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Testbed and Methods

We had to use two mainboards, since we’ve got two chipset-integrated controllers. Although the mainboards are based on different chipsets, they are on a similar level of performance. So, the use of two platforms shouldn’t affect seriously the test results. And even if this affects the results, we just can’t test the performance of a chipset-integrated controller apart from the performance of the chipset itself.

Testbed:

  • Albatron PX865PE Pro II (i865PE) and ASUS P4V800-X (VIA PT800) mainboards;
  • Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz CPU (533FSB);
  • 256MB PC2700 DDR SDRAM CL2;
  • IBM DTLA 307015 system HDD;
  • ATI RADEON VE graphics card;
  • Windows 2000 Pro SP4;
  • RAID array consisted of two Maxtor 6Y120M0 SATA HDDs.

We used the following benchmarking software:

  • WinBench99 2.0;
  • Intel IOMeter 2003.02.15;
  • FC-Test v.0.5.3.

We tested RAID arrays of two types: RAID0 (stripe) and RAID1 (mirror).

Before the tests, the drives were switched into the “fast” mode using the Hitachi Feature Tool. We also wrote something into each HDD sector before the tests to avoid the influence of the write verify feature on the results of our tests (see this review for details: Real Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 HDD with 80GB Platters Reviewed!).

For the WinBench99 tests we formatted the drives in FAT32 and NTFS as one partition with the default cluster size (formatting for FAT32 was performed with Paragon Partition Manager). We ran the tests seven times each and took the highest result for further analysis. The HDDs didn’t cool down between the tests. For FC-Test we split the array into two logical partitions, 32GB each. We used the following patterns in the IOMeter tests: Sequential Read, Sequential Write, DataBase, WorkStation, FileServer and WebServer. For a detailed description of the patterns you can refer to our previous reviews.

The following table lists the versions of the BIOS and drivers for each tested controller:

 
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