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SATA Spells Trouble for SCSI RAID: Five Controllers Put to the Test

Test Setup

System Hardware
Processor(s)2x Intel Xeon Processor (Nocona core)3.6 GHz, FSB800, 1 MB L2 Cache
PlatformAsus NCL-DS (Socket 604)Intel E7520 Chipset, BIOS 1005
RAMCorsair CM72DD512AR-400 (DDR2-400 ECC, reg.)2x 512 MB, CL3-3-3-10 Timings
System Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar WD1200JB120 GB, 7,200 RPM, 8 MB Cache, UltraATA/100
Mass Storage Controller(s)Intel 82801EB UltraATA/100 Controller (ICH5)Silicon Image Sil3124, PCI-X
NetworkingBroadcom BCM5721 On-Board Gigabit Ethernet NIC
Graphics CardOn-Board GraphicsATI RageXL, 8 MB
System Hardware
Performance Measurementsc’t h2benchw 3.6
I/O PerformanceIOMeter 2003.05.10Fileserver-BenchmarkWebserver-BenchmarkDatabase-BenchmarkWorkstation-Benchmark
System Software & Drivers
OSMicrosoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition,Service Pack 1
Platform DriverIntel Chipset Installation Utility 7.0.0.1025
Graphics DriverDefault Windows Graphics Driver

We used eight Seagate NL35 drives for benchmarking. These are based on 7200.8 technology, but validated for 24/7 operation, and support NCQ.Benchmark Results

Due to the lack of a serious benchmarking utility that would properly support either the large array size of 2 TB or RAID arrays in general, we decided to primarily focus on I/O performance.