THE TEST BENCH
This is the Test Bench. As you may have guessed, it truly is no ordinary Test Bench. I have dedicated many countless creating this build which has been used in many benchmarking excursions and extreme overclocking sessions. She has even set a few HWBot world records along the way!
Our main focal point in this report will be the performance differences between the LSI 9265-8i and the Adaptec 6805. We will be comparing them directly using two types of storage media. The EFD drives will be used for IOPS testing, while the SSDs will be used for throughput testing.
SANDISK ESS LIGHTNING EFD LS300S
We want to test for the maximum IOPS attainable with each solution and, for that testing, we will be using four of the five SLC Lightning LS 300S EFD (Enterprise Flash Devices) graciously provided by SanDisk Enterprise Storage Solutions for testing. Many in the consumer realm will not be very familiar with SanDisk ESS. These are heavy duty drives that are used in server applications and SanDisk ESS is leading the way with the absolute most powerful devices on the market.
These are also not your typical devices, weighing in at $6,800 USD each. They definitely are not for the fainthearted as packing 300 Gb of SLC per drive is certainly going to carry a premium. Rated at a blistering 160,000 IOPS per device these are definitely the heavyweights of enterprise flash storage. These drives are made for taking a beating and are warrantied for unlimited writes for 5 years. The performance of these types of Enterprise Flash Drives truly is spectacular. Simply put, they are solid as a rock.
A common fact of performance benchmarking is that SSDs, in general, can have a bit of floating point of performance, depending upon the state of the drive. Various factors, from the state of Garbage Collection to the amount of data on the device, can have varying levels of impact upon the performance of the drives. With these EFD, this simply is not an issue as they are as fast from the first test as they are on the last.
The purpose of using such powerful drives is to test the true performance of these RAID controllers under the most demanding circumstances, the small file random access. This type of file access is traditionally the hardest type of access for any type of storage solution to master. Mixing Read and Write access under extreme Queue Depths is going to definitely separate the wheat from the chaff with these RAID controllers.
OWC MERCURY EXTREME PRO 6G
We get as excited here in the lab as anyone would when they get their hands on some heart-pumping SSDs like the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro Series SSD!
Truly optimized for the ultimate in performance and reliability, the Mercury line has certainly turned heads in the consumer realm for being just as high performing as they are attractive.
Utilizing the SandForce 2281 processor, these SSDs are good for 559MB/s reads and up to 527MB/s write speeds each.
Backed by a five year warranty, these drives are on top of the heap of manufacturers that are selling SandForce drives. Customer service is one of the most important considerations for those looking to purchase any SSD, and OWC consistently performs in this area.
OWC graciously provided us with 8 of these high performance drives to test the controllers. We will be using these drives for pure sequential speed testing. With the massive sequential speeds that they are capable of mustering, we will be able to saturate the controllers entirely. The drives themselves will be held back a bit by the speed of the controllers as there is not a controller commercially available that can rein in the sequential speed of eight of these blistering devices in RAID 0. The ability to saturate the controllers with speeds above and beyond what they can handle is extremely important to our testing, however, because we need to be sure that we are at the peak performance that they can offer.
CPU: Intel i7-920 DO @ 4.46 Ghz
MOTHERBOARD: EVGA E760 Classified Motherboard
RAM: 6 GB EK-Watercooled Corsair Dominators 2000MHz CL8 kit. 7-8-7-24@1700
GPU: Dual EVGA GTX480
POWER: ST1500 Fully Modular 1500 Watt Power Supply 1500W (Peak 1600W) 12v1320W/110A (Peak 120A) combined+3.3 5v 280W
CHASSIS: Danger Den Torture Rack
CPU COOLER: HeatKiller 3.0
WATER SYSTEM: Two KMP-400 w/reservoirs in a Parallel loop with Bitspower reservoir, two MCR320-QP rads, and 1 BIPS 240 rad. Areca 1880IX-12, EK Ram Block, EK Fullboard Mobo Block on Loop 1. Loop 2- CPU only. Loop 3- MCP-655 and Honda Radiator on dual GPUs.
ENCLOSURE: ARC-4036 6gb/s JBOD, provided by Areca for our test bench. Our review of this product can be found HERE.