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Performance in FC-Test

For this test two 32GB partitions are created on the virtual disk of the RAID array and formatted in NTFS and then in FAT32. After that a file-set is created of the hard disk. It is then read from the disk, copied within the same partition and then copied into another partition. The time taken to perform these operations is measured and the speed of the array is calculated. The Windows and Programs file-sets consist of a large number of small files whereas the other three patterns (ISO, MP3, and Install) include a few large files each.

This test produces too much data, so I will only discuss the results of the Install, ISO and Programs patterns which illustrate the most characteristic use of the arrays. You can click the following links for the full results:

NTFS File System

Let’s discuss the NTFS results first.

The two 16MB-cache drives from Samsung cope best with creating large files in a RAID0 array whereas the third Samsung is noticeably slower with every file-set. This is the benefit of a larger cache! Both HDDs from Western Digital join the Samsung team on small files.

The size of the cache buffer is not so important for a RAID10 array and only affects the speed of reading small files. Interestingly, the WD4000YS is slower than the other model from the same series on large files only and equals it on small files.

There is confusion among the leaders when it comes to RAID5. This array type is sensitive to write operations and to firmware algorithms. We can name the losers quite definitely, though. They are the HDDs from Seagate and Samsung.

The Hitachi is in the lead when reading small files from a RAID0 array. Samsung’s T133S series drives are both in the lead on large files. The WD4000YS is the loser irrespective of the file-set.

The same goes for RAID10: we’ve got the same leaders and losers. The WD4000ABYS has got closer to the leaders on large files, though. The Samsung T133S series drives feel somewhat better on very small files, too.

The standings are overall the same when we are reading files from RAID5 arrays.

When copying within the same partition on a RAID0, we cannot name a single winner. Samsung’s T133S drives and the Hitachi are good on large files. The Hitachi becomes the best with medium-size files while the Seagate and the WD4000ABYS are the fastest when reading small files.

There is tough competition in RAID10. The difference between the HDDs is small but we can see that the WD4000YS is the slowest drive with every file-set.

The results are similar again when we are copying files within the same partition on RAID5 arrays. It is only on large files that the Samsung HD401LJ is definitely the fastest while the WD4000YS, the slowest drive. Take note that the speed depends greatly on the size of the file because each write operation takes a few steps to be performed in a RAID5.

When copying from one partition to another on a RAID0, the WD4000ABYS wins on large and small files while the WD4000YS is the slowest irrespective of the file-set.

The same goes for RAID10: one HDD from Western Digital is the winner and another is the loser. Interestingly, the Samsung T133S series drives are the slowest with small files now.

With RAID5 it is on large files that there is a difference in the results. The Samsung T166S is the winner while the WD4000YS is the loser.

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