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Serial ATA RAID Controllers - Promise, Silicon Image, Highpoint and nVidia

In our latest article we compare the Serial ATA RAID performance of controllers from Promise, Silicon Image, Highpoint and nVidia. We compare both 32-bit PCI based solutions as well as nVidia's new native nForce 3 250 solution on two revision 2.0 Western Digital Raptor hard drives in RAID 0.
By: Shawn Baker | RAID/HBA in Storage | Posted: May 7, 2004 4:00 am



RAID has always been considered one of those technologies only the most elite of people used usually due to the price of buying multiple hard drives. PATA is long gone and SATA has now well and truly become the only way to go. Until the Raptor drives were released from Western Digital, hard drive performance from one SATA to the next was very close and the purchase of a drive really came down to personal choice - for example, what brand you have had the most luck with in the past.


There are three well known major players in the controller market - Highpoint, Silicon Image and Promise. All three companies offer PCI SATA RAID solutions which we will look at today. Intel, VIA and nVidia also offer a native SATA solution. We will be looking at the one on offer from nVidia today as we recently looked into their latest motherboard chipset, the nForce 3 250.


Today we will have a look at what all these controllers can do for your computer and which one is the best solution for you. We spoke quite a bit about the native Serial ATA support in our recent nForce 3 250 review and we intend to see what kind of performance it offers when placed against its PCI bus constrained competitors. We couldn't stress enough about how much better moving these devices off the PCI bus was - Let's see if we were correct or simply being taken in by nVidia's marketing tactics.


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