Monday , 20 October 2014
Learn What SSDs Can Do For You:

ASRock Z87 Extreme11/ac Mobo Reaches 6 GB/s & 850K IOPS

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.

 ASRock-Extreme-11-motherboard.Transparent.

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.

ASRock-Z87-Extreme-11-ac-motherboard-SAS-Ports2

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!

HGST 12Gbps SAS Enterprise SSD

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.

Test Bench

SYSTEM COMPONENTS

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.

PC CHASSIS: InWin D-Frame Open Air Chassis
MOTHERBOARD: ASRock Z87 Extreme11/ac EATX MotherBoard
CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell 3.5GHz Quad Core
CPU COOLER: Corsair H100 High Performance Liquid
POWER SUPPLY: be quiet Dark Power Pro 10 1000W PSU
SYSTEM COOLING: be quiet Silent Wings 2 PC Fans
GRAPHICS CARD: EVGA GTX 770 Superclocked with ACX Cooler
MEMORY: Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3-1600Mhz Memory
KEYBOARD: Corsair Vengeance K95 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
MOUSE: Corsair Vengeance M95 MMO/RTS Laser Mouse
ROUTER: NetGear R6300 AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Router
HBA HighPoint RocketU 1144C 4 x USB 3.0 20Gb/s HBA

.

BENCHMARK SOFTWARE

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.

METHODOLOGY

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.

SSDs

About Les Tokar

is a technology nut and Founder of The SSD Review. His early work includes the first consumer SSD review along with MS Vista, Win 7 and SSD Optimization Guides. Les is fortunate to, not only evaluate and provide opinion on consumer and enterprise solid state storage but also, travel the world in search of new technologies and great friendships. Google+
  • alex

    Hi,

    We threw 25.5GB of mixed movie files at the RAID0x8 configuration and it moved them from one place to another in 22 seconds, less than a GB per second.

    Do you mean more than a GB per second ?
    Whatever it is some speed. What does one of these beasts cost?

    • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      We have seen them in the 5-600 mark and thanks…will fix.

  • how come

    How come you didnt run a Vantage?

    • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      We did run Vantage at all levels but there was no appreciable difference from our first result of 61124. The marks were 67724 (X2), 68851 (X4) and 68820 (X8). We felt including this served no purpose as Vantage feeds on new SSDs best, whereas these were definitely not anywhere new, and also, these are enterprise SSDs. Our main purpose in testing was seeing how high of an output we could reach from the motherboard.

  • sazooo

    cant really find an answer, is it possible just to make a 16 ssd raid 0 using these 16 slots? is this what you are going to test next? i am asking because it is mentioned up to 10 drives can be used in raid in asrock website.

    • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      Yes… Just because it’s an effective answer for much that we do but the truth is that we wanted to see how high we could get with ad many SSDS as possible to go along with an amazing build.

  • steve

    Can not wait for the 16x SSD review!

    Currently using the LSI SAS 9300-8i with 8x SSDs.

  • Bobsbobbers

    were you able to get the 12 SSD’s connected and tested? Is that still forthcoming or did I miss it somewhere?

    • http://thessdreview.com Les@TheSSDReview

      No. The company identified supply issues that we are still trying to overcome.

  • Ahmed M

    if you use all the ports on the LSI controller and run 4 way GPU, what will the PCI-e config will be ?

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