LSI 9265-8i MegaRAID Card vs Adaptec 6805 RAID Card – The Ultimate 6Gb/s RAID Showdown

With $45000 in hardware, over 100 hours spent pushing it to it’s limit, speeds of 2.7GB/s and over 461,800 IOPS, we are fairly certain that this RAID Controller and SSD review will be one of our most exciting reports to date, and not matched anytime soon.

Today we are going to go head-to-head with the LSI 9265-8i and the Adaptec 6805 RAID cards, these being two of the most powerful RAID devices available worldwide.  Grab a seat and buckle up as the hunt for the most powerful 6Gb/s RAID card solution is on! Who will emerge the victor?

Our goal is to showcase the raw power of both solutions under some of the most demanding situations. In the world of servers and datacenters, the most power in the smallest package is ‘King’ and both of these devices aim to deliver!

We have amassed several sponsors to partake in this shootout which assures us that we have top performing storage devices available today, both commercially and in the enterprise sector. The purpose is simply to  explore the absolute maximum of 6Gb/s RAID performance. In order to saturate these controllers, we had to bring in the heavyweights of SSD and EFD performance as the only way to illustrate the true capabilities of these controllers is to have the absolute fastest devices available today.

The competition for rack space between these companies is stiff as both look to dominate tomorrows data centers. With the explosion of data centers around the world, and high speed devices such as SSDs and EFDs coming into play, the onus is on these companies to capitalize on the game changing advances that have been made in the past few years in storage technology.

New emerging caching capabilities are coming to the forefront giving customers the option of upgrading-in-place. Only by finding ways to utilize these new technologies and the performance of the most robust solutions can these companies hope to gain rack space, and thus, market share. With some surveys indicating that 83 percent of data centers are planning significant expansions within the next 12 to 24 months, the stage is definitely set for a showdown with billions of dollars hanging in the balance.

The performance of these solutions can be broken into several categories and, by no means, do we intend to test cover all in this review. There are simply too many variables that these types of devices are designed to operate under.

We have broken the review into results from several standpoints. Performance and then of course, Price versus Performance. Performance will be broken into two segments, Throughput and IOPS.

  • Performance: IOPS and Throughput – In these scenarios, we will blatantly attempt to push these controllers to the very limit of their power. IOPS will consist of the small file random performance that is so demanding and throughput will be massive sequential power.
  • Price Vs. Performance –  These two solutions both represent the fastest devices from the two largest RAID card manufacturers. Both utilize a Dual Core ROC, which is a dual core processor for the RAID computations. The price of both devices is somewhat different so we will strive to answer, which is better bang for the buck?

The features and performance of both of these flagship controllers are just a few clicks away, so join us as we first take a look at the contenders…

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Eero Rantala
Eero Rantala

I unfortunately have the Adaptec 6805 controller and… LOL… where is my garbage can…
I’m running a setup with 4x Kingston 240GB HyperX in R5, the ATTO results arent that shabby… I get 1.5GB/s write and 2.1GB/s read (seq) but…. the short random reads are just terrible… in Winsat it’s only 170 MB/s(!?!).
Funny thing is that when I turn off controller cache I get 9000 MB/s in sequential 64 read… 🙂
I dont however get more than 5ms max response time vs your 55ms value.

Eero Rantala
Eero Rantala

Winsat with all cache OFF (Swedish W7): > Disk Sequential 64.0 Read 8922.99 MB/s 7.9 > Disk Random 16.0 Read 183.16 MB/s 7.6 > Responsiveness: Average IO Rate 1.01 ms/IO 7.9 > Responsiveness: Grouped IOs 7.94 units 7.5 > Responsiveness: Long IOs 1.98 units 7.9 > Responsiveness: Overall 15.69 units 7.9 > Responsiveness: PenaltyFactor 0.0 > Disk Sequential 64.0 Write 576.71 MB/s 7.9 > Genomsnittlig l„stid med sekventiella skriv†tg„rder0.494 ms 7.9 > Svarstid: 95:e percentilen 0.936 ms 7.9 > Svarstid: maximal 2.820 ms 7.9 > Genomsnittlig l„stid med slumpm„ssiga skrivningar0.542 ms 7.9

Eero Rantala
Eero Rantala

Winsat all cache ON: > Disk Sequential 64.0 Read 1207.40 MB/s 7.9 > Disk Random 16.0 Read 170.22 MB/s 7.6 > Responsiveness: Average IO Rate 0.26 ms/IO 7.9 > Responsiveness: Grouped IOs 4.58 units 7.9 > Responsiveness: Long IOs 0.45 units 7.9 > Responsiveness: Overall 2.04 units 7.9 > Responsiveness: PenaltyFactor 0.0 > Disk Sequential 64.0 Write 882.76 MB/s 7.9 > Genomsnittlig l„stid med sekventiella skriv†tg„rder0.239 ms 7.9 > Svarstid: 95:e percentilen 1.013 ms 7.9 > Svarstid: maximal 5.359 ms 7.9 > Genomsnittlig l„stid med slumpm„ssiga skrivningar0.326 ms 7.9

Eero Rantala
Eero Rantala

Next steps to do:
PC –> Adaptec –> Garbage bin

Eero Rantala
Eero Rantala

Hahaaa… my 6805 beats the LSI in the AS SSD copy benchmark 2 of 3:
ISO 880 / 1.22
Program 377 / 3.73
Game 701 / 1.97