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.
A BIT MORE ON THE HIGHPOINT 2720SGL
The HighPoint 2720SGL RAID card used for this report includes the manufacturers newest firmware revision which drastically improves end performance. With many RAID Controllers being prohibitively expensive for enthusiasts, this device is a breath of fresh air, coming in at roughly $160US. Our usage is of this RAID card is to demonstrate its potential in an enthusiast-type application.
The HighPoint controller uses a low powered ROC to ‘boost’ the device through boot-up, and then the driver and the host system perform the brunt of the computation. Another great benefit to this controller is that it does not utilize any cache like full featured RAID controllers, which will keep the results free from any caching solutions.
The device sets a 64K stripe and it is not configurable. We tested with the drives write cache and NCQ enabled. In effect, what you see is what you get!
ATTO Disk Benchmark is perhaps one of the oldest benchmarks going and is definitely the main staple for manufacturer performance specifications. ATTO uses RAW or compressible data and, for our benchmarks, we use a set length of 256mb and test both the read and write performance of various transfer sizes ranging from 0.5 to 8192kb. Manufacturers prefer this method of testing as it deals with raw (compressible) data rather than random (includes incompressible data) which, although more realistic, results in lower performance results.
As it is the industry standard, ATTO Disk Benchmark is able to illustrate top speeds with the Intel ‘SandForce Driven’ SSDs as it uses compressible data in its testing. The scaling tops out at 1.5 GB/s at the larger file sizes, and there is also some impressive scaling at the lower end with the smaller file sizes.