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Seagate Backup Plus Slim External USB 3.0 2TB Hard Drive Review

Adaptec AAA-UDMA RAID Controller

Adaptec AAA-UDMA RAID Controller - PCSTATS
Abstract: The controller is the AAA-UDMA, a four-channel UDMA/66 RAID controller supporting up to four hard drives in RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0/1, and RAID 5 configurations.
Filed under: Servers Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Adaptec Mar 30 2001   D. Dee  
Home > Reviews > Servers > Adaptec AAA-UDMA

processor usage

Processor usage goes down a little bit, but for the most part the other numbers are even lower than with three drives. This level of performance is downright pitiful. I think the CPU usage under WinBench is a fluke, as the three-drive array's wasn't nearly that high. Still, even neglecting that very high number, the other numbers are still far from enviable. Now, here's a master chart comparing the averages of all the arrays:





At first, I thought I was doing something wrong when configuring the arrays, since aside from the RAID 1 array, none of the numbers for the hardware-based arrays were particularly good, and some are clearly atrocious. As mentioned above, the guys at Storage Review http://www.storagereview.com/ posted a blurb stating that they had had similar performance problems with the AAA-UDMA, and that seemed to confirm that I wasn't making some huge blunder with the array configuration. Still, I decided to call Adaptec's technical support about it.
 
This brings up another issue that should make non-business users considering this controller shy away: Adaptec's technical support number is not toll-free. Now, I figure that tech support should at least be a toll-free call, particularly on an expensive device like this. After all, Joe User isn't going to be buying this controller. Anyone getting this thing is probably going to know enough about computer hardware not to need tech support for basic installation help or anything frivolous.
 
I had to wait on hold for several minutes for a tech support representative. If it had been a toll-free number that wouldn't be so bad, but I personally don't want to dial long-distance and then have to wait for someone to answer, particularly with such an expensive product. But again, this device is meant for business, and a system administrator wouldn't care about long-distance bills since the company would pick up the tab. Anyway, the support guy didn't have a very good answer for why the performance was so bad, but he did admit hearing from several other people that the performance of the AAA-UDMA was poor.
 
He said that the controller converted ATA to SCSI for the AIC-7890 RAID controller chip, so that might account for some performance decrease. Still, I don't think it makes sense that overall performance would decrease with more drives; the opposite should be true. Using a 64MB ECC EDO DIMM on the controller could improve random access performance substantially in many situations, but a brand name one of those modules will set you back well over $100. Considering that you will already have spent some $360 or so on the controller, you might not want to spend any more increasing its performance with such an upgrade, especially since it wouldn't increase sequential performance much, if at all.

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Contents of Article: Adaptec AAA-UDMA
 Pg 1.  Adaptec AAA-UDMA RAID Controller
 Pg 2.  A little about RAID
 Pg 3.  Initialization time for the array
 Pg 4.  The full specs
 Pg 5.  Three Drives improve performance
 Pg 6.  RAID 0 Performance
 Pg 7.  RAID 1 Performance
 Pg 8.  OS Supported
 Pg 9.  Software management
 Pg 10.  CI/O software
 Pg 11.  RAID 5 benchmarks
 Pg 12.  — processor usage
 Pg 13.  Conclusions

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