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    Performance with my Icy Dock 5.25” ExpressCage MB326SP-B

    By: JohnStutsman

     

     

     

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    Figure 1 – Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B – 6 Bay 2.5” SAS/SATA HDD Hot Swap Cage installed in the lower 5.25” Bay of my HP ProLiant ML10v2

     

     

     

    This is Part 3 of a three part series on the Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B 6 Bay 2.5” SAS/SATA Hot Swap Cage for 5.25” Bay’s. In this part I measured the performance of my HP ProLiant ML10v2 Server with the Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B in the lower (of two) 5.25” bay.

     

    Part 1: Unboxing

     

    Part 2: Installation

     

    Part 3: Performance

     

     

     

    Performance

     

    As stated in Part 1: Recently, Dave asked me to review the Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B 6 Bay 2.5” SAS/SATA Hot Swap Cage for 5.25” Bay’s (“ExpressCage”). I had the perfect application in my HP ProLiant ML10v2 where the addition of a P222 I had 10 SATA Ports but only a main cage for four 3.5” drives and two 5.25” Bay’s. With the MB326SP-B I could put six drives in the Icy Dock ExpressCage using one 5.25” bay and still have a 5.25” bay available for future expansion or projects (a huge plus in my book). ExpressCage holds 6 drives (2 SSDs and 4 HDDs in my use case) that are the basis of three logical drives in the B120i embedded on the ML10v2’s system board.

     

    The Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B had many “Key Features” that I found very intriguing but obviously the most important in my mind was being able to install six 2.5” HDDs/SSDs up to 9.5mm thick in the space of one 5.25” half-height bay with hot-swap support and SAS/SATA – 6GB/s support. The additional features were certainly icing on the cake, especially when coupled with my positive experience with other Icy Dock products.

     

    In my opinion, this ExpressCage is living up to its predecessor’s reputations. Its feel is solid and installation was easy. This is a reliable quality product perfect for many applications of the home enthusiast!

     

     

     

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    Figure 2 – Key Features of the Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B (Photo courtesy Icy Dock)

     

     

     

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    Figure 3 – Storage information for the ML10v2 via iLO4 showing 10 physical drives supporting 3 logical drives on the B120i and 1 logical drive on the P222.

     

     

     

    As shown in Figure 3, above, the 10 physical drives in my ML10v2 support 4 logical drives.

     

    Three logical drives are driven by the B120i HP Dynamic Smart Array B120i RAID controller embedded on the system board of the HP ProLiant ML10v2. These three logical drives are made up from the 6 physical drives mounted in the Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B.

     

    The performance of these three logical drives, illustrated in Figures 4, 5, and 6 below, conforms with what I’ve seen in the past with these drives and assures me that the SATA interface of the Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B is transparent to the SATA signal from the B120i (i.e. I could not detect any speed degradation). All six bays of the ExpressCage MB326SP-B are rated SATA III or 6GB/s by Icy Dock but of course the transfer rates are dependent of the rated speeds of the Ports from the ML10v2 controller board where SATA Ports 1 & 2 are rated at SATA III or 6GB/s while SATA Ports 3-6 are rated at SATA II or 3GB/s.

     

     

     

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    Figure 4 – Performance measured with ATTO, CrystalDiskMark, and HD Tune Pro for B120i Logical Drive 01: OS drive – 1 x Corsair Force GT 240GB SSD in RAID0 on HP Dynamic Smart Array B120i RAID Controller – Port 1 (SATA III or 6GB/s) -- Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B Bay 1 (rated SATA III or 6GB/s)

     

     

     

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    Figure 5 – Performance measured with ATTO, CrystalDiskMark, and HD Tune Pro for B120i Logical Drive 02: Data drive – 1 x Samsung 256GB 840 Pro SSD in RAID0 on HP Dynamic Smart Array B120i RAID Controller – Port 2 (SATA III or 6GB/s) – Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B Bay 2 (rated SATA III or 6GB/s)

     

     

     

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    Figure 6 – Performance measured with ATTO, CrystalDiskMark, and HD Tune Pro for B120i Logical Drive 03: Data drive -- 4 x WD10JUCT 1TB 2.5” HDDs in RAID10 on HP Dynamic Smart Array B120i RAID Controller – Ports 3, 4, 5, & 6 (each SATA II or 3GB/s) – Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B Bays 3, 4, 5, & 6 (each rated SATA III or 6GB/s)

     

     

     

    The fourth logical drive in my HP ProLiant ML10v2 is driven by the HP P222 Dynamic Smart Array RAID controller in card slot 3 of the ML10v2 as shown in Figure 3 earlier. The P222’s logical drive 01 performance is illustrated in Figure 7 below. The performance of this logical drive wouldn’t have been impacted by the installation of the ExpressCage MB326SP-B (except “possibly” temperature loading inside the ML10v2) but I included it in this report to serve as a complete assessment of my “As-Built” ML10v2.

     

     

     

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    Figure 7 – Performance measured with ATTO, CrystalDiskMark, and HD Tune Pro for P222 Logical Drive 01: Data drive – 4 x WD 5TB SE HDDs (WD5001F9YZ) in RAID5 on HP Dynamic Smart Array P222 RAID Controller Card – Ports 1, 2, 3, & 4 (each SATA III or 6GB/s) – mounted in Bays 1, 2, 3, & 4 of drive main cage

     

     

     

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    Figure 8 – Temperature distribution inside the ML10v2 via iLO4. The system fan in BIOS is set to Optimal Cooling and the system fan speed was 6% at the time of this reading. Note that the ExpressCage MB326SP-B fans were set on high and I have two additional 60mm auxiliary fans located inside the ML10v2

     

     

     

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    Figure 9 – Temperature distribution inside the ML10v2 via iLO4. The system fan in BIOS is set to Increased Cooling and the system fan speed was 19% at the time of this reading. Note that the ExpressCage MB326SP-B fans were set on high and I have two additional 60mm auxiliary fans located inside the ML10v2

     

     

     

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    Figure 10 – Comparison of the Temperature distributions inside the ML10v2 via iLO4 displayed in Figure 8 on the left (BIOS system fan setting Optimal Cooling & speed was at 6%) and displayed in Figure 9 on the right (BIOS system fan setting Optimal Cooling & speed was at 19%). Important to note that the Inlet Ambient temp was 2C cooler in the second scenario.

     

     

     

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    Figure 11 – Firmware Version Information in the ML10v2 via iLO4

     

     

     

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    Figure 12 – Top view of the back of the Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B with all SATA data and SATA power connections before inserting into the bottom 5.25” bay of the ML10v2

     

     

     

     

     

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    Figure 13 – Front view of the HP ProLiant ML10v2 with the Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B installed and fully populated plus the Main drive cage is fully populated and all 10 physical drives are active – power draw with the monitor is approximately 120-130W & without the monitor it’s approximately 95-105W.

     

     

     

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    Figure 14 – Front view of the HP ProLiant ML10v2 with the Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B installed in the lower 5.25” bay. Booted up to desktop view. Note Windows Home Server 2011 connector in upper left of the screen File Explorer opened showing the four logical drives in the ML10v2.

     

     

     

    As-Built (I named my Computer: SkyNet)

    • HP ProLiant ML10v2 Gen9

    • Xeon E3-1220v3
    • 32GB Unbuffered ECC RAM KVR16E11K4/32
    • B120i Logical Drive 01: OS drive – 1 x Corsair Force GT 240GB SSD in RAID0 on HP Dynamic Smart Array B120i RAID Controller – Port 1 (SATA III or 6GB/s) -- Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B Bay 1
    • OS: Windows 8.1 Pro
    • B120i Logical Drive 02: Data drive – 1 x Samsung 256GB 840 Pro SSD in RAID0 on HP Dynamic Smart Array B120i RAID Controller – Port 2 (SATA III or 6GB/s) – Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B Bay 2
    • B120i Logical Drive 03: Data drive -- 4 x WD10JUCT 1TB 2.5” HDDs in RAID10 on HP Dynamic Smart Array B120i RAID Controller – Ports 3, 4, 5, & 6 (each SATA II or 3GB/s) – Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B Bays 3, 4, 5, & 6
    • P222 Logical Drive 01: Data drive – 4 x WD 5TB SE HDDs (WD5001F9YZ) in RAID5 on HP Dynamic Smart Array P222 RAID Controller Card – Ports 1, 2, 3, & 4 (each SATA III or 6GB/s) – mounted in Bays 1, 2, 3, & 4 of drive main cage
    • Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B (I used the existing SATA cable that had gone to the optical drive for bay 5 plus a Blue 18” SATA cable I had in stock from previous projects for Bay 6; StarTech Model SAS8087S450 19” (50cm) Serial Attached SCSI SAS Cable – SFF-8087 to 4x Latching SATA for Bays 1, 2, 3, & 4; I also used a Molex Y to two SATA Power Connectors)
    • Video card – HD5450
    • 60mm Fan mounted near the bottom front of ML10v2 to increase air flow for the P222 and Video card
    • 60mm Fan mounted in empty card slot to direct air flow directly on P222 heat sink (plus Molex to Fan splitter and Y Fan to 2 Fan connector cable)

     

     

    Be sure to check out Parts 1 and 2 of this 3 part series where I cover the Unboxing and Installation of Icy Dock’s ExpressCage MB326SP-B in my HP ProLiant ML10v2.

     

    Then later, please join us in the HSS Forums to discuss this and many other interesting topics. Check the HSS Forum Thread on the ExpressCage MB326SP-B for updates and comments.

     

     

     

    References:

     

    Icy Dock ExpressCage MB326SP-B http://www.icydock.com/goods.php?id=231

     

    Other HSS Icy Dock Blog Postings http://homeservershow.com/tag/icyDock

     

    HSS Forum Posting on this ExpressCage MB326SP-B: http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/12114-icy-dock-expresscage-mb326sp-b/

     

    Other HSS ML10v2 Blog Postings: http://homeservershow.com/tag/ML10v2

     

    HSS HP ProLiant ML10v2 postings: http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/forum/98-ml10-and-ml10v2/

     

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