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