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Windows 7: Windows Experience Index - Raid 0

11 Aug 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Windows Experience Index - Raid 0

I get 5.9 on the Disk Data Transfer Rate with two WD 640 Black Drive(s). I also get 5.9 when I have them in a Raid 0 array even though HD Tune says the Transfer Rate has doubled which makes sense to me at least. Any ideas on what MSFT is doing that ignores the Raid 0 configuration?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Aug 2010   #2

Windows Server 2008 R2

Assuming your Windows install is actually on this array (rather than this just being a data drive - winsat only tests the primary hard disk), you can run winsat disk -v to get an idea of what windows tested to score the drive. If the numbers are similar in most areas (and winsat weights the score of the random read and write tests, not just sequential throughput), you'll get a similar score. The e7 blog goes into a good bit of detail about the winsat changes, and explains the winsat disk changes quite well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2010   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Yes, Windows 7 is on the Raid 0 array, in fact, I disconnected the two 750 GB WD Black drives I am running in non-raid mode see if it made a difference. Lots of good information but... why does the Windows Experience Index not budge when I switch from non-raid to Raid 0. Seems like it should indicate some sort of a perfromance improvement?! I am running a Gigabyte MB EP45-UD3P with a E8500 CPU overclocked to 4.0 GHZ with the latest Intel RST drivers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

11 Aug 2010   #4

Windows Server 2008 R2

Remember, winsat weights the random read/write scores and doesn't count the sequential read/write tests as high, because real-world work is a lot of small reads/writes while the disk is also flushing data from cache, etc. Lots of hard drives simply fall on their faces when doing this due to limitations or poor coding of their firmware (even in RAID - not every write or read hits both disks, depending on filesystem cluster size, stripe size, etc), although Seagate drives were especially bad at this until very recently. It's also worth noting that 5.9 isn't a bad score, for what it's worth. Ultimately it's likely the drive scores about the same on it's own and in RAID under this particular portion of the tests, hence the similar score. Overclocking the CPU isn't going to help you on the winsat disk tests, but if you posted the results of winsat disk -v here for both RAID and non-RAID, that'd be interesting to see.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2010   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I've never seen a mechanical hard drive score higher than 5.9 regardless of it's configuration. To get higher than 5.9 seems to require an SSD drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ken429 View Post
I get 5.9 on the Disk Data Transfer Rate with two WD 640 Black Drive(s). I also get 5.9 when I have them in a Raid 0 array even though HD Tune says the Transfer Rate has doubled which makes sense to me at least. Any ideas on what MSFT is doing that ignores the Raid 0 configuration?

You're only going to get a higher score than 5.9 with an SSD. You're not going to get higher than 5.9 with a mechanical HDD, even in Raid. Doesn't matter anyways, W.E.I assessment score is pretty much just a useless number. Just for a general hardware performance assessment/bragging rights.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Aug 2010   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

That is kind of what I thought the answer would be. Thanks all for the input. Just another reason why I got to have a Corsair Force 120 SSD drive!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Oct 2010   #8

Win 7 64bit
Low Scores with RAID 0

It's very strange but I WAS getting 6.1 on my Hard Disk score. I bought an Adaptec 5405 RAID controller, I have 4 WD Black HD's in 2 RAID 0 arrays, and after installing a fresh Win 7 64bit OS and running the Win Performance I scored 6.1. All my other scores were 7.0 and 7.1, so overall I got a 6.1, and I thought this sucked, I thought my RAID should have gotten me a score much higher than 6.1. Here's the weird part... I re-ran the test tonight and the HD score DROPPED to 5.9!! Nothing I can do will get it back to 6.1, and I hear you guys say that without SSD you are not going to get better than 5.9, well I WAS and it just changed to 5.9. So now my system is at 5.9, guess I should have left it alone when it was at 6.1!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Dec 2010   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate 32bit
w7 6.3 experience score

I just recently installed raid 0 128 stripe on my pc and ran windows experience and scored 5.9 also. Then later I recreated raid with 32 stripe, enabled cache write back (Intel storage Matrix), turned off drive indexing, turned off system restore, moved paging file to slave drive and defraged. Now my score is 6.3 I guess it is possible to score above 5.9 without ssd.

Attached Thumbnails
Windows Experience Index - Raid 0-w7-window-exp.jpg  
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29 Jan 2011   #10

Win 7

I also have 2 WD640gb blacks (AALS, with 32mb cache) in RAID0 configuration. I tried several ways to install this RAID0 and get the best speeds, and it took me a while to figure it out too.

Anyway, my story pertains to the people who have Intel chipset like ICH10R or 9, and some others too.

First I created a RAID0 from the bios raid config area (enter into it via CTRL-i keys on my mobo, a Biostar TPower I45). So I created the RAID0 out of the 2 640's, and then exited. Upon installing Windows 7 x64, I got to the partition window and partitioned the 1200gb into two partitions. First time around I halved them, so 600 and 600gb. Well, I had slow random access times (plus 12ms). So then I installed Windows again, but this time made a small, 90gb OS partition, and a 1100gb data partition. Again, same random access times, over 12ms.

Then I stumbled across an article that talked about creating more than 1 VOLUME inside the RAID bios config area. Yes, it will still be RAID0 with the same 2 drives, but you can create more than one volume on your RAID0. It's confusing to understand at first, because I thought they were talking about partitions, but no. RAID Volumes and drive partitions are completely different things. Actually, you could create several partition on each raid volume, if you so desire.

Anyway, I created 2 raid volumes in the bios raid config area for Intel Matrix. The first volume was for the OS and I wanted it fast. In order to achieve that, you have to create the first raid volume small, like 100gb or less if you want. This is still big enough for many apps, even some games, and still have room left. Making the first volume small forces the OS files to be written to the fastest portion of the physical HDD. Therefore, you will have faster average read times. Mine went from 12.xms to 7.4ms! I'm not kidding, I just checked it again with AIDA and I am also experiencing it.

So with the remainder of your space (1100gb) in raid bios config you create a second Volume. I have both volumes set at 128k stripe as there is space enough and I read this is the native size the drive likes to work with (that last point may or not be true, but it seems to work!). This whole process of creating more than 1 volume on your raid is called 'slicing'.

After setting the 2 volumes, exit the raid config and then install Windows. You'll see 2 unpartitioned drives that represent volume 1 and 2 that you just created. Partition them, format them. The first partition (small one) is to install your OS on. The second volume can be partitioned as one big partition or several smaller ones, whatever you want.

After installing the OS, installing drivers, installing/setting basic stuff, reboot, and then perform your benchmark. You'll see the difference.

Now, as I said, this may not apply to you as not all chipsets will allow you to slice your raid like this (this is my understanding, at least). But for those it does apply to it will make a big difference in speed for you raid0 config.

So do you see how these two scenarios are different:

1) Create RAID0 with only 1 volume. You then partition that one volume into several (or one) partition(s).

2) Create RAID0 with 2 volumes (from the raid config area) and make the first volume small (100gb or less) to force the OS to the fastest part of the drive. Then partition the two volumes to your liking.

This has been my experience
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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