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6_6_6

Something Wrong With This Equation!

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Hello Folks,

I have upgraded my computer recently.

Here are the specs from everest:

QuadCore Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600, 2400 MHz (9 x 267)

Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 (2 PCI, 3 PCI-E x1, 2 PCI-E x16, 4 DDR2 DIMM, Audio, Dual Gigabit LAN, IEEE-1394)

2048 MB (DDR2-800 DDR2 SDRAM)

NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT (256 MB)

HP w2207 [22" LCD] (CND7293M40)

Intel® ICH9 SATA AHCI Controller

SAMSUNG HD501LJ (500 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA-II)

ACPI x64-based PC

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Enterprise

AHCI BIOS activated, Intel Matrix Storage Driver working properly.

Here is the problem:

If I just do 2 copy operations or any other operation dealing with files... like 2 simultaneous md5 sums or zips... It takes almost a minute or more to open up any other program. Takes 3 mins to start 3dmark!

Now, the benchmarks and everything is fine. Transfer speeds, access times and all are good. Drive is not fragmented. CPU is never maxed out... In fact, max I see during any of these operations is 30% or something.

Why do I feel that this computer is much slower compared to previous one purchased in 2001 (3.0 GHz Northwood with Hyperthreading, 200GB EIDE Caviar, 2 GB ram, 2003 Advanced Server)? Did I miss something? Weren't multi cores supposed to offer us multitasking? My northwood seemed more responsive than this. Oc'ing to 3.2 GHz with mem @1066MHz, turning off Speedstep, EIST, etc... seem to help a small bit... but still, my previous system was more responsive.

Same problem is present with the same computer with Vista 32-Bit.

Did I miss something?

Thanks in advance for your time!

Maria

Edited by 6_6_6

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Well the slowness you describe is definitely occuring during heavy HDD multitasking, I don't believe the CPU etc are at fault here. One drive doing 2 md5 sums/zips and launching a program at the same time definitely would make life really slow since youre randomising the reads/writes. However of course you're saying your old 200GB IDE drive was better which is really puzzling with the same OS.

I would get updated drivers, especially things like Intel INF, and see if things are improved. That's about all I can think of for now :/

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Hello Fedor,

Oh no, not 2 md5 sums AND zips... 2 zips or 2 md5sums... or 2 copy operations...

2 md5 sums AND 2 zips... And it took me a good 10 mins to open this page :)

Everything is updated. But I seriously think something must be wrong somewhere. So what is this story about NCQs, multi-cores, etc? What is the point if I can't do some read/writes while using a program at the same time? Especially after 7 years... you would think some things are changed... But apparently my hyperthreading cpu with PATA drive seems to perform better for daily use!

Am I missing something? Can some experts englighten us?

Thanks!

Well the slowness you describe is definitely occuring during heavy HDD multitasking, I don't believe the CPU etc are at fault here. One drive doing 2 md5 sums/zips and launching a program at the same time definitely would make life really slow since youre randomising the reads/writes. However of course you're saying your old 200GB IDE drive was better which is really puzzling with the same OS.

I would get updated drivers, especially things like Intel INF, and see if things are improved. That's about all I can think of for now :/

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New hardware is with 2008 server x64 or Vista 32-bit. I havent tried 2003 Server 32-bit with new hardware. And I havent tried 2008 Server x64 or Vista 32-bit with old hardware.

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You're lucky I noticed this because you can't expect serious responses with subject like that. "NCQ performance" would have been more appropriate subject.

There's earlier threads on the same issue:

http://forums.storagereview.net/index.php?showtopic=26006

See the first post there and my reply on 2nd page. I have nearly identical configuration except I tried NCQ on ICH9R with Samsung F1 1 TB, WD3200KS, Maxtor 6V300F0 and the results seem to tell that either the drives or the Intel driver is not implementing the NCQ.

If you think the theory of how NCQ works on paper it's really ideal for multi-tasking in single user environment, however all the benchmarks from the years show it degrades performance. And the benchmarks are right. In my test enabling AHCI clearly made performance go down even in multi-tasking tests compared to no AHCI/NCQ.

Given the thread I linked above says there is a consumer price drive that finally implements NCQ (outside of just mentioning 'support' for it in feature overview), I hope we see some respectable sites pick up this aspect and run some real world multi tasking tests that easily show the benefits so at some day the rest of the manufacturers actually implement it too.

Edited by androidi

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Androidi,

Many thanks for the information. I have read that post in due course of time... But I did not pay that much attention.

So what the heck is this about NCQ? I have been hearing about NCQ last 3-4-5 years and it is still not implemented properly? Why is it being advertised then?

czr mentions 7000.11s perform well. I guess this would alleviate my problems. I will grab a Seagate.

I have single instance 90 mbps. 2 instances each at 10 mbps!

As for now, I guess it would be better to get rid of this AHCI Bios which addes up 15 secs to my boot time. Dont you think so?

You're lucky I noticed this because you can't expect serious responses with subject like that. "NCQ performance" would have been more appropriate subject.

There's earlier threads on the same issue:

http://forums.storagereview.net/index.php?showtopic=26006

See the first post there and my reply on 2nd page. I have nearly identical configuration except I tried NCQ on ICH9R with Samsung F1 1 TB, WD3200KS, Maxtor 6V300F0 and the results seem to tell that either the drives or the Intel driver is not implementing the NCQ.

If you think the theory of how NCQ works on paper it's really ideal for multi-tasking in single user environment, however all the benchmarks from the years show it degrades performance. And the benchmarks are right. In my test enabling AHCI clearly made performance go down even in multi-tasking tests compared to no AHCI/NCQ.

Given the thread I linked above says there is a consumer price drive that finally implements NCQ (outside of just mentioning 'support' for it in feature overview), I hope we see some respectable sites pick up this aspect and run some real world multi tasking tests that easily show the benefits so at some day the rest of the manufacturers actually implement it too.

Edited by 6_6_6

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Androidi, could you please do a test with 2003 server 32/64?

I have seriously considered going back to 2003 server many times over. For one thing, at one of my tests, it would boot in 11 seconds as opposed to this bloatware vista server which takes about 2 minutes.

I could not keep it working for long on new hardware (just install, few setups and format), but I do remember it being more responsive somehow. So please check this NCQ on 2003 server. If it works better, I will switch to 2003 server in a heartbeat.

Many many thanks.

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You still only have one harddisk, which can only do things so fast. NCQ helps high IO load situations... which is NOT what a single-user situation is.

Sounds like you may be facing a situation where the Vista drivers for the southbridge on your MB or something aren't as up to snuff as they should be-- which doesn't surprise me since you're running such a new OS.

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ditto to what continum said.

You have 1 physical HD and your doing _TWO_ file copy operations. its going to slow way down -- the HDD is only so fast.

Now if you add another HD and copy from 1 HD to the next, you will see things speed up quite a bit.

running the same operation in server 2003 and/or NCQ turned on will probably be a little faster. but you still have the single HDD bottleneck to go through.

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Are you suggesting we are to do a single operation on a hard disk at any given moment? And for any extra operation we need to add one more hard disk?

To open 20 programs I need 20 different hard disks on a computer with each program installed in different physical drives so that I can get to run them simultaneously in order not to wait few minutes for each one to fire up?

No, a second hd does not change the situation much. It surely copies faster... But as soon as I need to use the first drive where my OS and programs are installed, things start to slow down.

Tested with:

Samsung 500GB, NCQ, 2008 server 64-Bit

Samsung 500GB, No NCQ, Vista 32-Bit

Rest identical hardware. Same performance. Speed drops down from 90 mbps to 10 mbps as soon as 2nd copy of hd_speed run. The original posted czr reported 90 mbps with 9 instances! Isn't that going to make all the difference for me or for anybody?

Can we say this would be the major computing breakthrough as far as power users are concerned? Can someone who has 7000.11 like czr tell us his/her experience?

Thanks!

ditto to what continum said.

You have 1 physical HD and your doing _TWO_ file copy operations. its going to slow way down -- the HDD is only so fast.

Now if you add another HD and copy from 1 HD to the next, you will see things speed up quite a bit.

running the same operation in server 2003 and/or NCQ turned on will probably be a little faster. but you still have the single HDD bottleneck to go through.

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Samsung 500GB, NCQ, 2003 server 64-Bit

Same hardware, same story: 1 instance 90 mbps, 2 instances 10 mbps each.

Can someone please tell me if his system is responsive with 7000.11 or if they are satisfied with that drive on multitasking?

Thanks!

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Well, have you checked to see how fragmented your hard drive, pagefile, and MFT are? Fragmentation can cause serious performance issues, especially when you have pagefile or MFT fragmentation. In addition, you should have the pagefile set to a specific size (a good starting point for your 2 GB of RAM would be a 3 GB pagefile).

Also, you should use Task Manager to check your available physical RAM, CPU utilization %, and hard drive Read/Write activity to see if you are excessively accessing the hard drive.

If you have low physical RAM, buy more RAM. If you have excessive CPU utilization, try to determine what's causing it and resolve the issue. If you are excessively accessing the hard drive, find out what application is the culprit and resolve the issue.

Edited by Trinary

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Either your SATA controller is really bad at scheduling drive operations (probably because it's immature-- Windows Server 2008 is brand-new...)...

But a definite part of it is a single drive setup. However, it sounds like NCQ doesn't work properly in your OS, or at least the implementation is very poor. See if there's a newer driver available, or roll back to an older OS with more mature drivers and see if that works. See if Intel's site has anything, if Gigabyte doesn't. I've got a few X38-DQ6's here on BIOS F6b and am pretty happy with them, but I don't run 2003 Server or 2008 Server on them either, so I can't speak as for the driver situation.

(and no, 1 harddisk per operation is NOT what's implied-- however, for disk-intensive items, seeing a significant slowdown with multiple disk-intensive tasks on one disk, NCQ or not, is not surprising at all. 90mbit/sec down to 10mbit/sec is low but not an unheardof number... again though, I would wonder if you have a driver issue or something...)

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Trinary thanks but none of your points apply in my situation. My issue is something different.

Well, have you checked to see how fragmented your hard drive, pagefile, and MFT are? Fragmentation can cause serious performance issues, especially when you have pagefile or MFT fragmentation. In addition, you should have the pagefile set to a specific size (a good starting point for your 2 GB of RAM would be a 3 GB pagefile).

Also, you should use Task Manager to check your available physical RAM, CPU utilization %, and hard drive Read/Write activity to see if you are excessively accessing the hard drive.

If you have low physical RAM, buy more RAM. If you have excessive CPU utilization, try to determine what's causing it and resolve the issue. If you are excessively accessing the hard drive, find out what application is the culprit and resolve the issue.

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Either your SATA controller is really bad at scheduling drive operations (probably because it's immature-- Windows Server 2008 is brand-new...)...

But a definite part of it is a single drive setup. However, it sounds like NCQ doesn't work properly in your OS, or at least the implementation is very poor. See if there's a newer driver available, or roll back to an older OS with more mature drivers and see if that works. See if Intel's site has anything, if Gigabyte doesn't. I've got a few X38-DQ6's here on BIOS F6b and am pretty happy with them, but I don't run 2003 Server or 2008 Server on them either, so I can't speak as for the driver situation.

(and no, 1 harddisk per operation is NOT what's implied-- however, for disk-intensive items, seeing a significant slowdown with multiple disk-intensive tasks on one disk, NCQ or not, is not surprising at all. 90mbit/sec down to 10mbit/sec is low but not an unheardof number... again though, I would wonder if you have a driver issue or something...)

continuum,

This is tested with 3 different OSes now:

2003 Server x64

Vista 32-Bit

2008 Server x64

Tested with both NCQ on and off. And also tested with Vista 32-Bit in friend's computer who has an identical setup to mine. Same issues. Performance almost same in all OSes.

Drivers are all updated. They have also been tested with stock install. No difference.

however, for disk-intensive items, seeing a significant slowdown with multiple disk-intensive tasks on one disk, NCQ or not, is not surprising at all. 90mbit/sec down to 10mbit/sec is low but not an unheardof number..."

in czr's post, he is getting only 10% drop in performance... 90 mpbs... He is not getting 90 mbps to 10 mbps. So anyone with the same drive NCQ on is likely to get around these figures. Isn't this accurate?

I've got a few X38-DQ6's here on BIOS F6b and am pretty happy with them,

Could you please post here your results with hd_speed? Your OS does not matter. I want to see what you will be getting with NCQ on on an X38-DQ6 (not a bios issue, me and my friend has different bioses).

Edited by 6_6_6

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I don't have any harddisks attached to the ICH9R in my personal X38-DQ6, so sorry, I can't help you there. :(

All the rest I have are production systems, I can't pull them down to do any testing... in fact I just shipped out the last one on my desk earlier today...

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Hi,

We had the same problem and thanks to the previous prompts in this thread, now have a helthy system again.

The following link is the key:-

http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imst/sb/cs-015988.htm

NB the bad news, is the OS has to be reloaded from scratch once the bios amendments have been made.

"WARNING: Switching SATA modes in the BIOS after installing the operating system is not recommended or supported when a SATA drive is the boot drive. Switching modes may cause an immediate blue screen with an 0x0000007b error code, followed by a reboot."

For the GA-X38-DQ6 board do the following:-

Download the ICH9R preinstall driver from http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Motherb...?ProductID=2665 and extract it to a floppy disk for when reloading the OS

Within the bios, go to “Integrated Peripherals†- set “SATA RAID/AHCI Mode†as “AHCI†and “Onboard SATA/IDE Ctrl Mode†as “AHCI†mode

Start a clean installation of the OS making sure you press F6 when prompted at the beginning of installation.

When requested, select “ICH9 SATA AHCIController (Desktop ICH9R)†from the menu to instal the driver you saved on to floop disk from http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Motherb...?ProductID=2665

Complete the install

Hope this helps, we had many lost days before we saw your thread.

Regards

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Hi,

We had the same problem and thanks to the previous prompts in this thread, now have a helthy system again.

The following link is the key:-

http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imst/sb/cs-015988.htm

NB the bad news, is the OS has to be reloaded from scratch once the bios amendments have been made.

"WARNING: Switching SATA modes in the BIOS after installing the operating system is not recommended or supported when a SATA drive is the boot drive. Switching modes may cause an immediate blue screen with an 0x0000007b error code, followed by a reboot."

For the GA-X38-DQ6 board do the following:-

Download the ICH9R preinstall driver from http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Motherb...?ProductID=2665 and extract it to a floppy disk for when reloading the OS

(There are several drivers there, the right one for us was "Intel ICH9R Driver (Preinstall driver, press F6 during Windows* setup to read from floppy) Version 7.6.0.1011 / Size 0.21MB

Within the bios, go to “Integrated Peripherals†- set “SATA RAID/AHCI Mode†as “AHCI†and “Onboard SATA/IDE Ctrl Mode†as “AHCI†mode

Start a clean installation of the OS making sure you press F6 when prompted at the beginning of installation.

When requested, select “ICH9 SATA AHCIController (Desktop ICH9R)†from the menu to instal the driver you saved on to floop disk from http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Motherb...?ProductID=2665

Complete the install

Hope this helps, we had many lost days before we saw your thread.

Regards

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As I mentioned earlier, I don't have driver issues. I tested NCQ with clean installs... and different operating systems. This hard drive doesnt perform as advertised. Not a driver issue.

And I don't need to enable Gigabyte's controller, so Onboard SATA/IDE Ctrl Mode is not relevant. I have that disabled. My SATA drive is connected to ICH9R directly.

Testing the same drive on Gigabyte's controller does not change anything... Results are similiar.

I have also tested an old Cheetah 15K.3... And that doesnt perform well either. It does maybe %60-70 percent better than this SATA... but nowhere as good as the guy who tested 7200.11 in the other thread.

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The drive is fine as confirmed by my friend's system and 4th post on this topic by androidi... NCQ does not perform as advertised on this model.

Have you checked the drive with Samsung's disk utility? What SMART data does it report? Could be the drive is bad...

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WOW! WOW! WOW!

SO THIS IS IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Forget the CPU.......... forget the MEMORY........... forget it all. Now my computer performs as it should.

Seagate 7200.11 750GB ST3750330AS SATA

1 instance: 110 MB/s

2 instance: 103 MB/s

10 instances: 75 MB/s (at 10% intervals, 256K block sizes)

SAMSUNG HD501LJ (500 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA-II)

1 instance: 98 MB/s

2 instance: 20 MB/s

I no longer need to wait 3 mins for a program to start up when i am copying some files.

Thank you, thank you, thank you all... especially CZR... for bringing this to my attention. I can heartily say that this is the best upgrade for me in the last 10 years.

PS: My pc is the same, absolutely no changes... only the hard drive changed (From 500GB supposedly SATAII supporting Samsung to Seagate 7200.11).

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