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HighPoint RocketRAID 2720SGL SATA 6G RAID Controller Review

By: Chris Ramseyer | RAID/HBA in Storage | Posted: Sep 23, 2011 6:24 am
TweakTown Rating: 91%Manufacturer: Highpoint Technology



We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: AVADirect, GIGABYTE, Cooler Master, LSI, Corsair and Noctua.


You can read more about TweakTown's Storage Product Testing Workstation and the procedures followed to test products in this article.


We tested the HighPoint RocketRAID 2720SGL a couple of ways to see how much performance we could pull out of the sub 140 Dollar controller. The first thing I was interested in seeing was if the controller could handle a single OCZ Vertex 3 SSD. The Vertex 3 uses a SandForce SF-2281 controller that is capable of delivering up to 550MB/s in synthetic tests.


After the Vertex 3 tests were completed, we moved on to test the maximum performance available by adding eight Crucial C300 256GB SATA 6G drives in RAID arrays. We tested in RAID 0, RAID 5 and RAID 6. Most users will opt to use RAID 5 to balance capacity, performance and redundancy. RAID 0 is good for all out performance, but offers no redundancy. RAID 6 increases redundancy, but reduces performance and capacity.



ATTO Baseline Performance


Version and / or Patch Used: 2.34


ATTO is used by many disk manufacturers to determine the read and write speeds that will be presented to customers.



OCZ Vertex 3 JBOD


I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time covering the single drive Vertex 3 performance on the 2720, since it wasn't really designed to be used this way. I get a fairly large number of emails asking about how to add SandForce SF-2281 controller drives to older systems like X58 that don't have SATA 6G support onboard.


Our tests with native Intel SATA 6G produce results close to 560MB/s read and 500MB/s write speeds. The RocketRAID 2720SGL gives us 477MB/s read and 385MB/s write. This is better than most of the Marvell solutions that shipped onboard some X58 motherboards, but isn't quite up to the standard Intel has given us.



8x Crucial C300 256GB in RAID 0


Intel's P67 and Z68 motherboards only have two SATA 6G ports, so you are not going to achieve numbers like this on them. This is where the RocketRAID 2720 really stretches its legs, while running a large number of drives.


As we stated before, the RocketRAID 2720 is designed for mechanical drives. The problem with testing with spinners is that we can't really see just how fast the controller will allow us to go. Seagate's new 1TB per platter 3TB drives are able to reach around 170MB/s read and write speed, so eight of them gives us around 1300MB/s maximum when everything is lined up perfectly.


Since we tested with eight Crucial SATA 6G SSDs, we were able to measure performance past 2500MB/s! Given the results we see above in RAID 0, 2565MB/s read and 1819MB/s write speeds, we can say without a doubt that you will be able to use your SATA / SAS 6G drives to their full potential in RAID 0.



8x Crucial C300 256GB in RAID 5


The real tests come with RAID 5 and RAID 6, though. Since the RocketRAID 2720 is a software RAID system, the host processor is used to make the calculations for redundancy. In the RAID 5 test we achieved a read speed of 2259MB/s and a write speed of 1443MB/s.



8x Crucial C300 256GB in RAID 6


RAID 6 delivered 1993MB/s while reading data, but just 900MB/s writing data. Obviously RAID 6 is the most demanding of the RAID tests we performed, but for the price we feel you get your money's worth.

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