hardware RAID cards in PE4600

Basil Hussain basil.hussain at kodakweddings.com
Wed Nov 20 04:21:01 CST 2002


Just out of interest, I thought I'd take look at what controlling processors
are used in the different choices of RAID controllers people are discussing.
Here is a comparison:

* Intel i960:

Has a 66MHz bus, 66MHz SDRAM and 33MHz PCI communication.

Used in Dell PERC3 DC/QC controllers and older LSI controllers.

* Intel 80303 (aka IOP303):

Has a 100MHz bus, supports 100MHz SDRAM and can communicate with the PCI bus
at 66MHz. Seems to be the replacement for the i960 and undoubtedly performs

Used in the LSI Logic MegaRAID SCSI 320-2, Adaptec SCSI RAID 2200S and most
of the ICP Vortex range. I believe the PERC4 originates from LSI (correct me
if I'm wrong), so is the new Dell PERC4 also based on this chip?

* StrongARM SA 110:

This processor has a 233MHz bus, but only communicates with the PCI bus at
33MHz. Not sure what speed of RAM it uses... I would assume 66MHz.

Used in the Mylex eXtrememRAID 2000.

* Intel Xscale 80321:

Runs at 400MHz, using 100MHz SDRAM and supports a 66/133MHz PCI bus. This is
an interesting one - I've only ever seen this CPU used in pocket PCs such as
Compaq's newest range of iPaqs. However, IIRC the Xscale CPU is the next
generation of StrongARM, it's not surprising it has applications in this
area as well.

Used in the LSI Logic MegaRAID SCSI 320-2X.

I'll leave everyone to draw their own conclusions on this info, but I
suspect that CPU features alone do not make a great RAID controller, as SCSI
controller chipsets, BIOS features and O/S drivers also come into it too.


Basil Hussain
Internet Developer, Kodak Weddings
E-Mail: basil.hussain at kodakweddings.com

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