Promise Fastrak 100 TX2 RAID 0 Array w/ 2 Westernd Digital 120 GB SE (ntfs) in Win XP

Posted on 2003-03-21
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Hi there!
Let me teel you my story...
I bought last year a Promise Fasttrak 100 TX2 Raid controller, that I've been using with 2 IBM Deskstar (40Gb) in RAID 0.
Performance was ok! In Sisoft Sandra I had results of near 50Mb/s with 64k Stripe and FAT32 partition.
But, as you know, IBM hard drive aren't reliable at all, so I recently bought 2 Western Digital 120 Gb Special Edition hard disks (Superb!) with 8Mb cache.
I installed them and made a 64k array, and formatted the 240 Gb partition with NTFS file system with 4k clusters!
When I ran the first Sisoft Sandra 2003 test I was shocked: only near 30Mb/s tests, and noticed the sequential read/write tests were strangely low....
If I format the array with FAT32 the tests results are, again of 50Mb/s.
What is very strange is that several people with NTFS partitions in RAID0, 64 k stripes get results of 47/48 Mb/s.
I made alltests possible but I just can't find the problem!
One last detail, in HD Tach, the results in NTFS are exactly the same that in FAT32: almost 49Mb/s.
What is more reliable?? Sandra or HD Tach?
Is it possible that Sandra has any kind of issues with any software or driver installed in my system???
I woul appreciate some hel from you.

Best Regards,

Ricardo Marinheira

Question by:rmarinheira
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Expert Comment

ID: 8184319
Beats me, but i have like a 8 year old IBM hard drive that is still running fine... I'm not sure how reliable your looking for. LOL.  And, I am not sure that NTFS is supposed to be faster than fat32, i think it is just more secure, and does not fragment as bad.  

Expert Comment

ID: 8188769
Perhaps the difference to Sandra is the fact that NTFS is using a 4k cluster vs. FAT32 which at that size is 32KB.

The smaller cluster size on the larger drives from what I have read tend to slow down true read and write throughput.

I suspect that this would be the difference.

Here's a test: Get out your handy dandee stop watch. With the drive formatted FAT32, then NTFS, have a 100 MB file on the drive and measure the amount of time this file takes to be copied from one folder to the next. Do not move the folder as this only updates the FAT. Do this with a 500 MB file too. Then do this with a directory of 10 files of about 10 MB each. Highlite all 10 and copy them to another folder on the same drive.

Make sure the partition sizes are as close to identical as you can.

This was how we used to measure drives 10 years ago when the largest drive we had was 500 MB! I had a maxtor 500 MB drive that was close to 5 MB/sec faster than any one elses! ;-) Those were the days!

Hope this helps. The above test eliminates any particular hardware access methods that are different between the software testers!


Expert Comment

ID: 8188773

My TX2 with 2 x 60 GB 7200 Maxtors, and 2 x 120 GB Maxtors both striped transfer on average about 55 MB/sec which is great for video editing!

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Author Comment

ID: 8191942
Hi Phil!
What's your array stripe size?
What file system do you currently use, and what's the cluster size?
Just to compare some test results.


Expert Comment

ID: 8192473

I have two arrays configured. One is the two 60 GB's for 120 GB on NTFS (2000), and the other array is the two 120GB's for 240 GB also NTFS (2000). I believe the defaults are in place of 4KB.

I have tested the arrays using both workstation and server editions of Windows 2000.

Keep in mind that when you run these tests too that fragmentation will have a huge affect on your results. I recommend Diskkeeper 7 as the utility to beat for defraging your partitions.


Author Comment

ID: 8192504
And what's the RAID stripe size??
Are you using the default 64Kb??


Author Comment

ID: 8192534
Hithere, again!
Can you just tell me how ddo you get to those numbers of transfer rate??? Which software do you use for testing??

Expert Comment

ID: 8195707
I used the default RAID stripe size.

The transfer rates are are measured using the above timer method, plus Adobe Premiere's reported testing for video editing.


Expert Comment

ID: 8291360
Sandra is a pretty poor hard disk performance test - HD-Tach is much better, also you can try PCMark2002 from www.futuremark.com or Atto ExpressPro Tools Disk Benchmark http://www.attotech.com/software/app1.html
IOmeter is also pretty good at real-world indications http://sourceforge.net/projects/iometer/

Take a look at www.storagereview.com to see these tools in action.
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Expert Comment

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