Cheap and Reliable RAID 5 Storage Compared


It is certainly possible to rate these cards based on their benchmark results, which makes a great deal of sense for many applications. The MegaRAID SATA 150-4 achieved the largest number of top marks in the individual tests. It distanced itself from the competition, particularly in the file server and Web server benchmarks as well as the Winbench 99 2.0 application benchmark.

Picking the runners-up requires more careful analysis of the results. Despite its high-level specification and 128 MB cache, the ICP Vortex consistently trailed by a slight margin. Compared with Adaptec and LSI Logic, the GDT8546RZ offers an excellent range of features - the benchmark results seem to be at odds with the otherwise attractive overall package.

It is worth mentioning that the controllers from HighPoint and Promise showed no notable weaknesses in comparison with the three well known brands, despite their considerably lower price. Their performance was a good average. Only in the Winbench application benchmark did we see the RocketRAID 1640 fall behind as a result of its lack of XOR processor. Promise provides the option of fitting between 16 and 256 MB of cache memory in its controller. Reusing memory that might be lying idle in a drawer is a sensible and cost-effective approach.

Ultimately, you must decide between an inexpensive model from HighPoint or Promise and a premium controller from Adaptec, ICP Vortex or LSI Logic. The Promise product stands out in the lower price class. In the upper price class, the LSI's controller proved to be the one to beat.