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A 3Ware RAID Controller Card Can Enhance Your Computer's Performance

Data storage is always an important consideration for every computer user. Media files, in particular, such as videos, MP3s, and photographs, take up a lot of space, and they are too important to lose in a system crash. 3Ware RAID controller cards fit into a PCI or PCIe slot to enhance your computer’s data storage functions. RAID card hardware consists of adapters that program drives to work together in parallel through this kind of adapter where the drives are physically linked together to create a virtual single drive with more powerful storage capabilities than a single SATA drive.

What is a controller card?

”Controller card” or “controller” is another name for a hardware component or card that interfaces as an adapter between your computer’s motherboard and the other parts inside your computer. It fits into a PCI or PCIe slot on your motherboard. The controller card can be a silicon chip, an expansion drive, or even a stand-alone device that facilitates communication with peripheral devices attached to your computer. The controller card is a card adapter that plugs into a PCI or PCIe slot and enhances your motherboard’s functionality in communicating with the hard drive. There are several different types of controller cards, including:

  • Memory controllers
  • Storage controllers
  • Input device controllers
  • RAID controllers
What is RAID?

RAID is an acronym for “redundant array of independent disks.” Physical hard drives can be combined in ways that maximize their performance and enhance their ability to work synergistically as a single logical unit. The term “redundant” is the key here: Using RAID technology, a controller has the capacity to access multiple copies of the same data spread across different hard drives on your physical device or network. This redundancy means that a computer that is enhanced through the use of this technology can access data more quickly. Data stored on hard drives are also protected more effectively in the event of a system crash.

What techniques do cards used as RAID controllers use?

RAID controllers enhance computer performance through the use of two techniques:

  • Striping: Data striping is a system that segments data so that sequential pieces of data do not lie adjacent to one another. Instead, data blocks are broken up and spread across hard disks or solid-state drives (SSD) within the RAID array. The effect is as though a stripe of data had been painted across those SSDs or hard drives. Different operating systems use different techniques for segmenting data. While some stripe data at the byte or block level, others stripe data at the partition level. Generally speaking, data striping increases performance speeds in direct proportion to the number of available hard disks so that data striped across three SSD drives can be accessed three times as quickly as if that data resided on a single drive.
  • Mirroring: Mirroring involves the use of two individual disks with similar properties. Information that’s coded onto the active disk is also coded onto the mirror disk, which means that the data is protected in the event that something happens to the active disk.
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