LSI SAS 9207-8i PCIe 3.0 HBA Overview – Eight Crucial M4 SSDs Pushed to 4.1GB/s Performance

THE SSD REVIEW ENTERPRISE TEST BENCH

Riding shotgun on this quick performance analysis is the Asus P9X79 WS workstation-class Patsburg motherboard. The Asus P9X79 WS (the WS is the workstation variant) boasts PCIe 3.0 support for it’s 6 physical PCIe x16 slots. Furthermore, Asus touts “server-grade” RAID card compatibility on the WS, something that will definitely come in handy when dealing PCIe-based storage products. With a bevy of workstation features and wicked overclocking, the WS should fit the bill nicely.

Each of the PCIe 3.0 x16 slots help to leverage X79’s 40 lanes of PCIe connectivity. The two white slots are electrically x4, but physically x16. The other four slots (black and blue) operate in 16x/16x with two slots, 16x/8x/8x with three, or x8/x8/x8/x8 with all four slots populated . If you need some multi GPU action, this is probably the board you want. While that’s probably not on this particular sample’s agenda, it’s nice to know you could. 40 lanes of PCIe 3 bandwidth is definitely a lot.

The eight DIMM slots surround the 2011 socket. The Core i7-3820 quad core is matched with a quad channel 1600MHz 32GB kit of Crucial Ballistix Sport. All that RAM is handy to have when testing RAM caching or RAM drives, and running multiple virtual machines is difficult with only 16GB.  

Where Sandy Bridge really increased dual channel memory bandwidth over it’s predecessors, Sandy Bridge-E takes the ball and runs with it. Four channels of DDR3 can more than double SB’s dual channel numbers, and when memory bandwidth is important, that’s going to make a huge difference. 

System memory consists of four modules of Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3-1600 MHz memory for a total of 32GB onboard memory.  As well, the X79 obviously needs a discrete GPU. To that end, we’re using an Asus nVidia GTX 560 Ti Direct CU II. It’s quiet at idle and cool on load, two properties we highly prize.

We would like to thank LSI, ASUS, Intel, and Crucial, for sponsoring our Enterprise Test Bench as we are certain it will be put to good use in coming days.

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Bender
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Bender

Very impressive results. Nice to see the controller scales so beautifully. Was the M4 your first choice of SSD to test with? Do you think it’s a better choice for this use-case than the Vertex 4 or 830?

ppejack
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Great article. Typo though: “The 9702-8i is going into our Enterprise Test Bench for more testing,”–>”The 9207-8i is going into our Enterprise Test Bench for more testing,”

Les@TheSSDReview
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Thanks for the support and FIXED!

Megalolman
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Megalolman

Excellent performance!
I will need to build a ssd raid 0 array arround this HBA to work with my ramdisk ISOs (55Gb). What are the better drives to work with that kind of data?

Thanks in advance and great review!

Josh
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Josh

Thinking about using this in a project. How did you setup your RAID? the 9207 doesn’t support raid out of the box. Did you flash the firmware or just setup software RAID?

Fernando Martinez
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Fernando Martinez

Test it with i540 240GB!