[CentOS] Problem with Arima HDAMA rev.G with Integrated SiliconImage Sil3114 Serial ATA 4 Ports and 1TB SATA disks. Recomendation for a cheap SATA controller for linux software raid?

Fri Sep 19 19:51:06 UTC 2008
Alexander Georgiev <alexander.georgiev at gmail.com>

Dear Everybody,

I am telling you the whole story, perhaps you can give me a better idea.

Almost 3 years ago I purchased Arima HDAMA rev. G motherboard with
integrated Silicon Image Sil3114 Serial ATA 4 Ports SATA I adapter. (
http://www.arimacorp.com/ViewProduct.asp?View=86 ) . BIOS version is

My intention is to make a file server, using linux software raid, so I
bought 2 new shiny 1TB SATA II disks, and installed them.
Unfortunately the system does not boot - hangs in the Sil 3114 BIOS
initialization stage. Apparently this is a known problem with Sil3114
and Sil3112:
( http://forums.seagate.com/stx/board/message?board.id=ata_drives&message.id=970

The Silicon people have issued a BIOS update for this issue, however
they explicitly state - only for ADD-IN cards. Perhaps, integrated
controlers share the same eeprom chip with the motherboard BIOS, and
an attempt to flash it - will render the system unbootable. For
integrated controllers - the mainboard producer should provide the

Apparently the Arima people have sold their business to
http://www.flextronics.com/en/default.aspx. The new site is at
The last BIOS update is from 8/30/2006.  And I think this patch well
predates the 1TB hard disks and has been issued before SiliconImage's
( http://www.siliconimage.com/support/supportsearchresults.aspx?pid=28&cid=15&ctid=2&osid=0&
) .

So I am not willing to risk a BIOS update and I have decided to spend
additional cash on a cheap but fast 4 port SATA II controller and use
it with Centos 5.2.

Where I reside, the following two have caught my attention:

 ADAPTEC SATA RAID 1420SA Serial ATA-150/Serial ATA II-300 PCI-X 4ch
       for 120 USD
( http://www.adaptec.com/en-US/products/Controllers/Hardware/sata/entry/AAR-1420SA/


PROMISE FastTrak TX4300 Serial ATA II-300 PCI 4ch                 for 160 USD
( http://www.promise.com/product/product_detail_eng.asp?segment=RAID%200/1%20HBAs&product_id=137

Do you have any experience any of these 2 adapters, operating as plain
SATA controllers, under linux software raid?
Which one would you recommend?

Best regards,