Since we wanted to know how enthusiast-level integrated RAID engines would perform compared to a professional RAID solution, we decided to also include a state-of-the-art storage HBA (host bus adapter). LSI’s MegaRAID SAS9260-8i is one of the first SAS/600 cards, although it’s backward-compatible with Serial ATA at 150 and 300 MB/s via SATA Tunelling Protocol (STP). A different article will deal with SAS/600 soon.
LSI’s card is brand new and was only recently posted to LSI's Web site. It is a RAID-on-chip solution and one of the first cards to based on a x8 PCI Express 2.0 interface.
A 512 MB block of DDR2-800 ECC cache memory is included to speed up performance on RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 6, or nested RAID 10, 50, and 60. There are eight internal SAS 6 Gbit/s ports available, which also support SATA. The ports are available through MiniSAS connectors (SFF8087), so you’ll need a fan-out cable to hook up internal drives. An optional battery backup unit will be available to preserve in-cache content in case of a system power failure.
We used Gigabyte's MA790FXT-UD5P as a test platform for the LSI controller card.
- AMD, Intel, And Nvidia Southbridge Performance Analyzed
- AMD: SB750 Southbridge On The 790FX Chipset
- AMD RAID Creation
- Intel: ICH10R Southbridge On The X58 Express Chipset
- Intel RAID Creation
- Nvidia: 780a SLI MCP Integrated Chipset
- Nvidia RAID Creation And Rebuild
- Professional RAID: LSI MegaRAID SAS9260-8i
- Test Setup And SSD Details
- Benchmark Results: Access Time
- Benchmark Results: I/O Performance
- Benchmark Results: Bandwidth And Streaming
- Benchmark Results: Read/Write Throughput
- CPU Utilization And Conclusion