SATA For Servers: Testing Backplanes

4 Port SATA Controllers

Even if more and more motherboards now offer integrated Serial ATA controllers with two or four ports, plug-in cards for upgrading are still important, whether merely for operating a brand-new hard drive on an old computer or for expanding the latest computer with additional ports.

Most models available can now not only run individual hard drives but also generate RAID arrays according to RAID 0 (striping), RAID 1 (mirroring) or RAID 0+1. RAID 5 is also sometimes offered, but because of the resulting high processor load this should only be considered in rare cases.

HighPoint Rocket 1540, RocketRAID 1540

HighPoint is among the early starters in Serial ATA. Technologically speaking, the Rocket 1520 and 1540 models are the simplest ones: 32 bit PCI with 33 MHz. The photo shows the RocketRAID 1540, which supports PCI 2.2 with 66 MHz. The adapter can handle the simple RAID modes of 0, 1 and 0+1 as well as JBOD. RocketRAID 1640 and 1820 are variants that also support RAID 5 in software - the 1820 offers eight ports for it and a PCI-X interface with 64 bits and 133 MHz maximum.