Review: Adaptec's ASR5805/512 SSD controller and MaxIQ kit, with one SSD

Adaptec's ASR5805/512 SSD controller and MaxIQ kit, with one SSD: Outstanding price/performance

Adaptec's ASR5805/512 SSD controller and MaxIQ kit, with one SSD has outstanding price/performance

Vendor: Adaptec, Inc. ASR5805/512 SSD controller and MaxIQ kit, with one SSD

Product:

The Adaptec kit consisted of an 8x PCIe controller and the MaxIQ a single SSD, an Intel SSDSA2SH064G1GC SLC 2.5-inch 3Gbps SATA drive. The MaxIQ kit is available separately from the controller, and will work with many recent Adaptec controllers.

You can use up to four SSDs per controller to add capacity for writes, extending the envelope before the "write cliff" takes effect. SSDs can be removed or replaced at any time without affecting data on the hard drives, since all data is permanently stored on the hard disk drive or arrays. One caveat – the other PCIe cards we received were 4x, while the Adaptec is an 8x card, which means that some motherboards with only 4x slots will not support the card.

The Adaptec MaxIQ system will accelerate the performance of any direct-attached storage – SCSI, SATA or SAS arrays attached to internal controllers, but not Fibre Channel or iSCSI storage.

It achieved the highest number of IOps in our test, and over 500MBps of throughput, though under extended write-only sessions, performance became erratic after long periods of sustained writes (over 80 minutes of 500+ MBps).

Performance was up to six times better for drives in the server after the MaxIQ system was installed than before, a superb price-performance increase.

In addition, the boot drive for the system was accelerated as well, resulting in faster boot times and faster load times for applications, without the need to move application files to the SSD drives.

Installation was a simple matter of installing the board, connecting the SSD to the controller, powering the server up and installing the Adaptec drivers, with no tuning or moving of files required.

Finding an available power connector for the drive was an issue with the server we tested on – you'll want to make sure that there are extra power connectors for as many SSDs as you want to add.

While this system does limit server storage to internal drives, its ability to increase the performance of existing drives in a system and the relatively low cost of less than $2,000 for a controller and single-drive MaxIQ kit makes this a product anyone with performance bottlenecks should at least try, unless they're already using Fibre Channel or iSCSI storage.

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