February 9, 2009

Horrendous Performance with Gigabyte's RAID

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It’s well known that software RAID solutions are noticeably slower than hardware ones. Still, when I built my PC last year, I chose to use the onboard G-RAID anyway assuming that at least it was better than nothing. I wasn’t expecting the performance to be so horrendous. It’s so bad that when I tried to play Far Cry 2, I often reached the edge of the world before the next map section could load, and fell off the edge, forcing a reload. I eventually fixed that issue by using the OEM’s RAID driver, but that didn’t seem to help the fact that Prince of Persia took upwards of 5 minutes to load a level, while it took only 10 seconds on a ‘slower’ single-drive setup. SiSoft Sandra reports very fast sustained rates, so I suppose the random rates add such a huge overhead as to in effect reduce performance. What’s worse is that I can’t use a different setup unless I reformat my hard disk. When I do though, I’ll be sure to switch to the onboard Intel RAID controller, since the Gigabyte chip is so horrendous.