Western Digital's Raptors in RAID-0: Are two drives better than one?by Anand Lal Shimpi on July 1, 2004 12:00 PM EST
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The TestOur hard drive test bed is designed to shift the bottlenecks, as much as possible, onto the hard drive, but while still within reason. To accomplish that purpose, our test bed is configured as follows:
Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.4GHz
Intel D875PBZ Motherboard
1GB DDR400 SDRAM
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro (128MB)
Creative Labs Audigy
Ultra ATA/100 or Serial ATA 150 cables were used where appropriate
The important drivers used are as follows:
Intel Chipset INF 5.1.1002
ATI Catalyst 4.5
Windows XP Service Pack 1 (no further updates were installed)
What's important to point out is that although we could have outfitted our test bed with 256MB of memory, we wanted to avoid over-exaggerating the performance impact of the hard drive. After all, if your system is swapping to disk a lot, you should be considering a memory upgrade before or in tandem with a hard drive upgrade.
The tests that we run are as follows:
Business Winstone IPEAK - a playback test of all of the IO operations that occur within Business Winstone 2004.
Content Creation IPEAK - a playback test of all of the IO operations that occur within Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2004.
Business Winstone 2004 - the official Business Winstone 2004 test suite.
Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2004 - the official Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2004 test suite.
SYSMark 2004 - the official SYSMark 2004 test suite.
Far Cry Level Load Test - a timed test of loading a level in Far Cry.
Unreal Tournament 2004 Level Load Test - a timed test of loading a level in Unreal Tournament 2004.
More details about each individual test will appear in the section of the review dedicated to that particular test.