HighPoint 2720SGL RocketRAID Controller Review – Amazing 3GB/s Recorded With 8 Crucial C400 SSDs

THE RAID/ENTERPRISE TEST BENCH

This is our test bench for the RAID and Enterprise testing. Currently in a state of flux, this bench has undergone some transitions as of late. Although most of our original build remains, we have recently upgraded to the x79 chipset with an Intel 3930K processor. While this may look a tad messy to the reader, it is actually very organized by our standards!

 SYSTEM CONFIGURATION

CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor  “Overclocked to 5.0 Ghz“

MOTHERBOARD: ASRock X79 Extreme9 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s ATX Intel

RAM: 16GB Crucial Ballistix 1866, 9-9-9-27

GPU: Dual EVGA GTX480

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:  HeatKiller 3.0

WATER SYSTEM: Two KMP-400 w/reservoirs in a Serial loop, two MCR320-QP rads, and 1 BIPS 240 rad, CPU only.  Loop 2- MCP-655 and Honda Radiator on dual 480GTX GPUs with EK Blocks.

CRUCIAL C400/M4  256 GB SSDs

The SSDs we have chosen for today’s analysis are eight Crucial/Micron C400 256GB SSDs.  The C400 is the enterprise variant of the Crucial M4 SSD and both contain physically identical hardware, each having become incredibly popular in both consumer and enterprise use. One of the key strengths of the C400/M4 is that it can give consistent performance over a long period of time and one of their most notable hallmarks lies in the impressive performance upgrade with the 0009 update.

The Micron C400 6Gb/s SSDs boast a sequential read speed of 415 MB/s and 260 MB/s write speed. With random 4k read at 40,000 IOPS and random 4k write weighing in at 50,000 IOPS, these C400 SSDs are fast enough to saturate any RAID controller easily.

BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

In today’s evaluation, we have chosen to include ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal Disk Mark, AS SSD, as well as Anvil Storage Utilities for our staple bench software.  We will also be using PCMark Vantage for real world trace testing and, in order to show the difference between the old and new, we will compare the RAID performance results of the previous driver hardware with that of the new drivers.

ATTO DISK BENCHMARK VER. 2.46 – SINGLE C400 SSD

To start things off, lets connect one Crucial M4 SSD to the Highpoint 2720SGL.  One of the most frequent questions received after the first review was the performance of the controller with only one drive connected. The key here is to not leave performance of the drive unused, as happens with the vast majority of adapters that are on the market right now for 6Gb/s drives.

These controllers usually are connected with a PCIEx1 slot connection, which does not allow the true performance of the drive to ‘shine’ through. The HighPoint 2720SGL utilizes a PCIe 2.0 x8 connection, and in conjunction with the newest driver, the 2720SGL leaves very little to be desired in this aspect.

8 comments

  1. Can anyone tell me the limits of SATA I aka 150mb/s
    I only need sequential read/write and randrom write 4kb

  2. This is pretty awesome. I’m having a chat with macperformanceguide.net, about whether this route would be better than just getting a PCI-E SSD equivalent. Like the RevoDrive 3.
    Are those just as likely to fail in Raid 0? as they are just onboard raided Sandforce SSD’s no?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  3. Where can I download the new driver ???

  4. Fernando Martinez

    Guys, can you make the same, but using par drives on tests?

    Example: with 2 SSDs, then 4 (as RAID 0) ? Of course, no need 8 since it was already tested here.

    Thanks!

  5. That’s great and all, but HighPoint is the kind of company that exist in eastern europe. You know what I mean? You pay them for the product, and you assume all responsibility for support of that product, it going bad, not performing as advertised, and so on. There is no customer support with HighPoint. Actually, I just tried to contact them today and their online support (which is the only way to get in touch with them) script is not posting issues, it just redirects you to a blank post your issue screen. Just absolutely lousy company.

    So, if you ever consider silly highpoint, know that you won’t be getting support so you better be so good that you never need ask questions.

  6. John Joseph Mc Dermott

    This was an amazing card to begin with. I want one for my gaming rig. GTX 690 first though.

  7. What version of the raid controller firmware did you use for the benchmark ?

    I’m using RR272x v1.5 bios/fw, testing with 4 x 256 GB ADATA XPG SX900
    I get close to 500 Mbyte/s (read) per drive, which is great !

    But there seems to be something wrong, one out of 4 drives only reach 250 MB/s,
    even when moving them around, using the second port, in different combination,
    one is not going as fast as the others, but it is not the same SSD drive !

    Same if I put all 4 SSD on the same SAS port or 2 + 2 drives/SAS port

    (I’m testing with cables from 2 vendors, no diff)

    So it is not one faulty drive.

    After many reboots I sometimes can get all to perform equal,
    but after next reboot one is dropped down to half speed.

    I have verified that I’m using a slot @ PCIe 2.0 x8 speed (5GB/s).

    SSD fw is 5.02a (latest right now)

    Any advice ?

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