suggestions for SATA RAID cards

Nikolas Britton nikolas.britton at
Thu Aug 24 06:39:48 UTC 2006

On 8/24/06, Andreas Klemm <andreas at> wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 23, 2006 at 09:23:00AM +0100, Steven Hartland wrote:
> > The Areca cards I can recommend. Highpoint 1820a is surprisingly good
> Many many years ago I bought a HighPoint HPT366 ATA66 controller.
> Thought its a good deal because it was cheap.
> Thought, an ATA interface can't be that complicated anymore
> so that its safe to buy a cheap product.
> Turned out that I was very wrong with my theorie.
> I ran into timeout problems, that couldn't be fixed.
> After days and nights of troubleshooting and testing
> I didn't get it to work reliably.
> I replaced it by buying a more expensive Promise controller.
> Since then I had zero problems.
> Since that time I lost trust in HighPoint products.
> Good stuff has its price. It must not always be the
> most expensive hardware. But going with the cheapest
> (and I assume the HighPoint product will again be
> in the low price segment) can be troublesome.

As the owner of a HPT2220 and HPT1820A I have nothing but good things
to say about it. In fact my experience is the inverse of yours. I've
had nothing but problems with my Promise card. To make matters worse
Promise doesn't support FreeBSD... No drivers, No docs, Nothing.
HighPoint does support FreeBSD by providing their own FreeBSD drivers
and HighPoint's code is in FreeBSD. The one bad thing I have to say
about HighPoint is that their drivers are locked up in binary blobs.
Areca's drivers on the other hand are fully open sourced and they have
the fastest SATA hardware in the land thanks to the onboard 600MHz
Intel XScale IOP and DDR333 cache.

Their new hardware (coming soon) will have a 800MHz XScale with DDR2-533 cache.

This is from an ARC-1220 with 256MB cache and 7x300GB drives in RAID6:
> diskinfo -t da0
        512             # sectorsize
        1499999764480   # mediasize in bytes (1.4T)
        2929687040      # mediasize in sectors
        182364          # Cylinders according to firmware.
        255             # Heads according to firmware.
        63              # Sectors according to firmware.

Seek times:
        Full stroke:      250 iter in   5.022332 sec =   20.089 msec
        Half stroke:      250 iter in   3.809019 sec =   15.236 msec
        Quarter stroke:   500 iter in   4.055315 sec =    8.111 msec
        Short forward:    400 iter in   0.998948 sec =    2.497 msec
        Short backward:   400 iter in   2.519062 sec =    6.298 msec
        Seq outer:       2048 iter in   0.187788 sec =    0.092 msec
        Seq inner:       2048 iter in   0.219632 sec =    0.107 msec
Transfer rates:
        outside:       102400 kbytes in   0.353485 sec =   289687 kbytes/sec
        middle:        102400 kbytes in   0.372773 sec =   274698 kbytes/sec
        inside:        102400 kbytes in   0.543272 sec =   188488 kbytes/sec

Chad Leigh has an ARC-1130 with 1GB cache and he's getting even better
numbers (300~400MB/s) using ZFS + Solaris Express.

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