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  #1  
Old 08-04-2009, 08:52 PM
dancane dancane is offline
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Default $2,000 worth (of headache so far..)

Ok team,

I've been using the first gen OCZ (ack!) SSD's for a few months with some success, but after much research on the matter settled on my "real" upgrade to 4x Corsair P128's in RAID 0 running on an Adaptec 5805.

At first I built it as a secondary array off of a windows 7 install and ran some initial benchmarks. Everything looked peachy. So, I took the plunge and attempted to make it my primary OS target. Install went smooth.

It's only been 24 hours and I'm already seeing tremendous signs of stuttering. I'm sure its a configuration issue (me hopes), but I'm 12 hours into my 2nd reinstall and I can't get rid of the stutter.

Where I am now, is a clean Win 7 install. Updated the drivers on the Adaptec to the latest. I've disabled indexing.

When it runs - it runs GREAT ~1000Mb/sec when looking at 512k blocks. But as you can see I hit < 1Mb/sec and the whole system seems to hang.

h e l p
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2009, 09:51 PM
dancane dancane is offline
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Default A little more info on my setup

So, just in case it's relevant. here is a little more information on the RAID configuration:

All Drives showing up as 3 Gb/s transfer speed
Stripe Size: 512k
Read-cache mode: enabled
Write-cache mode: enabled (write-back)
ROM: 5.2 16343
Device Driver: 5.2 17380

Also attaching the 256k block size test.. same outcome...
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File Type: png Stutter-256k BLocks.png (60.2 KB, 242 views)
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  #3  
Old 08-04-2009, 11:22 PM
GaPony GaPony is offline
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I thought I had read in some of the tests/reviews posted online, it was better to keep the stripe size at 128k, others have said 64k. I just got the Adaptec 5445, so I'm hoping you find the best solution and post it here. :)

Last edited by GaPony; 08-04-2009 at 11:33 PM.
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  #4  
Old 08-05-2009, 12:40 AM
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We did some testing with 128K Block size but I cant post the results yet, we don't have all of the results yet. But I think 128K would be best with 4 drives and 64K Block Size with two but like I said don't hold me to that till all the tests are in.
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  #5  
Old 08-06-2009, 09:33 PM
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Default Block size

That would change the overall throughput, but not the drop to 1 Mb/sec. My understanding is block size selection should be based on anticipated file sizes, but I could be wrong. I less concerned about maximizing the performance at this point and just want a nice steady throughput with sudden lags.
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:40 AM
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I've done a little testing with my 3 P128's on an Adaptec 5445 controller and found that a stripe size of 128 offers the best performance overall. Using the 256k block size in HD Tune, I got the attached results. I've also attached the CrystalDiskMark and HD Tach (which I don't really consider accurate)

I formatted with the default (4k?) allocation.

I hope you find this useful...
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File Type: png HDT-SSD-128-256.png (67.3 KB, 255 views)
File Type: png CDM-SSD-128.png (67.8 KB, 266 views)
File Type: png HD Tach-SSD-128.png (57.2 KB, 275 views)
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  #7  
Old 08-07-2009, 04:15 PM
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Thanks GaPony for taking the time to post that and by chance did you happen to run those tests with different block sizes set?
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:30 PM
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Default Useful states

Thanks for the update. I'll retool the array with 128 stripe size and the default OS block size. Do you have any stuttering?

Dan
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:35 PM
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I've them all with different stripe sizes and different block sizes. A stripe size of 128 seems to be the sweet spot for the RAID controller, and using different block sizes in the tests 256k, 512k, and 1025k seem to provide pretty decent results in everything except ATTO, which gets a little wierd and results are far outside the averages of the other benchmarks. I'm working on that. I'd love to hear any suggestions you may have on that..

I have to say that I'm beginning to reach a conclusion that these SSD drives are much better performing, on a regular user level, as single drives than they are in RAID. As single drives they perform flawlessly and absolutely smoke anything else out there. While they present excellant benchmark numbers in a RAID configuration, they're a little finicky. Manufacturers of RAID cards have had decades to perfect their cards operations with HDDs, I don't think they quite have a handle on SSDs yet. If the user just want's a larger disk, then a spanned volume actually provides very good performance, compared to HHDs in RAID 0, without the quirks associated with RAID 0.

I'm not a professional tester, but these are my observations at the moment, from a perspective of 30+ years experience in IT and as an enthusiast. As RAID cards and onboard controllers become more SSD aware, I'm sure my views will evolve. Like anything else that goes fast, there's always more to the overall considerations than speed alone.

Here are the ATTO results... and they're virtually identical using a 128k or 256k strip size with the Adaptec controller.
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dancane View Post
Thanks for the update. I'll retool the array with 128 stripe size and the default OS block size. Do you have any stuttering?

Dan
I often get one stutter at the very beginning of a test, but that holds true for HDDs also. I figure the benchmark gods just hate me.
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:25 PM
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check the cpu usage and turn on Kernel times (task manager performance > View> Show kernel times) you may find that your system is been maxed out under kernel use (under norm use there should be little kernel use) nor related to an driver or system bottle neck (that could happen if there is a lot of SSDs is an system)you norm see it when the disks are been maxed out or some times even Light load (had to reload an acer system as the system was stuttering like mad and that was an HDD i blame the speedtouch modem in that case)

maxed out kernel times are
dual core its 50% red or more
for quad core its 25% Red or more (i7 with HT on around 12% or more)

if any one has tools that they can link me to to diagnose that type of problem with kernel times that be useful save me having to reload windows
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Old 08-24-2009, 10:08 PM
dancane dancane is offline
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Default About to upgrade to Win 7 RTM

Quote:
Originally Posted by RAM GUY View Post
We did some testing with 128K Block size but I cant post the results yet, we don't have all of the results yet. But I think 128K would be best with 4 drives and 64K Block Size with two but like I said don't hold me to that till all the tests are in.
Are you now able to post the results? I'm going to have to rebuild the array anyway, so nows the time :) Anyone else have any results to share?

IRL these drives are SCREAMING fast with this RAID card. There is NO visible stuttering at all -so I take it "back" -- no headache, just inconsistent artificial test results. Real world testing is in, and these bad boys rock.
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  #13  
Old 08-25-2009, 12:21 PM
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What raid card will you be using?
And normally the default size will be about the best; but 128K cluster size with 32K for the format was about the best for two M-64 drives in a RAID but there was almost no difference with P-64 drives.
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  #14  
Old 08-25-2009, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAM GUY View Post
What raid card will you be using?
And normally the default size will be about the best; but 128K cluster size with 32K for the format was about the best for two M-64 drives in a RAID but there was almost no difference with P-64 drives.
Adaptec 5805 -- it's quite nice. I just flashed it with the latest firmware and will be rebuilding it tonight. Will keep you all posted.
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  #15  
Old 08-26-2009, 12:26 PM
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We posted Raid Configuration and Performance last night; which you may find useful when you set up your raid array.
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