Reviews Leaderboard Database Reference Search StorageReview Discussion Reliability Survey Search About StorageReview.com Contents

Adaptec ATA RAID 2400A


StorageReview.com PayPal Donations



Adaptec ATA RAID 2400A
  June 13, 2001 Author: Terry Baranski  

The Benchmarks...

In the following trials, the 2400A's write cache was enabled and set to 'write through' mode (the default). The stripe size was 64k for all tests. Driver version 3.02 was used along with BIOS revision 3.50c.

Note: Shortly after testing was completed, Adaptec informed us of a new BIOS release (version 3.607) and a new driver release (version 3.03) for the ATA RAID 2400A. We could find no discernable performance difference using both the new BIOS and new drivers; therefore, we decided to stick with the original results.

WinBench Results...

We'll first take a look at single-drive scores to use as a baseline.

Ziff Davis WinBench 99 under Windows 2000 Professional using NTFS - Baseline Scores
Benchmark 3ware Escalade 6400, 1 DriveAbit SL6, 1 DriveAdaptec ATA RAID 2400A, 1 drivePromise SuperTrak 100, 1 DrivePromise Ultra 66, 1 Drive
Business Disk WinMark 99 (KB/sec) 4454 6484 6110 4872 5884
High-End Disk WinMark 99 (KB/sec) 15200 16220 14940 13580 14460
Disk/Read Transfer RateStorageReview.com
Beginning (KB/sec)29800 29800 29700 20200 29733
End (KB/sec)17500 17500 17400 17500 17500
Disk Access Time (ms)14.04 15.22 15.62 16.12 15.26
Disk CPU Utilization (%)3.11 2.91 2.67 2.89 3.04

The only thing that stands out here is the Adaptec's slightly higher access time relative to most other base configurations.

WinBench RAID 0 Scores...

Ziff Davis WinBench 99 under Windows 2000 Professional using NTFS - RAID 0 with 2 Drives
Benchmark 3Ware Escalade 6400, RAID 0, 2 DrivesAdaptec ATA RAID 2400A, RAID 0, 2 drivesPromise SuperTrak 100, RAID 0, 2 Drives
Business Disk WinMark 99 (KB/sec) 3944 6116 4948
High-End Disk WinMark 99 (KB/sec) 13540 17840 14620
Disk/Read Transfer RateStorageReview.com
Beginning (KB/sec)59600 59000 20133
End (KB/sec)35000 34800 20200
Disk Access Time (ms)15.2 15.52 16.22
Disk CPU Utilization (%)3.07 2.64 2.86

Ziff Davis WinBench 99 under Windows 2000 Professional using NTFS - RAID 0 with 3 Drives
Benchmark 3Ware Escalade 6400, RAID 0, 3 DrivesAdaptec ATA RAID 2400A, RAID 0, 3 drivesPromise SuperTrak 100, RAID 0, 3 Drives
Business Disk WinMark 99 (KB/sec) 3992 6206 4956
High-End Disk WinMark 99 (KB/sec) 14820 17620 15100
Disk/Read Transfer RateStorageReview.com
Beginning (KB/sec)85833 88333 20100
End (KB/sec)52300 52200 20133
Disk Access Time (ms)15.18 15.44 16.06
Disk CPU Utilization (%)3.20 2.71 2.85

Ziff Davis WinBench 99 under Windows 2000 Professional using NTFS - RAID 0 with 4 Drives
Benchmark 3Ware Escalade 6400, RAID 0, 4 DrivesAdaptec ATA RAID 2400A, RAID 0, 4 drivesPromise SuperTrak 100, RAID 0, 4 Drives
Business Disk WinMark 99 (KB/sec) 4372 6384 5020
High-End Disk WinMark 99 (KB/sec) 15080 16900 14840
Disk/Read Transfer RateStorageReview.com
Beginning (KB/sec)102667 109333 20200
End (KB/sec)69600 69633 17500
Disk Access Time (ms)15.4 15.02 15.94
Disk CPU Utilization (%)88.80 88.3 88.50

Overall, the 2400A's RAID 0 Diskmark scores don't increase at all relative to a single drive. But, as we've learned in previous RAID reviews, WinBench's Diskmark tests can be extremely unrepresentative of RAID performance. For that reason, we'll wait and see what IOMeter has to say about the ATA RAID 2400A's RAID 0 performance before drawing any conclusions.

Of particular interest is the 2400A's incredible STR performance. When we saw the Escalade 2400 sustaining 103MB/sec in a 4-drive RAID 0 configuration, we were quite surprised... We simply didn't think the PCI bus was capable of sustaining such a high transfer rate. Imagine our surprise when the 2400A turned in an even-more-impressive 109MB/sec.

WinBench reports a CPU utilization of 88% in the 4-drive RAID 0 configuration, just like it has done with every other RAID card we've tested so far. This is, of course, unrepresentative of reality.

WinBench RAID 1 Scores...

Ziff Davis WinBench 99 under Windows 2000 Professional using NTFS - RAID 1 with 2 Drives
Benchmark 3Ware Escalade 6400, RAID 1, 2 DrivesAdaptec ATA RAID 2400A, RAID 1, 2 DrivesPromise SuperTrak 100, RAID 1, 2 Drives
Business Disk WinMark 99 (KB/sec) 3608 5158 4912
High-End Disk WinMark 99 (KB/sec) 11660 13580 12960
Disk/Read Transfer RateStorageReview.com
Beginning (KB/sec)47600 29600 20100
End (KB/sec)27467 17400 17500
Disk Access Time (ms)13.5 15.50 14.30
Disk CPU Utilization (%)3.10 2.54 2.87

As was the case with the Escalade 6400 and SuperTrak100, the 2400A yields RAID 1 WinBench Diskmark scores significantly lower than that of a single drive. In both cases, we concluded that the scores were unrepresentative of each card's performance. The same is likely true for the 2400A as well; again, IOMeter may provide a more accurate performance picture.

That aside, it's interesting to note that the 2400A's STR remains unchanged relative to a single drive. This indicates that, unlike the Escalade, the 2400A isn't doing any load balancing during sequential reads. Access time is also unchanged, which by itself could lead one to conclude that the 2400A doesn't load balance random reads, either. As we'll see, however, the 2400A's RAID 1 IOMeter scores show otherwise.

WinBench RAID 01 Scores...

Ziff Davis WinBench 99 under Windows 2000 Professional using NTFS - RAID 10/01 with 4 Drives
Benchmark 3Ware Escalade 6400, RAID 10, 4 DrivesAdaptec ATA RAID 2400A, RAID 01, 4 Drives
Business Disk WinMark 99 (KB/sec) 3892 5244
High-End Disk WinMark 99 (KB/sec) 13000 9718
Disk/Read Transfer RateStorageReview.com
Beginning (KB/sec)59933 59167
End (KB/sec)46633 34867
Disk Access Time (ms)13.5 15.64
Disk CPU Utilization (%)3.04 2.64

The 2400A's RAID 01 Diskmark scores are obviously unrepresentative, so we'll just ignore them. The card's STR is what we'd expect based on what we've seen so far. Its slightly higher access time in RAID 01 (compared to a single drive), however, is interesting.

WinBench RAID 5 Scores...

Ziff Davis WinBench 99 under Windows 2000 Professional using NTFS - RAID 5 with 3 Drives
Benchmark 3Ware Escalade 6400, RAID 5, 3 DrivesAdaptec ATA RAID 2400A, RAID 5, 3 DrivesPromise SuperTrak 100, RAID 5, 3 Drives
Business Disk WinMark 99 (KB/sec) 2120 3816 2542
High-End Disk WinMark 99 (KB/sec) 4792 5378 1845
Disk/Read Transfer RateStorageReview.com
Beginning (KB/sec)58833 59067 11767
End (KB/sec)34933 34833 9647
Disk Access Time (ms)15.2 15.60 16.48
Disk CPU Utilization (%)3.11 2.69 2.85

Ziff Davis WinBench 99 under Windows 2000 Professional using NTFS - RAID 5 with 4 Drives
Benchmark 3Ware Escalade 6400, RAID 5, 4 DrivesAdaptec ATA RAID 2400A, RAID 5, 4 DrivesPromise SuperTrak 100, RAID 5, 4 Drives
Business Disk WinMark 99 (KB/sec) 2378 5620 3998
High-End Disk WinMark 99 (KB/sec) 6488 12760 9266
Disk/Read Transfer RateStorageReview.com
Beginning (KB/sec)81900 83113 12533
End (KB/sec)52233 52200 10933
Disk Access Time (ms)15.3 15.68 16.46
Disk CPU Utilization (%)3.10 2.70 2.85

WinBench's RAID 5 Diskmark results continue to be useless with the ATA RAID 2400A. When we first encountered this issue with the SuperTrak100, we hoped that the card itself was at fault so that it would be an isolated problem. Obviously, this isn't the case; it appears that we're going to be stuck with the problem until either the testbed changes (if it's somehow the fault of the motherboard, for example) or until a new version of WinBench is released.

Astute readers may notice something interesting about the 2400A's access times: they are, on average, about 0.5ms higher than single-drive configurations (SL6 and Ultra66) as well as the Escalade's scores. This is somewhat disconcerting- 0.5ms is fairly large overhead for random, linear reads. Does this increase in access time cause the 2400A to stumble in random IO situations? Let's take a look at some IOMeter scores and find out.

 IOMeter...


HOME | ARTICLES | LEADERBOARD | PERFORMANCE DATABASE | REFERENCE GUIDE
COMMUNITY | RELIABILITY SURVEY | SUPPORT SR! | ABOUT SR |

Copyright © 1998-2005 StorageReview.com, Inc. All rights reserved.
Write: Webmaster