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Thread: extreme 6 z97 - poor sata performance




  1. #1
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    Default extreme 6 z97 - poor sata performance

    i did buy this motherboard becouse of 10 sata ports, my goal was to have a fast DAS with 8-9 SSD in software raid 0 + 1 system disk spare.Windows 7 64bit os.
    4 ports are under ASMedia 1061 controller which is saturated from less than 1 single SSD ( max speed about 350MB/sec) while other 6 sata ports are saturated from a raid 0 of only 3 SSD (1500MB/sec)
    i am missing something or this poor performance are bottlenecked from chipset?



  2. #2
    SandsOfTime is offline Member
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    Default Re: extreme 6 z97 - poor sata performance

    Yes, these ASMedia 1061 controller have such poor performance. The six SATA ports from the Intel chip set are much better, almost up to 600MB/sec each.

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    Default Re: extreme 6 z97 - poor sata performance

    6 sata pch ports aggregated in a raid 0 software ahci have max bandwidht @1500 mb/sec when I should have 600mb/sec. X 6 so 3600mb/s.
    This is due to chipset lines bottlenecks?
    With a sas hba controller I can reach easily 3600mb/sec. Samsung ssd's evo 250gb used for testing.

  4. #4
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    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: extreme 6 z97 - poor sata performance

    The theoretical maximum for SATA III is 600MB/s, but that does not take into account the overhead of the SATA interface sending 10 bits for each 8 bits of user data. Include latency and OS file system overhead, and you're at 550 - 520MB/s depending upon the benchmark.

    Those speeds only occur for large file sequential reads and writes, all data transfers do not occur at those speeds, or the 3,600MB/s you may get on a SAS HBA, 4K random reads and writes will be much slower.

    The Intel SATA III chipset seems to bottleneck in the DMI buss being used. This was not noticed until Intel went from two to six SATA III ports, and will be the same with any manufacture's Z97 chipset board. Intel provides some flexibility with the assignment of resources to interfaces and ports, but they are hard wired and cannot be configured by the user.

    The upcoming X99 chipset for the HEDT platform has the potential to be better than the mainstream CPU/chipset platform like Z97, but that will depend both on Intel and the board manufactures.

    The ASMedia 1061 so called "SATA III" chipset uses one PCIe 2.0 lane at 5Gb/s, and is shared between two SATA ports. Your Z97 board should have two of those chips, since it has four ASMedia ports. IMO the ASMedia chipset is worthless, I have them disabled, and they waste two PCIe 2.0 lanes. They are not a positive selling point for the board. The same is true for the Marvell SATA chipsets that use one PCIe 2.0 lane. They are Ok for HDDs, but cripple SSD performance.

    If you combined the ASMedia ports with the Intel ports into a software RAID array, the speed would be limited by the ASMedia ports, and be even worse than the Intel ports alone, much worse.

    A SAS HBA is a specifically designed device for maximum IO performance. A PC mother board is a compromise, although normally more resources are given to the PCIe x16 slots for the gamers rather than users that need more IO speed. The ASRock Z97 Extreme 6 is one of the few boards that at least provides more IO interfaces and uses PCIe 3.0 lanes for an M.2 slot.

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