My SATA2 x 4 HDs in RAID5 formation showed HDTach benchmarks that were jagged beyond belief. The performance should have been much higher than the 60MBs/sec I was seeing..
I contacted Seagate with my results. They emailed me a firmware upgrade for my ST3500641AS-RK 500GB SATA Harddrives with S/N beginning with 3PM-----. These drives came with a 12/20/2005 3AAE firmware as labeled on the drive itself. Updating harddrives firmware is not something that the end user would normally do, and hence they emailed me the upgrade (as it's not on their website) to 3AAH date 2/17/2006.
To upgrade the firmware I unhooked all my IDE & SATA drives from the mobo and controller cards. I hooked up one SATA drive at a time to the mobo onboard SATA controller and booted simply to DOS with a floppy disk and ran the .BAT file they emailed me that I unzipped to a disk. I repeated this for all 8 of my drives, hooked everything back up and rebooted to WinXP.
The great news is twofold 1) upon hooking up all my drives, I didn't have to reformat or reRAID anything.. all my data was still there on line. and 2) the benchmark results improved dramatically from 60/MBs to 160/MBs
here they are..
Once again, these are 4 Seagate 500GB SATA2 drives in hardware RAID 5 formation with a Highpoint RocketRAID 2240 controller card. The card supports 16 drives on 4 infiniband channels, and these results show the benchmarks for two of the infiniband channels (4x1 500GB) each with RAID5 setups.
hope this info helps someone else,