Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

RAID Subsystem: Which discrete RAID controller?

Last response: in Storage
Share
January 27, 2011 1:32:39 AM

I'm at wits- and info- end trying to pick a discrete workstation RAID card. Up to the US$400 level anyway.

Up until recently, I'd narrowed it down...mostly to Adaptec.
+ Adaptec 5405: Fast, stable, but runs really hot.
+ Adaptec 2405Q: The above without the heat, plus an SSD to speed things up. Possible vapor. No reviews; just fluff.
+ Adaptec 6405: 6 Gb/s; the "new" Adaptec made by a different company. Plus, Vaporware until 3/2011.

LSI seems to have some decent stuff, maybe, but no RAID10 options.
Areca seemed to have some boards that kicked butt...2 years ago...by pulling RAID-0 on reads and RAID-10 on writes. Sweet, but I'm not sure that edge exists anymore. Maybe that's the common algorithm now.

But what gets my goat is that it is almost impossible to find hard CURRENT numbers on any of these controllers' performance at the various RAID levels; that is, the articles that do have that info are 2-3 years out of date. Given that even a firmware update could radically change the performance of any controller, the older results are likely little better than rules of thumb. Really well tested rules of thumb, but antiquated. Even updated vendor metrics would be something.

Weirdly enough, I can only seem to find the 5405 (Newegg only carries that one). The 2405Q seems cool, but damned if I can find it.

Anyone build using these cards for a living or have an awesome system-building story that can illuminate me unto the occult mysteries of the state of the art?

Many thanks!

Doch
February 1, 2011 12:25:08 AM

Thanks for the response, WyomingKnott.

I also found these links, here and elsewhere, on the subject. Thought I'd share:

LSI MegaRAID 9260-8i and 8888ELP Review: Part One, 2011-Jan
http://www.storagereview.com/lsi_megaraid_92608i_and_88...

LSI MegaRAID 9210-8i , 2009-Aug
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-6gb-raid,2388.h...

Comparative Roundup: Six SAS RAID Controllers, 2009-Nov
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/6-sas-...

Adaptec 5805, 2008-April
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/adaptec-serial-cont...

RAID Controller Review, 2007
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/SERIAL-RAID-CONTROL...
m
0
l
Related resources
February 1, 2011 12:26:26 AM

Thanks for the response, WyomingKnott.

I also found these links, here and elsewhere, on the subject. Thought I'd share:

LSI MegaRAID 9260-8i and 8888ELP Review: Part One, 2011-Jan
http://www.storagereview.com/lsi_megaraid_92608i_and_88...

LSI MegaRAID 9210-8i , 2009-Aug
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-6gb-raid,2388.h...

Comparative Roundup: Six SAS RAID Controllers, 2009-Nov
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/6-sas-...

Adaptec 5805, 2008-April
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/adaptec-serial-cont...

RAID Controller Review, 2007
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/SERIAL-RAID-CONTROL...

Many thanks!

Doch
m
0
l
February 1, 2011 9:23:01 PM

I have pretty much the same question. I noticed that the Adaptec 2405Q is beginning to show up on online stores, but most of them say it's "out of stock" or "special order." Has anyone purchased one of these and tried it out? Is the SSD cache worthwhile? Does it run cooler than the others? I would run RAID 10.
m
0
l
February 2, 2011 2:09:21 AM

Are you wanting to run regular SATA or SAS drives? What RAID modes are you specifically interested in? What kind of bus interface we talking, PCIex1 / x4 / x8?

Might want to take a look at Highpoint, they make some solid discrete solutions that run amazingly well.

http://www.highpoint-tech.com/usa_new/product_raid_hba....

PCIe x8 SAS / SATA 6GB/s discrete
http://www.highpoint-tech.com/usa_new/series_rr272x.htm

PCIe x8 SAS / SATA with caching
http://www.highpoint-tech.com/usa_new/series_rr3500.htm

Looks like you want something in the 3500 series but should also take a look at the 2700 series.
m
0
l

Best solution

February 2, 2011 5:32:16 AM

I'd use regular SATA drives - 4 drives in a RAID 10 configuration. I have an open PCIe x16 slot. Since this thread was one of the few discussions that brought up the new Adaptec with the built-in SSD cache management, I figure I'll ask about that type.. I looked on the Highpoint website but didn't really see anything that matches this new Adaptec Q-series technology (the hybrid Rocket RAID seems a bit different in how it works). This Adaptec Q-series may be a relatively cheap way to get the benefits of SSD without having to buy super expensive large capacity SSD drives. However I haven't seen any reviews of the 2405Q or any other Q-series so I'm interested to hear user experiences if this technology blows away "standard" RAID (or even better than the hybrid disk/SSD RAID).
Share
February 2, 2011 5:50:28 AM

Well what are you trying to do? Combining SSD and regular SATA disks has never worked out well, their technology is just too different. When you said workstation I assumed you were talking SAS disks, SAS controllers can use SATA disks the same as SAS.
m
0
l
February 2, 2011 5:53:24 AM

I meant combining SSD + SATA into the same RAID array. You can easily do dual SSD RAID0 for boot and use a larger SATA/SAS RAID5 array to store your data.
m
0
l
February 4, 2011 3:51:03 AM

Sounds like a good match up for a Desktop RAID throwdown:
Adaptec 5405
Adaptec 2405Q
LSI/3Ware 9750
Highpoint RocketRAID 3510
m
0
l
February 12, 2011 2:21:32 AM

Best answer selected by dochsavage.
m
0
l
February 12, 2011 2:26:24 AM

I got a nice reply from the tech support guys at Adaptec with a link to some throughput data and comparisons. Grain of salt..heck, yeah. But it's something.

doch
-----------------------------
Subject
---------------------------------------------------------------
Discussion about RAID10 throughput

This is a difficult area as obviously every configuration is different and hence
results will vary massively.

You might find the following link useful http://www.adaptec.com/en-us/resourcecenter/

Check under the Design and Build Section and there are some comparison
benchmarks available.

Thanks for using ASK US

Best Regards,
ADAPTEC Technical Support,
m
0
l
February 15, 2011 11:00:18 PM

OK, I think at this point I'll go with:
+ Adaptec 6405 (I can wait a month)
+ 4 500GB Constellation SAS Drives from Seagate
+ in RAID10

It's a little more than I'd like, but it should kick righteous butt.
m
0
l
!