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Roundup: Three 16-Port Enterprise SAS Controllers

Hardware Comparison Table and Test Setup

ManufacturerAdaptecArecaPromise
ModelRAID 51645ARC-1680ix-16SuperTrak EX16650
Internal Connectors4x SFF 80874x SFF 80874x SFF 8087
External Connectors1x SFF 80881x SFF-8088, 1x LAN, COMN/A
Cache512 MB DDR2-400 ECC on boardDDR2-533 512 MB DIMM512 MB DDR2 ECC on board
ProfileFull Height, half lengthFull HeightFull Height
InterfacePCI Express x8PCI Express x8PCI Express x8
XOR Engine1.2 GHz Dual-Core RAID on Chip (ROC)Intel IOP348 1200 MHzIntel IOP348 1200 MHz
RAID Level MigrationYesYesYes
Online Capacity ExpansionYesYesYes
2+ TB Volumes (64 bit LBA)YesYesYes
Multiple RAID ArraysYesYesYes
Command Line InterfaceYesYesNo
Hot Spare SupportYesYesYes
Battery Back-up UnitOptionalOptionalOptional
RAID 5 init45 min25 min1h 16 min
RAID 5 rebuild33 min50 min55 min
RAID 6 init55 min25 min1h 30 min
RAID 6 rebuild Drive 140 min55 min1h 4 min
RAID 6 rebuild Drive 232 minrebuilt simultaneously55 min
RAID 6 rebuild Total1h 12 min57 min1h 59 min
Spin Down Idle DrivesYesYesNo
Power Consumption Power Saving298 W296 WN/A
Power Consumption Idle368 W365 W364 W
Power Consumption Peak412 W409 W402 W
Supported RAID Modes0, 1, 1E, 5, 5EE, 6, 10, 50, 60, JBOD0, 1, 10(1E), 3, 5, 6, 30, 50, 60, Single Disk or JBOD0, 1, 1E, 5, 6, 10, 50, 60
FanNoYesNo
Supported OSWindows XP, Server 2003/2008, Vista, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), SCO OpenServer, UnixWare, Sun Solaris 10 x86, FreeBSDWindows 2000/XP/Server 2003/Vista Linux FreeBSD Novell Netware 6.5 Solaris 10 x86/x86_64SCO Unixware 7.x.x Mac OS X 10.x (EFI BIOS Support)Microsoft Windows Vista, 2000, XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008 Red Hat Linux, SuSE Linux, Miracle Linux, Fedora Core, Linux open source driver (32/64-bit) FreeBSD, VMware 3.02, 3.5
Other FeaturesCopy-back Hot-spareIntegrated Web server
Warranty3 years3 years3 years
Price$999$999$800
System Hardware
Processor(s)2x Intel Xeon Processor (Nocona core); 3.6 GHz, FSB800, 1 MB L2 Cache
PlatformAsus NCL-DS (Socket 604)Intel E7520 Chipset, BIOS 1005
RAMCorsair CM72DD512AR-400 (DDR2-400 ECC, reg.)2x 512 MB, CL3-3-3-10 Timings
System Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar WD1200JB 120 GB, 7 200 RPM, 8 MB Cache, Ultra ATA/100
Test Drives16x Fujitsu MBA3147RC147 GB, 15,000 RPM, 16 MB Cache, SAS
Mass Storage Controller(s)Adaptec RAID 51645Areca ARC-1680D-IX-16Promise Supertrak 16650
NetworkingBroadcom BCM5721 On-Board Gigabit Ethernet NIC
Graphics SubsystemOn-Board GraphicsATI RageXL, 8 MB
I/O PerformanceIOMeter 2003.05.10Fileserver-BenchmarkWebserver-BenchmarkDatabase-BenchmarkWorkstation-BenchmarkStreaming ReadsStreaming Writes

System Software & Drivers
OSMicrosoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, Service Pack 1
Platform DriverIntel Chipset Installation Utility 7.0.0.1025
Graphics DriverDefault Windows Graphics Driver

Test Drives: Fujitsu MBA3147RC (15,000 RPM)

We used 16 Fujitsu MBA3147RC 15,000 RPM SAS drives to make sure that the controllers could be saturated during our tests. These Fujitsu drives are state-of-the-art server models with 16 MB cache and throughput of over 150 MB/s.        

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