Thursday , 18 September 2014
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LSI MegaRAID 9260-8i 6G Review – 2.5GB/s Speed Through 8 SSDs

Hot on the table in our labs today is the LSI 9260-8I MegaRAID 6Gb/s SATA+SAS internal RAID card and it happens to be sitting beside 8 Crucial C300 SATA 3 SSDs and 8 OWC Mercury Extreme Pro RE SSDs.

We are going to put this card through its paces and brace yourself because we have been pulling off amazing speeds as high as 2.5GB/s and 1.7GB/s for high sequential read and write access.

As amazing as this review is, in that we don’t really get the chance to test any piece of technology with 8 SSDs of each SATA interface every day, we have to let you know right off its just a teaser.  Our follow up review will be an exclusive review of the newly released to be released LSI MegaRAID 9265-8i MegaRAID Card which is capable of 2.7GB/s read and 3.3GB/s write access with an amazing 465, 000 IOPS.

INTRODUCTION

The LSI 9260-8i MegaRAID card is a SATA 3 internal RAID card that allows us to connect up to 8 hard drives (or in our case SSDs) in a variety of multi-level RAID configurations to include RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50 and 60.  It installs through a quick clip into your motherboard PCIe 2.0 x8 slot and, as we saw with this card, is recognized immediately.

This value of this card becomes more apparent as we move into the world of solid state drives and higher storage speeds, the same speeds that become bottle-necked at around the 600MB/s mark through use of Intel ICH10 RAID configurations.  The ability of this card to bring us into speeds in excess of the 2GB/s mark, not only lets us push bar when it comes to our system performance, but also opens the door to any number of possibilities in the enterprise world.

Take a quick peak at this video which demonstrates the use of the 9260-81 in ‘The Dark Energy Survey’ which tries to tackle one of todays greatest scientific mysteries, why the acceleration of the univers seems to be speeding up.

PHYSICAL COMPOSITION

At the heart of the LSI 9260, is the 800MHz PowerPC LSISAS2108 ROC which is located beneath the silver heat sink and  is the sole reason they can advertise amazing speeds of 2.8GB/s read and 1.8GB/s write access speeds for the unit. To the left of this are two SFF 8087 mini- SAS connectors which, as we will see, allow for the connection of 8 SSDs through LSIs SAS to SATA connectors.  On the right, there are 5 modules of Micron flash which provide for the 512mb of on board cache and there is a connector for the battery backup unit which can provide the card with enough power to preserve data for 72 hours.  Last but not least, there is a sound alarm which is located lower left of the RAM.

There is not really much of interesting the rear except for the PCIe 2.0 x8 which also works in 4 or 16 powered slots.

FEATURES

  • Eight internal SATA+SAS ports
  • Two mini-SAS SFF-8087 x4 connectors
  • 6Gb/s throughput per port
  • LSISAS2108 RAID-on-Chip (ROC)
  • Low-profile MD2 form factor
  • x8 PCI Express 2.0 host interface
  • 512MB DDRII cache (800MHz)
  • Optional battery backup unit (direct attach)
  • Connect up to 128 SATA and/or SAS devices
  • RAID levels 0, 1, 5 and 6
  • RAID spans 10, 50 and 60

BENEFITS

  • Superior performance
    o Maximum reads: 2,875MB/s
    o Maximum writes: 1,850MB/s
  • PCI Express 2.0 provides faster signaling for high-bandwidth applications
  • Support for 3Gb/s and 6Gb/s SATA and SAS hard drives for maximum inside-the-box flexibility
  • SafeStore Encryption Services for more secure data protection
  • Low-profile MD2 form factor for space-limited 1U and 2U environments

PG 1 – Introduction & Physical Composition

PG2 – Test Protocol & Bench Configuration

Pg3 – Premium Add-Ons

Pg4 – ATTO Disk Benchmark

PG5 – HDTune Pro Benchmarks

PG-6  PCMark Vantage Comparisons & Conclusions

JOIN THE DISCUSSION IN OUR FORUMS!!


About Les Tokar

is a technology nut and Founder of The SSD Review. His early work includes the first consumer SSD review along with MS Vista, Win 7 and SSD Optimization Guides. Les is fortunate to, not only evaluate and provide opinion on consumer and enterprise solid state storage but also, travel the world in search of new technologies and great friendships. Google+
  • Enis

    Hi

    Thx a lot for the review.
    I have two questions.

    1. What do you thnik is this card also good for the OCZ Vertex 3 ssd? I thik I would by 4 of them with this controller.

    Yes.

    2. ic case of my bad english I dont understand this point: this card is normally bootable? I mean I can install Windows or Linux there?

    Yes.

    Thx a lot

  • sean

    Are the specs the same for the LSI MegaRAID 9260-4i also? Meaning, will the LSI MegaRAID 9260-4i work with Sata 3? Plus the through put is the same? Just less the amount of Sata connections?

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