Not too long ago, HighPoint released their RocketRaid 4320 card.  It employs a rather speedy Intel IOP348 XOR engine running at 1.2Ghz.  What really caught my eye was the insanely low cost of this board when purchased through Newegg.  A few days ago, HighPoint released a 4-port version, the RocketRaid 4310, which has an equally insane deal on Newegg.  If you only need a 4-port RAID, getting an enterprise level solution for <$250 is definitely a sweet deal.

We just got a 4310 in for review and will be putting it through its paces over the next few days.  Here are some tidbits from their press release:
HighPoint Technologies Announces Industry’s First 4 Channel Cost Effective SAS Hardware RAID Controller with Intel® Inside


Milpitas, CA – HighPoint Technologies, is announcing the RocketRAID 4310 as a new member to the RocketRAID 4300 series of SAS Hardware RAID Controllers – with Intel Inside – featuring the Intel® IOP348 I/O Processor to deliver SAS performance, expandability and SATA compatibility.


Hardware RAID Controller


The cost effective RocketRAID 4310 is a PCI-Express x8 SAS RAID controller with Intel Inside IOP348 processor and 256MB of DDR-II memory. A single internal SFF-8087 connector supports up to 4 SAS/SATA hard drives or up to 128 devices through SAS expanders.


SAS Performance


The RocketRAID 4310 with SAS 15K-RPM hard drives are ideal for workstations, CAD/CAM systems. SAS hard drives offer unrivaled performance, reliability and innovation for these applications..  SAS provides the highest sequential and IOPS performance  offering lasting value ensuring systems can keep up with growing performance needs over a longer period of time.


SAS Expandability


SAS can expand to 128 devices (SAS/SATA) devices. As more SATA drives and SAS RAID backplanes are added to a storage enclosure, SAS expanders on those backplanes can seamlessly cascaded together. Requiring only a minimal number of ports on the HBA, and with more ports available on the expanders.


SATA Hard Drive Compatibility


Connectivity for multiple device types lowers TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), gives flexibility to specify best drive for intended use: SAS for transactional/online performance and reliability, SATA for bulk storage and backup/restore duties.


The SAS/SATA value proposition is simple: SAS hard drives deliver the speed, reliability and scalability demanded in high availability enterprise environments, while high-capacity SATA drives are ideal for bulk storage applications with low cost per GB capacity.