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Adaptec 29160 vs. Tekram DC-390U3W


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Adaptec 29160 vs. Tekram DC-390U3W
  May 7, 2001 Author: Terry Baranski  


The Benchmarks...

Let's examine single-drive WinBench and IOMeter scores.

Single-drive WinBench Scores...

 RAID Testbed  Ziff Davis WinBench 99 under Windows 2000 Professional using NTFS  Details... 
Benchmark Adaptec 29160, 1 driveTekram DC-390UW, 1 drive
Business Disk WinMark 99 (KB/sec) 6250 6180
High-End Disk WinMark 99 (KB/sec) 17380 17420
AVS/Express 3.4 (KB/sec)19660 19420
FrontPage 98 (KB/sec)63120 62360
MicroStation SE (KB/sec)23860 24560
Photoshop 4.0 (KB/sec)12440 12420
Premiere 4.2 (KB/sec)12780 12800
Sound Forge 4.0 (KB/sec)14360 14640
Visual C++ (KB/sec)15240 14940
Disk/Read Transfer RateStorageReview.com
Beginning (KB/sec)35900 35900
End (KB/sec)25000 25000
Disk Access Time (ms)8.99 9.00
Disk CPU Utilization (%)2.27 2.44

 RAID Testbed Performance Graphs Details... 
Windows 2000 Professional using NTFS
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive - 6250|
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive - 6180|
Windows 2000 Professional using NTFS
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive - 17420|
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive - 17380|

Nothing stands out in the WinBench scores presented above - both cards perform pretty much identically. The 29160 holds a slight lead in the Business Diskmark test while the DC-390U3W scores slightly higher in the High-End Diskmark test. Both of these gaps fall within WinBench's margin of error, however.

Single-drive IOMeter scores...

IOMeter - File Server Access Pattern
IOMeter TestsIO/secMB/secResponse TimeCPU Util.IO/CPU%
Load = Linear
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive106.05 1.16 9.43 ms 0.84 % 126.25
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive105.74 1.14 9.45 ms 0.85 % 124.40
Load = Very Light
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive143.77 1.55 27.82 ms 1.27 % 113.20
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive143.62 1.55 27.84 ms 1.19 % 120.69
Load = Light
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive206.81 2.26 77.35 ms 1.81 % 114.26
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive207.74 2.26 77.01 ms 1.70 % 122.20
Load = Moderate
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive207.28 2.25 308.73 ms 1.66 % 124.87
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive241.53 2.62 264.89 ms 1.90 % 127.12
Load = Heavy
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive270.62 2.92 945.32 ms 2.80 % 96.65
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive282.68 3.06 905.01 ms 2.85 % 99.19

IOMeter - Workstation Access Pattern
IOMeter TestsIO/secMB/secResponse TimeCPU Util.IO/CPU%
Load = Linear
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive127.41 1.00 7.85 ms 1.02 % 124.91
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive127.38 1.00 7.85 ms 1.00 % 127.38
Load = Very Light
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive156.96 1.23 25.48 ms 1.39 % 112.92
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive157.19 1.23 25.44 ms 1.25 % 125.75
Load = Light
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive218.13 1.70 73.33 ms 1.97 % 110.73
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive216.12 1.69 74.02 ms 1.73 % 124.92
Load = Moderate
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive223.84 1.75 285.86 ms 1.73 % 129.39
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive257.82 2.01 248.16 ms 2.04 % 126.38
Load = Heavy
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive284.42 2.22 899.43 ms 2.94 % 96.74
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive295.42 2.31 866.04 ms 3.08 % 95.92

IOMeter - Database Access Pattern
IOMeter TestsIO/secMB/secResponse TimeCPU Util.IO/CPU%
Load = Linear
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive107.49 0.84 9.30 ms 0.99 % 108.58
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive107.80 0.84 9.27 ms 0.90 % 119.78
Load = Very Light
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive150.06 1.17 26.65 ms 1.27 % 118.16
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive150.11 1.17 26.64 ms 1.24 % 121.06
Load = Light
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive214.24 1.67 74.65 ms 1.86 % 115.18
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive214.80 1.68 74.47 ms 1.62 % 132.59
Load = Moderate
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive209.40 1.64 305.58 ms 1.69 % 123.91
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive244.04 1.91 262.19 ms 1.85 % 131.91
Load = Heavy
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive272.91 2.13 937.40 ms 2.91 % 93.78
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive281.66 2.20 908.36 ms 3.02 % 93.26

IOMeter - Random Write Pattern
IOMeter TestsIO/secMB/secResponse TimeCPU Util.IO/CPU%
Load = Linear
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive170.97 1.34 5.85 ms 1.34 % 127.59
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive170.61 1.33 5.86 ms 1.18 % 144.58
Load = Very Light
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive180.76 1.41 22.12 ms 1.43 % 126.41
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive180.36 1.41 22.17 ms 1.40 % 128.83
Load = Light
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive201.81 1.58 79.27 ms 1.62 % 124.57
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive202.36 1.58 79.05 ms 1.54 % 131.40
Load = Moderate
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive197.11 1.54 324.62 ms 1.50 % 131.41
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive225.89 1.76 283.25 ms 1.70 % 132.88
Load = Heavy
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive258.85 2.02 988.47 ms 2.66 % 97.31
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive262.24 2.05 975.57 ms 2.74 % 95.71

IOMeter - Sequential Write Pattern
IOMeter TestsIO/secMB/secResponse TimeCPU Util.IO/CPU%
Load = Linear
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive114.85 28.71 8.70 ms 3.63 % 31.64
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive115.36 28.84 8.66 ms 2.97 % 38.84
Load = Very Light
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive114.34 28.59 34.98 ms 3.21 % 35.62
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive114.82 28.71 34.83 ms 3.10 % 37.04
Load = Light
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive114.90 28.73 139.24 ms 3.37 % 34.09
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive114.83 28.71 139.00 ms 3.19 % 36.00
Load = Moderate
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive114.66 28.66 558.15 ms 4.44 % 25.82
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive114.76 28.69 557.68 ms 4.29 % 26.75
Load = Heavy
Adaptec 29160, 1 drive110.91 27.73 2207.80 ms 4.46 % 24.87
Tekram DC-390UW, 1 drive112.84 28.21 1951.68 ms 4.29 % 26.30

IOMeter scores, on the other hand, are more interesting. Note that the same pattern may be seen in the File Server, Workstation, Datebase, and Random Write tests: though scores are virtually identical under linear, very light, and light load, the DC-390U3W takes the lead under moderate and heavy load. Even more interesting is that the DC-390U3W's relative advantage is much larger under moderate load compared to heavy load - 15% vs. 4%, on average.

It's impossible to say exactly why the 29160 performs so poorly under moderate load - overall, it scores slightly worse under moderate load (64 IO's outstanding) than it does under light load (16 IO's outstanding). But if we had to guess, we'd probably chalk this up to a driver issue. For whatever reason, perhaps the 29160's driver's command reordering algorithm isn't efficient with 64 IO's outstanding.

Whatever the reason, the DC-390U3W performs significantly better under moderate load, and slightly better under heavy load. This may come as a surprise to many readers given its low cost relative to the 29160.

 Multi-drive IOMeter scores...


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