OVER THE PAST YEAR, Serial ATA RAID has become one of the most popular checkbox features for core logic chipsets. The latest offerings from Intel, NVIDIA, SiS, and VIA all support Serial ATA RAID, but there can be a world of difference between feature support and real-world performance. To find out which chipset offers the best single-drive, RAID 0, and RAID 1 performance with Serial ATA drives, I've spent the last month running Intel's ICH5R, NVIDIA's nForce3 250Gb, SiS's SiS964, and VIA's VT8237 through a punishing gauntlet of disk subsystem and application tests. The results of this benchathon are enlightening, to say the least.
How does the single-drive, RAID 0, and RAID 1 compare between various chipsets? How does each chipset's performance scale moving from single-drive configurations to striped and mirrored two- and even four-drive arrays? Join me in an epic journey through nearly 200 performance graphs as we uncover the answers.