E1280 System Set-Up and Software Used

Test System Set-up and Software Used

In order to maintain a strict protocol test platform we used the recent new release of Intel’s C204 chipset mainboard the S1200BLT ATX format factor to ensure a baseline level platform.  A simple but effective server mainboard which can be found in most office and basic to mid-range rackmounts server modules whether in pedestal or rackmount variations.   The Mainboard was supplied fully with the latest bios( of the 11th May 2011) and firmware fully in place.  Currently supporting 2 X SATA 6GB/s ports.    This meant that the supplied SATA 6GB/s SSD’s, the spindle disc boot drive and supporting SSD’s of 6GB/s took full advantage of the new ratified standards and that the results would be unequivocally factual. 

Test System Configuration

Component

Test System Components

CPU

1 X  Intel® Xeon® Processor E3-1280  (8MB Cache, 3.50 GHz stock speed)

Mainboard

Intel® Server Board S1200BLT (C204 Chipset)

Memory

4 X 4GB Crucial DDR3 1333MHz Registered ECC

Hard Drive (Boot)

1 X Western Digital 600GB VelociRaptor (SATA 6BG/s)

Test SSD Slave 1

1 X 250GB Intel® SSD 510 Series

Test SSD Slave 2

1 X 300GB Intel® SSD 320 Series

Test SSD Slave 3

1 X 40GB  Intel® SSD 310 Series

Test SSD Slave 4

1 X 64GB Intel® X25-E Extreme SATA Solid-State Drive

Test SSD Slave 5

1 X 80GB Intel® X25-M Mainstream Solid-State Drive

Test SSD Slave 6

1 X 256GB Crucial C300

Test SSD Slave 7

1 X 256GB Crucial m4

Graphic Card

1 X ATI FirePro® V5800

VGA Driver

Current Online 8.634 WHQL 32-bit

Operating System

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1 

Hardware Suppliers for the Review

Intel EU for the supply of the E3 – 1280 Xeon, the S1200BLT Server Mainboard and all the listed Solid State Drives listed above.

Crucial Memory for the DDR3 1333MHz Registered ECC Memory for the new mainboard. Thank you for pulling out the stops in getting the new m4 Solid State Drive in time for the article and of course the ever reliable C300 Solid State Drive.

Western Digital for the ever so reliable 600GB 10K rpm VelociRaptor

AMD for the supply of the FirePro V5800 professional graphics cards.

Akasa for the supply of the Raptor Chassis and NERO 2 Heatsink Fan

Systems Integrators, OEM’s and VAR’s should contact all companies directly for pricing and availability of all components. Members of the public should contact their respective suppliers requesting the parts directly. One main e-tailer that can supply the EU reader readily all the parts listed you should pop over to SCAN and see what today’s best bottom dollar deal is on the main parts listed.

Software Used for the Tests
PCMark 7 Professional Release Version
SiSoftware Sandra 2011 Release Version SP3
ATTO (Current Build)
Crystal Mark 3 (Current 64-bit Build)
Cinebench 10 and Cinebench 11.5
POVRAY for Windows 3.7 RC3
IOMeter Version 1.1.0 RC1
Internal File System Test (10GB Data Set containing 2704 Folders within these folders a further 32,241 Various Files)

Each set of tests has been applied on the clean system hard drives shown above to ensure that no residue drivers were left installed with all updates/patches applied.    A test/render has been completed many times over different periods of the system uptime.    HyperThreading was left at the default of being enabled, Turbo Boost enabled and the memory timings left at Auto which showed a displayed 1333MHz in ECC mode.    Tests have been conducted at a standard 1600 X 1200 @ 60Hz in 32 bit colour. Results that have been shown within this paper are from the application/benchmarks first run and not of an average set of runs.

Each of the SSD’s listed above all have the latest manufacture’s firmware installed to obtain maximum performance.

One item of concern and Intel has readily addressed this issue with their SSD Management Tool Suite that allows end-users to address many daily and monthly slow down issues that are seen within the SSD.  There are other 3rd party software suppliers for example Diskeeper and Raxco’s Perfect Disc that eliminate the issue, though these products are expensive.   However within the enterprise remit these products do have to be taken extremely carefully as they can and so enhance the longevities of the life cycle of your drives whether spindle or that of the chosen SSD.  When fully stacked up and the free option that Intel does supply is a very good first choice alternative, a practice many SSD manufacturers should seriously consider at point of sale to the end-user. 

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