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Help Me Choose: RAID Controller

The Dell PowerEdge RAID Controller (PERC) series-9 and series-10 family of enterprise-class controllers are designed for enhanced performance, increased reliability, fault tolerance, and simplified management of your RAID array drives.

Help Me Choose: RAID Controller

When choosing a RAID controller, consider both your business’s storage and performance demands and your budget:

Usage We Recommend
Configuring external storage enclosures with high-performance SAS hard drives and application-accelerating solid-state drives H840
Implementing hybrid server platforms based on solid-state storage for unsurpassed performance and enterprise-class reliability H740P
Small- to Medium-business owner looking for file, web, and email servers at affordable prices and low-power consumption PERC H330

When choosing a RAID controller, there are a few critical hardware features that affect performance to keep in mind:

Controller Cache – There are two types of cache on our high performance controllers – Write Cache & Read Cache.
  • Write Cache can be configured in “Write Back” or “Write Through” modes. Write Back is the default setting and is specifically used for Hard Disk drive configurations. Write Back enables write I/O to complete more quickly providing better overall disk performance. With “Write Through” mode, the architectures of our low latency, high performance flash based SAS/SATA Solid State Disks are optimized for best performance.
  • Read Cache can be configured to “Read Ahead” and “No Read Ahead”. HDDs are the main benefactor of Read Ahead and provides slightly better read performance.
FastPath™ feature enables the use of the second core on our RAID-On-Chip (ROC) Processor to accelerate write-through I/O, which enhances SSD performance

H330:
  • Entry-level RAID controller
  • PCI-Express Gen3.0 support and 12 Gb/s SAS (SAS 3.0) host interface
  • No Controller Cache
  • Supports “Pass-Thru” (JBOD Mode)
  • Connects to SATA and SAS drives
  • RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 10 and 50
Ideal for file, web, and email servers, the PERC H330 delivers trusted Dell PERC reliability with minimal maintenance effort. Our entry-level controller card provides moderate RAID performance as well as “No RAID” performance and uncomplicated configuration options at the lowest price point. In addition, these cards connect to SATA and SAS hard disk drives and solid-state drives, allowing for tiered storage that optimizes cost and performance.

Note: For RAID5 or RAID50 it is essential for performance workloads to have controller cache present. Controllers with write cache are able to buffer large amounts of write I/O prior to calculating parity and writing data to disk at a later time. Controllers without cache such as the H310 and H330 must “Write Through” I/O directly to disk which hampers and slows overall I/O performance dramatically. While RAID5/50 is supported, the performance with RAID5/6/50/60 is lower and similar to software RAID performance. For good to best performance with RAID5/6/50/60, Dell strongly recommends a RAID controller with controller cache such as the H730P, H740P or the H840.

H730P:
  • Value-Performance RAID controller
  • PCI-Express Gen3.0 support & 12 Gb/s SAS (SAS 3.0) host interface
  • 2GB, 72-bit, 1866Mhz, Non-Volatile cache
  • RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50 and 60
  • Also Supports Non-RAID or “Pass-Thru” mode
  • Dual-core PowerPC CPU
  • Increases IOPS performance with Solid State Drives (SSDs) utilizing FastPath™
  • Supports Self-Encrypting Drives (SED)
The PERC H730P is built on the LSISA3108 dual-core PowerPC RAID-on-Chip (ROC). It offers unmatched I/O performance for database applications and streaming digital media environments. The H730P, with eight internal ports, delivers two PowerPC processor cores and a 72-bit DDR3 interface that drives 2GB non-volatile cache memory. You can deploy the PERC H730P in hard-drive-based server environments as well as Solid State Drive (SSD) environments for solid performance gains. If you are implementing hybrid server platforms based on solid-state storage, this PERC exploits the potential of solid-state drives (SSDs) for unsurpassed performance and enterprise-class reliability.

*Supports Non-RAID or “Pass-Thru” mode as well.

H740P:
  • Performance RAID controller
  • PCI-Express Gen3.1 complaint. Supports 12 Gb/s SAS (SAS 3.0) host interface
  • 8GB, 72-bit, DDR4-2133 DRAM interface
  • RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50 and 60
  • Dual-core ARM A15 CPU
  • Increases IOPS performance with Solid State Drives (SSDs) utilizig FastPath™
  • Supports Self-Encrypting Drives (SED)
The PERC H740P is built on Broadcom’s 3508 Dual Core ARM A15 Processor – RAID-On-Chip (ROC) and provides maximum IOPs capabilities >1,000,000 IOPs! The H740P comes with 8GB of Non-Volatile cache with increased bandwidth and speed, and provides significant generational RAID performance improvements with Solid State Drives (SSDs).

H840:
  • Performance RAID controller
  • PCI-Express Gen3.1 complaint. Supports 12 Gb/s SAS (SAS 3.0) host interface
  • H840 for external RAID (JBOD connectivity)
  • 8GB, 72-bit, DDR4-2133 DRAM interface
  • RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50 and 60
  • Dual-core ARM A15 CPU
  • Increases IOPS performance with Solid State Drives (SSDs) utilizing FastPath™
  • Supports Self-Encrypting Drives (SED)
  • Connects up to 255 drives to one PERC H840
The PERC H840 is nearly identical in features to the H740P, with one major difference: the H740P is for your server’s internal drives — up to 32 of them (maximum # of disks in server)— while the H840 connects to external JBOD storage, running up to 240 drives (see your external storage enclosure manual for best configuration options). This controller is ideal for configuring external storage enclosures with high-performance SAS hard drives and application-accelerating solid-state drives. You can deploy the PERC H840 in existing hard-drive-based server environments for significant performance gains. Or, if you’re implementing hybrid server platforms based on solid-state storage, the PERC H840 exploits the potential of SSDs for unsurpassed performance and enterprise-class reliability.

Dell PERC & Storage Controller Products:

Model Interface Support PCI Support SAS Connectors Cache Memory Size Write Back Cache RAID Levels Max Drive Support RAID Support
PERC H840 Adapter 12Gb/s SAS
6Gb/s SATA
PCI-Express 3.1 2x4 External 8GB NV Flash Backed Cache 0,1,5,6,10,50,60 255 Hardware RAID
PERC H740P Adapter 12Gb/s SAS
6Gb/s SATA
PCI-Express 3.1 2x4 Internal 8GB NV Flash Backed Cache 0,1,5,6,10,50,60 32 Hardware RAID
PERC H740P Mini Mono 12Gb/s SAS
6Gb/s SATA
PCI-Express 3.1 2x4 Internal 8GB NV Flash Backed Cache 0,1,5,6,10,50,60 32 Hardware RAID
PERC H730P Adapter 12Gb/s SAS
6Gb/s SATA
PCI-Express 3.0 2x4 Internal 2GB NV Flash Backed Cache 0,1,5,6,10,50,60 32 Hardware RAID
PERC H730P Mini Mono 12Gb/s SAS
6Gb/s SATA
PCI-Express 3.0 2x4 Internal 2GB NV Flash Backed Cache 0,1,5,6,10,50,60 32 Hardware RAID
PERC H730P Mini Blade PCI-Express 3.0 2x4 Internal 2GB NV Flash Backed Cache 0,1,5,6,10,50,60 32 Hardware RAID
PERC H330 Adapter 12Gb/s SAS
6Gb/s SATA
PCI-Express 3.0 2x4 Internal No Cache No Cache 0,1,5,10,50 16 RAID, 32 Non-RAID Hardware RAID
PERC H330 Mini Mono 12Gb/s SAS
6Gb/s SATA
PCI-Express 3.0 2x4 Internal No Cache No Cache 0,1,5,10,50 16 RAID, 32 Non-RAID Hardware RAID
PERC H330 Mini Blade 12Gb/s SAS
6Gb/s SATA
PCI-Express 3.0 2x4 Internal No Cache No Cache 0,1,5,10,50 8 Hardware RAID
S140 Software RAID 6Gb/s SATA/NVMe N/A N/A No Cache No Cache 0,1,5,10 8 Software RAID - Windows Only
HBA - External 12Gbps SAS Ext.HBA 12Gb/s SAS PCI-Express 3.0 2x4 External No Cache No Cache No RAID Pass-Thru Only 240 No RAID SAS HBA
HBA - Internal HBA330 Mini Mono & Adapter 12Gb/s SAS 6Gb/s SATA PCI-Express 3.0 2x4 Internal No Cache No Cache No RAID Pass-Thru Only 32 No RAID SAS HBA
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