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SubjectRe: Why is NCQ enabled by default by libata? (2.6.20)

On Tue, 27 Mar 2007, Tejun Heo wrote:

> Justin Piszcz wrote:
>> Checking the benchmarks on various hardware websites, anandtech,
>> hothardware and others, they generally all come to the same conclusion if
>> there is only 1 thread using I/O (single user system) then NCQ off is the
>> best.
>
> Are they testing using Linux? I/O performance is highly dependent on
> workload and scheduling, so result on windows wouldn't be very useful.
> Posting some links here would be nice.
>
>> I see 30-50MB/s faster speeds with NCQ turned off on two different SW
>> RAID5s.
>
> You're testing raptors, right? If the performance drop is that drastic and
> consistent over different workloads, we'll have to disable NCQ for raptors.
> I'm not sure about other drives. Care to perform tests over more popular
> ones (e.g. recent seagates or 7200rpm wds)?
>
> --
> tejun
>

You are correct, it definitely depends upon the workload, and a lot of the
benchmarks do use Windows; however, I will have to check later, I recall
finding a few that did test under Linux.

For a plain untar with lots of small files, the benefit is not as big as
sequential reads/writes of big files; however, there is still an
improvement:

Raid5 Quad 150 Raptor (NCQ)
# time sh -c 'tar xf linux-2.6.20.tar; sync'

real 0m21.721s
user 0m0.174s
sys 0m1.541s

Raid5 Quad 150 Raptor (NO NCQ)
# time sh -c 'tar xf linux-2.6.20.tar; sync'

real 0m16.761s
user 0m0.195s
sys 0m1.361s

Raid5 Six 400GB Sata Drives (NO NCQ)
# time sh -c 'tar xf linux-2.6.20.tar; sync'
real 0m54.844s
user 0m0.189s
sys 0m1.432s

Raid5 Six 400GB Sata Drives (NCQ)
# time sh -c 'tar xf linux-2.6.20.tar; sync'
real 1m7.322s
user 0m0.194s
sys 0m1.492s

Justin.
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