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Workstation performance

In similar manner as the Desktop StorageMark Index, Tweakers.net has created an index for the workstation performance of hard drives and RAID adapters. The workstation suite consists of traces from workstation applications, like Adobe Premiere, Adobe Photoshop, Newtek LightWave, Steinberg Wavelab, Macromedia Director MX and Windows Media Encoder, together with traces from desktop applications in moderate and heavy multi-tasking scenarios. Furthermorem traces from copy actions, file compression, DVD ripping (also representative for certain video-editing related tasks), audio-editing and Photoshop load/save actions have been added. Details concerning the composition of this index can read here (only in Dutch). A rating of 100 points equals the performance of a single Raptor WD360GD.

Thanks to its high scalability and outstanding cache strategies, the ARC-1120 creates an even larger gap between itself and the competition than what we've seen previously in the RAID 0 desktop index. It's important to know that many gigabytes of data are moved in these tests, a total of 53GB for all traces in the workstation index. Cheating by using large cache sizes will only work by using intelligent caching strategies. With the exception of only one test, the Areca ARC-1120 wins all subtests of the workstation index. The performance advantage over the competition is hovering around the 35 percent mark. The RAIDCore BC4852 was the best of the rest, but the differences with the 3ware Escalade 9500S-8, 3ware Escalade 8506-8 and the HighPoint RocketRAID 1820A were not that big.

SATA RAID 2005 update: Workstation StorageMark 2004 Index - RAID 0

In RAID 1 and RAID 10, the Areca ARC-1120 again achieves good results. The 3ware Escalade 9500S-8 also weathered the storm. Given the generally positive image we got about the RAIDCore BC4852, the performance in this test was a bit disappointing. In the RAID 1 test it even dangles at the bottom of the graph. The prize for worst scaling adapter once again was admitted to the LSI MegaRAID SATA 150-4/6.

SATA RAID 2005 update: Workstation StorageMark 2004 Index - RAID 10

The traces in the workstation suite consist of a relatively large portion of sequential disk accesses. Also, there are a lot of sequential write actions, for example in the DVD ripping trace and the Photoshop load/save test, where Photoshop frequently uses its pagefiles. This means that a higher load is put on the XOR accelerators of the intelligent and hardware assisted RAID adapters, or a higher load is placed on the CPU in configurations with hostbased RAID adapters. Adapters with bad scaling proporties or an unsufficiently powerful architecture won't escape judgement in this test.

On the previous pages, we already expressed negative thoughts about the disappointing RAID 5 performances of the 3ware adapters. There is no change of picture in the the RAID 5 results of the workstation index. In the configurations with three and four disks, the performance of the 3ware Escalade 8506-8 is far below the performance of a single Raptor WD740GD. The performance with six and eight disks in RAID 5 is nothing to brag about, but at least it gets close to the performance of a single Raptor WD360GD. The Escalade 9500S-8 does a better job and reaches the performance level of a single Raptor WD740GD in three and four disk RAID 5 configurations. The results of the tests with six and eight disks show a small increase in performance. The HighPoint RocketRAID 1820A and the RAIDCore BC4852 are the first adapters to show good performance scaling, but there not capable of reaching the excellent performance of the Areca ARC-1120. The LSI MegaRAID SATA 150-5/6 delivers reasonable performance with three and four disks. Unfortunately, performance does not improve with six disks.

SATA RAID 2005 update: Workstation StorageMark 2004 Index - RAID 5




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