TheR

Promise SuperTrak EX8350 PCIe x4

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It's not true at least for PATA devices. I can try using the onboard sata ports also if you like but I doubt they would be disabled, they are nicely displayed during boot at least.

Very good to know!

If I remember right the person that told me that the onboard controllers would not function was an employee of asus at the CeBIT in Germany. At this time I was not to focused on that information and did not ask further questions but afterwards I realized the importance for me. Perhaps this concerns only asus (or perhaps I really mix something up ;-) ) ?!

Could you tell me what mainboard and raidcontroller you use?

If it would not be to complicated for you it would be nice to know if the sata controller is also still functioning.

thx

frank

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Hi.

I heard a rumor that on nforce4 boards, if you plug in a raid controller, the onboard controller would not function anymore. Is this really true?

Since I am also interested in the combination of Asus A8N-SLI Premium and Promise EX8350 I would like to ask you if this is true.

Since I would like to reuse my dvd-burner (PATA) or older hds (PATA) this would not be very good for me.

Anyone ever had any problems concerning this?

thx

frank

SATA works too. Tyan Tomcat MB.

I am stil trying to compile the drivers but no result at all.

In a Linux kernel newsgroup http://marc.theaimsgroup.com/?l=linux-kern...28988110335&w=2 is a thread saying that drivers will be included in the kernel. But in 2.6.16.1 are still not there.

How to compile driver for Suse Linux?

by

TheR

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I'm using the EX8350 with a Gigabyte nForce4 sli, no problems with onboard controllers (both the 4 nForce ports and the 4 sil ports are ok).

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I'm using the EX8350 with a Gigabyte nForce4 sli, no problems with onboard controllers (both the 4 nForce ports and the 4 sil ports are ok).

I take that back after another test I've realized that although the nForce4 controller seems fine, you can't boot from it when there is another array on the promise card, however if there is no array everything is fine.

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I'm using the EX8350 with a Gigabyte nForce4 sli, no problems with onboard controllers (both the 4 nForce ports and the 4 sil ports are ok).

I take that back after another test I've realized that although the nForce4 controller seems fine, you can't boot from it when there is another array on the promise card, however if there is no array everything is fine.

Could you explain the details a little more?

Would it be possible to boot from a PATA DVD drive (probably connected to the nforce controller), if you already have an array with operating system on the ex8350 running, for installing another OS on the array or so?

I do not yet understand what the point is that the nforce controller is not bootable anymore. Since I need the PATA controller what would I have to do to get it working for e.g. a bootable cd or dvd or an installation?!

thx

frank

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Booting from a PATA-device is no problem, I'm booting from a drive on PATA since I couldn't get the system to boot from nForce-SATA.

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Created another raid 5 array on a mixed set of drives, 2 WD and 2 Maxtor. I didn't notice that the Maxtor drives where NCQ enabled. The write speed where terrible, but when I checked WebPAM I noticed that the Maxtor drives had NCQ, I disabled it and everything went back to normal (normal as in excellent!).

I've noticed several posts about poor performance so you might have problems with your settings. If you have performance issues with this controller I recomend trying to disable NCQ (and of course enable write cache).

It would be interesting if anybody with poor performance simply need to change their settings or if they have some other problem.

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Promise have released a driver and updated bios.

This new bios now allows access to the NVIDIA Raid bios on my Asus A8N-E motherboard, as well as the promise Bios.

I now have a 4 disk stripe on the NVRAID and my usual mirror and raid 6 arrays on the Promise card.

My RAID 6 performance, when using 6x Maxtor 250GB 6L250S0 NCQ and Write cache enabled

Using Atto disk benchmark I am getting 113MB write and 127MB Read for a 1020KB block transfer size on a 32MB stripe with a command depth of 4.

HDTach long benchmark gives me: 92.1MB/s burst and average read of 59.8MB/s

System Specification

Asus A8N-E

AMD X2 3800

4x Kingston 1GB modules

2x Seagate ST3160812AS (Mirror boot disk)

6x Maxtor 6L250S0 (Raid 6 data drive)

4x Maxtor 6Y160M0 (NV Stripe)

Windows 2003 x64 Server

Regards

John Baker

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Promise have released a driver and updated bios.

This new bios now allows access to the NVIDIA Raid bios on my Asus A8N-E motherboard, as well as the promise Bios.

I now have a 4 disk stripe on the NVRAID and my usual mirror and raid 6 arrays on the Promise card.

My RAID 6 performance, when using 6x Maxtor 250GB 6L250S0 NCQ and Write cache enabled

Using Atto disk benchmark I am getting 113MB write and 127MB Read for a 1020KB block transfer size on a 32MB stripe with a command depth of 4.

HDTach long benchmark gives me: 92.1MB/s burst and average read of 59.8MB/s

System Specification

Asus A8N-E

AMD X2 3800

4x Kingston 1GB modules

2x Seagate ST3160812AS (Mirror boot disk)

6x Maxtor 6L250S0 (Raid 6 data drive)

4x Maxtor 6Y160M0 (NV Stripe)

Windows 2003 x64 Server

Regards

John Baker

I assume you are booting from the

2x Seagate ST3160812AS (Mirror boot disk) which are running from the mobos NV SATA controller.

Then you have

4x Maxtor 6Y160M0 (NV Stripe)

also running from the mobos NV SATA controller

and the

6x Maxtor 6L250S0 (Raid 6 data drive)

on the Promise SuperTrak EX-8350

That's fantastic, I hope it works with Windows XP.

I purchased an Asus A8N-E and SuperTrak EX-8350 in January and I can't use the NV SATA RAID and SuperTrak EX-8350 RAID together.

Can you specify exactly what versions of the bios and drivers you are using?

Edited by TweakNads

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Product Name SuperTrak EX8350

BIOS Version 2.9.0.15

Firmware Version 1.1.0.28

Driver Version 2.9.0.6

WebPam Version 2.2.023

Promise released a new bios recently, which allowed the use of the NV Raid bios.

I am running the latest Asus A8N-E bios 1011.004

My Mirror disks are on the promise card, with an additional Raid 6 array. The 4 disk Raid 0 stripe is on the NV controler. The NV Bios did not work until I upgraded the promise card's bios.

Upgrade your promise card to the Raid 6 bios. (Follow the instructions). Then upgrade the promise Bios with the latest version. You should then be able to enable the NV Raid option in the Asus Bios.

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I also have problems compiling the open-source driver from promise (open source version 2.9.0.10 on an AMD64 gentoo linux with 64bit kernel, latest BIOS for the EX8350)

this is the error I receive:

tresor shasta # make KERNEL_SOURCE_DIR=/usr/src/linux
make V=1  CC=cc LD=ld ARCH=i386 -C /usr/src/linux SUBDIRS=`pwd` modules
make[1]: Entering directory `/usr/src/linux-2.6.15-gentoo-r5'
mkdir -p /root/shasta/.tmp_versions
make -f scripts/Makefile.build obj=/root/shasta
 cc -Wp,-MD,/root/shasta/.shasta.o.d  -nostdinc -isystem /usr/lib/gcc/x86_64-pc-linux-gnu/3.4.5/include -D__KERNEL__ -Iinclude  -include include/linux/autoconf.h -Wall -Wundef -Wstrict-prototypes -Wno-trigraphs -fno-strict-aliasing -fno-common -ffreestanding -Os	 -fomit-frame-pointer -pipe -msoft-float  -fno-unit-at-a-time -march=k8 -Iinclude/asm-i386/mach-default -Wdeclaration-after-statement  -D_LINUXDRIVER -D_MMMAP_ -DMOONFANG -D_X8632B -D_32BPLATFORM -I/usr/src/linux/include -I/usr/src/linux/drivers/scsi -I/usr/src/linux/include -I/usr/src/linux/drivers/scsi	  -DMODULE -DKBUILD_BASENAME=shasta -DKBUILD_MODNAME=shasta -c -o /root/shasta/shasta.o /root/shasta/shasta.c  Building modules, stage 2.
make -rR -f /usr/src/linux-2.6.15-gentoo-r5/scripts/Makefile.modpost
 scripts/mod/modpost   -i /usr/src/linux-2.6.15-gentoo-r5/Module.symvers vmlinux /root/shasta/shasta.o
 cc -Wp,-MD,/root/shasta/.shasta.mod.o.d  -nostdinc -isystem /usr/lib/gcc/x86_64-pc-linux-gnu/3.4.5/include -D__KERNEL__ -Iinclude  -include include/linux/autoconf.h -Wall -Wundef -Wstrict-prototypes -Wno-trigraphs -fno-strict-aliasing -fno-common -ffreestanding -Os	 -fomit-frame-pointer -pipe -msoft-float  -fno-unit-at-a-time -march=k8 -Iinclude/asm-i386/mach-default -Wdeclaration-after-statement	 -DKBUILD_BASENAME=shasta -DKBUILD_MODNAME=shasta -DMODULE -c -o /root/shasta/shasta.mod.o /root/shasta/shasta.mod.c
 ld -m elf_i386 -r -o /root/shasta/shasta.ko /root/shasta/shasta.o /root/shasta/shasta.mod.o
ld: Relocatable linking with relocations from format elf64-x86-64 (/root/shasta/shasta.o) to format elf32-i386 (/root/shasta/shasta.ko) is not supported
make[2]: *** [/root/shasta/shasta.ko] Fehler 1
make[1]: *** [modules] Fehler 2
make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/src/linux-2.6.15-gentoo-r5'
make: *** [default] Fehler 2

Seems like it's not recognizing the 64 bit environment? Any ideas anyone?

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I have an EX8350 which I am attempting to test but I would like some feed back on how to do this. Let me explain:-

I have an Asus P5WD2 motherboard. Pentium D, 2 Mb Ram, Windows 2000 and the Promise controller is installed and works fine in the 16X Universal slot

In this I have:-

Two Maxtor PATA drives mirrored as drive C

Two Maxtor Maxline 250GB SATA2 drives attached to the motherboard SATA controller

Eight Maxtor Maxline 250Gb SATA2 drives attached to the Promise card. 7 configured as a RAID 6 array.

Initially I was testing by copying a set of files totalling 1Gb from my C drive to various combinations of drives. I found that a single Maxtor drive was capable of around 45Mb per sec so this was my baseline. I was disappointed to find that the RAID 6 array was slower than this at around 41Mb/sec. Curiously is the drives were set up by jumper to SATA1 this increased to 48 Mb/sec, still nothing special but makes one question whether NCQ is working as it should with the Promise.

Then I read an earlier posting which suggested that the read speed of the source drive might be a problem. So since then I have done further tests still writing to the same Raid 6 array but changing the configuration of the drives I am copying from. This has given me results up to 121 Mb/sec.

So I still don't really have a valid test and maybe some of the previous postings have the same problems. Looking at many of the hard disk speed test programs available they also use a simialr technique of copying files then calaculating a speed from the size and time.

So how do you test a RAID array properly - any ideas?

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I moved my XP installation from nVidia raid 0 to the promise controller. 2x200GB in raid 0 as system drive really rocks, and on the promise controller it is even faster. I didn't thought that it would make much difference for normal windows usage compared to the nForce4 raid, but I think that everything feels slightly faster now, particularly program installation i blindingly fast.

My primary reason for the move was to get the benefit of having a logical drive with raid 1 for data storage.

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Hi All,

Has anyone been able to do a install of any linux distro onto the Supertrak ex83??'s (i have the ex8300) raid containers from the getgo?

I've been unable to get centos or fedora core5 to utilize the drivers during install.

thanks.

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This guy here http://forums.storagereview.net/index.php?...ndpost&p=214665 seems to have made a patch to move the module inside the Kernel - that should help booting without having to use initrd.

Speaking of which - does anyone here know how to use initrd from GRUB ? - I tried making a initrd image mkinitrd but when GRUB tries to execute it I get an error 28 - something about not enough memory to insert.... - which is pretty lame considering I have 4 gig :-)

I've ofcurse looked on google - but didn't find anything usefull ;-(

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I think I may have found why some of uses are having performance problems when using the EX8350 on Asus A8N-E motherboards. It appears (well on my system anyway) that the PCI-E 4x slot is only being used as a 1x when used with the EX8350.

Here is how I came to this conclusion.

1. PC Wizard reports the PCI-E slot was running at 1x

2. I removed my PCI-E graphics card, and moved the EX8350 into the 16x Slot.

3. I installed an old PCI graphics card.

4. Booted Windows, Detected VGA adapter.

5. ATTO Benchmark and HDTACH.

On average I managed to get 20-30MB/s on the Raid 6 array. I also managed to get better performance from the Raid 1 Boot array.

The caching of smaller files (That could fit into the Disk and Promise Cache) peaked at 500MB/s

6. Setup my system back to the original configuration.

Now, I have been in communication with Promise, but they did not have (or would not give me) a tool that showed the PCI-E speed of the EX8350.

Asus were just plain unhelpful (in previous calls to discuss PCI-E issues), referring me to Promise.

My Systems Specs are:

Athlon X2 3800

Asus A8N-E

4x 1024MB PC3200 Kingston memory modules

Windows 2003 x64 Server

Promise EX8350

Raid 6 Data (6x Maxtor 250GB NCQ 16MB Cache)

Raid 1 Boot (2x Seagate 160GB NCQ)

All arrays configured for Write-Back, NCQ and write cache enabled.

NVIDIA

Raid 0 Scratch + swap (4x Maxtor 160GB)

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hi everyone,

i was wondering if you anyone the ex8350 card working in an pci-e x16 slot, because i want to buy the card for placement in an a8n-sli deluxe or an a8n32-sli deluxe (which one guy seems to have problems placing the card because of the heatpipe on the board)

i found out that in mm-sources the new promise ex8350 driver is included, so you do not need to initrd anymore... (at least in the newest gentoo-version 2.6.17-rc3)

does anyone have an answer for my questions???

please email me if so??? ;)

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After upgrading the bios/driver/pam to the newest version most of my previous issues appear to be solved.

DFI Ultra-d in secondary 16x slot running in 8x mode

FC4

4x320gb raid 5 using xfs

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i found out that in mm-sources the new promise ex8350 driver is included, so you do not need to initrd anymore... (at least in the newest gentoo-version 2.6.17-rc3)

Hmmm, how do you get that emerged from gentoo ? The latest version I can find is a 2.6.16 - no 17... At kernel.org the 17 is only available as a patch.

I tried to get the 2.6.16 from kernel.org and patch it up but ended up with a kernel source that wouldn't even compile :(

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:D - Finally figured it out. Downloaded a _plain_ 2.6.16 and used the patch ;)

But exactly what kernel option enables the controller ? - I tried the ones that had something todo with PROMISE and TX - but still the controller is not found. I use dmesg to look for what ever hard drives found...

Anyone knows how to go about this ?

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Ho ho ho :ph34r:

I figured it out. Get the mm patch mm patch and patch your 2.6.16 kernel to get just the supertrack 8350 support without the other more or less stable additions !

Just finished compiling my new kernel - and I cant wait to reboot and see what happens :)

Kernel size 1.8 M - lets rock and roll...

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Hi,

I'm planning to get Promise EX8350 controller. There was through 2 things first I would like to get clear.

1) I'm planning to make 8x320Gb storage. However, if I first start with 4 drives and add drives later (a little short on funds) how should I configure my drives? For example, if I want to make 200Gb on C:\ and 1700Gb on D:\ with 8 drives, if I start with 4 drives, should I make it 100Gb c:\ and 800Gb D:\ ? Or does the controller allow newly added drives to be distributed however I see it fit? (like making first 200Gb C:\ and adding all later added hard drive space only to D:\)

2) I wanted to have RAID 6 for security, but howabut having RAID 5 and 1 HDD as hotspare? Wouldn't that be almost the same? How these 2 differs in usage (eg. write speeds)? If you suggest RAID 5 with hot spare instead or RAID 6, could you then also suggest maybe cheaper controller as well that would allow 8 HDD and would fit to my needs to increase array size later (and PCI 4X at least).

Thanks!!

Arge

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Anyone using v2.2.0.23 of the webpam for windows software?

I'm trying to locate the ncq settings for my seagate 7200.9 drives ... but don't see it in any of the menu/drive setting tabs.

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Anyone using v2.2.0.23 of the webpam for windows software?

I'm trying to locate the ncq settings for my seagate 7200.9 drives ... but don't see it in any of the menu/drive setting tabs.

It seems that the promise card has problems with some seagate drives. Have a look at the compatablilty list. The old webpam & bios uses to have NCQ but the new version removes it.

I have also contacted promise support about the slow transfer speed. They will only accept IOMETER benchamrks. 100% read and then 100% write. Whe I did the IOMETER benchmark for them, my write was over 250MB/s but the read was peaking at 110MB. Something it not right.

I would suggest that anyone looking for a decent Raid 6 card look elsewhere.

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