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HighPoint SSD7101 Series SSD Review

Conclusion

Most people won't buy the HighPoint SSD7101A-1 just for the fun of it. These are serious workstation-focused products that require a specific workload to extract the most value. HighPoint has delivered a product with broad compatibility, and you aren’t tied down to a single SSD brand, either.

But there are a select few that would buy the $399 SSD7101A-1 just for the fun of it. I think I know all of those people! For most of our audience, NVMe all but killed RAID. Coalescing SATA SSDs in RAID still delivered a sequential performance increase that improved application performance, but NVMe ushered in a new era where the processor and software became the bottleneck again. If you're an enthusiast and your only motivation is performance, this is just an expensive option that may leave you dissatisfied.

If you seek high-performance capacity for a large game library, pairing the SSD7101A-1 with low-cost drives would fit the bill. You won't experience a severe performance penalty, but your wallet will certainly be a lot lighter.

Professional users know all too well that CPUs and GPUs get faster every year. The HighPoint SSD7101 series is faster than any of the hardware I have in the lab to crunch data. We ran a Vegas Pro (formally Sony Vegas) test with the SSD7101 and a handful of the other drives. The test consists of several effects and video streams. Sony built the test, which essentially creates a broadcast-quality commercial. We see an enormous difference in rendering times between hard disk drives and SATA SSDs. With most NVMe SSDs there isn't a difference at all because the storage isn't the bottleneck. We're looking at building an updated test using 4K resolution clips for future tests. The increased resolution may put more strain on the storage system.

This means the bar is very high to take advantage of the SSD7101's performance. If you can fathom where that bar is, we would like to know. It would be great to build a new test that benefits from four of the fastest consumer SSDs ever released. In a way, that sums up the HighPoint SSD7101 series. It comes packing so much sequential performance we don't even know what to do with it.

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  • gasaraki
    So this is a "RAID controller" but you can only use software RAID on this? Wut? I want to be able to boot off of this and use it as the C drive. Does this have legacy BIOS on it so I can use it on systems without UEFI?
    Reply
  • mapesdhs
    I'll tell you what to do with it, contact the DoD and ask them if you can run the same defense imaging test they used with an Onyx2 over a decade ago, see if you can beat what that system was able to do. ;)

    http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/onyx2/groupstation.pdf

    More realistically, this product is ideal for GIS, medical, automotive and other application areas that involve huge datasets (including defense imaging), though the storage capacity still isn't high enough in some cases, but it's getting there.

    I do wonder about the lack of power loss protection though, seems like a bit of an oversight for a product that otherwise ought to appeal to pro users.

    Ian.
    Reply
  • samer.forums
    20284739 said:
    So this is a "RAID controller" but you can only use software RAID on this? Wut? I want to be able to boot off of this and use it as the C drive. Does this have legacy BIOS on it so I can use it on systems without UEFI?

    This is not a Raid controller. it uses software raid. the PLX chip on it allows the system to "think" that the x16 slot is a 4 independent x4 slots thats all , and all active and bootable. thats all. The rest is software.
    Reply
  • samer.forums
    I see this product very useful for people who want huge SSD storage The motherboard will not give you ... and for Raid 1 . the performance gain in real life for NVME SSD Raid cant be noticed ...
    Reply
  • samer.forums
    Hey HighPoint if you are reading this , make this card low profile please and place 2 M2 SSD on each side of the card (total 4).
    Reply
  • samer.forums
    20285047 said:
    I do wonder about the lack of power loss protection though, seems like a bit of an oversight for a product that otherwise ought to appeal to pro users.

    Ian.

    there is a U2 Version of this card , using it with built in power loss U2 nvme SSD will solve this problem.

    link

    http://www.highpoint-tech.com/USA_new/series-ssd7120-overview.htm

    Reply
  • lorfa
    Would have liked some xpoint thrown in for comparison
    Reply
  • CRamseyer
    We're both still waiting for that.
    Reply
  • JonDol
    I hope that the lack of power loss protection was the single reason this product didn't get an award. Could you, please, confirm it or list other missing details/features for an award ?

    The fact alone that such a pro product landed in the consumer arena, even if it is for a very selective category of consumers, is nothing small of an achievement.

    The explanation of how the M.2 traffic is routed through the DMI bus was very clear. I wonder if there is even a single motherboard that will route that traffic directly to the CPU. Anyone knows about such a motherboard ?

    Cheers
    Reply
  • samer.forums
    20287411 said:
    I hope that the lack of power loss protection was the single reason this product didn't get an award. Could you, please, confirm it or list other missing details/features for an award ?

    The fact alone that such a pro product landed in the consumer arena, even if it is for a very selective category of consumers, is nothing small of an achievement.

    The explanation of how the M.2 traffic is routed through the DMI bus was very clear. I wonder if there is even a single motherboard that will route that traffic directly to the CPU. Anyone knows about such a motherboard ?

    Cheers

    All motherboards have slots directed to the CPU lanes. for example , most Z series come with 2 slots SLI 8 lanes each. you can use one of them for GPU and the other for any card and so on.

    If the CPU has more than 16 lanes you will have more slots connected to the CPU lanes like the X299 motherboards.
    Reply