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PERC 5/i RAID Card: Tips and Benchmarks - Page 271

post #2701 of 7257
Okay, I finally got everything figured out.

Here's what I got with 3 1TB WD Caviar Blacks in RAID 5. I'm guessing I need to tweak something...I had all settings on default.

HD Tune: DELL PERC 6/i Benchmark

Transfer Rate Minimum : 90.6 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Maximum : 139.3 MB/sec
Transfer Rate Average : 119.8 MB/sec
Access Time : 10.6 ms
Burst Rate : 434.7 MB/sec
CPU Usage : 2.0%
    
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post #2702 of 7257
Sounds like Metaphreaks advice to me could also apply to you?

Quote:
In HDTune options, change the Block Size option to 8MB.

Alternatively, use something like ATTO which will test a variety of block sizes.

And then there is also Crystal Disk Mark which seems to be one of the apps more suited to testing real world performance.


In HDTune with 1kb block size I only get 14MB/s
What other tweaks are people doing in Megaraid Storage Manager?

And are they only available if you use the LSI Firmware? Or can you do them as well, even if you are using the dell firmware, as long as you keep the stripe size to 128 and under? (Which is all the dell firmware supports)

Must admit, I am starting to doubt how accurate any of these hard disk tests really are.

If you were to believe the three different ones I did, then I should be getting 300 mb/sec write speed and 500 mb/sec read speed on the array.

With that in mind, I was quite looking forward to copying over 330 GB of Data over from an old Seagate 7200.10 750GB drive, on to the array.

HOWEVER, now that I am actually doing it, and have clicked on the 'details' button. It is telling me that the actual speed is about 50 MB/Sec for the transfer (which I believe as its taking ages)

What is the deal with that?
post #2703 of 7257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuarts View Post
Must admit, I am starting to doubt how accurate any of these hard disk tests really are.
you can try IOzone:
http://www.iozone.org/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuarts View Post
If you were to believe the three different ones I did, then I should be getting 300 mb/sec write speed and 500 mb/sec read speed on the array.

With that in mind, I was quite looking forward to copying over 330 GB of Data over from an old Seagate 7200.10 750GB drive, on to the array.

HOWEVER, now that I am actually doing it, and have clicked on the 'details' button. It is telling me that the actual speed is about 50 MB/Sec for the transfer (which I believe as its taking ages)
don't look at windows calculations
get HD Tune PRO and use DISK MONITOR option or install FreeTaskManager http://www.extensoft.com/?p=free_task_manager or copy under TotalCommander

or maybe there is something wrong with your Seagate drive - make some tests ... maybe it is set to "quiet/slow" mode ? or maybe your AntiVirus software is checking file(s) in background ? or maybe you have many small files instead of few very large files ...
post #2704 of 7257
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
It is PCIe or PCI-E. PCI-X is different slot completely.

What motherboard are you using?

What kind of cooling are you using?
It's PCI-e. sorry typo.

I use an Asus P6T Deluxe.

I kinda solved the problem for now. I put the card in the first slot where my video card should be and now it work. (Video card isn't in the optimal spot working at 8x, but since I'm not a gamer, I can live with that)

No idea why I started to have trouble. I was thinking about overheating (since it's summer now), but I have an 40mm fan over the heatsink + a 80mm right next to it. Also have extra heatsink on the middle chip. All this in a well ventilated case. (Coolermaster Cosmos with 9 fans (most of them 120mm)
post #2705 of 7257
Finally got my Perc5 and set it up with 6x640gb drives in raid5.

I am very much interested in what the options for capacity expansion are. It is important for me to know that beforehand so I can decide if I am going to start with these 6x640gb drives or go for something like 4x1tb.

So As soon as I hooked the drives up I went on to try some expansion scenarios. I created a raid5 array using only 5 out of 6 drives and only about 400gb from each drive instead of all the space.
Then I went on to the reconstruction utilities to see what options I had to expand.
Well, adding the 6th drive was there as expected...but I could not find any option to grow the array to use the rest of the space in those original 5 drives...
I was led to believe that this was possible....well, is it? is there some special way to do it?

The only thing I could do is make a second array with the free space, and then in windows storage manager I could extend the original expansion to use that space too...but I am afraid there might arise other problems by doing this...I dont like the fact that it is in software level...

So is there any way to grow a raid5 array to use free space on the existing disks or not?

BTW my write benchmarks were excellent, with 200mb/s average, but the read ones were like using only 1 drive in non-raid, about 90mb/s ..... but I read it's all about the block size in HDtune....
Which block size would give more accurate results in my situation?
post #2706 of 7257
Will adaptive read-ahead lessen the reliability of my raid configuration at all?
    
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post #2707 of 7257
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowFox19 View Post
Will adaptive read-ahead lessen the reliability of my raid configuration at all?
No. The data it is reading ahead to is what it believes is what you are most likely trying to have the drive fetch. The only thing it might do is read-ahead to a portion of the disk that it didn't need to, which would be a read that was unnecessary... But at that point, it really doesn't matter in the long run. You actually lose a bit of average performance in reads with ARA on, but as compared to RA if it does read ahead properly then those reads can give you a small increase in performance at that specific time. It honestly is really up to your own interpretation and usage. It doesn't take much at all to switch between he two so play around and find what works best for you

Reliability-wise it has only a slight implication of a read that was not necessary. Those over time could add up and increase the likelihood of hardware failure. But any read action would carry the same risk.
Edited by DJZeratul - 6/28/09 at 2:44am
    
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post #2708 of 7257
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJZeratul View Post
No. The data it is reading ahead to is what it believes is what you are most likely trying to have the drive fetch. The only thing it might do is read-ahead to a portion of the disk that it didn't need to, which would be a read that was unnecessary... But at that point, it really doesn't matter in the long run. You actually lose a bit of average performance in reads with ARA on, but as compared to RA if it does read ahead properly then those reads can give you a small increase in performance at that specific time. It honestly is really up to your own interpretation and usage. It doesn't take much at all to switch between he two so play around and find what works best for you

Reliability-wise it has only a slight implication of a read that was not necessary. Those over time could add up and increase the likelihood of hardware failure. But any read action would carry the same risk.
Thanks for anwsering my question!

What settings do you use with your setup?
    
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post #2709 of 7257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vric View Post
It's PCI-e. sorry typo.

I use an Asus P6T Deluxe.

I kinda solved the problem for now. I put the card in the first slot where my video card should be and now it work. (Video card isn't in the optimal spot working at 8x, but since I'm not a gamer, I can live with that)

No idea why I started to have trouble. I was thinking about overheating (since it's summer now), but I have an 40mm fan over the heatsink + a 80mm right next to it. Also have extra heatsink on the middle chip. All this in a well ventilated case. (Coolermaster Cosmos with 9 fans (most of them 120mm)
I would re-check the cooling in your case. I can think of no real reason to need that many case fans - I would bet that at least some of those fans are working against each other. This can hurt your cooling performance, creating dead spots with very little airflow that can cause overheating problems despite very high overall case airflow.

Reseating the card in the x16 slot may have helped the situation as you have moved it out of such a dead spot. As most graphics cards have decent built-in fan-assisted cooling it is likely this card will not suffer in the same way. Have a careful look at exactly how and where the air flows around your case. You may be able to improve cooling dramatically by reversing some fans, adding some ducting or even removing fans. As a side benefit you may also be able to reduce noise.

If it is not an overheating problem then the only other thing I can think of is a motherboard problem. The PERC should not be able to tell whether it is running in an x8 or x16 slot, so if it works in one slot but not the other that would point to an issue with that slot. It is unlikely to be a BIOS issue (unless you have recently flashed) if the card used to work before in the x8 slot.

Hope this helps.
post #2710 of 7257
Thanks for the reply.

The Cosmos case is quite huge. That is not "that many" fans. (case come with 5 + 2 on the CPU) I added 2 more. Most of them are relatively low RPM (1100-1300 at 120mm) Airflow is quite good in the case and goes from the boton/front to the top/rear.

But I admit where the card was, it's a dead spot. This is why I used an antec SpotCool fan to force airflow on the card (10th fan in the case, it look small but it's 80mm):



Anyway, on the top PCI-e slot, the airflow in the case is much better (being in the center of the case near the cpu) so it could be an explanation. But the heatsink wasn't hot to touch before, this is why I find it strange.

I haven't updated bios and as I said, the card was working fine for few month in that setup before giving me trouble. I recently added a 4th drive ton my array (3x 1TB WD Green 1x Hitachi 1tb) so I tried to remove that new drive (we never know) but some problem happened. The card disappeared under windows before I could start the Raid Manager.

On the 16x slot, I was able to fix the array and it work strong since 3 days (and it was 3 "hot" days)
Edited by Vric - 6/28/09 at 5:58pm
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