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HighPoint RocketRAID 1740 and RocketRAID 2300 RAID Controllers Review

hardnrg    -   January 24, 2008


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Conclusion:

Well, that was a lot of testing wasn't it? I wanted to test the cards thoroughly in different operating systems, and for the two most popular RAID levels for most users. Testing for degraded RAID-5 performance was also something I was interested in, and wanted to present the results for in this review.

When I received the cards and read about them on HighPoint's website, I thought that the cards were no more than onboard solutions on a card. They actually prove to give you much more flexible management of the RAID arrays through the user-friendly browser interface, and the RocketRAID 2300 excels in write performance for RAID-5 arrays.

The RocketRAID 1740 seems to really suffer from the smaller bandwidth available on the PCI bus, but makes use of all the speed available to the card. In this way, it would be a decent upgrade for a machine without onboard RAID, or a spare PCI Express slot.

Overall, both cards exceeded my expectations, and I was especially impressed by the performance of the RocketRAID 2300. If you are thinking about adding a RAID-5 array, or are currently using a RAID-5 array through the onboard RAID controller, I can recommend the RocketRAID 2300 as a worthwhile upgrade.

I still feel as though the maximum potential of the hard drives has not been realized with any of the controllers tested in this review, but I'm sure that the only way to get the maximum performance is to invest in a full-hardware RAID controller with an integrated processor and RAM expansion slot, which is, of course, much more expensive.

 

Pros:

  • The RocketRAID 2300 gives you better write performance for RAID-5 arrays, especially when degraded
  • Both Highpoint RAID controllers use less CPU cycles, especially for degraded RAID-5
  • Detailed and comprehensive software allows flexible RAID management
  • Audible, visible, and email alerts keep you informed of array problems or task completion
  • SATA cables provided
  • Able to convert to low-profile to suit compact cases and small rackmount enclosures

 

Cons:

  • The RocketRAID 1740 is bottlenecked by the bandwidth available on the PCI bus
  • Not as fast as (admittedly more expensive) full-hardware RAID cards
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  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (Inside The Box)
  3. Installation & Configuration (BIOS)
  4. Configuration (Software)
  5. Configuration (Software continued)
  6. Specifications & Features
  7. Testing (Windows XP - RAID 0)
  8. Testing (Vista 32-bit - RAID 0)
  9. Testing (Vista 64-bit - RAID 0)
  10. Testing (Windows XP - RAID 5)
  11. Testing (Vista 32-bit - RAID 5)
  12. Testing (Vista 64-bit - RAID 5)
  13. Conclusion
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