Our report today will demonstrate single and RAID tests when we combine the newest ASRock Z87 Extreme11/ac motherboard with eight HGST SSD800MM SAS 12Gbps 400GB enterprise SSDs. Our charts will display how the HGST SSD800MM scales as it is tested on its own, as well as in RAID 0 at X2, X4 and X8 combinations. We can validate right off that this is the highest performing retail motherboard available to the consumer today.
As a bit of a background on the ASRock Z87 Extreme11/ac motherboard, we published a storage overview of its features, the most predominant of which are 16 SAS/SATA ports on the bottom of the device.
Through use of the LSI SAS 3008 PCI Express 3.0, 8-port, 12Gb/s SAS and SATA I/O controller installed on the Extreme11/ac, up to eight 12Gbps SSDs can be connected to the motherboard and set up in a RAID environment. That is what we will be reporting on today. In addition, there is also a LSI 3x24R expander present on the device that allows the connecting of up to 16 SATA 3 SSDs to these ports, in place of the 8 12Gbps SSDs. Would you believe we have 16 SSDs on the way for testing? Stay tuned!
The SSDs that we will be using are HGST pre-production samples of their UltraStar SSD800MM 400GB SAS 12Gbps family. We have had these drives in hand for some time now and they have been used extensively in testing to include reports on the LSI SAS 9300-8E HBA, Adaptec (By PMC) ASR-885 12Gbps RAID Adapter, as well as the Serial Cables Direct-attached JBOD On its own, specifications list the Ultrastar as being capable of up to 1.2GB/s read and 750MB/s write performance with IOPS as high as 145K read and 100K write but we have achieved as high as 6GB/s and 850K IOPS with RAID0. We even did some file transfers to provide a real life feel to just how fast these babies do what they do. With that in mind however, it merits our mentionings that these are not in any way new SSDs. They are 12Gbps enterprise SSDs that have been through some of the hardest testing that can be seen.
TSSDR TEST BENCH AND PROTOCOL
SSD Testing at TSSDR differs slightly depending on whether we are looking at consumer or enterprise SSDs. For consumer SSDs, our goal is to test in a system that has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide, although CPU C States have may or may not have been optimized depending on the motherboard base configuration. Our system today is being used in a two-sided approach where we will be using many of our favorite benchmark applications, in addition to a great deal of IOMeter testing.
This Test Bench build was the result of some great relationships and purchase; our appreciation goes to the below mentioned manufacturers for their support in our project. Our choice of components is very narrow, in that, we choose only what we believe to be among the best available and links are provided to each that will assist in hardware pricing and availability, should the reader be interested in purchase.
The software we will be using for today’s analysis is typical of many of our reviews and consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal DiskMark, AS SSD, and PCMark Vantage and IOMeter. In our reports, we prefer to test with easily accessible software that the consumer can obtain, and in many cases, we even provide links. Our selection of software allows each to build on the last and to provide validation to results already obtained.
Our testing today will be graduated and charted with testing as a single drive, RAID0 x2, RAID X4 and RAID 0 X8. the only SSDs being tested are the HGST 12Gbps SSDs.