Hello fellow OCAU'ers. I recently picked up the Highpoint RocketRAID 3520-LF and thought I'd share my experiences in terms of setting up, installation and speed comparisons with an onboard RAID and a single drive. The Highpoint RocketRAID features an Intel 81341 800MHz and a dedicated 256MB of DDR2 RAM which helps with parity calculations. There are two Mini-SAS connectors placed on the rear of the card, each Mini-SAS connector expands to 4 SATAII ports which allows connection to the (8) SATAII HDD's. When building the RAID5 array, it took around 4 hours to complete using 3x1.5TB drives. However, setting up the array was a very easy task, and most computer users should pick it up straight away. The array was usable during this time, but not very comfortable. My main goal with setting this array up was that it was quick enough to maintain a maximum speed when used over the gigabit network. ~~~ First up, the server configuration and some background information ~~~ Windows Server 2003 Enterprise SP2 Asus P5K-R Intel Q6600 @ stock 4GB PC-6400 @ 667MHz ThermalTake 550W PSU First Array - RAID0 /w 4x Seagate 500GB HDD's using the onboard ICH9R Second Array - RAID5 /w 3x Seagate 1.5TB HDD's using the Highpoint RocketRAID 3520-LF The original RAID0 has been used for almost 9 months now, and it's full. I found myself constantly deleting data to make room for new data. Of course, given the dangerous characteristics of RAID0, I didn't always feel safe about my data security. Now that I have the RAID5, I feel a bit more secure in terms of the protection against data loss. Of course, backups were made of the important data to a external eSata 320GB HDD during the use of the RAID0 Array. I will be using both HD Tune & HD Tach (HD Tach will be used with 8MB bench runs) for the HDD benchmarks. If anyone else would like to see benchmarks using other programs, let me know. ~~~ Second up, the benchmarks ~~~ 1x Western Digital 500GB (WD5000AAKS) (Drive usage: 87%) (thanks goes to UkleleGod for supplying the single drive stats): ~~~ HD TUNE ~~~ ~~~ HD TACH ~~~ 4x Seagate 500GB (ST3500630AS) Array 1 (RAID0) (Drive usage: 99% full): ~~ HD TUNE ~~ ~~ HD TACH ~~ 3x Seagate 1.5TB (ST31500341AS) Array 2 (RAID5) (Drive usage: 67% full): ~~ HD TUNE ~~ ~~ HD TACH ~~ ~~~ Last, but not least ~~~ After using the Highpoint RocketRAID 3520-LF for a few days now, I noticed that the heatsink of the card can become quite hot even with an ambient temperature of ~19c: When testing for the temperature, I found the hottest spot on the heatsink. This image was taken after the computer had been powered down for approximately 5 mins I added a 40x25mm fan to the RAID controller card to improve the temperature. This picture was taken around 30 minutes after boot up and has had some use (thanks goes to UkuleleGod for supplying the fan ) As you can see, even a drop of 10c is a good sign of improving the longevity of the controller card. ~~~ Conclusion ~~~ While only having the 3520-LF for a short amount of time, I can already see speed increases over my existing RAID0. While it may not be a cheap solution, the overall performance from the Intel 81341 800MHz CPU and 256MB of dedicated DDR2 RAM certainly helps with parity calculations and provides a fast and snappy experience. Pros: * Speed & performance * Easy to set up * Online expansion allows you to add more HDD's into the RAID without having to destroy the current RAID * RAID 6 Cons: * Heat, can be fixed with a small 40mm fan however * Price, I picked this up for $840. It can be had for cheaper elsewhere though * Lengthy array build times If anyone is looking for a RAID5/6 card with 8 SATAII ports, I'd recommend the Highpoint RocketRAID 3520-LF if it fits in with their budget. If anyone would like more information, feel free to post in this thread. I hope this small review has been useful for people in the market for a RAID5/6 card.