3Ware Escalade 8500-8
3Ware insisted on sending us the version with eight Serial ATA ports. In addition, they also supplied us with a model with four ports (8500-4), along with an impressive twelve-port model (8500-12).
As well as having a generous number of ports, the 3Ware controller is the only card in the group with RAID-5 - of particular significance to the enterprise sector. To make all of this possible, 3Ware has been much more generous than its two competitors. And it has paid off. Although the user benchmark scores trail those of the simpler Serial ATA controllers somewhat, the Escalade 8500-8 delivers a respectable bandwidth of 80 MBytes/sec. With a 64 bit PCI interface, an even better performance can be expected - if it is used with the appropriate platform.
The design of the Escalade 8500-8 is based on its sister model, the Escalade 7500-8, which provides eight standard ATA ports.
Impressive: the eight Serial ATA port model is a first. It's good to see that 3Ware uses a separate Serial ATA bridge for each port.
Exemplary: a cable is provided for each Serial ATA port.
The manual is comprehensive, but is available in English only.