LSI MegaRAID SAS/SATA 9265-8i – External Characteristics & Test Protocol

EXTERNAL CHARACTERISTICS

This new LSI card is composed of a very small Low-profile MD2 form factor, which measures 6.6 X 2.536, this keeps the footprint of the card very small, and eases installation. LSI went out of the way to keep this card small, instead of expanding the size of the card for this updated revision of the 9260, they instead opted to place a daughter board on the rear of the card. This raised platform to the rear holds the cache of the card.

Underneath the silver heat sink is the brains of this card, the LSI2208 ROC. Near the PCI-E bracket we find the two SFF-8087 x4 connectors. These allow fan out cables to connect up to four devices to each port, allowing direct access to eight devices. Utilizing an expander will allow you to connect up to 240 SAS/SATA devices to the card for large enterprise applications.

TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL

This is the test bench that we will be using, and it is something that I am particularly proud of. A quick click on the picture will give you a close up. We are using an array of 8 Micron C300 256 GB SSDs that Micron has provided to make this review possible. These 6Gb/s SSDs are very capable of nearly saturating this awesome raid controller..As you might have guessed, this is truly no ordinary Test Bench, and I have to admit that I have spent  more hours than I can count to get this system where it is today.  It just may be one of the best to be found anywhere for the task at hand.  Check out the specs:

CPU: Intel i7-920 DO @ 4.46 Ghz

MOTHERBOARD: EVGA E760 Classified Motherboard

RAM: Kingston Hyper-X 12GB DDR3-1600 9-9-9-27

GPU: Dual  EVGA GTX280 SSC

POWER: ST1500 Fully Modular 1500 Watt Power Supply 1500W (Peak 1600W) 12v1320W/110A (Peak 120A)combined+3.3 5v  280W

CHASSIS: Danger Den Torture Rack

CPU COOLER:  HK 3.0

WATER SYSTEM: KMP-400 w/reservoirs on a Parallel loop with Bitspower reservoir , two MCR320-QP rad, 1 BIPS 240    rad.  Watercooled  Areca  1880ix-12 4gb cache raid card, EK Ram Block, EK Fullboard Mobo Block on Loop 1.    Second Loop on CPU only. GPU Loop 3-MCP-655 and Honda Radiator.

STORAGE: 8X C300 256 Gb 6Gb/s SSD’s

TEST PROTOCOL

Our main goal in testing is to ensure that all test results are as accurate  as they can be and no anomalies slip through.  We conduct all tests three times and, if necessary, we may conduct specific tests in Windows 7 safe mode to ensure the OS has little to no influence on the end result.  We prefer to use as many benchmark programs as possible to assist with confirmation of results, and provide the reader with the actual tests to avoid any confusion when unexpected test benchmarks are received.

Our C300’s will be placed in a RAID 0 configuration and this is mainly to illuminate the sheer speed of the LSI 9265-8i coupled with SSDs that are 6Gb/s capable devices, so that we can utilize the maximum speeds of this raid card. In a soon to be released article, we will be showing the raid 5 and CacheCade functionality of this card.

OF INTEREST TO OUR ENTHUSIAST CROWD

Connecting 8 solid state drives to the Bench Rig is no easy task without the proper enclosure, especially when we have 8 other SSDs occupying the enclosure at the rear of the Bench. We simply secured them to the desk.  Our choice of SSDs over hard drives was a no-brainer given that they require so little power, it is VERY easy to give them juice, not to mention the fact that they are much much faster!

All eight of these SSDs are powered by one Molex power connector on my Power Supply. We simply used a 4X molex splitter to get it split out to four molex plugs, then some molex to 2 SATA connectors.

LINKED INDEX

INTRODUCTION ~ EXTERNAL CHARACTERISTICS ~ BENCHMARK PREP

ATTO/CRYSTAL ~ AS SSD ~ HDTUNE PRO ~ WEI/AIDA ~ IOMETER

PASSMARK ~ VANTAGE ~ CONCLUSIONS AND THOUGHTS

If you want more detailed information on the testing, parameters and configurations used in testing, feel free to hit the forums! I will be happy to answer any questions, and as long as I have the hardware, if there is anything I have missed, I would be happy to run some tests for you and there will also be some more detailed presentations on 4k scaling for you enthusiasts out there 🙂 ~ Paul

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