Best RAID Controllers in 2020



Speedbyte M.2 PCIe Adapter with M2 SSD Fan Cooler Heatsink. M2 NVME (M Key) 2280 2260 2242 2230 to PCIe 3.0 x 4 Adapter Host Controller Expansion Card Low Profile Bracket for Motherboard PCI Express Review:


Completely achieved it's purpose.
I needed to go PCIe slot for my Samsung 970 EVO VNME M.2 drive to save SATA ports. So, I ordered this Speedbyte unit that seemed to have everything:
- large heat sink
- quality capacitor
- gel pad
- little, quiet fan.

The ad copy claims the heat dissipation would reduce temps 10-20 degrees Celsius. So, I put it to a test.
I decided to install it bare first, run a test, and then reinstall it with the heat sink and gel pad.

Monitoring with CPUID's Hardware Monitor, and running CrystalDiskMark 6 for 3 tests at 1GB, these were my temp results:

BARE: Idle: 48c Load: 68c

HEAT SINK: Idle: 37c (-11c). Load: 48c (-20c).

Hard to believe: with the Heat sink, the m.2 card ran the same temp under heavy write load as at idle without the heat sink.
Cooled: 11-20 degrees C. Fully meeting advertised targets!

The Video was helpful, as there were no written instructions.
(I wish the video was a bit slower; but I started and stopped several times.)

I don't know what the 2nd strip of silica gel is intended for. Maybe the manufacturer can answer.

Overall: Quality build. Total success.



10Gtek External Mini SAS SFF-8088 Cable, 2-Meter(6.6ft) Review:


I've been using 10Gtek SFP and DAC for a couple years now. I'm now building a FreeNAS setup at home with enterprise hardware. I picked up a SAS IT mode card that has SFF-8644 connections on it, and my Dell MD1200 has SFF-8088 connectors. Same thing electrically, just different form factor. Plugged in both sides and the drives were detected immediately. Nice easy but positive click to know you have both sides locked in, and a simple pull on the release tab lets it back out. Going to get another one for multi-path I/O.



3P0R3 - RAID Controller PCI-E 2.0 x8 2x mini-SAS PERC H310 6Gbps PowerEdge R820 Review:


This is quite possibly the worlds worst hardware raid controller if you use it as intended due to the fact it has no caching; so write speeds slow to a crawl of about 5-10MBps at most. Keep this in mind if you intend to use it in raid mode that you will get extremely low throughput to your disks.

However, if you intend to use this in IT mode (passthrough), it is an amazing HBA card that supports SMART passthrough of drive information. The flashing procedure to switch it from raid mode to IT mode is well documented and easy to follow, and makes this card the perfect for FREENAS. The price on it is amazing for a PCI2.0 x8 card with high drive count support.



Mailiya M.2 PCIe to PCIe 3.0 x4 Adapter - Support M.2 PCIe 2280, 2260, 2242, 2230 Review:


Excellent compatibility on an ASUS X299 platform - to defeat the bottleneck of the DMI 3.0 chipset (onboard M.2 slots). I paired this with a Samsung 960 Pro - which is recognized in BIOS & Windows 10 without additional drivers or configuration changes ('Very Bootable' and running at full speeds (3.5 GB/s reads & 2.0 GB/s writes). Use Crystal Disk Mark 5.0 to check speed (Not Samsung Magician)

FYI: the new M.2 drives (chewing gum sticks) are PCIe 3.0 X 4 devices with their own controllers built-in to get around the slow speed of the SATA 3 controllers. Naturally, they should be relocated to the PCIe buses (x4, x8, or x16 slots) for maximum speeds. The motherboard M.2 slots are often shared and bottle-necked through the chipset - which is limited further by the DMI transfer protocol. If your CPU is limited to x16 protocols - then remember to set the BIOS to a (x8 by x8) configuration between this card and the dedicated video (i.e. GTX, Quadro). Remember: if you want max performance - then spend the extra $20 for the PCIe adapter/riser cards - because the motherboard components are usually 'Junk'. Hope this helps.



LSI Logic Megaraid Eight-Port 6Gb/s PCI Express 3.0 SATA+SAS RAID Controller LSI00330 Review:


So far, I've been extremely impressed with this product. Access times are fast, and the Windows admin tools are simple for anyone with RAID administration experience (despite a few UI annoyances, and the apparently inability to save local login creds).

There was one issue regarding slot placement for me (ended up having to swap my Graphics Card and this card to get it to be recognized), but as far as I can tell that's due to a bug/issue with my motherboard and not in any way this card's fault.

If you're tired of dodgy SATA cards stressing you out with their unreliability, and want something more independent than software raid run by your OS, this spend the bucks and get this card.

Note that although my card was purchased sealed and new from a vendor here, it did not come with the splitter cables needed. I purchase two of CableCreation Mini SAS 36Pin (SFF-8087) Male to 4x Angle SATA 7Pin female Cable, Mini SAS Host/Controller to 4 SATA Target/Backplane Cable, 1.0M and they've worked great so far.



Rivo 4 Port SATA III PCIe 3.0 X1 Controller Card, PCI Express to SATA 3.0 6G, Marvell 88SE9215, Black Review:


The Rivo 4 Port Sata Controller card is a great device. Mine worked right out of the box, no additional drivers needed. You do get a CD with drivers on it, but Windows 10 detected it and it worked right away. I'm also using this card in an unRaid setup and the connected drives are seen by that OS. Some Pros and Cons:

Pros:
Fast data rates (or at least the expected data rates of the connected drives), no obvious signs of performance loss on connected drives.
Board feels solid and Sata connections are sturdy and attached to PCB well.
Blue LED on board flashes when drive is active, so if you can see the card in your case you can tell which drive is currently active.
Easy install. Slot it into an x1 PCIe slot and connect the drives and you are all set. Device works right away (Windows 10 and unRaid OS tested).

Cons:
This is NOT a PCIe 3.0 card. This is a PCIe 2.0 x1 card. Pulling up the datasheet on the Marvell 88SE9215 confirms that the interface is 2.0. Still plenty of bandwidth for a connected mechanical HDD ... but I would not recommend connecting SSDs to this as it's performance will suffer.
Those blue LED lights are super BRIGHT!!! and they stay on ALL THE TIME. They flash when the connected drive is active on it, but they do not turn off.
Also, it seems that unRaid has an issue with the Marvell controller, but that is a Marvell issue, not Rivo. Research into the buggy behavior with that OS revealed others have issues with Marvell controllers, as well.

Good device, great price, with some issues that were not a deal breaker. An LSI controller card may work better, but you also pay for that performance.



I/O Crest 4 Port SATA III PCI-e 2.0 x1 Controller Card Marvell 9215 Non-Raid with Low Profile Bracket SI-PEX40064 Review:


After reading the specs of this card and talking to tech support at SYBA, here is what I understand.

1. While the SATA ports on the card is capable of SATA III (6 Gb/s or 750 MB/s, where Gb = Gigabit and MB = Megabyte, and 1 Gb = 125 MB), the maximum speed of this card is limited by the 1 lane of PCIe slot, which depends on the version of PCI Express on your motherboard.

2. PCI Express 2.0 supports maximum speed of 4 Gb/s (=500MB/s) for each lane. So the max speed of this card would be 500 MB/s. This is faster than SATA II (375 MB/s) but slower than SATA III (750 MB/s).

3. PCI Express 1.1 supports maximum speed of 2 Gb/s (=250MB/s) for each lane. So the max speed of this card would be 250 MB/s. This is slower than SATA II.

4. The 4 ports on this card share the same PCIe x1 lane. So if all 4 ports are in use, the maximum speed per port is 1/4 of the maximum speed given in (2) or (3).

I have been able to confirm these conclusion by running the following experiment. I am using a Transcend SSD370 512 GB drive, which is advertised to have max read/write speeds of 560/460 MB/s.

To test this SSD's speed, I plug the SSD into an ASUS P8Z77V-LX motherboard, which has both SATA II and SATA III ports.
In the SATA III ports, the max R/W speeds are 504/457 MB/s, as measured by CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1
In the SATA II ports, the max R/W speeds are 275/262 MB/s.

Now, I plugged the SSD into the PEX-40064, and put it into the PCIe x1 slot, which is compatible with PCI Express 2.0. The max R/W speeds are 385/286 MB/s

So, the PEX-40064 is capable of delivering a higher speed than SATA II, but far from SATA III (read on if you have PCI Express 1.1).

I ran the same tests on an older motherboard -- Gigabyte P35-DS4, which has only SATA II ports and supports PCIe Express 1.1
In the SATA II ports, the max R/W speeds are 260/254 MB/s, similar to those in the SATA II ports of the newer ASUS board.
I then plugged the SSD into the PEX-40064, and put it into the PCIe x1 slot of the older P35-DS4 board: The max R/W speeds are 202/168 MB/s
Indeed, the PCI Express 1.1 slots are slower than the PCI Express 2.0 slots and the SATA II ports.

Conclusion: Where does this leave us?
-If you have a motherboard that has SATA II ports (but no SATA III ports), and you have PCI Express 2.0 slots, then you can use the PEX-40064 card to get a faster speed (if your SSD can achieve it) but you will not get close to SATA III speeds (even if the SSD is capable to achieve it).
-If you have a motherboard that has SATA II ports but no SATA III ports, and you have PCI Express 1.1 slots, then you are better off using the SATA II ports than the PEX-40064 card.
-If you are using the older magnetic spin hard drives (HDDs), then this discussion is not relevant. Most of my HDDs rarely achieve sustained R/W speeds above 100 MB/s.

-In my experience, the PEX-40064 card tends to freeze up in the PCIe 1x slot when I transfer large amounts of data (more 10 GB). But if I put the PEX-40064 card into a PCEe x16 slot, I rarely encounter freeze up. I don't know how to explain this, since the card uses only 1 data lane, regardless of how many data lanes are available in the PCIe slot. I ask tech support about this but I did not get an explanation.

Hope all of this is helpful.

AFTER THOUGHT: To get faster than SATA II speeds for motherboards with PCI Express 1.1 slots, here is what I would do. Switch from the PEX-40064 card (which uses 1 PCIe lane) to the PEX-40054 card (which uses 2 PCIe lanes). This turns out to work !! The Transcend SSD370, plugged into a PEX-40054 card in a motherboard supporting PCI Express 1.1, has the following max R/W speeds: 373/285 MB/s. This is almost the same as the PEX-40064 card with PCI Express 2.0. The only downside is that the PEX-40054 works in a PCIe x4, x8, or x16 slot, but not in a PCIe x1 slot.

SECOND AFTER THOUGHT: It is possible to achieve close to SATA III speeds in a motherboard with PCI Express 2.0 slots with more than 2 data lanes (e.g. x4, x8, or x16) with the PEX-40054 card instead of the PEX-40064 card. For the Transcend SSD370, the max R/W speeds are 479/458 MB/s, very close to the speeds of the SATA III port in the new ASUS board.



Dell 512MB PERC H700 Raid Controller Review:


What I've been reading is the PERC 6/i in my Dell R710 is limited 3Gb, while the H700 is a 6Gb. I didn't see a doubling in IOPs, but I did see a 25% increase in speed while doing backups using rsnapshot.

You will need to change out the cables from the SAS backplane to H700. Shutting down the server and all of my VMs took longer than the 15 minutes to swap out the RAID card and cables..

All the talk on Reddit says I would have to import my old RAID config as a foreign config. But, when I booted up the H700 said all my virtual disks were there and continued the boot process. It took no effort on my part, other than watch the boot process.

Once the Ubuntu was running the Dell IDRAC software was complaining my H700 firmware needed an update. A quick trip the the Dell website got me a linux .bin file. I turned down my 6 VMs and other apps and executed the .bin file as root. 10 minutes later the firmware was update.

Fired up the VMs and did a manual backup using rsnapshot. My backup times for 900 GB dropped from 5 hours to around 3 hours.

This was the cheapest way to increase I/O performance in a R710.



I/O CREST 4 Port SATA III PCI-e 2.0 x2 HyperDuo RAID Hard Drive Controller Card Marvell 9230 Chipset Review:


(you may want to purchase your own, possibly long, sata cable to go with this when you order it from amazon despite this being packaged with a sata cable, see below towards the end of my review)

(yet another edit) About a month and two weeks since I updated to version 3.2.0 drivers and no problems at all, PC is booting up smoothly without any " what hard drive should I boot from? " errors.. will update this thread if things change but I think the 3.2.0 drivers solved the problem :)

(hopefully the REAL final edit and review) ... well the PC went right back to the whole annoying " I don't know which drive to boot from so I'm just going to stare at you with my black screen and a flashing dash" mode... easily fixed as mentioned below but annoying... so I used the latest version (version 3.2.0) and despite the manufacturer not specifying which version of Windows it's compatible with on their website, I can confirm that.. for the time being at least.. it's working fine for my Windows 8.1 installation , for about 10 days now no problem... I did have to uninstall the old drivers (as mentioned below make sure you go into "add/remove programs" and look for the asmedia drivers and uninstall from there first, reboot computer, install 3.2.0 drivers, check in device manager under storage controllers to ensure asmedia is showing there, reboot computer) ...

I will admit I was lazy and did not open up the computer and disconnect the CD/DVD writer from the pci-e sata card like I probably should have done (see below for steps involving this) so no idea if that will create problems in the future.. I will update this review accordingly if I have any issues but I'm beginning to suspect you'll have to follow these exact same steps and reinstall the driver every few weeks... annoying but not the end of the world and from the reviews I'm reading online the moment you use a pci-e sata card (as opposed to the "native" sata controllers already built into the motherboard) some computers going to run into problems regardless so maybe it's unavoidable if you're one of the unlucky ones? At the end of the day it's still a cheap way of letting me use my CD/DVD writer and have six hard drives plugged into my motherboard all at the same time so I can live with it.

(hopefully final edit and update)... brought the rating back up from 3 to 5 stars due to it being clear at this point it's just user error that was giving me problems in the first place ... although I REALLY wish they would include all of this in some printed sheet of instructions rather than a generic " We recommend reinstalling Windows when you do this"... sure in theory you could lose ALL your programs and documents, reinstall Windows and then just restore the stuff or do that pain in the butt "reinstall Windows without losing your personal stuff" option and hope it works.. but honestly who's going to do that?

Here's what worked for me without having to reinstall Windows and I SO wish Micheal's advice appeared FIRST in all the reviews here it would have saved me a LOT of time and effort...

- go to the website mentioned below (Syba) download version 3.0.2 drivers (but do NOT install them yet) which should work for all versions of Windows that exist at this time except Windows 10 apparently (you could try version 1.1 of the drivers for Win 10 but I can't vouch for them ... not sure if it was that earlier version of the drivers that was the problem or not installing the pci-e card properly as I'm about to get into below).. then there's version 3.2.0 of the drivers which presumably is the newest but simply says Windows drivers without specifying which version of Windows which does not inspire confidence .. I dunno, backup your Windows installation first with Acronis or something, try it and see what happens?

- anyways, after downloading drivers 3.0.2 version (not sure if this will help at all if you're running Win 10 see above), you're going to want to go into your control panel option then add/remove programs then uninstall the asmedia program if you previously installed drivers from the syba website.. just uninstalling the asmedia entry under storage controller in device manager isn't enough as I found out the hard way , you have to go through the add/remove program route first, then check device manager and uninstall from there if necessary.

- reboot your computer then turn it off again

- unplug power cable from PC, disconnect your CD/DVD writer from the pci-e sata card... in my case I just removed the sata cable from the sata port on the pci-e sata card and left the sata / power cable in on the CD/DVD writer for the time being

- plug power cable back in, turn PC back on.. even if Windows auto-installs drivers for the pci-e sata card don't trust those drivers, at this point you want to run that version 3.0.2 of the drivers I mentioned above (or if you're running Windows 10 I guess go for version 3.2.0 of the drivers and see what happens - if that doesn't work then I guess try version 1.1 of the drivers and if that doesn't work try version 3.0.2 and cross your fingers - remember the whole pain in the butt method of removing the syba drivers each time that I mentioned above and to reboot the computer each time you remove syba drivers) .. after install is complete, check storage controllers in device manager to ensure "asmedia 106x SATA controller" shows in that category when you click on it

- reboot computer, turn computer off

- unplug power/electric cable for PC, reconnect SATA cable from CD/DVD writer to sata port on PCI-e sata card, plug power cable back into PC, turn computer back on again

- test CD/DVD writer to make sure it works (write files onto it then see if another PC can read files from the CD or DVD, pop a CD or DVD in there and see if CD/DVD writer can see the files on the CD or DVD)

And that's how I managed to rescue the card from my clumsy, no idea what I was doing intial install and maybe this will work for you too if you're having problems with the card... obviously the best approach would have been to install the pci-e sata card first without connecting anything to it (no CD/DVD writers or hard drives or whatever), installing the correct drivers per the method mentioned above, reboot, connect your CD/DVD writer or hard drive or whatever to it, reboot then see if you have any problems.

I have no idea how well plugging a hard drive into the pci-e sata card would work and quite frankly I'm not even going to try given the horror stories I've heard about this (though you can try it and see what happens? There are a lot of success stories too from the reviews so maybe it'll work for you)... it's been 5 days and BIOS is back to behaving itself properly, I don't have to go into BIOS every time I restart the dang computer and tell BIOS what hard drive to boot from anymore so happy about that :) ..

(yet another edit and update)... the drivers aren't doing much good as far as the BIOS annoyances (see below).. downgraded my initial 5 star review down to 3 stars.. note that this is not a criticism of Micheal's advise below and worst case scenario if it doesn't work for you just go back into BIOS and reset the AHCI back to IDE - having said that when I tried doing that got that annoying " Windows has run into a problem and needs to restart " blue screen error message and when I went into BIOS Windows was not seeing four of my six SATA drives - changed from AHCI back to IDE and that fixed the problem but you may not run into this issue depending on your particular motherboard / Windows installation... I'll try installing the version 3.0.2 drivers I mentioned below but I doubt that will help... fortunately given that my computer is relatively fast, it doesn't take a huge amount of time to have to go into the BIOS and reset the proper boot hard drive to first priority EVERY SINGLE TIME I TURN MY DANG COMPUTER ON ! ... but it is annoying... it could be due to simply not following the instructions Micheal mentioned below .. or it could be my ASUS motherboard is simply hostile towards this particular PCI-E sata card ... if I get annoyed enough I will disconnect the CD/DVD writer, uninstall the e-sata card drivers, reinstall, then reconnect the CD/DVD writer and see if that helps.

(further edit and update)... well I'm an idiot :) .. the first thing you want to do is input the word "BIOS" in the search box for "ask the community" and look for Micheal M's incredibly helpful review which I REALLY wish popped up first among all the published reviews so people like me could benefit from it :( ... but here's a recap of his install advice...

You're going to want to google " ASM1061 , drivers, syba " which will bring you to a syba support page in blue and white colors.. don't be foolish like me and assume there are no drivers on that webpage after briefly looking through it, take the time to look and you will see that there is a "download" link that's easy to miss (for stupid people like me anyways :P ) .. click on that and you'll see a list of drivers you can download.. I downloaded version 1.1 (probably should have gone with version 3.0.2 instead since I have Windows 8 and that's presumably a more recent version but we'll see how version 1.1 goes and if that solves my BIOS problem mentioned below) ... installed it and sure enough it's now showing in my device manager as an "asmedia 106x SATA controller" under the "storage controllers" category ...

Of course I didn't follow any of Micheal's advice since I wasn't aware of it (had the CD/DVD writer hooked up to the pci-e sata card when I had the PC off then booted Windows up with the CD/DVD writer hooked up to the pci-e card's sata port) ... I haven't experimented with setting the BIOS sata controllers to AHCI instead of IDE which sure enough they are currently set at.. I'm going to wait to see if the driver install solves the BIOS problem first then try that if necessary... (copy and paste of Micheal's advice follows)

" There are some installation nuances that one needs to consider when installing this for bootable drives, that I think others who negatively rated this product may have not considered:

-Set your BIOS SATA controllers to AHCI mode, not IDE. A lot of people forget to set this, as most motherboards default to IDE. IDE will artificially slow your drives and possibly create conflicts with this card.

-The hardware/card should be installed first, without attaching any drives to it. This is so Windows can recognize the hardware and make the appropriate changes to the OS. Once booted into Windows, install the drivers (I went to the Syba website and downloaded the latest, rather than using those on the disk) and restart, insuring that the device is fully recognized. Failure to do this and you are almost guaranteed a blue screen.

-Once you ensure that Windows recognizes this, turn off your computer and attach your boot drive to this card. Turn back on go back into your BIOS and make sure you set hard drive boot priority to this drive. Newer motherboards should have the ability to select and detect bootable add on cards. It should appear as SCSI Add On Card with your hard drive model listed next to it. Most consumer motherboards (Asus, Gigabyte, EVGA, Foxconn, etc) will support this.

!! -If you are using a prebuilt PC, such as from Dell, HP, etc, your BIOS is likely locked down, and this card will probably not work for you if you intend to use it for bootable drives. If you are in this category, you will most likely only be able to use this for secondary non-boot drives. "

(edit and update - if your computer "hangs" after installing this... you see a black screen and a flashing dash - it probably means your BIOS got confused and is now trying to boot from the internal SATA connection from this pci card... of course if it's connected to a CD/DVD writer like my own is then there's really nothing to boot from... go into the bios and change your settings so that the proper hard drive is booting up first... I had to do this a few days after my install of the pci card which was annoying but no problems after that... still worth it given the cheap price of the pci card, will update this review further if I encounter any more issues)

I will admit I've been using this all of 1 hour so far :P but I'm pretty good at updating my reviews so if this review stays the same even years later assume it's still working out fine and I am a happy camper :)

I'm using this on my Windows 8.1 computer with my Asus M5A78L-M Plus/Usb3 Motherboard - M5A78L-M PLUS/USB3 model number.. I should point out that I'm using this only to get my sata CD/DVD reader/writer up and running which I'm sure is significantly less demanding than using it for a hard drive ... I'm not sure how this would do with a hard drive and given all the negative reviews on here re: hard drive use I'll avoid that if at all possible... as it turns out I'm trying to make maximum use of my existing six sata ports on the motherboard for the six hard drives I have plugged into them which from what I understand is the best way to have your hard drive interface with your PC.

Of course having six hard drives installed meant having to give up my DVD/CD writer - I know I know it's a dinosaur by today's modern times, everyone either downloads stuff or saves it on a usb thumb drive ... having said that on occasion I have to burn DVD's and CD's for older people with older computers (or other electronics like a good old fashioned CD playing stereo/boombox) who still make use of DVD's/CD's so it's nice to have that option.

After reading all the negative reviews on here I installed this with a great deal of fear and trepidation just waiting for some sort of driver problem and.... nothing, smooth as silk on my Windows 8.1 , 64 bit setup ... I didn't even have to install the drivers that came with the card, Windows took care of that for me... I do see a " Hey you have a sata pci card plugged in press 1 to continue" message that flashes on the computer now whenever I turn it on before it boots into Windows but I never have to press "one", it just continues chugging along by itself so... long as it's not giving me any problems I'm not going to mess with it :)

Of course I tried burning a DVD on my now-functioning-once-again DVD writer (which I had to unplug from it's sata/power cables once I installed my 6th hard drive) and then popping the DVD into another computer which read the files I burned onto the DVD with no problems so there's proof right there the DVD writer is working okay.

Maybe I just got lucky given all the negative reviews... maybe given the low cost of this card quality is just hit or miss and I was lucky to get a good card... either way I'm happy :)

One important note - it's nice of them to include a sata cable with the card and it may work out fine for your rig but in my case I was grateful to have additional sata cables already sitting around at home... one of the sata cables plugs into the PCI card at a 90 degree angle... which creates a problem in my case since I have a great big video card that sits next to the PCI slot which meant that the sata cable would have been in contact with my video card the entire time, something that would have made me nervous given how hot video cards (or other components inside your PC for that matter) can get... fortunately I had a sata cable lying around that does not have that 90 degree angle/bend on it such that there's some distance between the sata cable and my video card... you might want to order a sata cable too just in case, a cheap one should be fine... in my case the standard 12 inch cable that was included was long enough to reach all the way from the back of the case where the pci card was installed all the way up to the CD/DVD writer in the front but if you're ordering a sata cable anyways it might not hurt to get an 18 inch or longer cable just in case (if nothing else if you don't need it just leave it lying around in your kit full of computer stuff - you have one of those right? :) - in case you need it in the future) ...



LSI Logic SAS9260-8I SGL Raid 8PORT Int 6GB SAS/sata Pcie 2.0 512MB Review:


Bought this for use in an ESXi 6.7 desktop server with an 8x2.5" 5.25" bay.

The unit shipped with firmware package 12.12. This versions' WebBIOS was NOT compatible with the motherboard I had (ASRock Extreme6/ac). I wanted an hour trying to figure out my configuration simply wouldn't supporting booting into it, even after discovering I had to use the control sequence then select the RAID card as a boot device.

While ESXi 6.7 supports virtual volumes of this device, it DOES NOT support card monitoring or array configuration, even after installing the latest drivers and messing around with esxcli. This is disappointing and hopefully will be addressed in a future update.

I had to export the card via passthrough and install the software management services in a Linux guest. After disabling guest firewalls and attaching it to the same subnet as another Windows guest, I was able to get the Megaraid Storage Manager to detect and manage the Linux guest that had the card. This allowed me to install the latest firmware (12.15 IIRC), which allowed me to boot into the WebBIOS, but didn't resolve my ESXi issues.

I haven't yet tested the performance limits of this card. I had issues using the MSM to configure write caching properly; WebBIOS let me correct this. Card gets warm, you will need adequate cooling and airflow to insure stability and longevity within a desktop case.