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Four Kingston SSDNow E (Intel X25-E) SSDs in RAID 0 - Win 7

By: Cameron Wilmot | RAID in Storage | Posted: Aug 6, 2009 5:36 am

Test System Setup

 

Processors: Intel Core i7 920

 

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5

 

Memory: G.Skill F3-12800C8 2GB x3 in Triple Channel (Supplied by G.Skill)

 

Graphics Card: Palit Radeon HD 4670 512MB (Supplied by Palit)

 

SATA Controller: Areca ARC-1680-I (Supplied by Areca)

 

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64 final OEM build (RTM 7600) with latest updates and drivers

 

Not only is the selection of the storage equipment for today's article cream of the crop, but the test system is also modern and rather fast. It will easily provide enough power to fully exploit the full performance of the four Kingston X25-E SSD drives in RAID 0.

 

We were lucky enough to get hold of Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and before you ask, yes - we are using the final shipping build. It's actually the OEM build, but it is the final RTM 7600 that will go out to customers soon. Microsoft spent a lot of time optimizing Windows 7 for SSD drives, with features such as the all important TRIM command. It is unclear whether or not those optimizations will work with the SSDs in RAID (the OS needs to know that the RAID array is actually a bunch of SSDs), but we'll find out more on that later as we dig deeper into the new OS and just how it treats SSDs in the near future.

 

The Areca ARC-1680-I RAID controller uses a PCI Express x8 interface and we plugged it into the second PCI-E x16 slot on the GIGABYTE X58 motherboard, which electronically operates at the full 16 lanes, so no problems there providing full bandwidth to the controller. We have provided results with all four drives in RAID 0, two drives in RAID 0 and single drive performance for comparison.

 

ATTO Baseline Performance

 

Version and / or Patch Used: 2.34

 

ATTO is used by many disk manufacturers to determine the read and write speeds that will be presented to customers.

 

FOUR DRIVES in RAID 0

 

Four Kingston SSDNow E (Intel X25-E) SSDs in RAID 0 with Windows 7 final OEM build

 

Here we can see ATTO proving a whole bunch of results. The 890MB/s read speed is impressive, but we think that it is actually measuring the 512MB of cache on Areca controller rather than actual SSD performance.

 

Having said that though, we see consistent results up to around 780MB/s on the read and a maximum write speed of around 572MB/s. Wow!

 

TWO DRIVES in RAID 0

 

Four Kingston SSDNow E (Intel X25-E) SSDs in RAID 0 with Windows 7 final OEM build

 

Taking out two of the drives, things naturally slow down. The cache test in this result is more evident, but even still we see a maximum read speed around 667MB/s and a maximum write speed around the 288MB/s range.

 

SINGLE DRIVE

 

Four Kingston SSDNow E (Intel X25-E) SSDs in RAID 0 with Windows 7 final OEM build

 

When we look at single drive performance, which is still quite respectable, we see a maximum read speed 215MB/s although it's clear the test as a little all over the place testing the cache memory and not being all that consistent, even after multiple runs of the benchmark. Don't pay too much attention to these read speeds. However, the write speed seems to be accurate showing a maximum speed of around 180MB/s.

 

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