We used IOMeter for our last test in order to cover all 4 corners one last time. Testing is set up with 8 workers, a 20GB file size, 64QD and normal cycling to run all selected targets for all workers.
All levels of testing were great but it was especially nice to finally see read performance at 6GB/s with write speeds at 4GB/s in RAID0 x8.
Achieving 850, 677 IOPS was just icing on the cake in RAID0 x8, however, it definitely made us very envious of reaching that 1,000,000 IOPS plateau.
REPORT SUMMARY AND FINAL THOUGHTS
We don’t think that anyone really conceived of pushing 6GB/s transfer speeds and 850K IOPS through a consumer motherboard, but there you have it. The ASRock Extreme 11/ac is easily the most diverse consumer retail motherboard on the market when you consider that it has 6 Intel ports, 2 mSATA slots, 2 Thunderbolt x2 ports, 16 SAS/SATA ports supported by the LSI SAS 3008 controller with the LSI 3x24R expander, as well as a host of other features.
These include the ability to configure 4-way SLI/Crossfire setups through the 4 PCIe 3.0 x16 slots , 802.11ac wiFi for speeds up to 867Mbps, dual Intel Dual Gigabit LAN Ethernet, 4K compatibility, the ability to connect 3 monitors without the need of a Gfx card, as well as a Wi-SD box that contains 4 additional USB 3.0 ports, a SD card reader, and on and on so it seems. Perhaps ASRock was looking for a larger audience than we expected. Then again, perhaps they were just trying to make a point; a point that is very clear with 6GB/s transfer speeds and 850K IOPS in this motherboard.
There was also much to be learned by taking the time to test with different RAID capacities, while using our HGST Ultrastar 12Gbps SAS enterprise SSD for this task. Most importantly, we think the importance of using a variety of benchmark configurations, rather than relying on any single benchmark implementation, is paramount. In the past, we had often seen compatibility issues with one benchmark or the other, but never did it become so obvious as during this analysis. The typical benchmarks that we use in our day-to-day testing topped out at 4GB/s transfer speeds and 477K IOPS. They couldn’t stretch any further. Only through true-to-to life testing did we see first hand what this set up could do.
We threw 25.5GB of mixed movie files at the RAID0x8 configuration and it moved them from one place to another in 22 seconds, or just under one GB per second on average. Even more encouraging was the fact that, regardless of whether it was the single Ultrastar or RAID0 x2/4/8, the longest it took to move that folder was 1 minute and 16 seconds. We could only dream of this in real life.
Last but not least, if you think we plan to stop here, think again. We have 16 SATA 3 SSDs on their way to be tested on this board, hopefully in various RAID configurations, but most definitely in RAID0x16. For now though, our sincere thanks to both ASRock and HGST for making this report possible.