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SSDs In RAID: A Performance Scaling Analysis

Test Setup

System Hardware
CPUIntel Core i7-920 (45 nm, 2.66 GHz, 8 MB L3 Cache)
Motherboard (LGA 1366)Supermicro X8SAXRevision: 1.0, Chipset Intel X58 + ICH10R, BIOS: 1.0B
ControllerLSI MegaRAID 9280-24i4e Firmware: v12.11.0-0016, Driver: v4.31.1.64
RAM3 x 1 GB DDR3-1333 Corsair CM3X1024-1333C9DHX
HDDSeagate NL35 400 GB, ST3400832NS, 7200 RPM, SATA 1.5Gb/s, 8 MB Cache
Power SupplyOCZ EliteXstream 800 W, OCZ800EXS-EU
Performance Measurementsh2benchw 3.13 PCMark Vantage
I/O PerformanceIOMeter 2008.08.18 Fileserver-Benchmark Webserver-Benchmark Database-Benchmark Workstation-Benchmark Streaming Reads Streaming Writes 4k Random Reads 4k Random Writes
System Software & Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate

Although we're using a relatively fast test system, the configuration is not ideal to maximize I/O performance. Multi-socket platforms, faster processors, and one of the latest RAID controllers would help to maximize I/O performance numbers compared with the results we see. We also have to say that enterprise-class SSDs are not necessarily best at delivering maximum performance, but at maintaining performance. In this case, it means that other SSDs, especially consumer products, may appear faster on paper and according to basic benchmarks. However, when hammering them with intensive workloads, enterprise drives are better able to maintain expected performance levels at all times.

Samsung's MZ3S9100 is a 3.5“ model. It is the drive with the large aluminum casing shown in the photo.

LSI 9280-24i4e with 24x SATA and 4x SAS.