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High Efficiency File Server

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January 2, 2008 8:36:51 PM

Hello all.

I am looking to build a very high effciency File Server for my business. The intent for this server is to run "Remote Backup 2007" v9.4 Server. It doesn't have to be very powerful processor wise since there's not much to process. It is just for remote data backup for my clients. So I am looking for energy efficent components while maintaining high reliability.

Here's what I've picked out so far and keep in mind I'm trying to be frugal at the same time:

4x Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 3.5IN 500GB SATA2 or Western Digital's Cavier GP 500GB SATA2 (Your input please)
1x Coolermaster Cm 690 Mid Tower Black Atx Case
1x AMD Athlon X2 BE-2350 Dual Core Processor
1x ASUS M2N-E ATX AM2 Nforce 570 (Because it has RAID 5 built in and I've used it for other builds and has been great)
1x Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X2048-5400C4 2GB
1x Seasonic S12II 430W ATX V2.2 EPS12V 20/24PIN Active PFC 80PLUS Power Supply
1x ASUS Radeon HD2400 Pro Passive Silent
1x Generic 1.44MB Black 3.5IN Floppy Drive
1x ASUS Quietdrive DVD-E616A3 Black 16X DVD-ROM
1x OPTI-UPS TS1700B 1700VA 900W Simulated Sine Wave Black UPS
1x Microsoft Windows Vista Business Edition 64BIT DVD OEM

Price wise I'm looking at roughly $1275 Canadian (w/taxes and shipping).

I've been looking for a motherboard that has both integrated video and RAID5 but nothing for the AMD processor. The reason I picked the AMD processor is that from what I've read, it has a better idle consumption than other dual cores. The processor isn't going to be pushed load wise really at all, mostly idling.

So any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I am hoping to have the parts ordered within the next week or two.

Thank you.
January 2, 2008 9:23:31 PM

Yeah that doesn't look like a bad motherboard Masteryoda34. It costs less too. Thanks for the suggestion.
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January 3, 2008 12:32:36 AM

What the best hard drives to use would be and perhaps what the best overall power supply would be.

I trust Seagate hard drives, especially since they have 5 year warranty. However, the western digital's have noticably better power consumption.

With the power supply, I have been using the Antec NeoHE power supplies for the past year and they have been very good. With some research I have found that the Seasonic and it's 80 Plus certification may provide the best overall efficiency. Both companies have 3 year warranties on their units.

Any recommendations on these or any of the other parts I have listed?
a c 478 à CPUs
January 3, 2008 1:21:53 AM

Seasonic S12II 430 all they way. It is virtually silent, up to 88% energy efficient and higher quality than Antec PSUs.

While integrated RAID 5 is inexpensive, it is also less reliable than an actual RAID 5 controller card. Plus it will rely on the CPU to calculate how the data should be split amongst the drives.

Should you decide to upgrade to a real RAID 5 controller card in the future, then you need to be aware that it will most likely be necessary to break the current RAID 5, then rebuild it. That's 'cause the initialization protocols will be different from manufacturer to manufacturer.
January 3, 2008 1:29:13 AM

Thanks for the feedback, especially on the power supply. I entirely agree with you jaguarskx that a RAID 5 card would be better. I just have yet to find one that is what I could say reasonably priced and still have good performance. Unless someone knows of one.
a c 102 à CPUs
January 3, 2008 3:51:39 AM

rmicro1 said:
Hello all.

I am looking to build a very high effciency File Server for my business. The intent for this server is to run "Remote Backup 2007" v9.4 Server. It doesn't have to be very powerful processor wise since there's not much to process. It is just for remote data backup for my clients. So I am looking for energy efficent components while maintaining high reliability.


We'll see what we can do for you.

Quote:
Here's what I've picked out so far and keep in mind I'm trying to be frugal at the same time:

4x Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 3.5IN 500GB SATA2 or Western Digital's Cavier GP 500GB SATA2 (Your input please)


Lots of storage and enough of them to make a good array. Sounds fine to me.

Quote:
1x Coolermaster Cm 690 Mid Tower Black Atx Case


Also sounds fine. You *may* eventually want a case with bigger/more HDD racks, but this case is fine for four HDDs.

Quote:
1x AMD Athlon X2 BE-2350 Dual Core Processor


It's a reasonable choice for such a system. It's not all that expensive and has a good, low idle voltage. This is important as the system will be idling for 99% of its time. You could also use an Intel Celeron 500 series CPU as these are probably the most energy-efficient CPUs that will fit into desktop motherboards. They are low-clocked, single-core Core 2s with 512 MB L2 cache. But they are saddled with Intel's less-efficient and more-expensive motherboards so the cost and energy draw of a BE-2350 + appropriate mobo is about the same as a Celeron 500 + appropriate motherboard.

Quote:
1x ASUS M2N-E ATX AM2 Nforce 570 (Because it has RAID 5 built in and I've used it for other builds and has been great)


Onboard RAID 5 is garbage unless performance of the disk array is REALLY not an issue. I run a 3-disk RAID 5 with 3 250 GB disks and my onboard SATA ports delivered a meager 60 MB/sec read speed (roughly that of one HDD) and a piss-poor 20 MB/sec write speed. I put in a $140 HighPoint RR2310 PCI Express 4-port SATA card to handle the RAID and performance jumped to 120-130 MB/sec reads and 60-70 MB/sec writes, which is what I'd expect from the disks in a RAID 5. Others running motherboard-based RAID have had very similar experiences on all different kinds of motherboard chipsets, with the possible exception of two-drive RAID 1 and RAID 0.

Quote:
1x Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X2048-5400C4 2GB


Dual-core AMD CPUs like DDR2-800 aka PC2-6400 rather than the DDR2-667 you picked. You want to run Vista 64-bit, which itself consumes nearly 2 GB of RAM. I'd suggest two 2 GB sticks of DDR2-800 to give yourself 4 GB of RAM. I've put just that into an AM2 machine before and I used G.Skill's F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ kit. The only thing is that it was $500 then and is $100 now...

Quote:
1x Seasonic S12II 430W ATX V2.2 EPS12V 20/24PIN Active PFC 80PLUS Power Supply


Good choice.


Quote:
1x ASUS Radeon HD2400 Pro Passive Silent


Forget this. You should get a motherboard with integrated graphics as the graphical power of a discrete GPU is not needed in a server and the card just sits there and sucks power. In fact, many servers run headless with no monitor physically attached, so the extra money spent on the GPU is wasted.

Quote:
1x Generic 1.44MB Black 3.5IN Floppy Drive


You probably don't need this. You're running Vista as the OS and it does not need a floppy to install RAID drivers any more. Most motherboards also don't need a floppy to install a BIOS update anymore either.

Quote:
1x ASUS Quietdrive DVD-E616A3 Black 16X DVD-ROM


Sounds appropriate. You can also just yank another machine's drive for the one time you'll need it to install the OS.

Quote:
1x OPTI-UPS TS1700B 1700VA 900W Simulated Sine Wave Black UPS


I don't know much about UPSes other than you probably should have one.

Quote:
1x Microsoft Windows Vista Business Edition 64BIT DVD OEM


That will work. Linux or BSD/Solaris UNIX also would be an excellent choice as well. Linux and UNIX are the most popular server OSes out there. I just don't know if you application will run on something other than Windows. If it will, I strongly suggest using Linux or UNIX as they are much more server-oriented than Windows Vista Business and a grand cheaper than Windows Server.

Quote:
I've been looking for a motherboard that has both integrated video and RAID5 but nothing for the AMD processor. The reason I picked the AMD processor is that from what I've read, it has a better idle consumption than other dual cores. The processor isn't going to be pushed load wise really at all, mostly idling.


Forget onboard RAID 5. Just get a motherboard with integrated graphics and a PCIe x16 slot. I suggest a nice AMD 690G-based unit such as the well-reviewed ASUS M2A-VM. Use the integrated graphics to connect to a monitor and use the PCIe x16 slot to put a RAID controller card into. I am a fan of HighPoint's RocketRAID line of controllers. They are inexpensive as they are "dumb" controllers that basically just handle the I/O traffic and let the CPU handle the RAID 5 XOR computations. A CPU is a whole heck of a lot more powerful than a little onboard IOP chip like the much more expensive "hardware" controllers have, so the cards perform quite well. You have four drives right now, so I'd suggest an 8-port unit such as the 2320 as you may very well want to grow the RAID 5 to five or more disks at a later date.
January 4, 2008 3:29:59 PM

Thanks a lot for your post MU_Engineer. I really appreciate how you've broken everything down.

I've made a few changes to my list of items:
1x - Highpoint Rocketraid 2302 4 Channel 2INT 2EXT SATA2 RAID Controller Card PCI-E1X 0/1/5/10/JBOD
1x - OCZ PC2-6400 OCZ2M8004GK 4GB 2X2GB DDR2-800 CL5-5-5-15 200PIN SODIMM Dual Channel Memory Kit
1x - ASUS M2N-VM DVI mATX AM2 GE7050-NF630A PCI-E16 PCI-E1 2PCI SATA2 Video Sound GBLAN Motherboard

With these changes, I'm spending roughly a $150 more, but that's not a big difference. With your suggestion to use Linux or Unix, I have to use Windows since the Remote Backup Server software only works with windows. So I thought I'd use the more secure 64-bit edition and I'd use Vista since it will be more future proof (in theory).

I will still keep a floppy drive for legacy sakes. Don't want to be in a "oh crap, no floppy" situation. Plus I can get one for only $6.

And I think for now I will have to go with a 4-port SATA RAID controller. I know 8-port will give more upgradability but if I have to get more drives in the future, I'll probably have to get a new case too. Right now, this will do the job just fine.

So my last question is, what hard drives should I go with? I know Seagate are quite good for reliability. However, Western Digital has got the best power consumption at this time and they've still have a decent 3 year warranty.

Your thoughts?


a c 139 à CPUs
January 4, 2008 3:55:04 PM

Seasonic S12II 430


Antec Earthwatts 430


Since they ARE both made by seasonic and use the same (Well nearly)parts with the exception to the fan(Antec has a 80mm instead of a 120mm, This works better in some cases). I would not say that the Antec is worse then the seasonic. I would say they are BOTH seasonic.

Your server looks good....
January 4, 2008 9:18:41 PM

Thanks. I've been reading reviews on the seasonic and I haven't come across a bad one yet.

My last dilema is what hard drives to go with...
a c 139 à CPUs
January 4, 2008 9:49:19 PM

Hard drives seem to fail equally(its a mechanical device and can break), So What have you had the most luck with? They both offer a 5 year warranty now anyway.....and raid 5 will keep your data safe....


EDIT______________________

I take it back, only some WDC's have a 5 year......i have had only a few drives die, one was a WDC but it had a hard life(went through 3 computers)......Maxtors on the other hand do seem to fail more often.....
a b à CPUs
January 4, 2008 11:22:29 PM

Placing the hard drives in the bays with all 4 screws (to maximise heat transfer from the drives to the case metal) and ensuring sufficient air flows over them (4 of these suckers generate a huge amount of heat which is not easy to remove) should be considered.

Ensure the case ( the pics for the Coolermaster case don't show the inside of it) has uber airflow to keep the drives cool.

Consider spacing them with air gaps between them if the inside bays at the bottom will accomodate this - you might not have room tho.

Also ensure you fit a 120 fan in the front at the bottom to push air over them.

I used to cut a piece of plastic and fit it inside to shift the airflow up and into the drive array to cool it a bit more.

Plus tidy up all of the cables inside and tuck them out of the way to improve airflow.

Hopefully this will see your drives lasting a bit longer as they are not cooking ... neglected in the corner.

Hope this helps.
a c 102 à CPUs
January 5, 2008 1:42:59 AM

rmicro1 said:
Thanks a lot for your post MU_Engineer. I really appreciate how you've broken everything down.

I've made a few changes to my list of items:
1x - Highpoint Rocketraid 2302 4 Channel 2INT 2EXT SATA2 RAID Controller Card PCI-E1X 0/1/5/10/JBOD


This card has two internal and two external SATA ports. Unless you are planning on having two internal drives and then two in external enclosures, I'd suggest a card like the 2300 or 2310 with all four SATA ports on the inside.

Quote:
With these changes, I'm spending roughly a $150 more, but that's not a big difference. With your suggestion to use Linux or Unix, I have to use Windows since the Remote Backup Server software only works with windows. So I thought I'd use the more secure 64-bit edition and I'd use Vista since it will be more future proof (in theory).


Vista also is in my experience more stable than XP. Perhaps it is because the Vista driver qualification process chucks some of the cruddy 3rd-party drivers that were shipped for Windows XP. Vista is more future-proof as it will be getting updates for longer than XP will. XP Professional's updates are set to stop in November 2011 IIRC.

I will still keep a floppy drive for legacy sakes. Don't want to be in a "oh crap, no floppy" situation. Plus I can get one for only $6.

Quote:
So my last question is, what hard drives should I go with? I know Seagate are quite good for reliability. However, Western Digital has got the best power consumption at this time and they've still have a decent 3 year warranty.


Either company makes good drives. I have WDs in my desktop's 3-disk RAID as they were on sale that day. I've also used Seagates and Hitachis and have had good experiences with them as well. The only HDDs that I've had die on me and the company is still making hard drives today is Toshiba, and they were all laptop drives in Pentium 4 laptops. The P4s probably would have cooked and killed about any brand of HDD, so I don't hold it against Toshiba for that.
January 7, 2008 5:13:52 AM

1779036,13,61517 said:
This card has two internal and two external SATA ports. Unless you are planning on having two internal drives and then two in external enclosures, I'd suggest a card like the 2300 or 2310 with all four SATA ports on the inside.

You are absolutely right. I should have read a bit closer. Thanks for the heads up. The 2310 looks like the best overall card as far as features and performance (and price).

I think for now I am going to have to go with the Seagate 500Gb 7200.11 hard drives. The cheapest I can find the Western Digital Caviar Gp 500Gb is rough $150 each whereas I can get the Seagate for $118 (Canadian). That adds up when times 4. I would love to put maybe two or three 1Tb Caviar GP hard drives in for now but that is not finacially reasonable at this time. Heck, in 6 months the 1Tb drives will probably be the same prices as the 500Gb are now.

I really appreciate the suggestions and comments so far. Any other comments or if I've missed something, feel free to let me know.

Thanks.
January 7, 2008 6:07:35 AM

If this is for client data I dont know what kinda of warrenty your offering them but you should be getting some type of mirror setup with a dedicated card. I wouldnt use off the shelf desktop parts but rather something like a intel server board or a tyan server board for a amd setup its a little bit more expensive but they have higher reliabilty I know because I work with this stuff all day long.
January 7, 2008 1:33:10 PM

This is a server for myself to hold client backup data that is encrypted. I'm simply offering an offsite automatic backup solution for my clients. The software I'm using is the "Remote Backup Server 2007 9.4" and it works very good. Excellent compression and encrypts all data on my end.

But this is why I'm looking for an energy effcient server as it will be basically always online (except for weekends) for either backup or restore operations.
a b à CPUs
January 7, 2008 2:27:22 PM

rmicro1 said:
The 2310 looks like the best overall card as far as features and performance (and price).


The Highpoint 2310 is a excellent and cheap RAID5 solution. I'm running one in my main machine with 3 - 320GB WD drives and a 4th - 320GB drive as a hot spare.

One thing worth mentioning since the 2310 is not true hardware RAID, be sure to load and initialize the array using the web-based utility. Also, purchase a 4th drive and configure it to the array as the hot spare. This might seem obvious but I had to learn the hard way.

Whether you run Windoze or Linux, Highpoint has good drivers and support. I can readily recommend the Highpoint 2310!

Good luck!
January 7, 2008 3:07:43 PM

chunkymonster said:
The Highpoint 2310 is a excellent and cheap RAID5 solution. I'm running one in my main machine with 3 - 320GB WD drives and a 4th - 320GB drive as a hot spare.

One thing worth mentioning since the 2310 is not true hardware RAID, be sure to load and initialize the array using the web-based utility. Also, purchase a 4th drive and configure it to the array as the hot spare. This might seem obvious but I had to learn the hard way.

Whether you run Windoze or Linux, Highpoint has good drivers and support. I can readily recommend the Highpoint 2310!

Good luck!


So what you are saying is that I should not partition my array into two drives (C for OS and D for data) but instead have a separate drive for OS? Or are you saying that the 2310 will automatically use the 4 drive as a spare (replacement) if one drive fails?

Thanks.
a c 139 à CPUs
January 7, 2008 4:30:58 PM

if its marked as a hot spare then at the point of one failing the hot spare will be used and the array will be rebuilt(some may ask you to rebuild, but i doubt it for this ome).....I have never used one(I need all the space i can get), but thats how its supposed to work :) 
a c 102 à CPUs
January 7, 2008 4:47:52 PM

rmicro1 said:
So what you are saying is that I should not partition my array into two drives (C for OS and D for data) but instead have a separate drive for OS? Or are you saying that the 2310 will automatically use the 4 drive as a spare (replacement) if one drive fails?

Thanks.


There are multiple ways to install the OS. The way I use is to get another HDD, don't put it in the RAID, and install the OS on that. The HDDs in the RAID solely hold data. I do this because I don't use HighPoint's RAID setup program but use Linux's integrated software RAID (md). md is more flexible than a host-based RAID such as if you set up the RAID using HighPoint's BIOS RAID setup, but you have to load the array info before the RAID can start, so much of the OS (/boot, /, /sbin, /var, /etc) cannot be in the array or else it cannot boot itself. All the OS sees at boot are the individual disks that are connected to the controller card. The separate OS HDD lets the OS get started and then load the array later in the startup process as your user data isn't needed to bootstrap the OS. If you use HighPoint's setup program, the BIOS lets the firmware on the RAID card be the driver and thus the OS sees the RAID as an array at bootup and you can install and boot the OS from the array.

Personally, I ALWAYS keep the OS on a separate partition than my data if not on a separate HDD. This is so I can reinstall/restore or upgrade the OS and not lose my data. This is pretty much SOP for anybody running a *nix OS as the installers prompt you to do this in almost all cases. Separate OS/data partitions are not made in a Windows install, but they are still a very good idea- you just have to tell the OS where to use the second partition (e.g. change the target for C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents to D:\.) I do this on my Windows machines and I've had no problems.

And about the hot spare bit- I am not sure as I don't use HighPoint's setup utility. I just use the controller in "dumb" mode to give me four SATA ports on a very fast controller and bus and let the OS handle the RAID.
January 7, 2008 4:54:38 PM

So in trying to understand how this raid controller works, can I setup the array during bootup like most other raid controllers? This way I can setup the OS on the first partition and then make a data partition.


Once again, I'm looking at keeping this an energy efficient system so adding unnecessary hard drives will drive up the initial and running costs.
a c 102 à CPUs
January 7, 2008 5:03:16 PM

1779851,21,124749 said:
So in trying to understand how this raid controller works, can I setup the array during bootup like most other raid controllers? This way I can setup the OS on the first partition and then make a data partition.

Yup.

[/quote]
a b à CPUs
January 7, 2008 5:04:38 PM

rmicro1 said:
So what you are saying is that I should not partition my array into two drives (C for OS and D for data) but instead have a separate drive for OS? Or are you saying that the 2310 will automatically use the 4 drive as a spare (replacement) if one drive fails?

Thanks.

Nukemaster's reply is correct, if the 4th drive is configured as the hot spare and should one of the 3 drives in the RAID5 array fail, the 2310 utility can be configured to automatically rebuild the array.

Certainly you can partition the RAID5 array into C: as the OS and D: for data and there is nothing incorrect or wrong with doing it that way. It is just my opinion to not partition the RAID5 array into two logical drives but use the 2310 solely as your RAID5 array and then use the onboard SATA controller and another separate drive for the OS. This would make for a total of 5 drives in the machine, but you will be assured of keeping the back-up data separate from any OS issues and vice-versa. It's really what would work best for you and your situation.

If your anything like most of us here in these forums, you've probably got an old IDE or SATA drive laying around that you could use as the OS drive. I know I have a 13GB and a 30GB IDE drive and a 80GB and 120GB sata drive sitting in my storage closet.

a b à CPUs
January 7, 2008 5:40:12 PM

rmicro1 said:
So in trying to understand how this raid controller works, can I setup the array during bootup like most other raid controllers? This way I can setup the OS on the first partition and then make a data partition.


Once again, I'm looking at keeping this an energy efficient system so adding unnecessary hard drives will drive up the initial and running costs.


If you haven't already, here's a link to the Highpoint 2310 web page where you can dl all the docs and manuals.

Briefly, the 2310 can be made a bootable device so you can boot off the controller. You can use the card's BIOS to create a 3 drive RAID5 array and as long as the OS install recognizes the array, you can create two partitions for the OS and data on the same array.

However, I have to mention it again, the 2310 is not a true hardware RAID controller. If you use use the Highpoint utility to intialize and configure the array, the utility can only be used from within the OS. So with that said, to use the utility to intialize and configure the array and set up the 4th drive as a hot spare, the OS needs to be loaded first.

I do not believe the utility and BIOS are "smart" enough to distinguish between the logical partitions and the physical drives when it comes to configuring the hot spare. The 4th drive will most likely need to remain a hot spare.

In my experience with this controller, it is easier and "better" to have a separate drive just for the OS.

Hope that helps. Good luck!

January 7, 2008 5:45:53 PM

chunkymonster said:
If your anything like most of us here in these forums, you've probably got an old IDE or SATA drive laying around that you could use as the OS drive. I know I have a 13GB and a 30GB IDE drive and a 80GB and 120GB sata drive sitting in my storage closet.


Speaking of which, I think I have an old 40gb IDE sitting in my spare parts box.
(Anyone have a use for a Nvidia 7800GS AGP?:)  )

Here's a question slightly off the topic but still related to how I can have this server setup and to keep it as energy efficient:

Can I have it set to go into hibernation and turn on the "wake on LAN" option in the BIOS to have it wake and resume as needed? Has anyone done anything like that and have it work reliably?

January 8, 2008 7:42:41 PM

I have a question for you Chunkymonster, do you notice a difference in performance between the highpoint 2310 array verses using an on-board array?

I ask this because I was looking for reviews of the 2310 controller and the two reviews I found showed it compared to two onboard controllers from Nvidia and Intel, and there was very little difference. So I am wondering if it is really worth the extra $150.


Thanks.
a b à CPUs
January 9, 2008 2:04:05 AM

rmicro1 said:
I have a question for you Chunkymonster, do you notice a difference in performance between the highpoint 2310 array verses using an on-board array?

I ask this because I was looking for reviews of the 2310 controller and the two reviews I found showed it compared to two onboard controllers from Nvidia and Intel, and there was very little difference. So I am wondering if it is really worth the extra $150.


Thanks.
Can't really answer that question because I have never used an on mobo RAID5 chipset.

While performance is a valid reason to choose between a $150 controller card and the RAID5 from the ICH9R or nVRAID, the other thing to consider is that a RAID array created using a controller card is totally transferable from one motherboard to the next. Meaning, if you use mobo RAID5 and the mobo craps out or you want to move the array to another machine, you must use a mobo with the exact same chipset that the array was created with. However, if you use the 2310 to create the array, the drives and the controller card can be moved from one rig to the next with no concern for what mobo the card is being plugged into, providing the mobo can accept a 4x PCIe card of course.

There have been numerous threads from people wondering why they can't transfer their array from their old mobo with the Sil 3132 RAID chip to their new mobo with the VIA VT8237R southbridge.

Mobo RAID5 is a solution, for the enthusiast and power user. But as a customer back up solution, the extra $150 for the controller is the better option.


a c 102 à CPUs
January 9, 2008 2:39:09 AM

rmicro1 said:
I have a question for you Chunkymonster, do you notice a difference in performance between the highpoint 2310 array verses using an on-board array?

I ask this because I was looking for reviews of the 2310 controller and the two reviews I found showed it compared to two onboard controllers from Nvidia and Intel, and there was very little difference. So I am wondering if it is really worth the extra $150.


Thanks.


I certainly do on my machine, which is why I got the card in the first place. Perhaps the newest southbridges are better, but the nForce 4 southbridge on my system seems to have a bottleneck in it that restricts disk I/O to roughly 70-100 MB/sec for all ports. The Intel ICH7, NVIDIA NF5xx, and ATi SB600 are known to not be so hot but I haven't seen much else on motherboard RAID 5 since that. That's not an issue if you have one HDD or HDDs that are not in an array (and thus aren't being accessed simultaneously) but it kills the performance of an array big-time. I was getting 60-70 MB/sec reads and 20 MB/sec writes when I should have been getting ~120 MB/sec reads and 60 MB/sec writes. The write performance on the nF4 was bad enough that I shelled out for the HighPoint card and that solved the performance problem.
January 9, 2008 1:57:18 PM

I am running a raid 5 on another machine of mine using the on-board raid controller. I think it's using the NF430i southbridge (Asus P5N-E SLI). Overall it's performance is fairly good. It's copy and read speeds are decent. However, decompressing a file is a whole other matter. I don't know why but when I decompress a file (used a number of different programs ex. power archiver, 7-zip, winzip), it just crawls to like 4mb/sec. Does the same with installing programs. Anything that has to do with decompressing, it's way too slow.

So I am hoping that using a controller card will get rid of this kind of problem with my new server.
January 10, 2008 1:53:42 PM

If you're using Vista then many of the copy type of operations are outrageously slow. MS has stated that they plan to ameliorate the situation in SP1, but that is not finalized yet.
January 11, 2008 8:30:39 PM

hewlettpucktard said:
If you're using Vista then many of the copy type of operations are outrageously slow. MS has stated that they plan to ameliorate the situation in SP1, but that is not finalized yet.


I have heard the same about SP1. However, I am currently using Windows XP Pro SP2 and experiencing these very slow speeds. I am at a total loss as to why this happens. I've checked my Task Manager to check CPU usage during decompression of a file and it sits at 4%. CPU not anywhere near being pushed. So there's a major bottleneck somewhere in the I/O area.

Anyways, that's a big sidetrack from my original post. I will most likely order the parts for the server in the next 1 to 2 weeks. I'll try to post again to let everyone know the stats of the system, especially the power consumption. Again, if anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to let me know.

Thanks.
!