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What's the RAID Options on Intel® S5000PSL Server Boards

There are multiple RAID options available for the Intel® S5000PSL Server Board.

Users must decide which RAID option is right for their usage and environment.

The following board models are available:

Each of these models have different storage controllers and capabilities:

  • ESB2 SATA controller is on all models on the baseboard. It controls the black SATA ports.
  • 1064e SAS Controller is only on the SAS model. It controls the 4 blue SAS ports on the motherboard.
  • 1068 SAS Controller is only on the ROMB (RAID on Motherboard) Riser Card which ships with the ROMB model. It controls the 8 ports on the ROMB card and is independent of any ports on the motherboard itself.

All of the controllers are by default in non RAID mode and RAID must be enabled in the BIOS or by adding activation keys.

SAS controllers are capable of supporting either SAS or SATA drives.

These three controllers also offer RAID capabilities, which fall into two types:

  • Embedded Server RAID Technology II (ESRT2), a firmware based RAID, available via BIOS setting on the ESB2 or 1064e controller.
  • Intel® Integrated Server RAID (hardware RAID) available only on the 1068 controller when the optional RAID Activation key AXXRAK18E and RAM are added to the ROMB card.

ESRTII supports “software” RAID levels 0,1, or 10. You can expand this to support RAID level 5 by adding the software RAID 5 activation key (order code AXXRAKSW5). Both controllers that implement ESRT2 use the same driver available on the link below, even though one is a SATA RAID controller (ESB2) and the other a SAS/SATA RAID controller (1064e). The memory and processing power for this type of RAID comes from the main system board components.

SATA and SAS Software RAID drivers for various operating systems:

The SAS ROMB Riser card by default acts as a SAS controller with 8 ports capable of supporting up to 120 devices. To activate RAID on this controller, you need to add a Hardware RAID Activation key and memory (in a mini DIMM format). With the RAID key and RAM added, this solution supports RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 10 or 50 and provides full hardware RAID functionality without using the system CPU or RAM.



1068-based ROMB RAID

RAID levels supported

0,1,10 (5 with AXXRAKSW5 in SATA models)

0,1,10 (5 with AXXRAKSW5)

0,1,5,10,50 with AXXRAK18E + MiniDIMM

RAID type

Uses system CPU and RAM

Uses system CPU and RAM

Has own RAM and processor


6 onboard ports




2 onboard ports

4 onboard ports



6 onboard ports


8 ports on ROMB Card

Only the ROMB in hardware RAID mode can utilize the optional Intel® RAID Smart Battery Backup (RSBBU). The RSBBU provides battery power to keep the data in NVRAM viable during a system power loss, so that on power restore, the data can be written to the storage drive.

Important Note: RAID is not an alternative to a regular backup. Please backup data regularly to avoid data loss.

Some useful links:

Intel® S5000PSL Server Board support home page with product documentation, links to drivers and firmware and compatibility lists:

Product overview on

RAID Compatibility Matrix:

Which RAID driver to use:

This applies to:

Intel® Server Board S5000PSL Family
Intel® Server Board S5000XSL

Solution ID: CS-029100
Last Modified: 05-Mar-2015
Date Created: 22-Apr-2008
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