This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective’s website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.Finding an affordable high performance RAID controller can be an arduous process at best. Prices generally range from $399 to $1799. The differences seem to be more features and functionality than chipsets and performance. Initially, discovering that AMI’s Elite 1600 implemented the Q-logic and Intel’s i960RN chipset concerned me. Traditionally, any RAID controller with said features always underperformed. As many of you remember, last year DPT/Adaptec recalled all their Decade and Century RAID controllers and offered a two for one exchange. That is, return your Decade or Century controller and receive Adaptec’s new 2100S and a rebate for the value of the card or another controller of equal or lesser value for free. While at the time, this seemed like an incredible offer, the 2100S’ performance was still less then desirable. Testing Adaptec’s Decade, Century and 2100S produced some of the worst performance results I have ever recorded. Intensifying the stakes, we tested Mylex’s eXtreme RAID 2000 with muddling results. In fact, stripe sizes, cache settings, varying chipsets, and memory configurations, still resulted in substandard results. That is, until we tested the Atto UL3D. The UL3D’s firmware/software driver implementation easily outperformed most Intel i960RS 32-bit 100MHz processor based RAID controllers, Intel i960RN 64-bit 100MHz processor based RAID controllers, and well as Intel’s StrongARM SA110 64-bit 233MHz processor. So, then why was the AMI Elite 1600 RAID controller with Intel’s i960RN I/O processor able to beat the UL3D. According to AMI, the optimization within the BIOS and cache algorithms allow the Elite 1600 to provide an exceptional level of performance. Every benchmark I ran, the Elite 1600 outperformed Atto’s UL3D and at a highly regarded 1% CPU utilization. Also, with the strict compatibility demands of the AMD 762 chipset, the Elite 1600 was installed and configured without a problem.
With the recent enthusiasm over AMD’s 762 chipset, AMI is again chosen as one of two certified RAID manufacturers to represent the AMD 762 chipset or Tyan K7 Thunder if you will. While AMD users are eagerly awaiting other AMD 762 alternatives, the Elite 1600 is primed to take the lead as the highest performing RAID (striped), solution available today.
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