We are using AMD X6 1055T with gigagyte 880gm-ud2h board in office. This is for testing purpose.
It gives very good performance with 6 cores 6 threads while doing virtualization with 16GB DDR3 RAM (4 x 4)
As it is AMD, it is cheap compared to Intel.
This gigabyte mother board comes with onboard RAID support. Is that a real RAID or software/firmware RAID based on BIOS ?
What would you think about colocation AMD X6 1055T with gigagyte 880gm-ud2h board for virtualization or data storage (using 4 x 1TB W.D. HDD with on board RAID-10)
No, this is not real RAID. It is AMD's equivalent of Intel Matrix Storage. It is kind of sotware RAID, but can be configured from the BIOS. You would be much better to not use this BIOS nonsense and do software RAID from the OS.
But consider this before buying a real RAID controller - if something happens and your RAID controller dies - how are you going to salvage your data? With software RAID you can always just plug the disks in a different system and copy everything you need. With hardware RAID you will need to have a system with exactly the same RAID controller, and even then it is not clear if you can salvage the array.
Hardware raid migration cannot be an issue if you know what you are doing, in rare events like corrupted raid array due to incompatible drives (aka non-raid edition drives) it can be a pain but most cases can be easy as cake to migrate the HARDWARE raid to another node as per our experience with 50+ servers.
And regarding the OP's question, you can use your onboard RAID if you are looking for a raided system only but it is always recommended to go for hardware raid like Adaptec and LSI (I recommend Adaptecs, they work absolutely awesome especially the new series).
I personally would -never- use a Desktop class system as a server.
Think about it, if they are good to be used as servers, why Intel/Supermicro/Dell/HP etc. are still offering different type of machines specified for desktop or server use ?
I think using a desktop system (especially a desktop motherboard) can cause a direct damage to companies reputation, no matter how good they work, it is NOT designed to be a server, so should be off the list of consideration.
In most cases hardware RAID using a dedicated controller yields the best performance and reliability. However there are also scenarios where hardware RAID isn't needed and software RAID on the OS level does just fine.