RAID 0 x 2 vs Single

8/29/2010

RAID 0 vs. Non RAID
ICH10 vs. JMB363
i7 920 2.66GHZ vs. i7 920 3.4GHZ

I tested RAID 0 x2 against a Single drive on the EVGA X58 SLI (E758) Motherboard.
Using the onboard RAID Controler, Stock i7 and overclocked.
Doubled our Drive Size from 500GB to 1000GB

RAID 0 Reads, & Writes 2 drives simultanously, this is called a Stripe.
by utilizing 2 drives at once this is suspected to double the performance in some cases,
However in other cases it will not double performance, but does show a substantial increase.
Limitations are: the hard drive itself, and the RAID controler
An add in RAID controler may perform better then the onboard in most scenarios.
In this review I am utizing the onboard SATA controlers of the EVGA X58 SLI – model E758,
Which is the Intel ICH10 Southbridge, and the JMicron JMB363,
both are onboard devices that are included on this motherboard.

You must understand that RAID 0 while doubling the Hard Drive space also doubles the rate of failure
However the failure of hard drives today is much lower then those of the past.
*** – *** see below..
Many people run RAID configurations for many years and never have a failure.
It is good practice to always backup important information onto a storage drive.
I also like to mirror (RAID 0+1) my storage drives for added protection to vital files (Thats another story).

Here are the specs:
This Computer
– EVGA X58 SLI E758 (With Latest BIOS)
– Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHZ / 3.4GHZ
– Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
– SNT-SAC2131TL 3×3.5″ Hard drive in 2×5.25″ Bay SAS/SATA Trayless Backplane

This first test is using the standard (Black) SATA 0, & SATA 1 ports controled by the Southbridge ICH10
I will test again using the 2 (Red) SATA 8, & SATA 9 ports controled by the JMicron JMB363 onboard chip

Single HDD, Stock Core i7 920 2.66GHZ ICH10

RAID 0 x2, Stock Core i7 920 2.66GHZ ICH10

Single HDD, Overclocked Core i7 920 3.4GHZ ICH10

RAID 0 x2, Overclocked Core i7 920 3.4GHZ ICH10

I only ran a benchmark on the RAID 0 using the JMicron JMB363 RAID controler,
because I see no reason for testing @ Stock CPU clocks, as that is the reason for using the JMB363 Chip.

RAID 0 x2, Overclocked Core i7 920 3.4GHZ JMB363

Conclusion JMB363

OK, finished with JMB363 benchmark
When changing a RAID config, you will have to re-install windows.
I have a Multi License Upgrade so I have to install Vista Ultimate before I can Install Win 7

Download the JMB363 driver here
Save to USB flash, Floppy, or CD-ROM.
During Windows Install, the dialog box containing your hard drive appears BLANK –
Click Options, and browse to the JMicrom JMB363 files, Floppy32 or Floppy64 –
this will depend if you are using 64 or 32 bit OS

More information about the JMicron JMB363 Chip

I am very happy with the (JMicron JMB363 RAID 0) vs the (Intel ICH10 Single HDD).
The performance seems to be more the double in some cases.
The JMB363 outperformed the ICH10 in all scenarios.

Average Transfer Rate: 66.3MB/sec – 133.6MB/sec = (67.3MB/sec) increase 50+%
Higher is better

Access Time: 12.8ms – 12.5ms = (0.3ms) increase really no change here, thats OK!
Lower is better

Burst Rate: 126.9MB/sec – 1383.2MB/sec = (1256.3MB/sec) increase
Higher is better

A couple of days later, after heavy gaming, defragmenting, and editing/rendering 4 videos.
Here is another benchmark:

RAID 0 x2, Overclocked Core i7 920 3.4GHZ JMB363 run a couple days later.

*** -*** update.
I feel different about this now that I have run a successful raid0 for several years.
I personally believe the more drives you have in a raid0, the less failure will result, due to less spin cycles on each drives.
However, it is makes since to think you are more likely to get bad drive having so many.
This has not been in my case. All 4 drives are running great.
Here is my latest benchmark with 4 drives.
RAID0-X4