Wednesday , 16 April 2014
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HighPoint RocketRAID 6Gb/s SATA/SAS 2720SGL Review Utilizing 8 Micron C400 6Gbps SSDs

Today we are testing a new controller from Highpoint that is taking a new approach to high end RAID.

The new approach is inexpensive high performance RAID which is not only for corporations and system builders, but also, the casual user as well. The casual user qualifies as anyone who uses a desktop computer, home server, or dedicated NAS. The trick is to pull off the performance, yet also to allow for the same reliability and features that one would expect from a larger, more robust and expensive enterprise class device.

INTRODUCTION

The HighPoint RocketRAID controller has a surprising amount of functionality for such a small controller, supporting RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50 and JBOD.

One of the things that jumps right out at us when looking over the specifications is RAID 6. Onboard RAID solutions do not offer RAID 6 functionality at all. Upon further reflection, you will also be hard pressed to find a RAID controller that supports RAID 6 for under 500 dollars!

A huge factor that is a big selling point is that this is a 6Gb/s capable controller. Many users today are clamoring for adapters that will allow them to reign in the performance of the newest 6Gb/s storage devices on previous generation motherboards, not to mention that some 6Gb/s implementations on X58 motherboards are severely hamstrung by bandwidth limitations.

A key test will the devices handling of the 6Gb/s solid state drives that we will be testing them with today, this being eight C400 256GB SSDs. These SSDs will afford us the power required to saturate, not only the speeds that this controller is capable of, but also the speed of the PCIe bus that it is connected to.

Hitting the low price point that HighPoint has set for this device is absolutely critical for these types of users looking to upgrade-in-place, gaining more power from their existing systems. Of course, the individuals not looking to upgrade the entire system tend to be budget conscious, so this could be an excellent solution for them if it delivers.

Some of the key consideration of this product are;

  1. Industry’s lowest cost RAID 6 capable controller at MSRP $170
  2. Best cost/performance controller in the industry.
  3. Good choice alternative to Hardware RAID6 controllers costing over $500

Today we will see if this device delivers upon those promises. First, lets take a look at the 27xx family of devices.

About Paul Alcorn

  • Anonymous

    Paul,

    It seems you are not the only person stating that this card supports RAID 6. I just checked on NewEgg.com and their spec sheet for this product also states that it supports RAID 6? Wow now I am totally confused.

    The product packaging clearly states the following:
    RocketRAID 2720SGL
    - RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, 50, single-disk and JBOD

    Please excuse my lack of knowlege of RAID specifications. Your article was instrumental in convicing me to purchase 4 of these cards specifically because of the quoted support for RAID 6 so I would like to verify which is the correct specification.

    Peter Klimon

    • Paul Alcorn

      Hi Peter,
      Yes, this device does support RAID 6, it is also mentioned on the product page with the manufacturer.
      http://highpoint-tech.com/USA_new/CS-series_rr272x.htm
      If you are experiencing issues with the controller not allowing you to select the “RAID 6″ settings, then that usually means that there are not enough devices connected to do so. Depending upon the amount of devices connected, it will allow you to configure to the compatible RAID levels. If there aren’t enough devices present, the option is inaccessible.
      I hope that this helps, there might also simply be an inaccuracy on the packaging itself, one that i am sure highpoint would be interested in hearing of! If you need further assistance, feel free to post in our forums, or email me directly at my site email.
      Thanks for reading!

  • Anidabi

    Nice review. This could be just the thing I have been looking for, for a long time now. I’ve been thinking of buying used IBM M1015, but it would require also some sort of special key to enable raid 5 and above support.

    This card seems to be much better solution. I do have overclocked quad core cpu and I always wondered why no one come up with raid card solution which could take use of mine massive idling cpu power. To bad you only do SSD reviews, would be nice to see some 4 drive raid 5 tests with normal hard drives.

  • rreader

    I just purchased a RocketRaid 2710 card and tried to put 3 SSD’s in RAID 0 to use as a boot drive for Windows 7 64 bit. Unfortunately, I found out that Highpoint does not have signed drivers, which apparently are not allowed in a Windows 7 64 bit installation, and there is no way to get around this restriction. Thus I cannot use the card! Has anyone found a way around this?

    • Jonathan

      Hi, I also have the same problem, highpoint support aint to much help, I then tried to install with the 32 bit driver and the install says it aint working, but it does, I can then se the raid0 volume and get to install 64 bit and then after the installation, I updated the driver manually to the 64 bit one.

      • rreader

        Thanks for the tip, however when i tried your suggestion it did not work for me. Windows 7 64 bit would not boot for me with the 32 bit driver. oh well.

  • amadoj

    We have some series compatibility issues as we tried to use this card on a Dell T710 Poweredge Server. This is a 2011 Xeon 5600 motherboard – so quite surprised that it does not work.

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