TheR

Promise SuperTrak EX8350 PCIe x4

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Unfortunately there is no RAID6 support out of the box, and though the packaging promises an "update in late 2005," there is no mention of RAID6 anywhere in the manual, BIOS, or WebPAM software.  I was disappointed by this omission considering that this feature is widely advertised as a selling point for this card.

214140[/snapback]

Excuse me. Were you able to run card on TYAN board? You write that you will try, had some problems with drivers, but then nothing else. Could you tell more about your problems?

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TheR

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Unfortunately there is no RAID6 support out of the box, and though the packaging promises an "update in late 2005," there is no mention of RAID6 anywhere in the manual, BIOS, or WebPAM software.  I was disappointed by this omission considering that this feature is widely advertised as a selling point for this card.

214140[/snapback]

Excuse me. Were you able to run card on TYAN board? You write that you will try, had some problems with drivers, but then nothing else. Could you tell more about your problems?

214143[/snapback]

My apologies, the Tyan K8E is a new board so I had to flash the BIOS and install Linux. I have an intermittent CMOS checksum error, so it looks like Tyan is going to RMA the board and replace it.

Otherwise, the card works with this board under Linux. I installed Debian and kernel 2.6.12, compiled the Promise kernel module (it's called 'shasta', perhaps a code name for the EX3850?), and plugged the card into the x16 PCI-Express slot. And voila, it just works.

I wish Promise had made some attempt to get the module in the kernel tree, but there's nothing on the kernel mailing list indicating that they have. I'm familiar with Linux but don't really learn all about initrd just so I can boot from the Promise card. If they had provided their module in the form of a patch to the stable 2.6 tree, then we could compile support directly into the kernel and would not need to use initrd at all.

What sort of benchmarks would be worthwhile? I was thinking of running bonnie++ and postmark. I plan to run RAID 10, but can try RAID0 and RAID5 as well.

One note: I was very disappointed to see that this card only supports RAID10 with four disks. It can't stripe across more than two mirrored pairs! I expected to stripe across three.

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Am I right in thinking this is the only SATA pciex4 hardware RAID card on the market?

Nox

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The Tekram / Areca models in PCI-e x8 in 4,8,12,16, & 24 port SATA cards have been available for awhile. THey do carry a hefty price tag compared to the Promise card.

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Am I right in thinking this is the only SATA pciex4 hardware RAID card on the market?

Nox

214400[/snapback]

The Tekram / Areca models in PCI-e x8 in 4,8,12,16, & 24 port SATA cards have been available for awhile. THey do carry a hefty price tag compared to the Promise card.

214426[/snapback]

Not after a PCI-e x8 one!

Nox

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Has anyone gotten any decent write performance out of this card?

We have 6 Maxtor 7Y250M0 drives running in RAID5, running under Debian Sarge (Vanilla kernel 2.6.13, with the shasta driver [PS. I made a quick hack to patch it into the kernel directly, if anyones the patch, PM me. It makes it easier to boot directly from the array without having to mess with initrd])

Under bonnie++ and iozone3, we can only sustain ~39MBs write, which seems pretty crap.

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Am I right in thinking this is the only SATA pciex4 hardware RAID card on the market?

Nox

214400[/snapback]

No - there are other cards due this month from Broadcom.

Also available - Areca and I believe LSI are about to launch.

I've been looking into this for a while and decided against the Promise; it performed terribly against the Areca and others.

Broadcom are sending me an eval card (UK) shortly to test.

Odie

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I've been looking into this for a while and decided against the Promise; it performed terribly against the Areca and others.

Odie

214801[/snapback]

Are there any published performance comparisons between the areca and the promise?

Edited by shokunin

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I've been looking into this for a while and decided against the Promise; it performed terribly against the Areca and others.

Odie

214801[/snapback]

Are there any published performance comparisons between the areca and the promise?

214892[/snapback]

would like to know this as well

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It's not confidence-building when Promise's motherboard compatibility list includes several boards that do not have PCI Express, including:

Tyan S2885 (K8W, not the K8WE or K8SE which have PCI-E)

Tyan S2644 (hell this is an Athlon MP board for chrissake)

SuperMicro X5DAL (Which Promise's list says is an E7501 but is actually an E7505, but never mind because neither one has PCI-E)

and a couple other E7501 boards.

Their hard drive compatibility list includes the "WD4000YD". There is no such drive, presumably they meant the WD4000YR.

Somebody at Promise is smoking something real good.

KC

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Am I right in thinking this is the only SATA pciex4 hardware RAID card on the market?

Nox

214400[/snapback]

No - there are other cards due this month from Broadcom.

I believe LSI are about to launch.

Broadcom are sending me an eval card (UK) shortly to test.

Odie

214801[/snapback]

that was in mid-september.. I have yet to find anything on the new broadcoms :(

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Eya i got my card and disk running got some tests for you :)

My server specs:

Asus A8N-SLi Deluxe

AMD 3000+

1024mb Corsair 2.2.2.5

80GB Ide system disk

5x Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 400GB SATA

and Promise SuperTrak EX8350 PCIe x4 running em

Sandra Test:

sandra-raid5.JPG

HDTach Fast Test:

http://home.no.net/chrda123/raid/hdtach-fast.test.JPG

HDTach Long Test:

http://home.no.net/chrda123/raid/hdtach-long.test.JPG

Any other tests you guys want?

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Eya i got my card and disk running got some tests for you :)

My server specs:

Asus A8N-SLi Deluxe

AMD 3000+

1024mb Corsair 2.2.2.5

80GB Ide system disk

5x Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 400GB SATA

and Promise SuperTrak EX8350 PCIe x4 running em

Sandra Test:

http://home.no.net/chrda123/raid/sandra-raid5.JPG

HDTach Fast Test:

http://home.no.net/chrda123/raid/hdtach-fast.test.JPG

HDTach Long Test:

http://home.no.net/chrda123/raid/hdtach-long.test.JPG

Any other tests you guys want?

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those write speeds seem kinda low

could you run DiskBench and see what it reports?

I'd like to see how this card compares to the Areca seen here

And/or, could you copy a DVD iso or other 4.5GB file to your array and time it? I would like to know how it compares to my BC4452.

Also, how has your experience been with the card? Any problems? How is the software?

Thanks

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Created file: X:\DiskBench1.bin

Size: 629145600 bytes

Time: 6547 ms

Transfer Rate: 91,645 MB/s

Copy C:\DiskBench1.bin to X:\DiskBench1.bin

Size: 4678608896

Time: 159375 ms

Transfer Rate: 27,996 MB/s

Maybe something wrong with the other drives or its controllers?

btw its IDE drives.

but over the Gbit network i get i like 22MB/s

maybe update some drivers and bios maybe it will help, and maybe invest in a sata drive later on

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Hmm no edit button here?

The software that followed was easy to install and the interface software was nice and simple to use , took me not many seconds to setup a raid-5 array

Card also has a buzzer incase of failure or so.

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Created file: X:\DiskBench1.bin

  Size: 629145600 bytes

  Time: 6547 ms

  Transfer Rate: 91,645 MB/s

Copy C:\DiskBench1.bin to X:\DiskBench1.bin

  Size: 4678608896

  Time: 159375 ms

  Transfer Rate: 27,996 MB/s

Maybe something wrong with the other drives or its controllers?

btw its IDE drives.

but over the Gbit network i get i like 22MB/s

maybe update some drivers and bios maybe it will help, and maybe invest in a sata drive later on

216529[/snapback]

Those numbers seem really low <_<

What is your source drive that you are copying from?

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From 160Gb Maxtor IDE to RAID5 Array:

Copy D:\temp\24mb.file to X:\DiskBench1.bin

Size: 25165824

Time: 203 ms

Transfer Rate: 118,227 MB/s

Copy D:\temp\120mb.file to X:\DiskBench1.bin

Size: 125829120

Time: 828 ms

Transfer Rate: 144,928 MB/s

Copy D:\temp\240mb.file to X:\DiskBench1.bin

Size: 251658240

Time: 1562 ms

Transfer Rate: 153,649 MB/s

Copy D:\temp\600mb.file to X:\DiskBench1.bin

Size: 629145600

Time: 20594 ms

Transfer Rate: 29,135 MB/s

Copy D:\temp\1200mb.file to X:\DiskBench1.bin

Size: 1283457024

Time: 42344 ms

Transfer Rate: 28,906 MB/s

ill move my 200gb sata from the workstation later today if i get the time

Doesnt get this :(

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hmm looks like 240mb and below, the on-board cache on the controller is doing it's thing, once you go way above and beyond the 128mb in cache, then you start to see the cards perfromance. However, if all you have is a 80gig IDE drive, it's possible that it is the performance bottleneck at 30MB/sec. A faster, newer drive with nothing on it should be able to give you 50MB+ in read speed to see if the Promise can write data that fast.

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I got EX8350 with 7 WD 200GBs in RAID5. I can't even get close to chrda's write speeds.

It doesn't matter what benchmark I run, the write is always limited to 7mB/s. I'm running I'm trying this with Windows XP with a fully initialized array (took about 20hrs btw).

Diskbench 1.5GB from an RAID1 array to Promise.

Starting Create File Bench...

Created file: F:\DiskBench1.bin
 Size: 1610612736 bytes
 Time: 224188 ms
 Transfer Rate: 6.851 MB/s

Create File Bench ended

I don't really need to post anymore benchmarks because it always seem to top out at 6.8mB regardless.

Hm...

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I got EX8350 with 7 WD 200GBs in RAID5. I can't even get close to chrda's write speeds.

It doesn't matter what benchmark I run, the write is always limited to 7mB/s. I'm running I'm trying this with Windows XP with a fully initialized array (took about 20hrs btw).

Diskbench 1.5GB from an RAID1 array to Promise.

Starting Create File Bench...

Created file: F:\DiskBench1.bin
 Size: 1610612736 bytes
 Time: 224188 ms
 Transfer Rate: 6.851 MB/s

Create File Bench ended

I don't really need to post anymore benchmarks because it always seem to top out at 6.8mB regardless.

Hm...

216832[/snapback]

I bought the Promise EX8350 myself and promptly returned it (and was able to get a full refund). The chip on the card ran EXTREMELY hot; my temperature sensor read about 170-180 degrees. The performance I got on the card was dismal as well under Windows XP. I got about 7 MB/sec on RAID 0 and RAID 0+1 using 4 Maxtor 300GB SATA DiamondMax10 drives. Interestingly, RAID 5 was fastest at about 35 MB/sec if I can recall correctly. I was also unhappy that the controller BIOS would only let me create two logical drives on a physical hard drive set. That's too limiting.

Now I am back to Fake RAID 0 on a NForce4 motherboard and get over 120 MB/sec, but have to resort to doing more frequent backups since I don't have H/W RAID 5.

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