Adaptec ASR-8405 12Gbps SAS controller cards available for $35 as of 04-29-21 E-Bay.

For those that are using an older SAS/RAID controllers such as the PERC series and looking for a cheap upgrade path, there are adaptec ASR-8405 12Gbps drive controllers currently going for $35 on Ebay. The controller does work with individual, RAID or drive array setups and also backwards compatible with SATA HDD and SSDs at 6Gbps and can handle SAS HDD and SSDs up to 12Gbps. If you're using a Dell T7600  you will need to get a Dell Precision T7910 wiring harness kit (recommended) and swap pins 9 and 12 on both 24 pin power connectors if you want to use this card with that kind of rig.  Those using a Precision T3500, T5500, or T7500 (for example) just need to get a SFF-8643 to SFF-8482 (4 way) replacement cable. I've personally been using the card for months with no issues and with different drive types. 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/193261494394?epid=26010485572&hash=item2cff48607a:g:dooAAOSwtNFdVIX8

For those curious my current setup using  this controller includes:

Dell Precision T7600 with modded Dell Precision T7910 drive harness

[storage drive] HGST UltraStar SAS 8TB 7200RPM SAS-HDD 12Gbps Model HUH728080AL5200
[boot drive] Toshiba 200GB  2.5" SAS-SSD 12Gbps SAS-SSD Model PX02SMF020

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  • Very neat.  Post some benchmarks when you get some time.

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    • Jbigticket23 For now, I do have a Linux diskmark for the Toshiba PX025MF020 taken yesterday. I'll try and get both Windows and Linux benchmarks of both drives over the weekend.

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    • Jbigticket23 Here are the benchmarks for the drives on the ASR-8405 controller. The first set of images (Windows 10 PE - CrystalDiskMark) is the HGST UltraStar SAS 8TB SAS-HDD (HUH728080AL5200) while the second is the Toshiba 200GB SAS-SSD (PX02SMF020).

      Below these numbers are the Linux (Manjaro Linux KDE - KDiskMark) numbers for the same drives.  I ran the 4K tests on the HGST multiple times and couldn't get them to run, so they're zero'ed out for now.

      Overall, I only ran these benchmarks once so the actual data is kinda speculative for both systems.

      Let me know if you need any more info.

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  • Forgot to mention to everyone that this controller does run hot so give it plenty of ventilation (I used a dell CPU fan pressed between the upper housing and the RAM cooling shield mounted in the upper PCIe slots). 
    If you're willing to spend an extra $25 (A bit pricey IMHO for what it is). Mouser.com have the offical adaptec fan kits for this controller here.

    https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/494-2284300-R

    The card do work out of the box with current versions of Windows and current Linux distros, but drivers for older versions of both can be found here. Monitoring software for the controller card for Windows and Linux can also be found there.

    https://storage.microsemi.com/en-us/support/raid/sas_raid/asr-8405/

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  • stormson weathers are the results in JBOD or did you configured the drives in a raid configuration?

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    • Jbigticket23 Neither actually. They were running individually as mentioned. At the moment, I don't have enough drives to do a RAID/RAIDZ benchmark on my desktop, but i do have four of the 8TB drives in an array in my homelab (the homelab is using  a Dell PERC H330). Were you interested in the benchmark info on the drives themselves or the performance of the ASR controller?

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    • Jbigticket23 Oh, forgot to add that the drives were tested in in HBA mode (the ASR controller allows for both RAID/HBA modes)

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    • stormson weathers Thanks for the info.  It's all good.  Those speeds are respectable for individual drives.

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    • Jbigticket23 Hey! If you're still interested about the HGST drives in a RAID config, here are the benchmarks for 4 8TB HGST SAS drives in a RAIDZ2 (RAID10) config.

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    • stormson weathers This was from my homelab running on OpenSUSE Linux and ZFS.

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    • stormson weathers impressive read speeds.  

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  • I got an IBM MR 5015 and 2 sas backplane cables for 50 cad shipped from China. It's basically a LSI 9260-8i and it is recognized as such in windows 10. The card bios is from 2011 but there is a newer firmware available from 2013. I did a RAID5 partition with 3 x 2 TB drives, the stripe size block is 1 MB, always write back option and it writes at about 170 MB/s, I wrote 1.8 TB constantly at that speed. RAID6 is available too.

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    • marstg when I originally did those tests I did not have write back enabled. And since then I've upgraded my personal drives to SSD but still using the same controller but I haven't ran any benchmarks on again. Would it be any trouble for you to post your Crystal disk results?

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  • you're in luck: I have hd tune tests! 

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    • marstg Those are impressive! I never had any issues with LSI cards in the past (aside that their 12gb cards are quite expensive). I might try and do another test myself when I'm not 2000 miles from my home. I have a 100gb 12Gbps cache drive that I didn't have time to install and may improve the numbers. 

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  • My understanding is that in write_back mode the controller writes the data in the cache first then transfers it to the drives, which puts you at risk of not having a BBU, corrupting your data in case of a power loss. Without write_back was annoyingly slow, like 40 MB/s, I told myself modern storage technology can't be that slow. This is just my home media server. Now it's a mix of WD Black 2T, Toshiba DT01ACA 2T, WD Ultrastar 4T and an Ironwolf 4T as online spare, but I plan on transitioning all to Seagate Ironwolf 4T.

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  • stormson weathers  I have a t7600 and it appears the onboard sas controller has died. So I like your advice about a new card but im new to sas controllers why would i need to repin the power connectors and get a different harness if i got that ASR-8405 card?

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