THE RAID/ENTERPRISE TEST BENCH
This is our test bench for the RAID and Enterprise testing. Currently in a state of flux, this bench has undergone some transitions as of late. Although most of our original build remains, we have recently upgraded to the x79 chipset with an Intel 3930K processor. While this may look a tad messy to the reader, it is actually very organized by our standards!
CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E 3.2GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 2011 130W Six-Core Desktop Processor “Overclocked to 5.0 Ghz“
RAM: 16GB Crucial Ballistix 1866, 9-9-9-27
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 Serial loop, two MCR320-QP rads, and 1 BIPS 240 rad, CPU only. Loop 2- MCP-655 and Honda Radiator on dual 480GTX GPUs with EK Blocks.
CRUCIAL C400/M4 256 GB SSDs
The SSDs we have chosen for today’s analysis are eight Crucial/Micron C400 256GB SSDs. The C400 is the enterprise variant of the Crucial M4 SSD and both contain physically identical hardware, each having become incredibly popular in both consumer and enterprise use. One of the key strengths of the C400/M4 is that it can give consistent performance over a long period of time and one of their most notable hallmarks lies in the impressive performance upgrade with the 0009 update.
The Micron C400 6Gb/s SSDs boast a sequential read speed of 415 MB/s and 260 MB/s write speed. With random 4k read at 40,000 IOPS and random 4k write weighing in at 50,000 IOPS, these C400 SSDs are fast enough to saturate any RAID controller easily.
In today’s evaluation, we have chosen to include ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal Disk Mark, AS SSD, as well as Anvil Storage Utilities for our staple bench software. We will also be using PCMark Vantage for real world trace testing and, in order to show the difference between the old and new, we will compare the RAID performance results of the previous driver hardware with that of the new drivers.
To start things off, lets connect one Crucial M4 SSD to the Highpoint 2720SGL. One of the most frequent questions received after the first review was the performance of the controller with only one drive connected. The key here is to not leave performance of the drive unused, as happens with the vast majority of adapters that are on the market right now for 6Gb/s drives.
These controllers usually are connected with a PCIEx1 slot connection, which does not allow the true performance of the drive to ‘shine’ through. The HighPoint 2720SGL utilizes a PCIe 2.0 x8 connection, and in conjunction with the newest driver, the 2720SGL leaves very little to be desired in this aspect.