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Old January 23rd, 2007, 02:30 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 2
adaptec 1420sa RAID problem

Hi all, I haven't posted much but I've been hanging around for a while. I someone can help.

My system specs:

Win XP SP2

TYAN K8W 2885s
2 CPU, opteron single-core 2.2Ghz
onboard 4 port Silicone Images SATA1 with 4 HDs on it. 1 alone, 3 in a RAID 0
Adaptec 1420sa SATA2 PCI-X 133Mhz “HoastRAID” card. With 4 WesternDigital WD2500KS 250gig drives in a RAID 0
Matrox p650 AGP

The Adaptec card gives me transfers of 120Megs/sec
The 3 way Silicone Images RAID does 75Megs/sec
I’ve tested both these values myself.

I use Premiere Pro1.5 to edit standard definition DV that runs at 3.5 Megs/s
Video from the ADAPTEC LOOSES FRAMES every 5 seconds or so. For about ˝ sec. The frames are there, I can step through them a frame at a time but real-time it plays jerky.

If I open Task Manager while playing video in Premiere it says I’m using about 35% of my processors. Seems like a lot for a 3.5 meg/s data stream. When the jerky playback occurs CPU drops to 5% or less as though the processors had no data. If I copy 1Gig from the Adaptec RAID to the SI RAID using File Explorer the processor usage is 12%-18% and it never drops.

I looked into the 1420sa and discovered that “HoastRAID” means that the card “allows” the host machine to do the work. At boot, when the card slot gets scanned, the 1420sa BIOS passes code to the BIOS of the motherboard thus creating a SOFTWARE RAID that the OS isn’t even aware of. If you go into the BIOS at boot time you'll see the SI connected drives but not the Adaptec drives. The OS just sees a single drive presented to it by the MB BIOS.

This low-level load should mean that the executable in the 1420sa BIOS is kernel dependant. And we know how MS loves those Windows updates. So…

I’ve updated:
BIOS on my MB
driver and BIOS for the 1420sa (recommended order)
And rolled back the windows updates to Dec. 2005

No luck. Still jerky.

I’m looking for suggestions because the only PCI-X hardware RAID is $355 and if it doesn’t fix the problem that’s a waste. Even as a learning experience.
Ryan Dever is offline   Reply

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