SAS drives on ASUS P6T RAID 0 Benchmark
Posted on Dec 7, 2008 by Paul White
When picking out parts for my new workstation, I wanted to make sure I got a balance of performance, and value. The new ASUS P6T Deluxe Motherboards
come with built in RAID
support for both SATA
drives. The board supports RAID
0, 1, 5, 10 for SATA
drives and RAID
0, 1 for SAS
drives. Only downfall is the board only has two SAS
ports, but this is fine for your average power user.
Why I picked SAS drives
Before I decided to go with the SAS
drives, I was almost going to go with 3 x 10K SATA
drives. But after talking with some Hardware guys ( thanks Adam and Trey) I decided to go with 2 x 15K SAS
drives instead. The main reason was SAS
drives have a much faster seek time than SATA
drives. It wouldn't matter if I had 10 SATA
drives, the SAS
drives would still be faster on SEEK. Of course I was sacraficing capacity by going with the SAS
drives. But with two of them mounted in a RAID
0 configuration would give me about 292 GB of storage. This is plenty for my use Things like photos and videos I would be storing on a seperate 1 TB SATA
drive. So there was no real need for a massive amounts of storage in the RAID
Array. Normally to run SAS
drives you would have to spend a few hundred dollars for a dedicated SAS RAID
card. But this ASUS P6T motherboard came with 2 SAS
ports built in suporting RAID
0 and 1. It seems decent SAS RAID
cards cost over $500. I had my doubts about using the built in SAS
ports for this setup, as I knew I would be sacraficing some performance. But once again after some friendly advice I decided that SAS
was a good decision.
Why not SSD?
I also played with the idea of doing a setup using SSD
( solid state drives ) which have almost no seek times due to being a non mechanical storage medium. But I read too many reviews that lead me to believe that SSD
's even though are fast, the current SSD
's on the market are considered new technology and still have a few bugs that need to be fixed before I would trust them to store my data.
Here is a Picture of my three drives mounted in the case. The top two with the yellow cables are the 146 GB SAS
drives. The third drive on the red cable is a 1 TB SATA
drive for long term storage and backups. I was happy to find that the ASUS motherboard came with 2 SAS
cables (yellow) along with 6 SATA
cables (red). No need to run down to microcenter searching for parts
Are SAS drives right for me?
Something to keep in mind is SAS
drives were really never meant for home users. Normally home computers are meant to be quiet and do simple things like surf the web, check email, spreadsheets, ext. SAS
drives were meant to be a continuation of SCSI technology. They are known to be a little on the noisy side. I have heard some people saying these drives sound like a dremel tool spinning inside their case. Not sure about other brands
, but the Fujitsu drives I bought are pretty quiet. They are a little chaty when reading and writing, but nothing too bad. If you want a system that is dead quiet, these would not be for you, but I can assure you that the performance boost is worth it.
For 1 Meg blocks the RAID
Array had a read speed of 197.38 MB/sec. 5.75ms seek time. I feel that these speeds would be even greater for larger blocks. Roadkil's Disk Speed Version 2.0 is a free program. Scroll down for a link to check it out.
How does this compare to a SATA drive?
even though I don't have two SATA
drives to do a RAID
0 comparision test, I did run a benchmark on my 1 TB WD Caviar Black Drive
As you can see the SAS
drives are far superior to the SATA
drive. One of things I love about the SAS
drives is I no longer wait for stuff to happen. Most of my disk lag is gone. Programs like dreamweaver, fireworks, photoshop, now load in a second. Window boot time is great too. From the time I login to the time everything is up and processes have finished loading I would say is less than 3 seconds.
No need to buy a dedicated RAID
card for SAS
drives if you are running with the ASUS P6T motherboard. The built in RAID
gets the job done just fine.