HighPoint RocketRaid 2720SGL

I bought the Highpoint Rocketraid 2720SGL raid card for my Windows Home Server 2011 box. From the specs I read it looked great. It supports up to 8 drives, 6Gbps, RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, 50, and JBOD, connects to PCI-E 2.0 at x8 speed, and the cost wasn’t too bad at around $160. With the latest firmware, it will even support RAID6. But just like many raid cards, it doesn’t come with the SAS to SATA cable. I had to buy some (2) from Amazon as well. I also bought 2 SATA 4 in 1 power cables to help with cabling. I will be using 8x Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB drives.

I had trouble setting up the card. For one, it was conflicting with the onboard SATA controllers of my motherboard (Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3). I had to set the SATA port to IDE instead of AHCI. Once that was solved, another problem started. Sometimes, the card wouldn’t detect all the hard drives. At first I thought it was the drives themselves but I plugged them in using the onboard SATA ports and they were detected consistently.

When it did work, I was able to create a RAID6 with a total of 10TB drive space. I had to use GPT because MBRwould partition the volume into 2 pieces. It took about 27 hours to initialize the raid. Not too bad. It was faster than using the software raid from Windows.

Transferring files was another problem. The highest speed was 48MBps. This is in a gigabit network. The server is also using 2x Intel EXPI9301CTLBK gigabit ethernet cards using teaming with LACP. When I use Windows’ software RAID5, I was able to get speeds over 90MBps. It’s not a direct comparison to the configuration. One is a hardware RAID6 with 7x 2TB drives. The other has a software RAID5 with 5x 2TB drives. Not sure if any of those makes a difference with speed.

Anyways, I’m done playing around and hoping for the drives to be detected so I’m sending it back to Amazon for a refund. I’m getting the Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8 instead. I don’t need the hardware raid right now. I’ll just use the software raid that Windows has or use Flexraid the other third party drive extender plugins for Windows Home Server 2011. I will let you know once I’ve added the new card and played with it. Hope it works as expected.

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