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The Rivals: Broadcom/Raidcore BC4000 And 3Ware/AMCC 9000 Series

The RAID 6 Areca ARC-1120 One-ups RAID 5 Controllers

The 9000 series from 3Ware stands out mostly because of its consistently good performance, and because it came in just below the even more flexible BC4000 from Broadcom/Raidcore in our test comparison . 3Ware relies on its own XOR unit, 128 MB cache memory, optional battery backup unit and numerous software features. The overall result is a product that comes in only slightly behind more expensive SCSI models, if at all.

As early as about a year ago, we received the first RAIDCore controller. Even then, it made a splash with functionality as yet unseen. Today, RAIDCore belongs to Broadcom, and offers a number of PCI-X devices that all function based on software. They do not have their own caches; however, up to four 8 channel controllers can be used simultaneously , and arrays can be generated as desired.

Comparison Table

  3Ware 9500 Areca ARC-1120 Broadcom/Raidcore BC4000
Interface 64 Bit PCI 2.2 PCI-X 133 MHz PCI-X 133 MHz
Architechture Hardware-based Hardware-based Software-based
XOR-Unit 3Ware i80332 From System Processor
Cache 128 MB ECC 128 MB ECC None
Ports 4, 8, 12x SATA 8, 12, 16x SATA II 4, 8x SATA
Format Full Structure Height Half (8 Ports), Full Structure Height (12, 16 Ports) Half Structure Height
RAID-Modes 0, 1, 1+0, 5, 50, JBOD 0, 1, 0+1, 3, 5, 6, JBOD 0, 1, 1+N, 10, 10+N, 5, 50, JBOD
RAID Level Migration Downgrading only Downgrading only Yes
Batterie-Backup optional optional Optional
Background Init Yes Yes Yes
Multi-Adapter Yes Yes Yes, inclusive Adapter Spanning
Online Capacity Expansion Yes Yes Yes
Multiple RAID Arrays Yes Yes Yes
Drive Roaming No No Yes
Spare Drive Dedicated Dedicated Dedicated/Global/Distributed
Time Delayed drive starts Yes No Yes
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