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Performance Improvement on ODD SATA Port Contributed by BIOS-MOD


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While in many cases the BIOS-MOD isn't necessary -- many of us have used the BIOS-MOD to turn off IDE Emulation of the ODD SATA Port and the eSATA Port (Ports 5 & 4 respectively) to improve the Transfer Rates on those Ports -- thus improve their Performance.


A number of time people have asked if there were actual performance studies showing that the IDE emulation hampered the performance of drives attached to those ports.


In the performance studies associated with "First Timer MicroServer With WHS2011 Build"  I had concluded that the BIOS-MOD wasn't necessary if the HDD you were going to run off of the ODD SATA Port was the VB0250EAVER that came stock with the N40L's & N54L's.  The VB0250EAVER is a reliable drive but with Transfer Rates in the neighborhood of 100MB/s the VB0250EAVER wasn't likely to challenge the IDE Emulation speed caps that we assumed were around SATA I max speeds.


So, to test the impact of the improvement possible with the BIOS-MOD on the ODD SATA Port I tested it with a ST3000DM001.


First I measured the performance of the ST3000DM001 in Slot 3 (Port 0) of the Main 4 Bay Drive Cage in a N40L MicroServer with Standard (Stock) BIOS.



Next, I moved the ST3000DM001 to the ODD SATA Port (Port 5) in the same N40L MicroServer with Standard BIOS.  The decline in performance is significant, IMHO.



Finally, I flashed the BIOS with the BIOS-MOD and turned off IDE Emulation in the SAME N40L MicroServer as above.  The Performance improved to what we saw when the ST3000DM001 was tested in the Main 4 Bay Drive Cage.



So, I believe this proves the Value in Transfer Rate Improvement of the BIOS-MOD if you intend to use High Performance HDD's (or SSD's) attached to the ODD SATA Port or the eSATA Port.


Here's a picture of my setup while testing the ST3000DM001 on the ODD SATA Port..............




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Nice work JM. I agree, the difference in performance is significant, but fortunately not catastrophic. It wouldn't be awful to run without the mod BIOS but, unless there's a good reason not to, I think the mod BIOS is the better way to go.

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