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Windows 7: Show us your hard drive performance

16 Aug 2009   #281
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

ciphernemo,

I have quite a bit of experience with RAID configurations. I'm a systems engineer for a living and have been building servers and running SAN/NAS devices (EMC and NetApp) with RAID 1, 5, 10, and 50 for a number of years. In fact, in the past month I have been troubleshooting a significant RAID performance issue on a VMWare ESXi 3.5 update 4 server on a HP Proliant DL360 Gen 5 server with 15,000 RPM 2.5" SAS Drives. Turned out to be an issue with the HP Smart Array P410i RAID controller and it's BBWC (battery backed write cache module)..or in this case...it's lack thereof. Thus, VMWare would not utilize any write caching whatsoever on the drive and instead held until the data was on the platters.

At home, prior to having SSD's and simply using the onboard RAID controllers on mobos (mostly software RAID), the benchmarks always returned higher numbers and straight up large file copies indeed verified in the increased performance....but the actual time differences noticed when booting my operating system or launching a game (games I tested at the time were BattleField 2, Half Life 2, and Doom 3) came back negligible. And as you noted, I was doing this with 1 single monitor at a smallish resolution of 1280x1024. Now, with file copies...the difference was very significant. You really saw it when you copied a 20GB virtual machine file from 1 folder to another for backup purposes. So, I've always maintained that I think for most PC users and even gaming enthusiasts, that RAID0 configs of the entire OS just hasn't been a wise choice. Especially in the last few years where drive capacities (of mechanical drives) seems to have increased rapidly, but with failure rates among manufacturers going up as well.

Again, I'm not criticizing, but looking for feedback on where things stand these days. Like I said, I wanted to see numbers. If your game load times went from 5 seconds to less than 1 second...that's significant.

Also, I'm certain you are aware but with some of the newer SSD's out there, like the Intel and OCZ...the stuttering problem with the original controllers has pretty much been solved. Unfortunately, the cost of these drives is quite a bit higher...naturally.

Again, sorry if it seemed like I was criticizing your choices. But to assume that I have no real-world experience with RAID and am otherwise misinformed, is simply not the case. And like I noted, you aren't running your OS's and such on the RAID 0 and that really helps in the event of a failure. Plus, you have unique monitor layouts that provide additional necessity for what you are running.

Thanks for taking the time and sharing your performance numbers.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Aug 2009   #282
Cyberwolf

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Intel X25-M


Attached Images
Show us your hard drive performance-hdd.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2009   #283
anabolix

Windows 7
 
 

G.Skill


Attached Images
Show us your hard drive performance-ht-tune-pro-benchmark.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Aug 2009   #284
ciphernemo

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit RTM
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
Also, I'm certain you are aware but with some of the newer SSD's out there, like the Intel and OCZ...the stuttering problem with the original controllers has pretty much been solved. Unfortunately, the cost of these drives is quite a bit higher...naturally.
I have OCZ Vertex drives, each with the latest 1.30 Firmware. These drives are supposed to take care of stuttering (along with the Summit and Vertex Turbo series). But I can tell you than SSD stuttering is still a problem if an OS is installed on SSDs or a RAID array of SSDs.

With my OS installed on a RAID array of WDC Black HDDs and my software installed on a RAID array of SSDs, the stuttering problem is gone. Even on the latest drives with big buffers and fast I/O processors, the stuttering is still there if you install an OS on them. People won't notice the stuttering on these new drives until they peak the throughput (read or write, but happens faster with writing). That gets peaked with some games still, using high resolutions and high-res textures.

So the problem will never be "solved" for SSDs, but the problem can always be pushed a little further out of range for most computing. The problem is when the drives' buffers are full and the drives need to clear their buffers to read or write. When this happens, the SATA bus pauses until the data is fully transferred. That will never go away until the next generation technology that either refines or replaces SATA.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Aug 2009   #285
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ciphernemo View Post
I have OCZ Vertex drives, each with the latest 1.30 Firmware. These drives are supposed to take care of stuttering (along with the Summit and Vertex Turbo series). But I can tell you than SSD stuttering is still a problem if an OS is installed on SSDs or a RAID array of SSDs.
Well, that is truly a disappointment. I had been reading that the problems were all but gone with the new samsung controllers and what not. I think I would really want the SSD for the performance of the OS..but I certainly wouldn't want the associated stuttering. Guess it's still mechanical drives for me for the forseeable future.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2009   #286
Cyberwolf

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
Well, that is truly a disappointment. I had been reading that the problems were all but gone with the new samsung controllers and what not. I think I would really want the SSD for the performance of the OS..but I certainly wouldn't want the associated stuttering. Guess it's still mechanical drives for me for the forseeable future.
Even though they end up being a lil more pricey I stuck with Intel since they have been getting excellent reviews all over the place.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2009   #287
charlieo

7 rtm
 
 
My drive benchmarks

Here are my benchmarks. RAID 0 with two VelociRaptors. W7 RTM X64. Although the performance feels good, I am upset that the Windows rating only gives disk performance a 6.1. Everything else is 7.4 to 7.6. Any idea why it reports so low in the Windows Experience Index?

Am I concerned about nothing?
Charlie


Attached Images
Show us your hard drive performance-benchmark_raid0_w7rtm_x64.jpg Show us your hard drive performance-raid0_w7rtmx64_random_access.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2009   #288
ciphernemo

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit RTM
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
Well, that is truly a disappointment. I had been reading that the problems were all but gone with the new samsung controllers and what not. I think I would really want the SSD for the performance of the OS..but I certainly wouldn't want the associated stuttering. Guess it's still mechanical drives for me for the forseeable future.
It is unfortunate.

The Vertex line has Indilinx IDX110 processors (Arm processor design). These are far superior to the crappy JMicron controller chips as the IDX110 can perform exponentially more operations per second. The Samsung chip is supposed to be even better, but still doesn't compete with the IDX110 for raw I/O ops/second.

But the fundamental problem still exists with SSDs. People who install an O/S on these will find out soon enough about stuttering, regardless of what the manufacturers promise. All they can really do is increase the buffer size enough so that stuttering is so infrequent that it is almost unnoticeable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2009   #289
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by charlieo View Post
Here are my benchmarks. RAID 0 with two VelociRaptors. W7 RTM X64. Although the performance feels good, I am upset that the Windows rating only gives disk performance a 6.1. Everything else is 7.4 to 7.6. Any idea why it reports so low in the Windows Experience Index?

Am I concerned about nothing?
Charlie
Charlie....Yes, you are concerned about nothing. From everything that I have read and seen, SATA drives seem to top out at 5.9....even some RAID 0 arrays have topped out at 5.9. The only people who are scoring higher than this are using solid state drives. And they certainly have their pros and cons...so it's not yet a no-brainer to switch for the average joe.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2009   #290
charlieo

7 rtm
 
 

Thank you pparks1. I specialize in worrying about nothing!

Do my numbers look good for a RAID 0?

Charlie

ps. It was easy to change the score anyway..... I gave myself a 7.9
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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