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About FemmeT

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    Storage benchmarking
  1. The Areca ARC-1680 will be available in May. The card is based on the IOP348, which is an IOP341 with integrated Intel IOC340 SAS controller. AFAIK clock speed has been downgraded to 667MHz from 800MHz in the ARC-1280/1261/1231. I'm not sure about the effects on performance, because the ARC-1280 could be bandwidth limited. The max STR of the ARC-1280 is ~760MB/s, which is close the pratical limit of the 133MHz PCI-X bus used by the SATA controllers. The IOP348 has a lot more bandwidth between processor and controller.
  2. FemmeT

    Areca 1230 Spin Down Support

    I have been using this feature for several months on WinXP x64 and Windows Server 2003 systems. No issues so far.
  3. FemmeT

    Fan on my Areca RAID card is going bad

    If you have sufficient free space below the controller, you can replace the HSF with a Zalman northbridge cooler. Pic 1 Pic 2 I use this mod on an ARC-1120 and ARC-1160. The standard fan was running at 2770 rpm on my ARC-1120 (screenshot.
  4. Well these benchmarks verify what I suspected, LSI has low sequential write performance for some reason. I am using an LSI MegaRaid SCSI 320-4X but I am getting almost identical results to the LSI controller in those benchmarks. I suspect since they both use the same IOP321. What I would like to know, are there any SCSI 320 controllers that are faster or any planned? Or am I stuck upgrading to SAS or SATA to get higher end controllers. This would be a shame since i know my drives are capable of more speed if the controller had the faster processor like that IOP341. The reason why the MegaRAID SATA 300-8X has such low STR is because its using a IOP331 clocked at 250MHz instead of the 500MHz clockspeed used by the processors on the Areca and Promise controllers. The MegaRAID SCSI 320-2X/4X is based on the older IOP321 running at 400MHz. I'm currently testing the Dell PERC 5/E, based on the Intel IOP333, and it's pushing over 510MB/s read STR and 314MB/s write STR with 14 Fujitsu MAX3036RC drives in RAID 5. The drives are connected through a SAS expander with a 1,2GB/s wide port between controller and expander. The database performance of this setup is truly stunning (I can post some benchmarks if anyone is interested). The Dell PERC 5/E is designed by LSI Logic but the PCB layout is different to the LSI MegaRAID SAS 8480E, which I will be testing soon as well.
  5. Areca has recently introduced a new series of PCI Express SATA RAID adapters based on the Intel IOP341 dual core I/O processor. The 24 port ARC-1280 reaches sequential transfer rates of 775MB/s in RAID 5 with 14 Raptor WD740ADFD drives. Performance scaling is much better than existing RAID solutions. Winbench 99 sequential read transfer rate: IOMeter sequential write transfer rate: See this article for more benchmarks.
  6. FemmeT

    New System RAID 5/6 CARD help

    The performance of the ARC-1220 (new version with 256MB cache) and the ARC-1230 is identical. For a homeserver, I think there's no point in spending two disks on a RAID 1 boot array. Just put everything on one array or create multiple RAID volume sets on a single RAID set. The write-back cache of the ARC-1230 will handle pagefile writes very well. You don't really need a dedicated disk for this. Use the 320GB PATA drive for secondary backup storage, so you have better protection against failure of the RAID array.
  7. FemmeT

    15k.5 numbers posted

    I don't believe STR accounts for only 5 percent of the overall performance of a drive, I think it has much greater influence. In the end however, it's the whole package - STR, access times, command queuing optimizations, caching strategies, even interface transfer rate - which leads to a certain performance level. If there is unbalanced performance in on these low level characteristics, a drive will not reach its expected performance level. In this case, the problem is probably with the caching strategies. The 15K.4 and 15K.5 seem to be totally de-optimized for workstation usage. If the 15K.5 has to perform a lot more seeks than other drives with proper caching strategies, it will still be behind in performance, despite its stunning sequential transfer rates. That doesn't mean higher STR won't help. Compare the performance of the 15K.5 to the 15K.4 and you will see the 15K.5 performs substantially better in four out of five of SR's RankDisk benchmarks. Since both drives are poor in caching and access times are about equal, the difference is probably caused by the higher STR of the 15K.5.
  8. FemmeT

    Is this a good chart ?

    Personally I wouldn't store any important data on a RAID 0 array. It's smarter to just run everything (system files, program files and data) from a RAID 10 array. You only need to boot the OS and start the applications once for every session and it's not very likely that you will be accessing a lot of files from the data partition at the same time, so I don't see the need to split this into different drives for system/program files and data. No one cares about the performance of the paging file if there's enough system memory available. RAID 10 will give you excellent average performance plus the added safety and convenience of redundancy.
  9. 15K SCSI drives have no performance advantage for workstation usage. If the performance level of a single Raptor ADFD is not sufficient for your needs than you'll have to use RAID to improve performance. The performance potential of striping is far greater than the difference a single 10K or 15K drive can make. If you're really serious about performance and reliability, take one of the high performance hardware accelerated RAID adapters with onboard cache (e.g. Areca ARC-1210).
  10. FemmeT

    Areca 1220 Fan Failure and Overheat

    You can disable the fan alarm in the BIOS/management utility. If the option to disable the fan alarm is not there you need to update the firmware to a recent version.
  11. FemmeT

    Areca 1220 Fan Failure and Overheat

    You can replace the heatsink/fan with a Zalman northbridge heatsink. I have done this on both the ARC-1120 and ARC-1160 and it works very well. The downside is that you need a lot of space below the board because of the height of the heatsink.
  12. It's no problem to move arrays to different Areca controllers, however if you're using Windows you will have to reinstall the OS because Areca doesn't have a unified Windows driver model. Recently Areca has released a beta driver package which uses one driver for all their boards but still I haven't been able to swap ARC-1120, ARC-1160 and ARC-1280 cards without breaking Windows.
  13. FemmeT

    ?'s about 250GB drives and 8506-8

    What RAID configuration do you plan to use. The 3ware Escalade 8506-8 is dead slow in RAID 5. It also doesn't have much added value for a hardware RAID adapter because it lacks cache memory and other features.
  14. That really depends on the disk configuration and the type of workloads. The I/O processor of the ARC-1220 and ARC-1260 is limited to RAID 5 write transfer rates of ~240MB/s and RAID 5 read transfer rates of ~360MB/s. If you think you will be hitting these bottlenecks (and you will be able to spread the workload over two controllers/arrays) the setup with two ARC-1120 might be faster. Otherwise I think a ARC-1260 equipped with 512MB or 1GB cache will be a better solution. I'm now testing Areca's next gen 24-port ARC-1280 controller. The ARC-1280 is able to handle sequential read transfer rates of 650MB/s in RAID 5 and RAID 6 with ten Raptor WD740ADFD drives. Sequential write transfer rate in a two minute IOMeter test is 730MB/s vs 650MB/s for RAID 5 and RAID 6 with ten WD740ADFD's. Very impressive. The new architecture is almost free of bottlenecks.
  15. AFAIK the 9590SE is just a 9550SX with an additional PCI Express bridge. The 9550SX failed to impress me and I don't expect anything better from the 9590SE. If you're concerned about performance, get an Areca controller.