REPORT ANALYSIS AND FINAL THOUGHTS
The HighPoint SSD7101A-1 NVMe RAID Controller provides a very interesting perspective into the world of high performance single form factor SSD solutions. It is a full size PCIe 3.0 x16 solution that houses four NVMe SSDs, each of which is situated within a PCIe 3.0 x4 framework and can be raided. In our testing, our best performance seems to occur with OS level RAID 0 and with the Samsung 960 Pro… which of course would be a given as the Samsung has higher specifications. Still… is 11GB/s a second the fastest yet?
It is a bit of a give and take here with respect to performance. While we did get some amazing performance results in our testing, the test program itself displayed absolutely no consistency between tests, but to say that results were consistently high in one form or another. For instance, we received a result of 1 million write IOPS in AS SSD but could not duplicate it anywhere else. In fact, we couldn’t come anywhere near that in Iometer and this was our result which is more of what we have expected for this drive:
Conversely, we thought we might have better read IOPS so we ventured into Iometer once again. I used JBOD and threw four workers onto each drive separately and look at what we received:
Now that is 1.5 million IOPS and it is entirely believable, considering how we got there. We have to remember though that this was using the drives separately in Iometer and it brings up a very important thought. It is actually the same with all SSDs. Know what you need the storage device to do and only then seek out the proper solution. Regardless… amazing result that I never expected. This is the SSD7101A-1 being put through the paces in one of our systems:
Next up… pricing and availability. I just checked Amazon and it wasn’t there. I did find it elsewhere for as low as $400 which shocked the heck out of me. That is an amazing price! To think that you can put together a device that would really be key in high end media manipulation for under $1000 is absolutely incredible. It carries a 1 year warranty and you have to wonder what kind of performance you could squeeze out of two of these in RAID0. The problem of course is understanding the PCIe device configuration of your system.
The HighPoint SSD7101A-1 NVMe SSD RAID controller is capable of RAID throughput over and above 10GB/s as well as 1.5 million IOPS. We pulled off that throughput on two separate brands of SSDs, understanding that the only two validated SSDs for this controller right now are the Samsung 960 Pro and Evo. That’s right; the RD400 is not recognized as an approved SSD… but it was just as amazing in its performance. This RAID controller is a monster and something just about every enthusiast should consider. Now creating a RAID boot device…we are working on. I am hoping it was just a glitch in the machine and will be having a chat with HighPoint about that. I truly figured their software would enable that as the RAID is created on the device, via the software. In any case, thanks much to HighPoint, Samsung and Toshiba for their support and… Innovation Award!