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Iwill SIDE-RAID66 IDE Controller Review
Iwill SIDE-RAID66 IDE Controller Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Until recently the implementation of RAID or Redundant Array of Independent Disks, was focused towards SCSI based servers which demand extremely high speed data throughput and the security that data on the server will remain intact under any given circumstance.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Hard Drives/SSD Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Iwill Apr 04 2000   P. Masrani  
Home > Reviews > Hard Drives/SSD > Iwill SIDE-RAID66


Though RAID technology has been implemented in this card, it can be used as a stand alone controller board as well. It is probably the smallest PCI card I have ever seen and doesn't really as populated with IC's like other cards. The heart of the board lies within the Highpoint HPT368 controller which can handle up to 4 hard disk drives. One would have hoped that "Hot-Swapping" would have been implemented in Highpoint's HPT368 chip, but due to inherent problems in implementing it through IDE, we will just have to wait until all of the issues are worked out.

There are 3 connectors present on the board. One each for the primary and secondary IDE channels and a third used in order to connect up an external removable drive. This is also pretty convenient if you need to transfer files to/from a hard disk without opening up the cabinet. Though you are limited to a maximum of four drives, the market towards which this board is targeted probably will not need more than that.

Installation was very simple. Simply plug in the board and Windows 98 prompts you to feed in the drivers. In addition, the card has its own BIOS whose screen pops up just before booting into your operating system. Drivers for Windows NT, Windows 98 and Windows 2000 do come along with the unit. Within the BIOS are a number of options to select depending on whether your want striping, mirroring or both. Setup from this screen is a breeze. Just choose what you want and the BIOS does everything for you.

Also included with the card are 2 ATA/66 cables and a wonderful users manual. What I appreciated about the manual were the number of detailed instructions on how to install the card on both a fresh and existing OS installation.

Here is what I took from off the box...

- Supports PCI bus and Ultra ATA66/33 drives
- Supports minimum 2 and maximum 4 drives for RAID (minimum 1 drive for regular operation)
- Supports RAID Levels:
- RAID 0, striping 2 to 4 drives
- RAID 1, mirroring 2 drives
- RAID 0+1, 4 drives only
- Supports Windows 98, Windows 2000, and Windows NT 4.x
- Special connector for external IDE Hard Drive connection
- Two ATA66 cables (80 wires / 40 pin) with 3 heads
- 5 year limited warranty

Test Bed Setup

The Iwill was put through the usual benchmarks as any other hard disk reviewed here. Here is the hardware used used to do so...

- Celeron 400 CPU
- Soltek 67KV Via Apollo Pro 133A motherboard
- Soltek SL-02A++ "Slocket" Slot-1 to PPGA convertor
- 96MB PC100 SDRAM
- 2 Seagate U8 8.4GB drives

The software used to test the card consisted of Ziff - Davis' Winbench 99 v1.1, SiSoft Sandra 2000 and Adaptec's Threadmark 2.0.

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Contents of Article: Iwill SIDE-RAID66
 Pg 1.  Iwill SIDE-RAID66 IDE Controller Review
 Pg 2.  RAID Explained
 Pg 3.  — Iwill SIDE-RAID66
 Pg 4.  RAID 0 Benchmarks
 Pg 5.  RAID 1 Benchmarks and Conclusion

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