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Promise FastTrak100 vs. AMI MegaRAID IDE100


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Promise FastTrak100 vs. AMI MegaRAID IDE100
  April 4, 2001 Author: Terry Baranski  


The MegaRAID IDE100...

Though not as well known as the FastTrak series, AMI's MegaRAID series of cards (known as HyperDisk up until recently) targets the exact same market: cost-sensitive ATA RAID. Announced in July of 2000, the MegaRAID IDE100 positions itself as a direct competitor to the FastTrak100.


MegaRAID IDE100 Specifications...

  • RAID levels 0, 1, 10, and JBOD;
  • Supports two channels and up to four drives;
  • "Hot spare" capability;
  • Stripe size selectable from 32K to 4MB;
  • Support for BBS (BIOS boot specification);
  • S.M.A.R.T. support;
  • Special handling of error log, spare drive, and rebuilding;
  • DOS / Win 9x / NT / 2000 / Red Hat Linux 6.1 & 6.2 support;
  • 1-year warranty
Included with the card are the following items:
  • Two dual-connector, 80-conductor ATA cables;
  • CD with utilities and user manual;
  • Driver disk

Note that the MegaRAID IDE100's user guide is on a CD rather than in print. We find it irritating to have to put the CD in every time you wish to consult the user guide.


The Software...

As with the FastTrak, MegaRAID IDE100's BIOS facilitates creation, views, and deletion of arrays. Available stripe sizes range from 32K to 4MB. The following options may be toggled per array: write cache enable/disable (as with the FastTrak, this refers to the write cache of the drives themselves), boot sector virus protection enable/disable, DMA enable/disable, and array bootable yes/no.

The MegaRAID's IDE100 software utility is, interestingly enough, still called "HyperDisk Console." The utility displays information about the controller(s), drives, and arrays. Several options may be toggled including 'Start rebuilding if error threshold reached,' 'Check arrays for rebuild at startup,' 'Make contents of the array drives identical after consistency errors found,' and 'Enable SMART on physical drives.' The utility also features "Spy Service," an array status icon on the user's taskbar. The icon turns green when all arrays are ok, yellow when there are errors, and red to "warn of a critical problem which could cause the system to fail." Finally, the utility can maintain a log of any array-related errors.

 The Benchmarks...


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