The question next arose, what to use for this outing as a drive of this magnitude needs to be very carefully shown. Many consumer end-users currently are running with some form of Intel X48/X58 platform or the AMD equivalent. We know also that many storage units are also built around the X58/Tylersburg platform. Storage servers take on either dual or single socket Xeon’s/Opterons more often than not Xeons. Therefore we settled upon a Uni-Processor solution from Supermicro, the X8SAX which is extremely flexible in upgrade paths and, supports Intel® Core™ i7 / i7 Extreme Edition, and Intel® Xeon® 5600/5500/3600/3500 series processors (QPI up to 6.4 GT/s).
Installation of the drive was a complete breeze with Western Digital supplying a RocketRaid PCI Express card just incase your mainboard bios does not support UEFI, so kudos here for thinking on a long term solution for those who would yelp “it doesn’t work” . Therefore a seamless integration PCI Ex slot and the SATA 3GB/s connectors.
In most instances end-users will have to remove the half height I/O bracket and slot it into place, for the server market this will be readily worked around. Therefore our final system build for the grand finale of this beast is so;
Supermicro X8SAX Workstation Board Rev 2
1 X 3.46GHz Intel® Xeon® X5677 Nehalem EP®, 12MB Shared Cache, 6.4GB/s QPI
Corsair H50-1 Hydro Series High-performance CPU Watercooler
6 X 2GB Crucial DDR3 (12GB Total) 1333MHz
Hard Drive (Boot)
600GB Western Digital 10000RPM VelociRaptor
Hard Drive (Data)
3TB Western Digital Cavier Green Drive
PCI Ex Card
Highpoint Controller for 3TB Drive
Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit Professional
Main Hardware Suppliers for the Review
Intel EU for the supply of the 3.46GHz Intel® Xeon® X5677 Nehalem EP® CPU
Supermicro for the supply of the X8DAi Rev 2 Mainboard shown within the Test System
Crucial Memory the DDR3 1333MHz Unbuffered ECC Memory.
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 todays best bottom dollar deal is on the main parts listed.
Benchmarks and Software Used 64-bit Mode
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Crystal Mark Hard Disc Benchmark (latest build)
Everest Ultimate Ver. 5 with latest build
HD TACH 220.127.116.11
SiSoftware Sandra 2010 with latest build
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.