When used in conjunction with existing products, the LSI 9280-8E gave us higher performance than the previous generation's class leader in many of our tests. What really has us excited is the performance that will be possible when expander products catch up and allow the 9280-8E to run at full SAS 2.0 speeds. In theory the performance should double in many of the tests that we ran today. In time SAS 2.0 expanders will be released and we will be able to retest the 9280-8E and see just how much performance can be gained.
The LSI 9280-8E hasn't just outpaced the other products that are needed to make it run at full speed. The adaptive cache system is also ahead of the simulation tests we use to show performance under Web Server, Workstation and Database scenarios. Further optimizations are also built into the controller and are user selectable in the configuration software. One of the most intriguing is geared for solid state drive arrays and we are hoping to gather enough SSDs to build an appropriate array.
As always, new technology costs more than existing technology. The LSI 9280-8E is new to the market and the price is higher than the Areca ARC-1680X that we compared it to. At this time the 1680X can be had for around 500 USD, while the 9280-8E is currently at 700+ USD. When compared to high end SCSI and SAS controllers of just a few years ago, 700 is quite reasonable. I remember reviewing the first SAS controllers and at the time we were quoting prices in the 1000 to 1200 Dollar range.