Martin5000

ICH9R RAID5 performance

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Hey

I recently bought a Q6600, an Asus P5K-E and 4*1gb PC6400 ram for a new file and vmware server. The board has six sata ports controlled by ICH9R. I have attached six WD 200GB sata disks to these ports and configured a ~1TB RAID5 array using all of the six disks. I was aware that performance night not be stellar with onboard RAID5, BUT using HDtach3 I get an average of 6MB/s and Sisoft Sandra XII shows around 13MB/s average. This is is quite poor performance, but unfortunately real world performance is even worse. Copying files to the array over the network shows more like 0.3-3.0 MB/s (while other disks in the computer usually does around 15-35 MB/s when copying over the network).

I know that stripe size and starting sector of the partition can influence alot and I've tried stripe sizes of 16k, 64k and 128k. as array initialization takes 15-36hrs depending on the stripe size, I haven't yet had time to try out all combinations and having the partition start at sector 2048 (instead of 63) has only been tried with 64k stripe size.

I have tried with and without write back cache activated, but the difference is almost neglible.

I'm running Win2003 ES with all updates, newest drivers and newest bios.

Is this performance level normal for this configuration? Is there anything I can to to make it better? I'm content with 15-20 MB/s sequential read/write as the partition is just for storing and streaming movies.

Any help and suggestions is highly appreciated.

- Martin

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Hey

I recently bought a Q6600, an Asus P5K-E and 4*1gb PC6400 ram for a new file and vmware server. The board has six sata ports controlled by ICH9R. I have attached six WD 200GB sata disks to these ports and configured a ~1TB RAID5 array using all of the six disks. I was aware that performance night not be stellar with onboard RAID5, BUT using HDtach3 I get an average of 6MB/s and Sisoft Sandra XII shows around 13MB/s average. This is is quite poor performance, but unfortunately real world performance is even worse. Copying files to the array over the network shows more like 0.3-3.0 MB/s (while other disks in the computer usually does around 15-35 MB/s when copying over the network).

I know that stripe size and starting sector of the partition can influence alot and I've tried stripe sizes of 16k, 64k and 128k. as array initialization takes 15-36hrs depending on the stripe size, I haven't yet had time to try out all combinations and having the partition start at sector 2048 (instead of 63) has only been tried with 64k stripe size.

I have tried with and without write back cache activated, but the difference is almost neglible.

I'm running Win2003 ES with all updates, newest drivers and newest bios.

Is this performance level normal for this configuration? Is there anything I can to to make it better? I'm content with 15-20 MB/s sequential read/write as the partition is just for storing and streaming movies.

Any help and suggestions is highly appreciated.

- Martin

Sounds like something is terribly wrong there, when you loaded the OS did you load up the appropriate drivers? Have you installed the Intel RAID tool and make sure the cache is enabled? You should be seeing at least 160-200MiB/s read and write at least with sizes > 64k with ATTO Bench for example.

Justin.

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There have been other reports of unexplained poor performance with ICH9R.

I suggest putting the OS on a single drive on the JMicron controller and setting up 5 drives in RAID 5 -- first with ICH9R with 16 KiB stripe size and write-back cache enabled; failing that, with Windows OS RAID 5. Windows OS RAID 5 write performance is not known to be good, but could be enough to meet your minimum requirements.

Edited by Madwand

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Sounds like something is terribly wrong there, when you loaded the OS did you load up the appropriate drivers? Have you installed the Intel RAID tool and make sure the cache is enabled? You should be seeing at least 160-200MiB/s read and write at least with sizes > 64k with ATTO Bench for example.

Justin.

The OS is installed on a separate disk attached to another controller (pata disk connected to the onboard JMicron <something> controller). The ICH9 RAID5 array was configured after the OS was installed.

ATTO tops at 5MB/s write and 13 MB/s read (512k and 1024k).

I'm using the following settings in ATTO:

Transfer size: 0.5 - 1024kb

Total length: 8MB

Direct I/O checked

Overlapped I/O selected with a queue depth of 4

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Sounds like something is terribly wrong there, when you loaded the OS did you load up the appropriate drivers? Have you installed the Intel RAID tool and make sure the cache is enabled? You should be seeing at least 160-200MiB/s read and write at least with sizes > 64k with ATTO Bench for example.

Justin.

The OS is installed on a separate disk attached to another controller (pata disk connected to the onboard JMicron <something> controller). The ICH9 RAID5 array was configured after the OS was installed.

ATTO tops at 5MB/s write and 13 MB/s read (512k and 1024k).

I'm using the following settings in ATTO:

Transfer size: 0.5 - 1024kb

Total length: 8MB

Direct I/O checked

Overlapped I/O selected with a queue depth of 4

Sounds like a windows related-problem to me, if I were you, I'd boot knoppix and wipe out your current installation (if you can) and make a software raid in Linux and benchmark that instead.

Justin.

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The problem appears to be solved :-)

At first I tried all kinds of combinations like six disk "hw" raid five, two three disk "hw" raid 5 with OS raid 0 on top, three "hw" raid 0 with OS raid 5 and what not. Trying a linux live cd was the only thing that could get the performance above 10MB/s, so I started going through EVERYTHING I had installed...

Before I think I used the newest drivers from ASUS, but today I installed the latest Matrix Storage Manager from Intels site. Before it was version 7.5.something and now it's 7.8.*.

Performance went from roughly 5MB/s avg. throughput to almost 100MB/s :-)

Thanx for the input, Justin

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