The closer the winter, the bigger gets the presence of the SerialATA interface in the market. I get the impression that almost any mainboard comes out equipped with a SATA-RAID controller, which is integrated into the chipset South Bridge in more than half of all cases. However, the hard disk drives supporting SATA interface are still less widely spread than those with the traditional ATA one. This way, I dare suppose that most users still prefer regular hard disk drives to the new SATA ones. In other words, it doesn’t yet make much sense to the users to shift to SATA interface, especially taking into account the price they will have to pay in this case.
However, there is a certain field where SATA hard disk drives are highly demanded: I am talking about the Low-End servers and high-performance workstations. They do not require super-high performance of the SCSI systems, and care more about the low cost.
Therefore, we are going to start a series of reviews devoted to multi-channel (that is 4 and up) SerialATA RAID controllers. The first one to open this series will be a four-channel Intel SRCS14L SATA RAID controller.
In our previous review of the dual-channel SATA RAID controllers we used Seagate Barracuda SATA V HDDs. We decided on these particular drives for the following reasons. Firstly, we didn’t have any other SATA HDDs at our disposal at that time. And secondly, I believe that most users prefer to read about widely spread controllers tested with widely spread hard drives. In other words, we believe that is makes much more sense to test dual-channel controllers with hard drives boasting 7,200rpm spindle rotation speed. And as for more serious controllers (with 4 channels and more), we will test them with two WD Raptor drives, especially since we have enough of them now :)
By the way, since we came to speak about dual-channel controllers. As we have promised the controllers have already been retested with the new driver versions and the results will be up on our site very soon. So, stay tuned!
Intel SRCS14L: Closer Look
TO tell the truth, I haven’t expected an Intel controller to be the first four-channel SATA RAID controller to be tested in our lab. But, since it was the first one we managed to get hold of, we think we have every right to state that Intel is very serious about the promotion of SerialATA interface :)
The SRCS14L controller is shipped in a nice box:
Besides the controller card, the package also includes a CD with the drivers, a bracket for the use of this controller card in low-profile PC cases and a user’s manual.