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. |
Hard Drives/SSD >
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
- 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
- 96MB PC100 SDRAM
- 2 Seagate U8 8.4GB drives
software used to test the card consisted of Ziff - Davis' Winbench 99 v1.1,
SiSoft Sandra 2000 and Adaptec's Threadmark 2.0.