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

SANDISK EFD – 512B AND MAXIMUM PERFORMANCE

After some of those results, it almost gets painful to watch the sheer performance of the 9265 against other controllers. The Adaptec was used as it is the best performing RAID controller on the market that does not utilize the same LSI ROC. There are several companies that are now using the LSI ROC in their controllers, and here we see why.

The 512B test uses 512B 100% Random Read. We had to use 3 managers for this test, all with a QD of 64. The rated performance cap of a FastPath enabled controller is 465,000 IOPS, and in our testing with the amazing Lightning LS 300S SanDisk drives, we were able to reach 461,258 IOPS!

We ran the same test, using the same settings, for each controller. Again, yes you guessed it, the LSI dominates the competition. This graph just really brings home the huge differences in performance, especially with parity raid sets.

This final testing, pushing the maximum amount of IOPS possible, really just highlights the tremendous disparity between the two controllers.

CONCLUSION

LSI really has pulled off a huge win, with first the LSISAS2108 ROC, which I personally had the pleasure of watching mature in the 9260. The first true 6Gb/s controller, the 9260 became the leader of the pack.

Now in the 9265 LSI has debuted the LSISAS2208 ROC, a dual core variant of the wildly popular 2108. This ROC is simply unmatched in performance, and this has placed LSI in the position to absolutely dominate the market.

Credit must be given to the engineers who program, test and develop these controllers. Any ROC is only as good as the firmware implementation.

The LSI 9265-8i retails for roughly $635 USD, and with the additional FastPath key used in our testing, comes in at about $785.Compare this with the Adaptec 6805 at around $500 USD and there is a bit of a difference in the pricing.

Compare the speeds and performance of the solutions, especially in RAID 5 and overall IOPS, and the 36% difference in price is really not a factor at all. For a 36% price increase, the user can receive performance levels orders of magnitude above and beyond the Adaptec solution. Every extra penny spent here will reap exponential performance benefits. One look at the chart at the top of this very page says it all.

With a line of value-added software keys, LSI continues to develop its controllers long after release. Firmware updates come often, and each version is better than the one before.

This is an area that Adaptec definitely lags behind in. The firmware for this controller is dated, and is incompatible with some commonly used components. When doing some research into the incompatibility with certain expanders, I did run across mention of quite a few devices that the Adaptec controllers simply will not operate with.

This also brings to mind a problem that was present with certain consumer desktop motherboards. There are a few consumer motherboards (mine included) that do not have enough Option ROM to support industry leading RAID controllers. As the functionality of the 9260 series expanded, and the software keys began to become available, there arose an incompatibility with some of these motherboards. The 9260 simply stopped working with some consumer motherboards.

LSI aims to serve the server and commercial industry, but increasingly enthusiasts need solutions that will address their needs with SSDs. Of course LSI is the obvious choice.

LSI certainly did not have to respond, but they were forthcoming with a fix for the issue these non-approved motherboards with low amounts of Option ROM. This demonstrates a dedication to the customer that is not to be had with all companies.

Unfortunately not all companies will go out of their way to guarantee compatibility with all devices, even if they are in widespread use within the industry they are targeted for.

A big difference in these two controllers is simply the cache, which can be used in a variety of scenarios to smooth out performance. Adaptec lags behind with DDR2, while LSI is utilizing DDR3. This signifies a fundamental difference, which illustrates the generational differences between these two controllers.

LSI is already sampling 12Gb/s controllers to OEMs, and there definitely is going to be some exciting times ahead, as the technology matures further.

Definitely great things are happening in the industry currently, and will in the future as well.

Hopefully someone will come along to challenge the LSI line of controllers and ROC, but from the looks of it, you might have to wait quite a while to see that happen.

With the LSISAS2208 and the 9265-8i, LSI is truly in a class of their own!

 EDITORS COMMENTS

This review could not have been possible if it weren’t for the partnership of several entities, Paul Alcorn being the first of whom I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to right off. It goes without saying that Paul is one of the leading experts in RAID and storage technology on the internet today.  Paul has spent countless weeks compiling several reports, all of which are posted here,  simply through his love of technology and ambition to push storage to the next level.

With respect to hardware, our thanks go out to LSI, OWC, Areca and Sandisk for their contributions and we sincerely hope this report is a good representation of the support they have provided in this venture.

On this one occasion, I think I will share our Editors Choice award with both the LSI 9265-81 MegaRAID Card along with Paul Alcorn for the incredible report he has produced.

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Eero Rantala
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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
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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
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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
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Eero Rantala

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

Eero Rantala
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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

SSD QUICK SEARCH