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LSI 9300-4i4e SAS PCIe 12Gb/s HBA Card Review

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LSI SAS 9300-4i4e Closer Look

The LSI 9300-4i4e 12GB/s SAS HBA card, SKU LSI00349, is high-performance PCI-Express to Serial Attached SCSI adapter card that provides eight lanes of 12Gb/s SAS connectivity. Available online for $395 (Amazon Newegg), the The LSI 9300-4i4e supports all major Operating Systems: Windows 7/8, Red Hat Linux, SUSE Linux, Oracle Solaris 10, and VMware.

LSI-SAS-9300-4i4e-PCIe-SAS-HBA-Card

Occupying a single-slot PCI Express slot with its low-profile design, the LSI 9300-4i4e PCI-Express SAS 12Gb/s Host Bus Adapter measure 6.0-inches long and 2.7-inches wide. Both versions of the LSI 9300-4i4e kit (LSI00348 and LSI00349) come with full-length (shown above) and low-profile brackets, which enable the LSI 12GB/s SAS HBA card to fit 1U and 2U server/workstation units.

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A low-profile aluminum heatsink conceals the LSI SAS3008 / Fusion MPT 2.5 controller positioned below it. Under normal operation the LSI 9300-4i4e generates only a small amount of heat, which is easily dissipated by the heatsink. No additional cooling or active cooling fans are necessary. Normally the LSI 9300 draws approximately 14.25 Watts of power from the PCIe bus, which is capable of 12.0 Volts at 1.97 Amps. At maximum power consumption, the HBA could draw as much as 26 Watts.

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An external SFF-8664 mini-SAS HD connection port is located at the head of the LSI 12GB/s SAS HBA card, which supports cables using passive copper with active optical construction. Up to four external 12Gb/s SATA+SAS devices share dedicated lanes for either narrow- or wide-port configuration. In narrow-port using only one data lane, half-duplex bandwidth is limited to 1200 MB/s while full-duplex bandwidth can reach 2400 MB/s. Using all four lanes in wide-port, half-duplex bandwidth reaches 4800 MB/s while full-duplex bandwidth climbs to 9600 MB/s.

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At the tail-end of the LSI 12GB/s SAS HBA card is an internal SFF-8643 mini-SAS HD connector port, which also supports another four dedicated 12Gb/s SATA+SAS device lanes for either narrow- or wide-port configuration just like the external SFF-8664 mini-SAS HD port. Up to four more devices can utilize full- or half-duplex bandwidth in either wide- or narrow-port configuration. All connections support 3, 6, and 12Gb/s SAS link rates, and 3 or 6Gb/s SATA link rates.

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The LSI 9300-4i4e SAS HBA card features an Everspin MR256D08B 256Kb magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM) and Intel 64MB DRAM module (064M29EWL), which is used to store the BIOS firmware. BIOS data is automatically protected on power loss by low-voltage inhibit circuitry to prevent writes with voltage out of specification, so faulty firmware updates are thereby reduced.

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LSI offers free firmware updates directly from their website (www.lsi.com/products/storagecomponents/Pages/LSISAS9300-4i4e.aspx), as well as free technical assistance.  The LSI 9300-4i4e SAS PCI-Express 12Gb/s Host Bus Adapter receives three years of warranty support.


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Comments

comments

3 comments

  1. Mack

    Please add benchmarks.
    Giving a product a “free pass” just because it has numerous options for expandability is not a reasonable option.
    Its far better to simply state the limitations of the benchmark you opt for at the time of benchmarking.
    For example, if the default card setup is for 8 drives, then that would be a very reasonable starting point.
    And simply state, “This card is capable of X, but we can only do Y”

    There is no shame in that.

    But, bypassing the whole benchmark process is not fair to the product or your readers.

    1. Olin Coles

      The problem becomes logistics: which eight drives do we use for testing, and will those drive match what consumers with this HBA would be using?

  2. Mack

    Well, it would be best if they all matched, and probably best if they were all enterprise, but failing that, you could do groups of 4. Chances are you have 4 matching drives. (Would be surprised if not).

    The choice to actually “review” an item certainly depends on the ability to provide reasonable benchmarking.
    (Or come close with stated limitations).

    Professionalism aside, I would just love to see 4 drives running on that bad boy! You can always update a benchmark. Its certainly been done in the past when new data or equipment arrives that fills a needed gap.

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