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Thread: Unimpressive Ultra3 performance

  1. #1
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    I just recieved my new 867 mac..ya-hoooo. I removed a 10k ultra160 Cheetah from my old tower and installed it along with a new ATTO Ultra3 Dual channel PCI card. I used a new Granite LVD (TPO) cable and Granite active terminator. This is the only device on the scsi chain.
    The drive has a single volumn and HFS+ driver installed with FWB harddisk toolkit. This is my current system folder drive for OS9.2.1. OSX is on the ATA factory drive. I did not install the ATTO tools.
    Useing Speedtools Quickbench I was only able to achieve a 19-20mb/sec with the Cheetah where the ATA(7200rpm) drive was in the 25 to 35 mb/sec range.
    This is nowhere near the expected results for the ATTO/Cheetah combo!

    Anyone with an idea of what I missed? I would appreciate any help.
    Thank you,
    Rick

  2. #2
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    Sounds like the benchmarks are reversed - the 10K Cheetah should get about 30 to 40MB/s. You really should try the ATTO benchmark - since that is what most of the Gurus use.

    MadDog had (has) some weird issues with some benchmarks - maybe other things? Check out this thread http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/000516.html

    Also you should try a regular Mac HFS+ volume created with Apple's drive setup software. There could be issues with
    9.2.1 and your ATTO card - it may need a firmware upgrade
    Your 867G4/PC133 Sawtooth board may have issues with the ATTO card (or Cheetah drive?)

    Apple still sells SCSI options, right? So you might want to check - I think they use ATTO for the cards, but I'm not sure about the drives. If you get your setup as close to Apple OEM as possible you may do better. You have a LOT of NEW stuff here - so many unknown and untested variables are at play.

    I will probably get an 867 soon. Not sure if I will add SCSI - but I may experiment and lord knows I have plenty of old LVD SCSI drives

    ------------------
    Life in the fast lane leads to:
    The Resteraunt At The End Of The Universe

  3. #3
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    Are you using HDT 4.5? Apple's ATTO is one internal channel and one external channel. UL3S only "divided." I'm using FWB 4.5 for now because it works great in 9.1 and OS X 10.04 (but may need update for this 9.2.1).

    Moving a drive from one system to another is a good time to wipe it clean and definitely needs fresh OS. Beware of 3rd party FW/SCSI extensions that can interfere with normal SCSI operations.


    Gregory

  4. #4
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    OK, to start out I will clarify the blanks in my original post. Thanks Gregory and Dragon for the replies.

    Version of FWB is 4.5 (FWB makes it hard to change drivers back to Apple as they lock the driver partition, I think the only way to unlock is to completly wipe and start over)

    Cheetah mod# ST318203LW

    I did NOT flush the drive before installing, it has all my files carried over from the 8600 that originally was my main machine. I did do a clean install of OS 9.2 and then fresh installed my peripheral and added software extensions.

    My next move is to copy all the files on this disc over to the huge (to me) factory ATA drive then flush and reinstall on the cheetah. I eventually want to upgrade to scsi3 raid devices on the ATTO board but would like to see some decent performance from my old LVD cheetah before I outlay the bucks.

    I ran the ATTO Benchmark Utility on both drives and results are as follows;


    ---------peak read-------sus read----------peak write-------sus write----

    cheetah 73.85 16.58 51.52 17.91


    ATA 62.59 61.70 59.49 58.28


    I feel like someone hammered a PC part into my mac when they installed a darn ATA drive in it from the factory, I didn't like the scsi options on the build to order from Apple and really got fired up reading the Gurus write up on the ATTO UL3D card. I am now quite impressed with the performance of said ATA drive, I never expected these kind of numbers. I want the better scsi3 raid performance though.

    Maybe the problem in the sustained performance is the age of the cheetah, however the peaks are in line to expect better sustained rates?

    Thanks again.
    Rick

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    I checked with FWB and they don't see any problems nor do they expect to using 4.5 with 9.2.x, and it seems to provide decent performance in my B&W.

    Gregory

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    Gregory, I kinda expected that FWB would work, didn't think that should be the problem when I am getting such a high peak read/write.

    Still, that's the crux of the problem, high peak, dismal sustained.I got no idea.

    I have copied the files over to the ATA drive and will run off of it for a while before I am willing to wipe the cheetah. Then I will attempt a reformat and driver setup useing Apples or ATTOs utilities. That is for another day in the future. There's still gotta be somethin'.

    Any other things I should look for? I have a GD3450 terminator, it lights the LVD light as well as the term power light. That should be correct.

    Rick

  7. #7
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    Ricks,

    I use FWB because I didn't get acceptable numbers from Drive Setup. You might be able to format with DS and update or optimize the mode pages to your liking. When I tried doing that with SoftRAID to set the number of caches to "3" wasn't enough to get good performance and numbers. So I'd stick with FWB and optimize the mode pages.

    Gregory

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    Ricks...

    I'm a long time user of FWB's drivers for hds & cd-roms (from the days when a 100 meg slow scsi hd was $1,000).

    The following doesn't appear to be mentioned...
    If I had your results I'd check the Mode pages out with HDTK's Config' util(?) and see if the READ and WRITE on-board cache modes are enabled for your drive.

    If I remember my Seagate hd setups (rather different than, say, Quantum's Atlas puppies) there are some other things related to throughput as well.

    After checking Seagate's specs, http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/...318203lw.html, your drive appears to have either one or four meg for on-board cache. NOT a lot of cache, regardless. I vaguely recall the '4' being for AV drives but don't remember if the 'W' in the model # means its the AV model.

    BTW - the above noted link says it is an LVD unit; not a U160.

    The spec also says 'internal formatted transfer rate MB/sec 29.5 avg.'; which strikes me as an odd way to state throughput AND maybe a tad low but not unlike what I've seen from 1st gen Cheetahs. NO mention of an 'external' MB rate...weird; perhaps its a typo that's never been corrected...I see this type of documentation error often.

    My experience with ATTO's benchmark has shown me that, in general, the smaller the on-board cache the bigger the disparity between Peak & Sustained R & W. This is assuming R & W on-board cache IS enabled, using the benchmark 'settings' that are popular here: NO OS cache used, 8mb size setting.

    If FWB's driver is giving 'generic' support then I'd bet a cheap lunch its the Cache settings. I love their use of 'Full' vs. 'Complete' when identifying the level of support a drive is provided.

    Frankly, I've not seen a 1st gen Cheetah get past 30 MB/sec Sustained R or W.
    I still have one and even Atlas V drives surpass it when benchmarked.

    I hope this helps some.

  9. #9
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    I get sustained reads and writes of 35 MB/s with that drive running off a Miles U2W card in a Power Tower Pro. There is definitely something wrong. It could be something to do with the new machine or software but I doubt it. You said that it was in the LVD mode, so it must be terminated properly. I would suspect the ATTO firmware. I use Apple Drive Setup on that drive.

  10. #10
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    I want to thank all of you for your help in trying to figure this performance problem out with me. After reading the last posts by Louie and DHB(a really nicely written piece DHB) I downloaded the destructions on this drive from seagate, pulled the drive and checked all the jumper settings again to make sure I hadn't screwed the pooch. Well...I m safe on that account anyway, the only jumper in place is the SCSI ID. I believe any other jumpers would reconfigure for term pwr or single ended, etc.


    This drive is NOT U160, just as you said DHB, it is Ultra 2 scsi. I should probably expect high 20m sustained read/writes. It also is just the plain version designated by the LW at the end. It would end LWV if it had the larger 4meg cache for video,the LWs only have the 1meg cache, again, right on.

    With the performance that Louie has gotten with a older generation SCSI card I'm
    sure there is something that will up the transfer rates. Does the fact that this drive was configured and run under a Adaptec 2940(apple OEM) Ultra2 card make the data storage any different(as in slower to read) or does ATTOs benchtest read and write completly independent of the driver/index methods used during setup?

    I don't want to decide what drives to purchase until I learn what the specifications actually mean in real performance numbers. They've all just been numbers up till now. My ignorance has let me spend too much for missmatched equipment in the past, great scsi performance appears to need great care in getting the correct components.

    I still have no idea why I have the low,low,lowwwwwww sustained, but I have faith someone on this forum will jump up with a clue to it(gratuitous begging,I know).

    One other little datum; when the ATTO benchtest transfer size is small (512kb) the speeds are down to 16m sustained read 17m sus write. Don't know how that might matter.

    Rick

  11. #11
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    Ricks...

    Ouch! Your 512k numbers are definitely wacky based on what I've seen using less than 8M for a size spec. I'll pull my Cheetah out of its nest this weekend and run some more benchmarks.

    I failed to mention it, but the Cheetah benchmark numbers I alluded to were off a Cheetah attached to a PowerDomain 2940u2w card in a PowerCenter Pro with the original 604e/210mhz PPC chip...not exactly a rocket but pretty much my 'generic' test bench.

    I'm sure mag's numbers off his PT Pro included a quick G3; probably 500mhz (love those 10x 466 puppies ) so it seems like your numbers should be right up there with his numbers. I've a 466/10x still in the shrinkwrap; I've been meaning to throw it in the PCPro and take a run at 600mhz... (I'd be happy with 570mhz). I may take a side trip to compare hd benchmarks using a 604e/240mhz/60mhz fsb (in my 'daily' PCPro box) vs. the 466/10x.

    You didn't mention it:
    What about the settings in FWB's Mode pages?
    Does 4.5 give generic, Full, or Complete support?
    (chk Drive Info, I think)

    FWB's online 'supported' SCSI drives list (last update 4/01 it says) does NOT specifically list your drive; there are some 'ST318...' models but none are LVD except the ST318245LW & the ST31840LW. A bit surprising to me. The REAL surprise is that these two model numbers CANNOT be found on Seagate's webb site. What a feature. To be polite, I suspect FWB's accuracy is questionable in this case.

    Also, just a wild guess, but are you sure the FWB driver on the Cheetah is the 4.5 rev? Since FWB is now claiming PPC 'native' drivers (a sore subject among some posts at xlr8yourmac.com) perhaps the 'older' but-still-compatible with your OS rev versions of the driver would be slower or ??

    It seems like the quickest route to an explanation is to substitute a 'known-good' duplicate-or-similar scsi card and/or a known-good duplicate-or-similar hard drive.

    Hardware substitution is what I usually do when hardware 'results' don't make sense and the most 'popular' rocks to look under don't turn up anything to stomp on.

    Perhaps the easiest 1st step...
    Can you put the card/drive combo in your old tower & benchmark it?

    You might try the 'demo' hard drive driver kit from InTech (full version but 'timed' to expire).

  12. #12
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    Great idea DHB. I still have the 2940U2B from the front page of the Gurus. I'll install in the 8600 and run the bench. Is it possible that the 'latest tech' ATTO U3 card doesn't do a good job backwards compating with a U2 device?

    The driver version for the drive is actually FWB 4.0.1. I think the upgrade to 4.5 is just a larger campatability list(?). I did the upgrade but it did not change the version on the driver.

    I think that the mode control ability useing FWB HDTK went away on versions after 3.x, I read a post by Kaye to that effect anyway. I have found no way to change that with FWB. I did try to change to what ATTO calls Mode Pages. (set to video, set to prepress etc.) This also had no effect.

    I did succeed in taking over the drive with ATTOs included tools last night, this had zero effect on the benchtest results.

    I purchased Intechs toolkit recently and had a nightmare crash from hell when I attempted to use it. It trashed all the indexs on the baracuda that was the primary drive while this cheetah was my photoshop scratch disc. Luckily techtool pro to the rescue, techtool worked exactly as they advertise. My fondness for the intech product is a little anemic.

    I appreciate the guidance.

    Rick

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    Rick,

    I think someone else said that. I have HDT 4 and it certainly has FWB Configure version 4. k

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    I have 4.5 and FWB Configure is also 45. (Apr 8, 2001). I would definitely do the update to 4.5 and not just the supported devices. 4.0 came out when, two years ago? It really helped my 10k Cheetah and Ultrastar. I ran Optimize Mode Pages from the 4.5 configure utility. The upgrade was like $14.95 too.

    Gregory

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    I hear you about Intech..."free lifetime upgrades" is appealing and Intech is well spoken of around here.

    a bit off topic, but...
    I'm not ready to throw rocks just yet but I tried their 'demo' cd-rom toolkit (supposedly supports "Kenwood" cd-roms, no specifics on models) on a Kenwood TrueX (72x) atapi drive I brought in from the office. Installed it, had it remove 'other drivers' etc. Hung it off a VST ide card, it saw the drive but NO go for doing anything else with it. Atapi cd-roms usually work fine on the VST card. The drive works fine in W98 on a PC. Perhaps Intech's stuff doesn't play well with Mac PCI ide cards.

    I tried their tech support on-line but I have to BUY the product to get support. What a feature. Sent 'em a couple emails to different addresses asking WHICH models of Kenwood cd-roms are supported. Its been well over a week now...NO response. Are they swamped with tech support tasks, could care less, abducted by Aliens (my choice ) or ??

    anyway...
    I rescanned the whole thread here and noticed you have 9.2.1 ... uncharted territory perhaps for the ATTO card. Does ATTO SAY they support 9.2.1 or ??
    Ditto for their drivers as well.

    Being on the first boat landing at Tahiti is one thing; being in the first wagon meeting the Apaches for the first time is a whole 'nother experience.

    Definitely try the 2940u2 card. Probably the easiest 'hardware' substitution for you to make. DO update the driver to 4.5 rev. first. BUT do ONLY one change at a time, benchmark, and take notes. You'll remember the details tomorrow but not next Monday (or, if like me, not the next hour ).

  16. #16
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    DHB/Gregory
    Consider it done. Tonight though, after that annoying problem.....work.

    Also, I had the same experience with Intechs CD Speedtools. The claim was support for my Ricoh burner as well as my Plextor ROM, only the Plextor would work. Never had problems with FWB in use, only with their pathetic service on purchases and downloads which is handled by Digital River, uhgggg!!

    Rick

  17. #17
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    After I said that my 10k Cheetah was the same as yours, I discovered that there is one digit different in the model number: ..203LW for yours and ..204LW for mine. After reading the Seagate specs, that relates to Cheetah 18LP Family for you and Cheetah XL Family for me. The specs are not much different. Mine is the next generation after yours (Two years max). Still, yours should be performing much better than you related.

    Also, my driver is SoftRAID 2.2.2, not Drive Setup. Mine is running as a single drive in a 500 MHz Power Tower Pro hosted by a Miles U2W.

    Are you sure that it is in the LVD mode? I think it should be doing sustained reads and writes of above 30 MB/s.

    [This message has been edited by Louie (edited 24 August 2001).]

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    I have three of the Kenwood 52x TrueX SCSI CD-ROM drives and they have always worked with CD/DVD SpeedTools. But I have never tried the Atapi versions. k

  19. #19
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    Well, a few hours of wrenching and hammering has finally made a difference.

    First, I upgraded to FWB HDT 4.5. I was running the PE version of HDT and didn't realize it was so crippled. Thanks Kaye.

    My beginning Benchtest figures for this Cheetah (ST318203LW) were;

    peak read.......sus read..........peak write..........sus write...
    **73.85******16.58**********51.52************17.91 **

    This stayed consistent through;
    1. Running ATTOs takeover driver utility and mode config
    2. Upgrading the drivers to FWB 4.5
    3. Optimizing the mode via FWB config
    4. Installing back in the 8600/2940U2B (ATTO bench ran insignificant differences, mostly much lower peaks.)

    Then in frustration, I reinstalled in the G4 and wiped the disk.
    FWB full format,optimized,drivers.

    New ATTO bench results.(All tests are at 2mg)

    peak read.......sus read..........peak write..........sus write...
    **63.02*******25.95*********32.96***********27.21* *

    Significant increase indead. I have no idea if it's possible to get much higher with this old of a drive with its 1 meg cache. The one great blessing of this whole exercise has been the education I just got in SCSI specs/performance. Priceless!!!
    Thanks All.

    NEXT, real Cheetahs and RAAAAAAAAAID!!!!
    Benchmarks for the raid will be posted.
    Rick

    [This message has been edited by ricks (edited 25 August 2001).]

  20. #20
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    Rick,

    That looks bettter and praise be to your persistence. Just to whet your appetite, I am running some single 1st generation X15 tests to compare to a couple of Gurus 2nd gen X15s I should receive on tuesday. I also wanted to compare HFS with HFS+, and OS9.1.

    One 1st gen X15 on a Miles2, softRAID, Granite LVD cables/terminator with two 10k Cheetahs also on the chain in my PTP vintage Mac.

    ATTO EPT 8MB, no disk cache, HFS or HFS+, 40+MB/s SR and SW.

    MB5, HFS, Disk 3384, Pub Disk 2869
    MB5, HFS+, Disk 3504, Pub Disk 2912

    It is quite a drive. k

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