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

For today’s quick look at the LSI SAS 9207-81 Gen3 HBA performance, we’ll be using eight Crucial M4  SATA 3 SSDs, each 256GB in capacity and running the latest 000F firmware. The 9207-8i is flashed with IT firmware. All Gen 3 LSI HBA products will ship with IT firmware factory flashed, with IR mode FW made available for the end user to flash as needed.

SINGLE DRIVE PERFORMANCE

First, we thought we’d take a look at how one single M4 performs on the 9207 8i. On the left, we have one Crucial M4 hanging off of our X79 PCH ports.  As we can see on the right, the Intel RSTe drivers, utilized on X79 platforms, are somewhat more conservative than the regular RST used on mainstream platforms from Intel.

The M4 does slightly better across the board. We’re just running CDM as a reality check, but sure enough, the M4 is just a little faster. Not every SATA drive is quicker on the 9207 than Intel’s 6gbps ports, but it seems as though the M4 likes it. So with that established, we can move on to looking at single drive performance with IOmeter.

The M4 is able to put down some good numbers when fresh. Read and write performance is balanced, and works well at high and low queue depths alike. Reads continue to increase from QD1 to QD16 where they level off. Random writes are a similar story, holding steady in the mid-50K IOPS range from QD4 to QD16. If all goes well, when we add more drives, we can get multiples of this performance.

After our run with IOmeter, we get 519MB/s sequential reads and 266MB/s sequential writes.

And lastly, we look at latency with a single drive.

With all that out of the way, we can add some drives and see what happens.

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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!