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New AMD Raid 0 performance issue, need advice

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January 1, 2011 6:16:08 PM

New gaming build and looking for best hard drive combination for performance. I am concerned about my current configuration and I may have set up the array incorrectly/inefficiently.

Currently I have 2 Western Digital Caviar Black WD6402AAEX 640GB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s set up in a raid 0 array and I did get win7 installed. My win7 experiance index is 5.9 for hard drive and I can't say the load performance is what I expected. My other indexes are processor 7.5, mem 7.5, gaming/aero both 7.4.

I also have a seagate momentus xt hybrid drive that I can use if it is going to give me better performace?

With these hard drives.. what configuration should i use for best performace? Did I miss something when setting up the array? Should I use the hybrid drive for my boot device instead?

Please help! This is the first time I've experimented with raid 0, arrays, and installing win7 on them. I just dont see the performance boost I was expecting from it.

Current stable system specs:
ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6402AAEX 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban 3.259ghz
January 1, 2011 6:37:10 PM

Windows 7 index for mechanical HDD (be it in RAID or not) stop at 5.9. Higher is only reserved for SSD.

You have to remember that loading data is not just about loading, but also processing them. So it is quite possible that you don't notice any improvement by loading small chunk of data and processing them. You are more likely to see a difference when moving large amount of data.

Just download HD benchmark software like HDtune and test your array. I can tell you that based on my own experience, RAID0 is faster than single drive except SSD drives. especially the AMD 850 southbridge which is a very fast and good controller.

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January 1, 2011 10:49:35 PM

Pat- Very good comments.. Thank you! I am running some diagnostics.. per your suggestion of HDtune.. results are:

(read)
Min: 84.6mb/s
Max: 210mb/s
Average:163mb/s
access time: 12.3ms.. seems to long?
Burst rate: 270mb/s

Also, when I setup windows I partitioned it into 3 partitions: one partition is not formatted or is not working? Comments on why? Do I just format it in windows?


Reran the test 3 times, got access time of 7.38ms one time, test FAILED another time and AMDRaidexpert program reported a malfuntion.. could one of my drives be bad then?
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January 2, 2011 12:51:10 AM

did you install any needed drivers?

12.3ms is fine.
the speeds are slightly low.
burst rate seems low.

for comparison only
my 3-disk 500gb seagate 7200.12 array results

max read at beginning about 400, min read at end about 190mb

these are some of the fastest drives being 500gb/platter

These were with hdtach if I remember right.

Try hd tach and report back with the image of the results
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January 2, 2011 3:59:42 AM

Thanks for the reply.. i'm working on diagnosing it.. every comment helps me get closer to the solution... I went through some trouble getting the drivers to load at first and i am not sure if i set up the array correctly before i installed windows.. Also AHCI is not activated.. i don't know if that means anything.. i'm a total noob to raid. If I turn it on in bios, windows will not boot.

I included screenshots below that may help in determining the issue.. I had 4 errors when checking the disk for errors.. these are brand new.. might have to return them.. or check them individually to see if just one is bad.. what do you think?







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January 2, 2011 5:37:09 PM

I just checked my RAID performance and it is a bit slower than yours, but acces time is better. Could be because I have 2 WD 500GB black instead.

If you get error, then I would install 7 on your other drive and check disk individually to make sure than one is not failing. Apart from that, updating drivers to the latest may help.

AHCI is not available for RAID, only for single drive. AHCI, like RAID, just make the controller to work differently fron standard IDE mode by adding newer command and function specially for that brand of controller instead of the generic set IDE provide. That is why drivers are needed.
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January 2, 2011 6:00:56 PM

Pat, thanks for comments. I have found .07-.08% of my hard drive error is BAD. So I will have to install on my hybrid drive and diagnose them individually to determine which (or if both) are bad. HDtune was very usefull in determining this case. As a reference point for speed I tested the seagate momentus 500gb hybryd drive and a seagate barracuda 7200.10 320gb. The raid array i maid with the westurn digitals are the fastest by far, followed by the hybrid drive, followed by the barrcuda. The hybrid was the most consistant in the tests however. If interested I can post the read rsults.

Thanks again for the help.
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January 2, 2011 6:29:20 PM

It is normal for hybrid drive to be more constant. Big array like yours, when tested in full will be constant for half then speed will decrease while going toward the end of the drive.
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!