I currently have four identically sized HDDs in RAID-10 on an Adaptec 8805. Unfortunately this controller can't do read/write caching of the array's blocks on SSDs attached to the RAID controller.
I now have several SSDs (two right now, possibly expanding to four later) and would like to utilize them in this fashion without incurring the CPU overhead of doing it in software. I would use ZFS ZIL/L2ARC if my operating system were Linux/BSD/Solaris, but I'm running Windows, so that's out of the running.
This is for a gaming workstation, not a dedicated server.
I am looking for a RAID card that meets the following criteria:
- Can do RAID-10.
- Can do read/write cache on multiple SSDs. The caching stuff should be handled on the RAID processor so that the CPU is not impacted by the calculations required for managing the cache.
- Supports at least eight attached devices without needing a daughter board (can be "external" via breakout cables or individual ports attached to the card itself). If the ports are SAS, I can get the SAS to SATA cables, no worries.
- Supports booting via UEFI firmware with the BIOS Compatibility Support Module disabled.
- Drives that use "Advanced Format" 4K native sectors are supported in 4K native mode (NOT 512e).
- Supports a non-volatile cache or battery backup module.
- Desirable, but not essential: Boots up in an above-average time for a RAID card. Faster is better.
- Connects to the system by PCI Express. The slot width and revision are not important for me, since I am planning to put it into a PCIe 3.0 x16 slot (with all 16 lanes enabled), so I have more than enough lanes to throw at it.
Given all these requirements, I'd like to go for minimum cost, while buying the card "new".
What options are available to me?