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SATA 6Gbps Implementation Investigated - ASUS vs. GIGABYTE P55 - Test System Setup

GIGABYTE and ASUS chose different paths for SATA 6Gbps on P55 motherboards. Today we put them to the test to see which is better implemented.

| Editorials in Storage | Posted: Dec 24, 2009 5:14 am
Manufacturer: TweakTown

Test System 1

 

Motherboard: GIGABYTE P55A-UD4P (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Processors: Intel i7 870 (Supplied by AVADirect)
Memory: Corsair Dominator 1600 MHz Dual Channel Kit
Graphics Card: Leadtek Quadro FX1700 (Supplied by Leadtek)
Enclosure: Lian Li V2000
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 (Supplied by Noctua)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate X64
Control Drive 1: Seagate Barracuda XT (Supplied by Seagate)

 


Test System 2

 

Motherboard: ASUS P7P55D-E Pro (Supplied by ASUS)
Processors: Intel i7 870 (Supplied by AVADirect)
Memory: Corsair Dominator 1600 MHz Dual Channel Kit
Graphics Card: Leadtek Quadro FX1700 (Supplied by Leadtek)
Enclosure: Lian Li V2000
Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 (Supplied by Noctua)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate X64
Control Drive 1: Seagate Barracuda XT (Supplied by Seagate)

 


Our test systems were identical other than the motherboard used in each. The operating system drive for each was a Western Digital Raptor 150GB unit that I had a matching pair of. This allowed us to go back and forth between the systems.

 

AVADirect was kind enough to supply us with an Intel Core i7 870, the fastest LGA1156 processor available, so we didn't run into any issues with the tests being CPU limited. Just like the systems that AVADirect builds, both systems were very fast and very stable.

 

For benchmarks we chose to use our standard set that puts the Seagate Barracuda XT drives in a number of common scenarios. To spice things up, we also ran tests with the Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB. The Caviar Black has the same 299.00 Dollar cost as the Barracuda XT and in our testing was able to perform just as well as the Barracuda XT.

 

To add to our testing workload, we also decided to add the ASUS U3S6 card to our standard Storage Product Testing Workstation just to see what would happen. The card installed fine after loading the drivers and reported working USB 3.0 and the Marvel SATA 6G controllers. We then added the Seagate Barracuda XT hard drive and ran some numbers. As you will see, the benchmarks worked flawlessly, but all of our reporting software had the drive listed as running under SATA 3G. The P6T7 WS Supercomputer is not on ASUS' list of supported motherboards, but we just couldn't help ourselves.

 

All tests were performed with a single Seagate Barracuda XT unless specified differently in the benchmark graphs.

 

With the inclusion of the Western Digital Caviar Black and the U3S6, we are going to have a lot of data to look at. Let's get started.

 

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