Best RAID Controllers for Gaming 2021

High Point SSD7101A-1 NVMe RAID Controller

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High Point SSD7101A-1 NVMe RAID Controller
  • Dedicated PCIe 3.0 x16 bus bandwidth
  • Dedicated PCIe 3.0 x4 bandwidth for Each NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Over 8x faster than NVMe storage locked behind Intel DMI 3.0

This is a RAID controller card specifically designed for NVMe RAID configurations. It comes with four M.2 slots which can work in PCIe 3.0 x4 mode, so its size and number of storage devices is quite limited. But if you need a fast RAID controller that supports maximum NVMe speeds, this is the one for you. The card can run on Windows 10, Windows Server (2012 or later), Linux (kernel 3.3 or later), and MacOS 10.13 or later. It supports RAID 0, 1 and 10 and can also support single disks and JBOD configuration (just a group of disks). The maximum speed is 8 Gbps per lane.

Coalescing SATA SSDs into RAID always provided a sequential boost in performance that improved application performance, but NVMe ushered in a new era where processor and software became the bottleneck again. If you are an enthusiast and your only motivation is performance, this is just an expensive option that can leave you unsatisfied.

This means that the bar is very high to take advantage of the performance of SSD7101. If you can figure out where this bar is, we would love to know. It would be great to create a new test that benefits from four of the fastest consumer SSDs ever released. In a way, that sums up the HighPoint SSD7101 series. It’s packed with so much sequential performance that we don’t even know what to do with it.

StarTech.com 4 Port PCI Express 2.0 SATA III 6Gbps RAID Controller Card

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StarTech.com 4 Port PCI Express 2.0 SATA III 6Gbps...
  • Add 4 Internal SATA III (6Gbps) Ports to a computer through a PCI Express x2 slot
  • PCI Express 20 SATA Controller with HyperDuo SSD Tiering
  • 4 Port PCI Express SATA III 6Gb

The StarTech.com 4 Port PCIe RAID Controller Card is based on StarTech’s chipset which takes all standard SATA functionality and adds some bonuses. You can select up to four SATA ports in total, with different combinations allowing external ports. Some configurations also offer an mSata port, a common connector used for small SSDs. It supports RAID 1, 0 and 1 + 0. There is another supported disk striping technology called HyperDuo which is used to combine different disks into a single volume.

This card is basically an additional SATA card that adds four SATAIII ports to your PC, but it can also be used as a RAID controller for modest RAID configurations (up to 4 drives). Since it’s quite affordable and supports HyperDuo SSD tiering allowing an SSD to host the most frequently accessed data, it’s a great choice for relatively simple home server setups. The card uses a PCIe 2.0 x2 interface, which means it can be installed in a PCIe x4, x8, or x16 slot, depending on your motherboard and the PCIe slots it has. The card supports JBOD, RAID 0, 1, and 10. Supported operating systems include Windows XP through Windows 10, Windows Server (2003 through 2016), macOS (10.6 through 10.14), and Linux (3.5.x to 4.11.x LTS versions only). The maximum speed is 5 Gbps per lane.

HyperDuo is a unique feature similar to RAID, with a few small changes. RAID can only combine identical drives into one volume. HyperDuo allows you to combine drives of any size. Ideally, you can take the huge storage space of a hard drive and combine it with the dynamic performance of an SSD. HyperDuo will automatically find the most commonly used files and place them on the SSD, thus improving the overall system performance. Unfortunately, HyperDuo is not yet supported on Windows 10, so this feature is only available to Windows 7 and 8 users.

IOCrest SI-PEX40064 4 Port SATA III PCIe 2.0 X 1 Controller Card Components

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I/O Crest 4 Port SATA III PCI-e 2.0 x1 Controller...
  • We recommend a fresh Windows install with this card
  • Drivers are required for this card to function.
  • Chipset: Marvell 88SE9215

The Crest SATA III IO controller card is highly configurable. It is based on a common controller, the Marvell 88SE9235 and supports the latest version of SATA standards: 3.0. Like most SATA controllers, it is also backward compatible with older SATA devices. In addition, it can be purchased with two to eight SATA ports. One configuration even gives you four external ports on the back of the card and four more internal ports. The card connects to a PCIe x2 port, but like any PCIe card will work in an x4, x8, or x16 slot.

The performance of this card is high enough that you can use any single drive available on the market without any reduction in its maximum potential speed. Since the latest SATA standards are supported, the drives will perform as intended. On average, the two PCIe lanes used by this card can handle approximately 600MB / s of cumulative transfer speed. This bandwidth is shared among all active SATA ports. If you access a single SSD or up to four hard drives at the same time, you won’t notice any performance degradation.

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