Hardware Setup

Intel Test Bed
Playback of iPEAK Trace Files and Test Application Results
Processor: Intel QX6700 - 2.66GHz Quad Core
Motherboard: DFI Infinity 965-S
RAM: 2 x 1GB OCZ Reaper PC2-9200
Settings - DDR800 - 3-4-3-9
OS Hard Drive: 1 x Western Digital WD1500 Raptor - 150GB
System Platform Drivers: Intel
Intel Matrix RAID
Video Card: 1 x MSI 8800GTX
Video Drivers: NVIDIA Forceware 158.19
Optical Drive: Plextor PX-760A, Plextor PX-B900A
Cooling: Tuniq 120
Power Supply: OCZ GameXStream 850W
Case: Cooler Master CM Stacker 830
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2

We are utilizing an Intel QX6700 Quad Core CPU to ensure we are not CPU limited in our testing at this time. A 2GB memory configuration is standard in our XP test bed as most enthusiasts are currently purchasing this amount of memory. Our choice of high-range OCZ Flex XLC PC2-9200 memory offers a very wide range of memory settings with timings of 3-4-3-9 for our benchmark results.

Our test bed now includes the MSI 8800GTX video card to ensure our game tests are not completely GPU bound. Our video tests are run at 1280x1024 resolutions for this article at High Quality settings. All of our tests are run in an enclosed case with a dual optical/hard drive setup to reflect a moderately loaded system platform. Windows XP SP2 is fully updated and we load a clean drive image for each system to keep driver conflicts to a minimum.

The drive is formatted before each test run and five tests are completed on each drive in order to ensure consistency in the benchmark results. The high and low scores are removed with the remaining score representing our reported result. We utilize the Intel ICH8R SATA ports along with the latest Intel Matrix Storage driver to ensure consistency in our playback results when utilizing NCQ, TCQ, or RAID settings. We will test with AAM off and NCQ turned on with our Deskstar 7K1000 unit to ensure the highest possible test results.

The Hitachi 7K1000 drives we are reviewing today will be compared directly against the WD WD1500AHFD 150GB drives in RAID 0 with a limited benchmark test suite. Our stripe size is set to the recommended default in the Intel driver set, which in this case is 128KB. We fully understand that different stripe and allocation sizes may result in possible improvements in performance based upon the application being tested, but testing these aspects is beyond the scope of this article.

We have also included a subset of drive results from our previous articles and will provide additional RAID 0+1 and 5 results of the 7K1000 in our upcoming RAID performance overview that will feature additional motherboard chipsets and hardware controllers.

Index HD Tune and HD Tach Performance
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  • mesyn191 - Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - link

    A POS software RAID controller was used again for the testing though, of course its gonna make RAID 0 look bad, or for that matter RAID 5 too. You need a good hardware (ie. Areca 1210) RAID controller with a CPU and dedicated cache for RAID 0 to be worth while, same goes for RAID 5 or 6.
  • Sunrise089 - Monday, April 23, 2007 - link

    I got my own share of bashing comments in this space for the previous article, apparently price/performance questions aren't as valid as dogma. Anyways, whatever the perception of the community to this article, I think it speaks well of AT that this story ever appeared. Many sites would just let their old article speak for itself, and leave the questions it raised unanswered. You went out and made a new rig and have hopefully answered some of the questions the folks on the fense regarding Raid O may have had. Keek up the good work.
  • poohbear - Monday, April 23, 2007 - link

    very true, that Anandtech follows up on their articles speaks quite highly of this site. cheers and thanks for clarifying 110% what raid 0 should and shouldnt be used for.:)
  • Lifted - Monday, April 23, 2007 - link

    I don't understand why AT mixes these review together. You always end up with people complaining about the compromises being made, and to a certain extene they're complaints are legitimate.

    Make one review for a hard drive, and a seperate review or article on RAID configurations. There are so many possibilities when it comes to RAID configurations that these short reviews can only raise more questions than they answer. You'll always have people saying something about the system, the array adapter, stripe sizes, even the damn GPU. When it comes down to it, people that use RAID where the performance counts (servers) are just going to by an HP, IBM, Dell or whatever system and use the adapter that comes with it. Home users and their 2 or 4 SATA RAID arrays are never going to see or need the performance from these systems that they seem to always be complaining about in their responses to these reviews. Is there a reason they need 180MB/s rather than 140MB/s to store mp3's and movies?
  • Eastbay2359 - Monday, April 23, 2007 - link

    "The drive literally smoked its platters. Of course we lost the entire test image and a significant amount of test time"
    WHAT NO BACKUP !! :)
    oh, from the previous paragraph
    "a data backup nightmare"
  • yacoub - Monday, April 23, 2007 - link

    yowza! so compared to smoking the tires in a sports car, apparently smoking the platters in a harddrive is NOT cool. ;)

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