SSDs and Enclosure
We are using our trusty ARC-4036 external enclosure for the review, as it will allow us to utilize the SSDs easily and we can switch controllers easily. A very nice feature with the Areca controllers is that you can create the Test Array and configuration, and then merely switch it to the other controller, and no additional setup will be required. The 1880 and the 1882 allow us to switch back and forth with the same array easily! This will also afford a bit of continuity with the state of the SSD array as we test. A quick click on the picture will also bring up our review of the enclosure.
MICRON C300 6GB/s 256GB SSDs
Micron has graciously donated us an array of 8 x 256 GB C300. These SSDs have become a staple in our test bench, and with their impressive speeds, they still continue to generate excellent results. The speed of these devices in RAID is certainly enviable, and continues to push the boundaries of many raid controllers.
The 4k random access of these drives is particularly excellent, and is very instrumental for great performance in any scenario. With an 6GB/s interface the C300 can bring some impressive performance to the table.
Sequential read up to 355MB/Sec and sequential write speeds of 215MB/s, coupled with 60,000 4k random read IOPS, and 45,000 Random Write IOPS should be more than enough to test the sequential power of the card easily.
OF SPECIAL NOTE
The rear ports of the Areca 1882x are 8088 mini-SAS connectors. We utilize these two ports to connect directly to the ARC-4036 expander via 8088-to-8088 cabling.
We did remove the 4GB stick of cache from the 1880IX-12 and replaced it with a 1GB module. This allows both controllers to use the same amount of cache for testing. Some results of these testing regimens will be affected by the cache of the cards but that is to be expected. A big difference in these controllers is the generational differences in the cache. The 1882x leverages DDR3 1333mhz, while the 1880IX-12 uses the older DDR2 800MHZ. Both controllers will be using a 64k stripe for all testing, and they will both be tested with the same settings.
The arrays themselves will be swapped between the controllers to minimize the differences in the ‘state’ of the arrays. SSDs can vary in performance naturally depending upon a number of factors, from the state of GC, and the level of fill. These arrays were intentionally left empty, for the purposes of eking out the most performance. The purpose of this test is to test the power of the cards, not necessarily the SSD array.
System: Aggressive Read Ahead, Disk Write Cache Enabled, Tagged Command Queue Enabled, NCQ Enabled, HDD QD @ 32, and Volume Cache Mode: Write Back