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  Silicon Image 3114R ... What Were They Smoking When They ...e 4 Motherboards ? 
 
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Ian Yeoh Dec 12, 2005, 02:17pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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What the hell was Nvidia/Asus/DFI/Abit/MSI/Gigabyte thinking when they decided to include an additional four port Sata raid controller on the stupid, lame ass 33 Mhz PCI 32 architecture?

First of all, whether consumer or not, why are there no 64 Mhz PCI slots on the Nforce4 motherboard, let alone a 66 Mhz PCI-X.

This past weekend, I was fortunate to add to my already formidable HDD arsenal. With an additional two FLC 74 raptors (and I like the FLA 74s too), I decided to do a little experimentation. First of all, a single 74 raptor read sustains between 65 mb/sec to 70 mb/sec, forget about the bursts.

I found out that the effective bandwidth of the SI3114R is good for just one raptor and is downright silly with two raptors. On ATTO, anything beyond 64k with a stripe set is maxed out at about 125 mb/sec (one seldom actually attains the maximum bandwidth of any architecture). This means that using two raptors, much less four raptors, on the SI3114R would lead to a total saturation of the bus in more than half of the time. I am sure this would hold true for any modern 7200 rpm sata drives.

In case anyone was wondering, I also tested on the Nforce controller, which supposedly has a "direct link" to the chipset. Well, direct link my royal a$$. Well, its good for four raptors, alright, but barely so. And thus the four ports, and it makes sense.

Why didn't they use the SI3132/SI3134 chipset instead of the dumb SI3114 chipset? The PCI-E architecture is so-engineered to be used for raid systems. Even 1x PCI-E has a theoretical bandwidth of 250 mb/sec (500 mb/sec duplex) and in practice should be able to burst close to full. More importantly, this bandwidth is not shared and is dedicated bandwidth.

I loaded up my new bling bling controller with my latest drives and the PCI-E architecture is a true Heaven send. The bursts and sustains are beyond awesome, nothing that I would have been able to fathom on the Nforce controller.

What is wrong with these engineers who assume that a home-based enthusiast cannot use such bandwidth?


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Gamerz Dec 12, 2005, 02:40pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Dec 12, 2005, 02:41pm EST

 
>> Re: Silicon Image 3114R ... What Were They Smoking When They Designed This On Nforce 4 Motherboards
You have 740GB worth of raptors now - nice setup mate! I suppose they didnt plan ahead what people with a top end system might want as a hard drive setup.

Gamerz
Ian Yeoh Dec 12, 2005, 02:58pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Silicon Image 3114R ... What Were They Smoking When They Designed This On Nforce 4 Motherboards
Thanks Gamerz. The drives are really nothing compared to the controller! I''m now on a Raid 50 across 2 stripes, and I was headed for a Raid 60 across 2 stripes. And then an expert told me about Raid 50 across 4 stripes (but losing 4 drives instead of 2 drives), and the benchmarks he showed me are super stunning. Unfortunately, they are not in MicroLoser Windows lol

checkup Dec 12, 2005, 02:58pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Silicon Image 3114R ... What Were They Smoking When They Designed This On Nforce 4 Motherboards
Ian
I am in the process of building my computer and what you have written is quite interesting. please correct me if i have misinterpted what you have stated. to get the best performance from raptors in raid 0 i should use a pci-e hd controller instead of the onboard config. if that is so what brand and product # do you recommend.
thanks

Ian Yeoh Dec 12, 2005, 03:08pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Silicon Image 3114R ... What Were They Smoking When They Designed This On Nforce 4 Motherboards
Checkup. Heh, don't be too influenced by me! I spend too much money on hardware and I am a bit extremist.

A couple of considerations. The biggest being cost. (1) What mobo are you running, (2) how many and what type of PCI-E slots are there, (3) what happens when you enable SLI and not run two video cards (this requires a lot of research), (40 how many HDDs do you intend to run, and (5) how much money do you have to waste? LOL

If you just want a decent performing system, the fast answer is that PCI-E raid is not for you. The Nforce controller is plenty good for most people.

checkup Dec 12, 2005, 03:46pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Silicon Image 3114R ... What Were They Smoking When They Designed This On Nforce 4 Motherboards
thanks for the input


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