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The HighPoint Rocket 620 Performance Comparison Rev. 2.1
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The HighPoint Rocket 620

Western Digital is shipping every unit of their new 3 TB Caviar Green hard disk drive with a HighPoint Rocket 620 SATA controller. This SATA controller, which features a modified BIOS, allows Western Digital to circumvent the 2.1 TB capacity limit of current motherboard BIOSes. Without it, you will only be able to access the first 2.1 TB of any hard disk drive that is larger than 2.1 TB in capacity.

The HighPoint Rocket 620 controller has two SATA ports so you can hook up two hard disk drives to it. With a bandwidth of 500 MB/s, its PCI Express 2.0 x1 interface is certainly more than enough for a single SATA 3 Gb/s drive, albeit less than optimal for even a single SATA 6 Gb/s drive. However, please note that this card is not the HighPoint RocketRAID 620, which looks identical to the Rocket 620 but is RAID-capable. The easiest way to differentiate between the two cards is the lack of a buzzer on the non-RAID Rocket 620. Here are the HighPoint Rocket 620's key specifications :


• Rocket 620

SATA Controller

• Marvell 88SE9128

Supported SATA
Data Transfer Modes

• 6.0 Gbits/s
• 3.0 Gbits/s
• 1.5 Gbits/s

SATA Ports

• Two SATA 6 Gb/s ports


• PCI Express 2.0 x1

Form Factor

• Low Profile


• 72 mm (2.84") long
• 67.5 mm (2.66") high


• 36 g
• 0.08 lbs

Even though the Rocket 620 is a SATA 6 Gbps controller, there have been reports that it's slower than the Intel ICH10's SATA controller, causing the new 3 TB Caviar Green to run slower than the previous generation. So we put it to the test.


Testing The Rocket 620

There is no way we can accurately test the performance of the Western Digital Caviar Green 3 TB hard disk drive on the Intel ICH10, so we opted to use the Western Digital Caviar Black 2 TB hard disk drive instead.


Intel Core i7-965 Extreme Edition


ASUS P6T Deluxe (Intel X58 Express)


Three Kingmax 2 GB DDR3-1333 modules

Graphics Card

Galaxy GeForce GTX 260+ OC

SATA Controller

Intel ICH10
HighPoint Rocket 620

Hard Drives

2 TB Western Digital Caviar Black

Operating System

Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
Microsoft Windows Vista 32-bit

We tested in Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows Vista using IO Meter, and the old faithful, Disk WinBench 99. In addition to the standard random and sequential access tests, we also tested the two controllers' ability to handle multiple simultaneous accesses by increasing the number of outstanding IOs to 8 and 32. Let's find out how they fare...


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The HighPoint Rocket 620
Testing The Rocket 620


Disk WinBench 99 Test Results
Disk Transfer Rate Range
Platter Profile Comparison


Random Access Performance


Sequential Access Performance


Random Access IOPS Scaling


Sequential Access IOPS Scaling


Results Summary
What Does All This Mean?
Useful Links

ASUS P7P55D Motherboard
Intel Buys Over NVIDIA
Western Digital 2 TB Caviar Green Serial ATA Hard Disk Drive Review
The RAID Guide
ASUS EN8800GTX Graphics Card Review Rev. 2.0
Newbie's Guide To Overclocking
Backpacking With A PDA
Launch Of The Dothan
Definitive Battery Extender Guide 2.10


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