4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 16, 2013 4:24 PM by Enduro

    Poor Z77 HD Performance. Please help.




      I recently built a desktop PC and my hard drive I/O performance is abysmal.


      I’ve built numerous systems over the years, but this is the first system where I’ve used the RAID support built into the chipset.


      The motherboard is an Asus P8Z77-V PRO. I’m using an Ivybridge i7-3770K processor and have 8GB of RAM. This motherboard uses the Intel Z77 chipset which includes Intel Rapid Storage Technology (IRST).


      I have five 2TB Western Digital hard drives. Three are WD20EARS and two are WD20EADS. The SMART status of all drives is “healthy”.


      I used the Intel RAID BIOS to configure a RAID5 array using all five drives to create a 7.3TB volume. I used UEFI to boot/install Windows 7. The system works very well except for the disk I/O performance.


      I’m using HD Tune to measure disk performance. I routinely see transfer rates close to 500 MB/sec when the system has been idle. However, after sustained disk activity (20 to 30 seconds) the read and write performance drop to below 10 MB/sec. It’s abysmal. My apps hang while they wait for their disk operations to complete.


      I’m running Windows Media Center and if I’m recording two HD programs, I can’t do much else on the system. This is not right. My previous Lynnfield system (without RAID) could easily record two programs and run plenty of other applications simultaneously without a problem.


      I believe there is something wrong with the Intel RAID5 implementation. Can you corroborate this?


      Do you know of any configuration changes I can make within Windows 7 that can mitigate this problem and improve disk performance?




        • 1. Re: Poor Z77 HD Performance. Please help.

          Same behavior here. Gigabyte Z77M-D3H. Tested with 3 Samsung 2TB and after that with 3 WD 500 GB . RAID 5 write performance goes down in one minute from 120 MB/s to 30 MB/s.

          Tested under WIn7 64 Bit and Windows Home Server 2011.

          Newest Intel Storage Driver

          Intel Celeron 530. CPU usage 5%-15%. 8 GB RAM

          So what ? Z77 not really ready to use as RAID5?

          In german i say: ********


          Message was edited by: Mark H @ Intel to remove a vulgar word.

          • 2. Re: Poor Z77 HD Performance. Please help.

            I have the same motherboard as you, although not running RAID 5.


            But I was experimenting with the Smart Response Technology that uses a small SSD in RAID0 to accelerate an HDD.  When I enabled the acceleration, my transfer speeds dropped from 125 MB/s to 14 MB/s.


            I should add, my performance improved significantly when I replaced my SSD with a new one with better Sequential write speeds.


            Mine happened to be with Windows 8, but probably the performance is about the same.


            I don't have 5 hard drives laying around, but I could test a couple of 640 GB drives.  Mine are not "Green" drives, however.


            And which controller/s (or SATA ports) do you have them on?

            • 3. Re: Poor Z77 HD Performance. Please help.

              Thanks for your reply. I have connected the three hard disks to Port 2,3,4.

              Perhaps my HDDs are to slow ? So I destroyed the RAID5 and used all three disks as non member disk.

              Then i build the Raid5 with Windows Home Server and i got 60 MB/S write speed - constant. That' s not mouch,

              but twice as much as configured under 'Controller Bios Setup'. So the HDD's are not the limiting factor. I should get the 60MB/s under both conditions. I would expect, that the 'Intel-Raid' perform better, than Windows Home Sever Raid.

              Now I am stuck. Buying an expensive RAID Controller, or exchange the board with an other Z77M-D3H, or with a board with H77 Chipset ? Buying faster HDDs , or like you tested: using a SSD for 'acceleration Mode' ?

              I startet a Ticket at Gigabyte, too. No answer yet.

              And  finally i tested the performance of the three single disks : all three disks has a write speed between 110 MB/s an 121 MB/s.

              • 4. Re: Poor Z77 HD Performance. Please help.

                Gigabyte answered:


                Vielen Dank für Ihre Antwort.


                Das Problem mit der Raid 5 Performance konnte nachgestellt werden.
                Dieses Problem wurde an Intel weitergeleitet, da es bei allen Z77 Chipsätzen so zu sein scheint, unabhängig vom Board Hersteller.
                Schauen Sie in 2-3 Wochen bei Intel direkt nach, ob es neue Chipsatz Treiber gibt.
                Derzeit können wir keine Lösung anbieten, da auch wir auf Intel warten müssen.


                Motherboard #1: Z77M-D3H
                Bios version:F14d
                CPU: i5 3470
                Memory:OCZ DDR3 1333 FSB 2gb (dual channel)
                Hard disk:
                a. WD 500 GB x 3pcs.
                OS: Window 8 64 bits.


                Mit freundlichen Grüßen
                Ihr GIGABYTE-Team


                Windows 8 Ready:


                Insist on an Ultra Durable