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idata
Community Manager
1,417 Views

Poor Raid0 benchmarks for intel x25 g2

Shouldn't I be seeing a read average of about 400+ for hd tune here? This is set up in a dell xps8000 raid 0 with 128 blocks on Win7. Thanks for any Help.

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21 Replies
DZand
Valued Contributor I
115 Views

Which Southbridge chip has your mainboard and which RAID driver version are you running?

Here are the benchmark results of my Intel ICH9R system with 2x160 Intel X245-M G2 SSD's as RAID0 running with the Intel RST RAID driver v9.5.0.1037 (OS: Win7 x64):

idata
Community Manager
115 Views

The chipset is the Ibex Peak P55, processor is the i7 860. After I installed Win7 I popped in a dell resource CD with all the drivers for my system. It scanned my system and put checkmarks next to the hardware it recognized and I installed those drivers. It did not put a checkmark next to intel matrix storage manager. You think I should give that a shot?

Also here is additional Belarc Adviser data about my system …

Intel(R) ICH8R/ICH9R/ICH10R/DO SATA RAID Controller

DZand
Valued Contributor I
115 Views

Since you have a better chipset and CPU than me, you should get better benchmark results than those you had posted.

If I were you, I would try the new Intel RST RAID driver v9.5.0.1037 (you can get them at http://www.station-drivers.com). They are working great for me and seem to be optimized for being used with Intel SSD's and Win7.

Questions:

1. Did you flash the new - meanwhile withdrawn - Intel SSD TRIM firmware?

2. How did you partition your RAID?

3. Do you have any hdd outside the RAID? If yes, where is the MBR?

4. Where and how big is your pagefile?

5. Did you disable the Antivirus software while doing the benchmark tests?

idata
Community Manager
115 Views

Fernando thanks for trying to help.

The drives were never flashed and are not partitioned. There are no other drives in the system and the pagefile is the default for win 7 install(8gb matching total ram). There is no antivirus installed. I am wondering if I missed a step during the OS install. I believe the default raid drivers were installed during the original installation. It's been several days since the original install and I do not remember being asked to load a Raid driver. Maybe I should try reinstalling the OS?

idata
Community Manager
115 Views

Hmm . During x25 installation I also disconnected one of my cdRoms and used that sata cable for one of the x25's. I also pluged that x25 into the connector on the motherboard that was originally used for the cdRom. That shouldn't make a difference… should it?

DZand
Valued Contributor I
115 Views

The 2 SSD's should be connected with the Intel SATA ports 1+2, the optical drive with a non-Intel SATA port (if available) of your mainboard.

Since you obviously didn't install any Intel RAID drivers, your OS is running with the Win7 in-box Intel RAID driver v8.6.2.1012 dated 04/08/2009. You will get a better performance, if you do a driver update (either to v8.9.0.1023 or v9.5.0.1037).

idata
Community Manager
115 Views

Would it be best to do an OS reinstall or you think I can just update the driver?

DZand
Valued Contributor I
115 Views

No OS reinstall is needed, just run the installer of the RAID package (Intel Matrix Storage Manager or Intel Rapid Storage Technology depending on your decision).

idata
Community Manager
115 Views

Well I installed the Matrix storage manager and rebooted. Still getting the same results, however I see that the driver is Ver:8.9.0.1023 in the properties section of Intel(R) ICH8R/ICH9R/ICH10R/DO SATA RAID Controller. The instructions mention this…

 

"If you are installing the operating system on a system configured for RAID or AHCI mode, you must pre-install the Intel(R) Matrix Storage Manager driver using the F6 installation method described in section 5.3."

Should I just reinstall the OS?

 

Also should mention that if I use a larger block size in HDtune (like 512kb) then the read avg goes over 450(The default block size is 64kb in HDtune). But that's expected... right?
DZand
Valued Contributor I
115 Views

No, don't reinstall the OS. This will not change anything.

The instructions you posted are designed for users, who want to install Windows XP. There is no F6 option, if you are going to install Vista or Win7.

Maybe you will get a better performance after having flashed the new Intel SSD firmware (once it is available again) and installed the upcoming official Intel RST drivers, which are optimized for Intel SSD's and Win7.

MJohn29
New Contributor I
115 Views

There is indeed the ability to install RAID/AHCI drivers upon install with Vista and 7. You can use a USB thumb drive. With Windows 7, it is not recommended to use Intel's driver for SSD because it does not pass the TRIM command. Not sure that matters for you since RAID does not support TRIM either. I would wait for the new RST driver myself and just use the native Windows driver in Windows 7 for now.

DZand
Valued Contributor I
115 Views

@ Zorlac:

The only drivers, which are supporting the TRIM command right now, are the generic MS IDE driver (PCIIDE.SYS) and the MS AHCI driver (MSAHCI.SYS). None of them can be used with a RAID system. RAID users are not even able to use Intel's new SSD Toolbox, because the optimizer won't work with RAID systems.

So all RAID users have to wait for a new generation of Intel RAID drivers, which do support the TRIM command.

Furthermore the SSD's themselves need to be flashed with the TRIM supporting firmware.

idata
Community Manager
115 Views

Think I'm gonna give reinstall a shot.

idata
Community Manager
115 Views

Well I reinstalled but this time I manually installed the intel matrix driver(Ver:8.9.0.1023 ) from a usb stick instead of completely skipping this step like the first time. Also chose to format during the install. Anyway I'm Still getting the same HD Tune results as before. At a loss now.

One thing I did notice is that somehow dell is putting a hidden partition somewhere. Maybe that has something to do with it. Or could it be the motherboard is not capable? Also found out that the stepping option was not turned on by default in the bios. That seems strange, no?

DZand
Valued Contributor I
115 Views

Your experience after having done a clean reinstall of Win7 certifies what I previously have written: Nothing will be changed.

Here is my comment:

1. Your RAID0 benchmark results are not as poor as you think. I didn't see any similar read speeds with a non-RAID SSD system.

2. Wait for the upcoming bug-free Intel SSD firmware, flash it into your SSD and redo a benchmark.

3. As long as we don't get an Intel RAID driver, which is able to give the TRIM command to the SSD, our SSD RAID systems will not be perfect.

Notice:

This is the way I have partitioned my 2x160 GB RAID:

Drive0: Boot partition (size: 8 GB, containing the MBR and the pagefile)

Drive1: Win7 x64 partition (size: 70 GB, no pagefile)

Drive2: another OS partition (size: 70 GB, no pagefile)

Drive3: Data partition (size: 150 GB)

idata
Community Manager
115 Views

Here is what HD tune looks like when I set HD tune block size to 512kb(compared to the 64kb default). Why is there such a huge variation in read performance with these settings?

idata
Community Manager
115 Views

strip size?

idata
Community Manager
115 Views

Stripe size is 128.

idata
Community Manager
115 Views

I *think* with a strip size of 128KB that it reads/writes 128KB for the 64KB block size test. Another factor may also be the page and block sizes of the SSD. Hopefully somebody with more expertise can confirm this??

I also have RAID0 running on 2 160GB g2 drives under windows 7. My read transfers are:

64KB block = 172 MB/sec

128KB block = 225 MB/sec

512KB block = 418 MB/sec

1MB block = 450 MB/sec

As for driver I am using c:\Windows\system32\DRIVERS\iaStorV.sys version 8.6.2.1012 (comes with OS)

7.9 for disk transfer under Windows Experience is nice but franky I am scared to make any changes since it's rather uncertain re X25M firmware and support for SSDs in RAID under Storage Manager appears to be lacking.