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HighPoint card enables DIY hybrid drives

HighPoint card enables DIY hybrid drives

HighPoint's RocketHybrid cards enable the creation of DIY hybrid storage devices.

Storage controller specialist HighPoint has announced a new host bus adapter card, which promises to turn any normal hard drive and SSD into a hybrid storage device.

The HighPoint RocketHybrid card combines the company's 88SE9130 SATA 6Gbps controller with a technology the company calls HyperDuo, designed to create hybrid storage devices that combines the best of both worlds.

When a hard drive is combined with an SSD on a RocketHybrid card, the company claims that users can access 100 per cent of the hard drive's storage capacity, while benefiting from 80 per cent of the speed boost offered by the SSD.

The 'hybrid drive' approach is nothing new in the industry, with storage specialist Seagate pushing its own brand of SSD-equipped mechanical hard drives in favour of pure SSDs. However, HighPoint's approach means that any two devices can be linked to create a custom hybrid drive tailored to your own needs.

HighPoint has confirmed that two devices, the RocketHybrid 1220 and RocketPoint 1222, will be available when the range launches later this month. Both offer support for one SSD and one mechanical drive on a single PCI-E 2.0 low-profile add-in card. Pricing and initial performance figures are not yet available, however.

Do you think HighPoint's approach might be the best way to boost your system's performance, or would you rather have two separate drives? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

19 Comments

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liratheal 1st February 2011, 12:33 Quote
Unless it's drastically cheaper than, say, an actual hybrid drive or an SSD + HDD... What's the point?
MajorTom 1st February 2011, 12:51 Quote
@ liratheal unlikely to be cheaper than an SSD + HDD as you need both of them plus the controller card.
Its price/performance will determine its worth.
Mraedis 1st February 2011, 12:52 Quote
@ liratheal Where you already have the SSD or HDD and want to combine it with a new HDD or SSD respecitvely.
countstex 1st February 2011, 12:54 Quote
I guess it allows you the option to later upgrade the HDD to a larger one, without having to re-invest in another SSD.. or indeed when the SSD 'wears' out you only replace the SSD part. Initially more expensive but perhaps long term benefits?
SpAceman 1st February 2011, 12:55 Quote
Silverstone have had something like this for a while now. Nothing new.
bigkingfun 1st February 2011, 13:01 Quote
This is not new?
The SSD is used as cache for the mechanical drive. Adaptech have had their maxCache products out for some time now and google will say that Raidon launched a similar product in february 2010.
In the raid solutions, you have ZFS that will do this with L2ARC (or Adaptec MaxIQ). A solution used by I.E. insulin maker Novo Nordisk in their protein database.

So why is this news?
Matticus 1st February 2011, 13:23 Quote
Just because the idea is older doesn't mean its not news. It is a new product, which is likely to be quite affordable and from a brand that many have come to know. It even states in the article that the idea is not new.

Wars have been happening since the start of civilisation, doesn't mean a new, more exciting war isn't news :D

I am personally worried about the "cache" part, is it a volatile cache or is it stored on the ssd as you would any normal data. If it is volatile then I would sure hate to lose several GB due to a power cut.
Tattysnuc 1st February 2011, 13:44 Quote
might be a good way of re-using your outdated GEN 1 SSD's that, I for one, paid ~£2 per gigabyte for when I upgrade my primary raid array. Depends on the price point of the card when it comes to market.
Instagib 1st February 2011, 13:58 Quote
I think this is actually a pretty good idea. Get a fast 40Gb ssd and team it with a 2tb 5400rpm mechanical eco drive and you'll be laughing.
Good SSD like performance with the capacity of a mechanical.
Or am i missing something?
eddtox 1st February 2011, 14:00 Quote
This is very interesting :)
Hakuren 1st February 2011, 15:02 Quote
For many people familiar with advanced RAID cards this is nothing new. Just like pointed out above - Adaptec MaxIQ solution. Actually quite good, as long as you pick your own disks, not the ones with Adaptec sticker (bloody insane premium $$$ for absolutely nothing extra LOL).
specofdust 1st February 2011, 15:50 Quote
Got to agree, this doesn't seem like anything too new. People have been sticking large amounts of RAM in their RAID cards for years, to similar effect.

Also, as a long time highpoint RAID card user: they're crap.
HourBeforeDawn 1st February 2011, 16:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpAceman
Silverstone have had something like this for a while now. Nothing new.

yup yup and theres worked fairly well too.
Bloody_Pete 1st February 2011, 18:18 Quote
Will this be tested as I'd like to see the results...
penryn 2 hertz 1st February 2011, 19:29 Quote
hmm a nice (((crucial real ssd c300 64gb + western digital velociraptor 600gb))) for os mmm sheer wickedness MONSTER ...
B1GBUD 1st February 2011, 19:36 Quote
Madness.... multiple points of failure, just like my striped 74GB Raptors that are slowly but surely failing....
The_Beast 1st February 2011, 19:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by B1GBUD
Madness.... multiple points of failure, just like my striped 74GB Raptors that are slowly but surely failing....

Same thought here, twice as many places to fail for a single drive
GW42 1st February 2011, 20:45 Quote
ok - from a bit of googling the MaxCache and MaxIQ seem silly expensive hardware raid solutions costing the £000's that proper hardware raid cards usually do. Presumably there are intelligent algorithms at work there, or at least there should be.

The silverstone thing on the other hand seems truly pointless to me - it just mirrors as much as it can from the HDD to the SSD but apparently without any clever software at work - the first 32 or 64 GB written to the HDD is written to the SSD, however big the SSD happens to be. It won't then check to see how often you actually use that data as against other date on the HDD

But if this thing has intelligent software that caches properly (e.g. like the seagate momentus, but you get to choose the size of the cache) but yet only costs £30 - I'd be interested. That would let me buy a 60-80gb drive, and hopefully it would just learn fairly quickly what game on steam I was playing at the moment and quietly shift that across to the SSD for me.
Tulatin 2nd February 2011, 03:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by penryn 2 hertz
hmm a nice (((crucial real ssd c300 64gb + western digital velociraptor 600gb))) for os mmm sheer wickedness MONSTER ...

You'd be better off using the SSD as a boot drive and the raptor as a paperweight. Or trade it to some impressionable / stupid kid for a 2TB 5900RPM drive for all your games / data.
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