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Unified Serial RAID Controllers for PCIe

Feature Comparison Table

ManufacturerAdaptecAttoICPRaidcore
ModelRAID 3805ExpressSAS R348ICP 5085BLRC5252-8
Internal connectors2x SFF 80872x SFF 80872x SFF 80872x SFF 8087
External connectorsNa1x SFF 8088nana
Total SAS Ports8888
Cache128 MB DDR2 ECC256 MB DDR2 ECC256 MB DDR2 ECCNone
InterfacePCI Express x4PCI Express x8PCI Express x4PCI Express x4
XOR EngineIntel 80333500 MHzIOP 348800 MHzIntel 80333800 MHzsoftware
RAID Level MigrationYesyesYes
Online Capacity ExpansionYesyesyesYes
Multiple RAID ArraysYesyesyesYes
Staggered Spin-upYesyesYes
Flexible Hot Spare SupportYesyesyesYes
Automatic FailoverYesyes
Battery Backup UnitOptionaloptionaloptionalnot needed, no cache
FANnononoNo
Supported OSWindows 2000, XP, Server 2003, VistaRed Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES)Novell NetWare 6.5SCO OpenServerUnixWareSun Solaris 10 x86FreeBSDWindows Vista, Server 2003, XP, 2000Mac OS X (10.4.x)Linux (Fedora, Red Hat and SuSE)Windows 2000, XP, Server 2003, VistaRed Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES)Novell NetWare 6.5SCO OpenServerUnixWareSun Solaris 10 x86FreeBSDWindows 2000, XP, Server 2003, VistaRed Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 4,5SuSE 9.3, 10.1, 10.2SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES)Fedora Core 5,6
OtherCopybackDVRAIDCopybackController Spanning
Warranty3 years2 years3 years3 years
MSRP$575.00$1,095.00$650.00

Test Setup

System Hardware
Processors2x 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 DriveWestern Digital Caviar WD1200JB120 GB, 7.200 RPM, 8 MB Cache, UltraATA/100
Mass Storage ControllerIntel 82801EB UltraATA/100 Controller (ICH5)Promise SATA 300TX4Promise FastTrak TX4310
Driver2.06.1.310
Network interfaceBroadcom BCM5721 On-Board Gigabit Ethernet NIC
GraphicsOn-Board GraphicsATI RageXL, 8 MB
Benchmarks
Performance MeasurementsAtto Diskmark
I/O-PerformanceIOMeter 2003.05.10Fileserver-BenchmarkWebserver-BenchmarkDatabase-BenchmarkWorkstation-Benchmark
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
  • Rik
    ...well,
    - Unless RaidCore is trying to peddle their VST Pro software,...aka as Fulcrum proprietary based ? which BTW you said no to, I don't see any advantages here.
    Why?, ZFS is free !
    And, where are the Drives for Solaris, or the xBSD's , or even MacOSX !!!?
    -and still no, becuase their newer 54xx series doesn't support the other 'ix OS's.
    Nope, unfortunately, not much to see here.
    so, based on the above, Adaptec 5805,... or Areca,... blows this.

    -Rikster
    Reply
  • aapocketz
    For SAS, the two connector segments were merged, which makes it possible to attach a SAS drive to a SATA controller using the continuous connector, but you cannot hook up a SAS hard drive to a SATA controller using the SATA connector (SFF 8482).


    I think this paragraph has an error. I believe it should read

    For SAS, the two connector segments were merged, which makes it possible to attach a SATA drive to a SAS controller using the continuous connector, but you cannot hook up a SAS hard drive to a SATA controller using the SATA connector (SFF 8482).

    In fact I believe the statement should have less emphasis on the connector as its the actual controller that appears to limit the connectivity, the connector is just keyed to allow you to plug SATA drives into SAS but not the other way around.

    from wikipedia: "SATA 3.0 Gbit/s drives may be connected to SAS backplanes, but SAS drives may not be connected to SATA backplanes."

    I believe the fact that signaling voltages are nearly double on a SAS drive is significant to mention.

    Let me know if I am wrong, I just started playing around with a bunch of SAS drives so I am figuring this out as I go.
    Reply
  • Factors like spindle speed, density, latency etc. effects drive performance as much or more than bandwidth. A 300GB 2.5 15K SAS drive will smoke a 1TB 7200 SATA drive simply because it has about twice the IOPS. The bandwidth is meaningless if you can't get the data on and off the disk at the speed of the bus. Furthermore, except for the WD Velociraptor 10K+ spindle speed drives are non-existent in SATA but are prevalent in SAS. So from an interface standpoint they are very close but SAS drives are really intended for entirely different markets and applications and budgets I might add.
    Reply
  • Bicom Systems
    Great article - thanks for the comparison! We also did a piece on SAS and SATA, if you're interested : http://blog.bicomsystems.com/sas-vs-sata
    Reply