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Conclusion

AMCC, Areca & LSI Serial RAID Controllers
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Looking back at the initial SAS RAID controller review, there was only one product whose performance did not meet our expectations when using the default settings. The Atto Express SAS R348 required that you tweak the settings to adjust it to individual applications to deliver better performance than what is shown in our roundup. ICP provided the best I/O performance back then; Ciprico offered the most comprehensive feature set, but required a powerful host computer to deliver performance for its host-based RAID. Unfortunately, Raidcore did not yet support RAID 6 (nor does it now).

The two clear performance winners in this review are AMCC with the 3Ware 9690SA and also LSI Corporation’s MegaRAID 8888ELP Compare Prices on RAID Controllers. Both delivered higher I/O performance across all four benchmark patterns. Areca offers a sophisticated controller with powerful feature, but the test sample we received still suffered from problems. We’re sure that future software and Firmware versions will solve the issues, as the SATA version ARC-1220 did well enough for us to select it as the reference card for our RAID Scaling Charts project, where we tested multiple RAID array types across arrays with three to eight hard drives.

The Raidcore cards from Ciprico still are the winners when it comes to the most comprehensive RAID features (if you can live without RAID 6), but AMCC/3Ware is very close, to say the least. Both AMCC and LSI Corporation provide better performance, which will still be available for less-powerful host systems.

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