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When i first started using and testing SAS equipment several years ago the SAS standard wasn't really popular amongst non-professionals and so almost all of the available solutions back then were considered enterprise grade because of their somewhat high cost, wealth of features and performance levels. Fast forward a few years in the future and right now there are even consumer oriented mainboards that feature entry-level onboard SAS controllers in an effort to cover consumers who are not after the extra features and performance offered by mid and high-end add-on cards. Now as some of you know last year we paired the latest LSI MegaRAID 9265-8i 6Gb/s 8 port SATA+SAS RAID Controller and its main counterpart manufactured by ARECA the ARC-1882i 8 Port 6Gb/s SAS/SATA RAID Adapter with a total of 8 Kingston HyperX 120GB SATA III SSDs to see just which solutions offered the best bang for your buck and in the end both produced impressive results. Well today we are placing both cards against one of the latest mid-end SAS/SATA RAID controllers to hit the market by LSI, the MegaRAID 9271-8i 6Gb/s 8 port SATA+SAS RAID Controller to see if LSI has brought anything new to the table.
LSI Corporation (NASDAQ: LSI) designs semiconductors and software that accelerate storage and networking in datacenters, mobile networks and client computing. Our technology is the intelligence critical to enhanced application performance, and is applied in solutions created in collaboration with our partners. More information is available at www.lsi.com.
We've been using the MegaRAID 9265-8i since we finished our comparison early last year so when LSI announced the 9271-8i model we were quite curious as to what they did to improve on its very successful predecessor. Well at first glance it doesn't really seem that they did much since specs-wise the 9265-8i is almost identical to the 9271-8i since they both use the LSISAS2208 Dual-Core RAID on Chip (800MHz ROC PowerPC) paired with 1GB 1333MHz ECC DDRIII SDRAM, are 6Gb/s compatible, can support Up to 128 SAS and/or SATA devices, feature 2 Mini-SAS SFF8087 internal side connectors and use a single x8 PCI Express slot (they even share the same MTBF of 1.031.514 hours). However there's but one important difference and so the latest 9271-8i model is PCI Express 3.0 compatible as opposed to the PCI Express 2.0 compatible 9265-8i. Now as far as i know the LSISAS2208 Dual Core RAID on Chip supports PCIex 2.0 natively so i doubt we will see any significant difference with PCIex 3.0 but that's what we're here to find out so let’s do that.