Contents, Test Setup, Benchmarks

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The ATTO ExpressPCI RAID Kit contains the following:
  • One ATTO ExpressPCI SCSI Host Bus Adapter
  • ATTO ExpressRAID CD
  • External SCSI Cable(s)
  • Registration Card
  • Software Licensing Agreement
I was surprised that there was no physical manual within the contents of the box. There was simply a quick reference card enclosed. Actually, there was no need for a manual for which there was very little configuration required. For those of you familiar with SCSI technology, may find the configuration within the BIOS puzzling at first. The only configuration required is naming the “RAID group”, selecting the hard drives to be striped and setting the block size. Of course, partitioning and formatting of the drive(s) are required.

Test system:

  • Asus A7V
  • AMD Enhanced Athlon 1GHz processor
  • Alpha 6035MUC Cooler
  • 256MB Mushkin PC-150 Memory
  • 2-Seagate X15 Hard Drives
  • ATTO ExpressPCI UL3D RAID Kit
  • Striping block size of 64kbytes
  • Adaptec 29160 Controller
  • 400Watt Sparkle Power Supply
  • Creative Labs GeForce Ultra 64MB
  • WinME

Benchmark Applications:

  • ATTO Mark
  • HD Tach 2.61
  • Performance Test 3.2
  • Adaptec SCSIBench32
  • SiSoft Sandra 2001 Professional Drives Benchmark
  • Winbench99

By using various hard drive performance tests, provides an accurate illustration as to the projected performance of the ExpressPCI RAID Kit.

Additionally, due to time constraints and hard drive availability, I will follow-up with an appendix to this review. This appendix will include additional hard drive configurations and Windows 2000/Whistler Beta 1 results. Interestingly, ATTO engineers stated that much of the performance is a result by which the ExpressPCI manages the RAID; which is at a low level/layer within Win9x. Within Windows2000, lies a much more complex algorithm which operates within a higher level of the operating system. Therefore, the overhead to run in software RAID will be higher.

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