8-channel P-ATA RAID PCI card

vbimport

#1

I bought a used PCI RAID card on Friday. I usually buy the cheapest possible hardware products but not this time. It’s a 3ware 8-channel adapter for 64-bit PCI bus. I paid 350,000 Won or about US$300 in cash.

Most of my existing hard disk drives are already occupied for other purposes, mostly full of data so I need to have at least 8 more. I’ll probably buy Samsung’s 160GB drives again. Or for even more space, I’ll choose Western Digital or Seagate 200GB.


#2

Yes that is a nice setup!

Do you have a 64bit PCI capable mainboard btw?


#3

I have two, but both are server boards for Xeon processors.

By the way, it’s a P-ATA card, I should have edited the title long before. :o

Edit:

I cannot edit this thread title right now because the edit button is disabled. Somebody can replace the “S-ATA” in the thread title with “P-ATA” for me?


#4

Test environment:

Gigabyte SiS motherboard
Intel Pentium 4 Northwood 2.4GHz “B” core
HT unavailable
S-ATA not used
Built-in onboard P-ATA RAID not used
Fujitsu 2.5-inch 4,200RPM 20GB for booting
Windows XP Profession SP1
C: heavily fragmented
Sandra 2004, free version
PCI 32-bit, 33-MHz
No other PCI slot occupied
GbE port connected to 60-80Mbps router to 100Mbps internet
3ware 8-ch. PCI, 2 chips, 8 connectors
8 Western Digital 1600LB 160GB 7,200-RPM 2MB buffer drives

Current array configuration:

4 used for RAID 0 stripe array
2 used for RAID 0 stripe array 64KB stripe size
2 used for RAID 0 stripe array 128KB stripe size

Test 1: 8 drives, RAID 0, 1MB stripe
Test 2: 4 drives, RAID 0, 64KB stripe
Test 3: 4 drives, RAID 0, 256KB stripe
Test 4: 2 drives, RAID 0, 64KB stripe
Test 5: 2 drives, RAID 0, 128KB stripe

I can also try other PCI slots, use more RAM modules, different AGP graphics cards, install OS on a fresh basis, add SCSI for booting and OS, higher CPU clock, 3 drive array, RAID 0+1, RAID 1, RAID 5, and many others. There are also a lot of programs to test RAID performance other than Sandra but Sandra’s what I had on the test PC. The PC was performing several tasks while running Sandra.

WD 1600LB is not especially a good choice for RAID 0, but that was the cheapest 7,200-RPM drive available in Seoul. I’ll hopefully try Hitachi 400GB S-ATA next time. I have two motherboards with 64-bit 66/133MHz PCI slots but they use Xeon processors instead of Pentium 4 Northwoods and Registered ECC DDR memory modules intead of non-ECC unbuffered ones.

Here are some of my first test results with this configuration.

http://www.storageinfo.co.kr/EzMODse/viewtopic.php?t=18365

Test 1:

Benchmark Breakdown
Buffered Read : 73 MB/s
Sequential Read : 68 MB/s
Random Read : 29 MB/s
Buffered Write : 15 MB/s
Sequential Write : 65 MB/s
Random Write : 60 MB/s
Average Access Time : 1 ms (estimated)

Test 2:

Benchmark Breakdown
Buffered Read : 85 MB/s
Sequential Read : 99 MB/s
Random Read : 15 MB/s
Buffered Write : 15 MB/s
Sequential Write : 66 MB/s
Random Write : 27 MB/s
Average Access Time : 4 ms (estimated)

Test 3:

Benchmark Breakdown
Buffered Read : 74 MB/s
Sequential Read : 96 MB/s
Random Read : 19 MB/s
Buffered Write : 15 MB/s
Sequential Write : 66 MB/s
Random Write : 33 MB/s
Average Access Time : 3 ms (estimated)

Test 4:

Benchmark Breakdown
Buffered Read : 74 MB/s
Sequential Read : 68 MB/s
Random Read : 8 MB/s
Buffered Write : 17 MB/s
Sequential Write : 65 MB/s
Random Write : 13 MB/s
Average Access Time : 7 ms (estimated)

Test 5:

Benchmark Breakdown
Buffered Read : 74 MB/s
Sequential Read : 70 MB/s
Random Read : 10 MB/s
Buffered Write : 15 MB/s
Sequential Write : 64 MB/s
Random Write : 15 MB/s
Average Access Time : 5 ms (estimated)

Have I made any serious mistake or are there some tips to improve performance by much easily?

By the way, 10-inch instead of 10 cm fan is very effective for cooling. I can hardly feel heat generated from the 8 LB drives.


#5

Well these readings are somewhat below my Raptors do (in RAID-0 setup), so I guess this performance is like it should be.

A nice way to improve performance is to toggle with the caching settings. It takes some time to figure out the best settings, but it can yield quite some nice performance. Minor thing is that some methods of caching aren’t that safe…


#6

Raptors are the most expensive IDE HDDs. WD 1600LB are the cheapest. :slight_smile:


#7

I’ll soon move the setup to my Supermicro Xeon system, never used until yesterday.

I’m also going to have my first Athlon 64 motherboard this weekend. A special chance to have a board for much discounted price. 4 S-ATA and even a remote controller.


#8

A64. W00T!!! Which A64 are you getting? Mobo?


#9

You can say that again… got me one… got me some good memory and I’m very happy now…

Only thing is… I “just” have a 3000+ so I’ll be upgrading pretty soon :slight_smile:


#10

I haven’t upgraded in over a year. Shocking, but true. I don’t know if I’ll ever upgrade again. It’s pointless. I don’t play laser tag type games that’s all the rage now a days. I don’t encode divx anymore. And don’t even rip DVDs anymore. Man, I don’t even know why I have a computer. Maybe I’ll reconsider in 10 years or something.


#11

Chaintech. NForce 250. :slight_smile:


#12

Sweet mofo. Read lots of good things about it. Although Asus has become the OC mobo of choice lately, especially w/ the Intel fanatics.


#13

Intel doesn’t need fanatics to survive just like there are no “Western fanatics” in the English language. :slight_smile:

Fanatics is translated to “Insane Faithful Mob” in the Korean language.


#14

LOL, will Mac Fanatics be more appropriate?


#15

teh pr0n!

That is a sweet system. And Dee you want to trade your “just 3000+”? :rolleyes: :stuck_out_tongue:


#16

Right now, I’m installing Windows XP Professional on a dual Xeon 1.7GHz system. The Xeon processors are basically Pentium 4 Willlamette with 256KB L2 cache running at 1.7GHz and 400MHz FSB. A lot of heat and very slow.

Intel’s going to announce new Xeon’s based on the new Prescott core, 90nm processes and 1MB L2 cache. I hope to have these by the end of June, with some good luck. :wink:

I didn’t pay for any of these. When I mentioned that I was running only P3 dual servers, a friend in Seoul wanted to help me and sent two Xeon 1.7GHz prcoessors and later a case filled with Supermicro Xeon motherboard with 6 PCI 64-bit slots and dual channel SCSI 320. But I did pay for two 10K.6 146GB HDD’s and a Tyan Xeon board.

Since I ordered the Chaintech board yesterday, I’ll receive it by Saturday. I’ll either send it to the guy who sent the parts to me or buy an Athlon 64 2800+ and run it myself. Opteron’s clearly better than Xeon at least for now for power efficiency but Opteron motherboards are overpriced in South Korea because the market for Opteron is still very small. Who knows?

Anybody knows where to buy notebook motherboards for Dothan processors?


#17

16 more drives arriving in a few hours, 8 SATA and the other 8 PATA this time. I’ve also ordered 20 80cm SATA cables and 24 80cm PATA cables. The other items include cables for CAT 6 and USB 2.0, wireless 54Mbps hub and PCMCIA, including the PCI adapter for it, two LCD monitors including one for 1600x1200 resolution and built-in TV, Xeon’s, Athlon 64, DDR 400MHz Samsung modules, and some more.


#18

Damn, that’s gonna be one kick ass porn server.


#19
SiSoftware Sandra

Benchmark Results
Drive Index : 105MB/s

Performance Test Status
Run ID : SP on 2004년 7월 11일 일요일 at 오후 8:54:42
SMP Test : No
Total Test Threads : 1
SMT Test : No
Dynamic MP/MT Load Balance : No
Processor Affinity : No
Operating System Disk Cache Used : No
Use Overlapped I/O : Yes
IO Queue Depth : 4 request(s)
Test File Size : 2047MB
File Server Optimised : No

Benchmark Breakdown
Buffered Read : 185 MB/s
Sequential Read : 154 MB/s
Random Read : 42 MB/s
Buffered Write : 116 MB/s
Sequential Write : 120 MB/s
Random Write : 56 MB/s
Average Access Time : 17 ms (estimated)

Drive
Drive Type : Hard Disk
Total Size : 596GB
Free Space : 21GB, 100%

Performance Tips
Notice 5008 : To change benchmarks, click Options.
Notice 5004 : Synthetic benchmark. May not tally with 'real-life' performance.
Notice 5006 : Only compare the results with ones obtained using the same version!
Notice 5209 : Consider using the Removable Storage/Flash Benchmark for Flash devices.
Tip 5202 : Use cache on to measure Windows performance.
Tip 2 : Double-click tip or press Enter while a tip is selected for more information about the tip.

#20

64-bit slot.

4 drives of WD 1600LB 2MB buffer, RAID 0 with 256KB cache.

Benchmark Results 
Drive Index : 134MB/s 

Performance Test Status 
Run ID : SP on 2004 - 07 - 11 PM 7:43:29 
SMP Test : No 
Total Test Threads : 1 
SMT Test : No 
Dynamic MP/MT Load Balance : No 
Processor Affinity : No 
Operating System Disk Cache Used : No 
Use Overlapped I/O : Yes 
IO Queue Depth : 4 request(s) 
Test File Size : 2047MB 
File Server Optimised : No 

Benchmark Breakdown 
Buffered Read : 168 MB/s 
Sequential Read : 182 MB/s 
Random Read : 80 MB/s 
Buffered Write : 116 MB/s 
Sequential Write : 123 MB/s 
Random Write : 86 MB/s 
Average Access Time : 7 ms (estimated) 

Drive 
Drive Type : Hard Disk 
Total Size : 596GB 
Free Space : 17GB, 100%