Today we have a preview of the LSI SAS 9206-16e. The HBA is similar to the LSI SAS 9202-16e in that it has dual controllers. This time, LSI adorns the single slot HBA with a PCIe 3.0 x8 interface and dual SAS 2308 controllers. LSI has released increasingly more information about this HBA. The last 2 articles in the specifications and also in the power use. I’ve just got some more info in on this beast of a card.
The LSI SAS 9202-16e HBA featured dual LSI SAS2008 controllers and used a 16x PCIe Gen2 interface. It benchmarked at over 5GB/s loaded with SSDs. Very few server boards come equipped with 16x PCIe slots and this controller never really took off. The SAS 9202-16e only recently have they appeared on Ebay as we detailed earlier this year.
The LSI SAS 9206-16e, looks to change the large PCIe slot configuration and uses an x8 PCIe Gen3 interface. This opens up an ocean of server and workstation systems that can suddenly take advantage of the dual SAS 2308 controllers and 16 external SAS ports.
This is a picture of how it may look. I think the 3 heatsinks will merge into one very big on as on the LSI SAS 9202-16e. It does look great with those 3 heastsinks, as far as SAS controllers go of course 🙂 Initial pictures having 3 heatsinks came as a surprise as the the specifications sheet didn’t mention a PCIe switch chip on the LSI SAS9206-16e. Conversely, the spec sheet does for the LSI SAS 9202-16e.
- 16 external 6 Gb/s SAS+SATA ports
- 8 lanes, PCI Express 3.0
- Low profile form factor design
- Four x4 external – mini-SAS HD connectors (SFF8644)
- Two LSISAS2308 6Gb/s SAS+SATA Controllers
- Supports up to 1024 SAS or SATA end devices
- Supports SSDs, HDDs and tape drives
- Maximum connectivity and performance in a low profile form factor
- 8 lanes of PCI Express 3.0 provides faster signaling for high-bandwidth applications
- High performance with 6Gb/s data transfer rates
This could very well become the new king of speed for HBA controllers. Having but 8x PCIe lanes, but being Gen3 vs Gen2 as on the LSI SAS 9202-16e is certainly an advantage. Likewise having dual SAS 2308 controllers vs the slower SAS 2008 controllers will help with performance. We already have seen single LSI SAS 2308 cards push over 4.1GB/s. Well done LSI, a super fast HBA and in a format that nearly all servers and workstations can use. We can’t wait to take this for a proper spin in our lab.
Interesting tidbit: They are listing both SAS and PCIe speeds at Half-Duplex, when both of these technologies are full-duplex. (It’s one of the main reasons you should never use SATA drives in a multi-tenant environment, SATA is half duplex, SAS is full duplex.)
I wonder if this is more of the industry trying to pump up the numbers, or if perhaps I’ve always read this incorrectly. I always ready 8000MB/s Full-duplex as meaning 8000MB/s each direction simultaneously. Nowadays, most companies will instead say 16000MB/s full-duplex, or 8000MB/s half-duplex (as LSI did.) I wonder what caused that shift in terminology?
This thing looks like a beefcake. Do want.
So are these available anywhere for a reasonable price? There is a retailer that sells it in Norway, but at 8000 NOK (about $1500).