Despite advancements in standardization and the abundance of compatible components, building gaming and high-end graphics workstations still requires finesse. To achieve the best results, there must be a balance between price and performance, and not all RAID controller vendors square the two as well as HighPoint Technologies Inc., Milpitas, Calif., does.
Recently, HighPoint released a RocketRAID 2640X4, making it the first PCI Express x4 SAS RAID controller on the market. The 2640 comes with a Marvel 88SE6445 IC, which is designed for high-performance graphics stations and audio and video editing systems. High-end professional editing stations that use SAS drives with a 15,000-rpm drive speed need to make the I/O as efficient as possible, so controllers like the 2640 are key to putting together an inexpensive but adequate system for the SMB market.
WARRANTY/SUPPORT: 3-year warranty
DISTRIBUTORS: ASI, Bell Micro Products, D&H and Ma Labs
COMPANY: HighPoint Technologies Inc.
The 2640 is unique in that it strikes a balance between price and feature set. Priced at $169, RocketRAID 2640X4 supports RAID 5, 10 and JBOD, including RAID 0 and 1. The controller card offers a small form factor internal card that supports up to four drives and high throughput bandwidth. The card can sustain a 500 MB per second speed on reads and almost as high on writes.
Similar to other high-end HighPoint cards, the 2640 supports BIOS booting and its management software is accessible through a Web interface. CRN Test Center reviewers preferred the Web interface because we found it easier to manage multiple volumes. The Web interface supports every high-end feature, including online RAID level migration and capacity expansion. The card supports SMART attributes, so administrators can check the performance of each drive with great detail.