 56Gb infiniband links
microcenter & ebay = severe risks to my wallet
Well... it looks like I may have to. My ICH8R controller can RAID disks up to 2TBs; so, my 4TB disks are out of the question. At least it can still use them as single disks. It looks like it would be ideal to RAID1 the two 4TB HDDs via software. I'm just not thrilled about there being no notifications on RAID status in the Windows system tray.
I am hoping that Windows RAID 1 synching wont be resource intensive; or take longer than ICHxR to complete.