As configured, we set up the RAIDFrame on a test PC with the following specs:
- Intel Pentium D, 2.80 GHz
- 1GB RAM
- Windows Server 2003 Enterprise SP2
- Western Digital WD6400AACS (640GB SATA) (C:)
- RAIDPac Drive 3 x 1TB, RAID 5 (I:)
- RAIDPac Drive 3 x 1TB, RAID 0 (J:)
- RAIDPac Drive 3 x 1.5TB, RAID 5 (K:)
- RAIDPac Drive 3 x 1TB, RAID 5 (L:)
- RAIDPac Drive 3 x 1.5TB, RAID 0 (M:)
- Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB SATA (N:)
- SimpleTech SimpleDrive 500GB (USB) (O:)
- SimpleTech (re)drive 500GB (USB) (O:)
- High-Rely PCI Express eSATA adapter card
For the SATA comparison, we added a new 1.5TB Seagate hard drive mounted as a secondary internal disk for the system. For the USB Storage, I used two SimpleTech 500GB models; the SimpleDrive and the (re)drive.
For our first test, I used Highly Reliable’s own in-house performance tool, TRMark. TRMark is a command line test application that produces read and write rates while sending and receiving a file of a designated size to the destination test drive. The output is then displayed in KB, MB, and GB, in seconds, minutes, and hours. For this test, I generated three different sized files: 1,000MB, 4,000MB, and 8,000MB. Using a batch file, I let the test run overnight and used UltraEdit to weed out the unnecessary characters in the 200MB files created by the process. Each drive was tested five times in drive letter order. Also, to get some comparable stats, I included the stand-alone 1.5TB Seagate Barracuda SATA drive and the SimpleTech SimpleDrive external USB.
Here are the results:
The file sizes of the tests’ output showed little to some variation correlating between the RAIDPac’s eSATA drives. The fastest eSATA rates come from the 8,000MB test, where the average read tests showed rates of above 60 MB/s. The second best set of eSATA results came from the 1,000MB file, which ranged between 53-57 MB/s. Keep in mind that we are comparing internal SATA versus external SATA, where the external device is sharing a 3 Gb/s link between all of the attached devices. In this case, as we'd expect, the clear winner is the internal Seagate Barracuda drive, which averaged between 93 MB/s and 100 MB/s. Lastly, we see the difference between USB 2.0 and eSATA, as the latter drives outperform the fastest data rate produced by the external USB drive.
In the write test, we see better performance for the RAIDPacs in the smaller 1,000MB file test. Whereas in the read test we see all the eSATA drives performing at similar numbers, the write test shows that the RAIDPacs configured with RAID 0 significantly outperform their RAID 5 competition. The RAID 0-based RAIDPacs wrote the 1,000MB files at speeds just over 70 MB/s, while the larger file tests on the RAID 5-based RAIDPacs fared just a little better than the SimpleTech USB drive. Still, you see a definite performance delta between the RAID 0- and RAID 5-based RAIDPacs.