Do Core chips face RAID performance hurdles?

— 4:39 PM on July 10, 2006

If two consecutive reports by The Inquirer are to be believed, systems based on Intel's Core 2 Duo and Xeon 5100 "Woodcrest" processors suffer from odd performance problems when used with some RAID configurations. The Inquirer's first report cites problems on Core 2 Duo systems with Intel D975XBX motherboards running four hard drives in a RAID 5 setup. While RAID 5 benchmarks achieve good results, The Inq says, CPU utilization shoots through the roof regardless of which sample Core 2 chip is tested.

The second report addresses Intel's new Xeon 5100 processors, also known as Woodcrest. The Inquirer claims the chips were the subject of trials in "one of the US government departments," but that they were rejected early on due to similar hiccups. Allegedly, "severe problems" occurred throughout benchmarking and day-to-day use when the Xeon machines were outfitted with IBM ServeRAID controllers and set up to run a RAID 1E array.

Interestingly, on the same day as The Inquirer's Woodcrest story, HKEPC said Intel was hinting that final versions of the Core 2 Duo would feature a new B-2 stepping. HKEPC's report doesn't delve too deeply in explanations, but it does state, "As for the previous version, a problem was found to make the system full loaded. It’s only solved in the new stepping." Could this report refer to the alleged CPU utilization problems with RAID configurations?

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