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AN9 32x 2 - 36GB Raptors RAID0 Performance...

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January 5, 2007 12:37:02 PM

Another raid performance thread...

System Specs:
AN9 32X
3800+ X2 @ 2500MHZ
2GB OCZ PLATINUM @ 830MHZ
2 36GB 10K 16MB RAPTORS
BFGTECH 7950GT 512MB OC EDITION
THERMALTAKE 550W PSU

So, starting with this article: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/394/1 , I decided to try a 128k stripe, since most gaming files are much larger then a gig, let alone 128k, I thought it would give me the best performance. I also used the default windows 4kB cluster size.

HDTach Quick Bench:
Average Read - 114MB
Burst Speed - 199MB
Random Access - 8.5ms
Sequential Read - 110-120MB

ATTO:
.5 - 9723 Write, 17161 Read
1024.0 - 155705 Write, 145888 Read

All of the above scores seem low to me considering this hardware. In fact, I got close to these scores with 7200rpm drivves in a raid0. The one thing I noticed that could make atto faulty is that at most it transfers 1024 kiloBITS at a time, which still isnt even as big as my stripe size, so it may only be accessing one drive at a time. That or it really means kiloBYTES and just used the wrong abrev (they have kb next to transfer size - big B=byte, little B=bit) So the question now is, is this all because of the 128k stripe or am I missing something?

I plan on imaging this tonight, changing the stripe size to maybe 32KB, and trying again.
January 5, 2007 1:10:02 PM

Quote:
Another raid performance thread...
HDTach Quick Bench:
Average Read - 114MB
Burst Speed - 199MB
Random Access - 8.5ms
Sequential Read - 110-120MB

All of the above scores seem low to me considering this hardware. In fact, I got close to these scores with 7200rpm drivves in a raid0. The one thing I noticed that could make atto faulty is that at most it transfers 1024 kiloBITS at a time, which still isnt even as big as my stripe size, so it may only be accessing one drive at a time. That or it really means kiloBYTES and just used the wrong abrev (they have kb next to transfer size - big B=byte, little B=bit) So the question now is, is this all because of the 128k stripe or am I missing something?


You're reading it wrong. In fact HDTach read in megabytes. So your average read speed is 114Megabytes per second.

I got a real HDTach parameters for you to compare:
2xWD Raptors 74GB 16MB SATA150 10Krpm, RAID0 (strip)
Average Read - 127.8MB/s
Burst Speed - 209.5MB/s
Random Access - 8.1ms
Sequential Read - Min peak: 95MB/s -- Max peak:145MB/s

HDTach read on 7200-rpm strip:
2xWD Caviar 500GB SATA300, 7200.rpm, RAID0 (strip)
Average Read - 101.5MB/s
Burst Speed - 278.0MB/s
Random Access - 14.7ms
Sequential Read - Min peak: 72MB/s -- Max peak:108MB/s

So, happier now?
January 5, 2007 1:17:40 PM

Quote:

ATTO:
.5 - 9723 Write, 17161 Read
1024.0 - 155705 Write, 145888 Read

All of the above scores seem low to me considering this hardware. In fact, I got close to these scores with 7200rpm drivves in a raid0. The one thing I noticed that could make atto faulty is that at most it transfers 1024 kiloBITS at a time, which still isnt even as big as my stripe size, so it may only be accessing one drive at a time. That or it really means kiloBYTES and just used the wrong abrev (they have kb next to transfer size - big B=byte, little B=bit) So the question now is, is this all because of the 128k stripe or am I missing something?

I plan on imaging this tonight, changing the stripe size to maybe 32KB, and trying again.


My damn english... :-(

I answered back there regarding HDTach and not ATTO as you requested... sorry about it.
In this case, i can't answer about ATTO.
Related resources
January 5, 2007 1:27:23 PM

Quote:
Another raid performance thread...
HDTach Quick Bench:
Average Read - 114MB
Burst Speed - 199MB
Random Access - 8.5ms
Sequential Read - 110-120MB

All of the above scores seem low to me considering this hardware. In fact, I got close to these scores with 7200rpm drivves in a raid0. The one thing I noticed that could make atto faulty is that at most it transfers 1024 kiloBITS at a time, which still isnt even as big as my stripe size, so it may only be accessing one drive at a time. That or it really means kiloBYTES and just used the wrong abrev (they have kb next to transfer size - big B=byte, little B=bit) So the question now is, is this all because of the 128k stripe or am I missing something?


You're reading it wrong. In fact HDTach read in megabytes. So your average read speed is 114Megabytes per second.

I got a real HDTach parameters for you to compare:
2xWD Raptors 74GB 16MB SATA150 10Krpm, RAID0 (strip)
Average Read - 127.8MB/s
Burst Speed - 209.5MB/s
Random Access - 8.1ms
Sequential Read - Min peak: 95MB/s -- Max peak:145MB/s

HDTach read on 7200-rpm strip:
2xWD Caviar 500GB SATA300, 7200.rpm, RAID0 (strip)
Average Read - 101.5MB/s
Burst Speed - 278.0MB/s
Random Access - 14.7ms
Sequential Read - Min peak: 72MB/s -- Max peak:108MB/s

So, happier now?

Actually I am happier yes, but whats up with the 7200's having a higher burst speed then raptors??
January 5, 2007 1:57:10 PM

One thing I've noticed with raptors vs 7200 is that sure a single raptor is faster than a 7200 and sometimes RAID0 7200s are faster than a single raptor. But the performance gain from a single raptor vs. RAID0 raptors isn't really noticeable. At least I never noticed much difference. And because raptors high speed and high heat output they tend to fail more often than 7200 drives.

So for data security I no longer raid my raptors and I've upgraded one of them. I had 2 36gigs raided and then went to a 37gig as my OS drive and a 72gig as my gaming drive with a 150gig USB2.0 external hard drive as my storage and backup drive.

After having to RMA 2 raptors already I just feel safer not having them in RAID0.

Just my humble opinion.
January 5, 2007 2:19:02 PM

Quote:
Actually I am happier yes, but whats up with the 7200's having a higher burst speed then raptors??


Several aspects: the 7200 has a faster interface -SATA300 against SATA150 on Raptors- and a higher density on disk plates, afaik.
Then loose the sustained rate and random access to the 10Ks with much faster physical access.

The ideal should be 10K with SATA300 (not mentioning the capacity). While the Raptors sell well and have superior performance, WD isn't pushed to change anything. The real competition is on the 7200 market....
January 5, 2007 2:34:39 PM

Quote:
One thing I've noticed with raptors vs 7200 is that sure a single raptor is faster than a 7200 and sometimes RAID0 7200s are faster than a single raptor. But the performance gain from a single raptor vs. RAID0 raptors isn't really noticeable.


That's all true so as that a couple of Raptors in RAID0 are faster that a couple of 7200 in RAID0. A thing here is that the usage you give to this and your own perception tell you if it's worth it or not. For example booting on more 5s or less 5s maybe isn't really noticeable. But for an intense access to the disk volumes for some reason makes all the difference.
Benchmarking is sometimes a reason to install a RAID0 set.
I believe for most people will notice much more installing RAID0 on "slow" 7200 (against a single 7200) than when installing it with Raptors (against having a single quick Raptor).

Quote:
And because raptors high speed and high heat output they tend to fail more often than 7200 drives.


This is very true also, but a bit "La Palice"! It's like saying that OC will decrease your CPU life and the extra heat will increase CPU instructions fail more often. But, again, it's true.

Quote:
After having to RMA 2 raptors already I just feel safer not having them in RAID0.


If you had a couple of strip 7200's fail and send them RMA, would you do the same?
You have 3 options for your hard drives: 1) having speed only; 2)having data protection only; 3) having both. Anyway, you have a fourth option appliable to all: having external backup (on CD's, tape, external hard drive, etc).

Myself, i have Option 1) with external data backup. I assume if the strip set fails, i'll have to install it again (or RMA any drive). But then i already lost twice single drives (one Maxtor 7200 and one Seagate 5400), so i don't care! I want speed! :-)
January 8, 2007 12:55:44 PM

Quote:

You have 3 options for your hard drives: 1) having speed only; 2)having data protection only; 3) having both. Anyway, you have a fourth option appliable to all: having external backup (on CD's, tape, external hard drive, etc).

Myself, i have Option 1) with external data backup. I assume if the strip set fails, i'll have to install it again (or RMA any drive). But then i already lost twice single drives (one Maxtor 7200 and one Seagate 5400), so i don't care! I want speed! :-)


If your really looking for data protection, most on board raid controllers these days support a raid5 with hot plugging.

Personally, I think your dumb if you put anything of any importance on your raid0, whether its a raptor raid or not, your chances of losing your data are 2x what they would be normally.

The optimal setup is having your os/games on a raid, and having another large data storage drive, or maybe even two in a raid1 if you can afford it.

I have my raid0, a 60 gig storage drive, and a file server with 600+ gigs. I also make an image whenever I have my system set up the way i want it.
January 8, 2007 3:29:39 PM

Quote:
Myself, i have Option 1) with external data backup. I assume if the strip set fails, i'll have to install it again (or RMA any drive). But then i already lost twice single drives (one Maxtor 7200 and one Seagate 5400), so i don't care! I want speed! :-)


Personally, I think your dumb if you put anything of any importance on your raid0, whether its a raptor raid or not, your chances of losing your data are 2x what they would be normally.

Dumb? No. Read above: "external data backup". I do regular backups, and nowadays i don't have the capacity to afford extra hard drives. I don't have real critical data, and i don't mind also in reinstaling if anything goes wrong.

But, yes, if you can have RAID5 or a couple of discs in mirror for data, then it's a must have.
!