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Thread: Burke's SATA RAID-0 Comparison!

  1. #1
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    Post Burke's SATA RAID-0 Comparison!

    I won't go into some big professional HardOCP/AnandTech/Tech Report review because, frankly, my hands, wrists and eyes are tired. FYI, I only tested RAID-0 with a 16k stripe and 4k clusters, so this isn't an uber-comparison of across-the-board RAID performance, just a setup that most RAIDers are likely to try.

    Test Setup:
    - ABIT IC7-G (1.1 BIOS)
    - ASUS P4C800 Deluxe (1004.005 BIOS)
    - 3.0 GHz P4 800 MHz FSB
    - (2) Western Digital Raptor 10k RPM in RAID-0, 16k stripe, NTFS w/4 kb clusters, defragged
    - XP Pro SP1 w/all updates
    - Intel Chipset Drivers 5.0
    - Intel Application Accelerator 3.0 RAID Edition
    - Latest drivers for all three SATA controllers

    Controllers:
    - Intel ICH5R & Silicon Image 3112 on IC7-G
    - Promise FastTrak 378 on P4C800 Deluxe

    **********

    Promise FastTrak 378 SATA Results

    HD Tach



    SiSoft Sandra



    ATTO Disk Benchmark



    DiskSpeed32



    PCMark2002


    **********
    Last edited by Brk; 05-03-03 at 06:58 PM.

  2. #2
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    Burke's SATA RAID-0 Comparison, Part 2: Silicon Image 3112

    Test Setup:
    - ABIT IC7-G (1.1 BIOS)
    - 3.0 GHz P4 800 MHz FSB
    - (2) Western Digital Raptor 10k RPM in RAID-0, 16k stripe, NTFS w/4 kb clusters, defragged
    - XP Pro SP1 w/all updates
    - Latest drivers

    **********

    Silicon Image 3112 SATAraid Results

    HD Tach



    SiSoft Sandra



    ATTO Disk Benchmark



    DiskSpeed32



    PCMark2002
    Last edited by Brk; 05-03-03 at 05:46 PM.

  3. #3
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    Post Burke's SATA RAID-0 Comparison, Part 3: Intel ICH5R

    Test Setup:
    - ABIT IC7-G (1.1 BIOS)
    - 3.0 GHz P4 800 MHz FSB
    - (2) Western Digital Raptor 10k RPM in RAID-0, 16k stripe, NTFS w/4 kb clusters, defragged
    - XP Pro SP1 w/all updates
    - Latest drivers

    **********

    Intel ICH5 RAID Results

    HD Tach



    SiSoft Sandra



    ATTO Disk Benchmark



    DiskSpeed32



    PCMark2002
    Last edited by Brk; 05-03-03 at 05:47 PM.

  4. #4
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    Post Burke's SATA RAID-0 Comparison, Part 4: Conclusion

    SATA RAID-0 Conclusion:
    Suffice it to say, the ICH5 RAID crushes both the onboard Promise controller on the P4C800 Deluxe and the additional Silicon Image controller on the IC7-G with the Raptors in RAID-0. I actually ran HD Tach five times to ensure that the Intel score wasn't a fluke...I got virtually the same results all five times.

    If you want the best SATA RAID-0 performance from an onboard/on-chip controller, the Intel ICH5R cannot be beaten. Some of the scores between the three, such as Sandra's File System Benchmark, aren't widely disparate, but the Promise and Silicon Image controllers just couldn't maintain the burst rate and, more importantly, the consistency and balance of read/write performance offered by Intel's southbridge solution. As you can see in the HD Tach benchmarks, the CPU utilization was higher on the ICH5R, but in my opinion the tremendous increase in burst rate and sustained read/write more than makes up for the 2% or so jump.

    One note: the ASUS P4C800 Deluxe features a "vanilla" ICH5, meaning it does NOT have the integrated RAID controller; so, if you want high-end SATA RAID-0 performance, I would avoid the P4C800 until ASUS (hopefully) releases a revision that includes the ICH5R.

    EDIT: Prometheus over at Asusboards.com has also done a comparison of the Raptors' RAID-0 performance on the ICH5R, using all the available stripe sizes. It's a good read, check out his thread here.

    And it's official...I hate benchmarking!
    Last edited by Brk; 05-03-03 at 06:28 PM.

  5. #5
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    I demand more benchmarks!

  6. #6
    Certified SG Addict Brent's Avatar
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    Awesome comparisons though, thanks for that

    it shows that the best SATA RAID performance is Intel ICH5R, which is just very nice

    it seems Intel really has a handle on the latest technologies
    "Would you mind not standing on my chest, my hats on fire." - The Doctor

  7. #7
    would you recommend using this raid-0 setup on the intel ich-r controller as a system drive. I mean in every experience i have had with raid as a system drive it has made the os sluggish and not very responsive.

  8. #8
    Forum Techie A_old's Avatar
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    Originally posted by bigjohns97
    would you recommend using this raid-0 setup on the intel ich-r controller as a system drive. I mean in every experience i have had with raid as a system drive it has made the os sluggish and not very responsive.
    Intel's ata controllers have always been top notch. definately use it.

  9. #9
    SG Enthusiast yikes's Avatar
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    Burke,

    between the controllers it looks as though there is almost a 2x speed increase from the best to the worst of the benchmarks. Do you feel you can really see this performance on a daily basis of using your PC? As I am intersted getting something similar to that raid setup.

    YiKeS

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by yikes
    Burke,

    between the controllers it looks as though there is almost a 2x speed increase from the best to the worst of the benchmarks. Do you feel you can really see this performance on a daily basis of using your PC? As I am intersted getting something similar to that raid setup.

    YiKeS
    Honestly, unless you're moving large files or big volumes of multiple files, the great differences won't be all that noticeable.

    However, you will notice that Windows and other larger programs install a lot faster, and the loading times for some apps will be appreciably quicker. SCSI fans will likely tell you the same thing.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by Amro
    Intel's ata controllers have always been top notch. definately use it.
    is that so amro son???
    lol
    NeoLev

    [WinXP Pro][2.4 C MHz Pentium 4 running @ 2.83 Stock voltage][Gigabyte 8KNXP Deluxe][2x512MB Kingston Hyper X DDR 3500] [FSB @ 1.1 GHZ] [Linksys 10/100 NIC][ATI 9700 Pro][2x80GB WD 7200RPM 8MB Cache Raid 0]

  12. #12
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    Nice testing burke thanks for the info.

    If you have any spare change from all that stuff you tested don't forget about the poor people.
    NeoLev

    [WinXP Pro][2.4 C MHz Pentium 4 running @ 2.83 Stock voltage][Gigabyte 8KNXP Deluxe][2x512MB Kingston Hyper X DDR 3500] [FSB @ 1.1 GHZ] [Linksys 10/100 NIC][ATI 9700 Pro][2x80GB WD 7200RPM 8MB Cache Raid 0]

  13. #13
    jinu117
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    Nice read.
    I just sigined on to say this.
    Read your chart on Promise IDE again.
    Does the write look normal? I've had 2 different P4 boards with Promise raid and this is first time I see such an interesting #s.
    Now, granted, you are reviewing it as is. But read portion of story doesn't quite "CRASH" the competition as you mentioned. Once the problem is fixed (it darned better be if ASUS wants to float in this compatitive market), I can't really see more than 2-5% difference with promise vs ICH5 until maybe we see 2nd phase of Raptor with higher throughput. (or raid-5 yeah... ICH won't get there for a while either).

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by jinu117
    Nice read.
    I just sigined on to say this.
    Read your chart on Promise IDE again.
    Does the write look normal? I've had 2 different P4 boards with Promise raid and this is first time I see such an interesting #s.
    Now, granted, you are reviewing it as is. But read portion of story doesn't quite "CRASH" the competition as you mentioned. Once the problem is fixed (it darned better be if ASUS wants to float in this compatitive market), I can't really see more than 2-5% difference with promise vs ICH5 until maybe we see 2nd phase of Raptor with higher throughput. (or raid-5 yeah... ICH won't get there for a while either).
    Actually, I read today there is a confirmed problem with the Promise 378 SATA controller and 8 MB cache drives...that's likely the culprit, because those writes on the Promise controller are HEINOUS.

    In reference to the "crushing" by the ICH5R, I was speaking in terms of sustained read/write as well as burst rate. Additionally, the ICH5R takes the SATA controller off the PCI bus, which allows for true 150 MB/sec per the SATA spec. The Promise and Silicon Image is limited my the PCI bus.

  15. #15
    s.stormont
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    As someone who just had this bite me in the a$$, you did enable Write back caching in the Promise Array Manager on the P4C800 before conducting your testing, right?

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by s.stormont
    As someone who just had this bite me in the a$$, you did enable Write back caching in the Promise Array Manager on the P4C800 before conducting your testing, right?
    Sure did.

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