Posted in Computers, Hardware

HP P212 Smart Array Controller Performance Test on HP MicroServer N40L

Here are the results of a speed test after installing the HP P212 Smart Array controller on the HP MicroServer N40L. The OS is installed on the 250 GB drive, which I moved to the ODD slot position and is connected to the motherboard via the internal SATA port. The BIOS was upgraded with a modded version to unlock the SATA ports from IDE configuration.

Network speeds top 125MB/s when copying or moving large files (4GB) such as ISOs or MKVs. Smaller files such as pictures, mp3s, documents copy slower from a networked PC running Windows 7 x64, connected to an 8-port TrendNet Gigabit switch, speeds range between 30MB/s and 40MB/s, but mostly in the 60-70MB/s range; sometimes higher, all depends on amount of files and their size.

The server is running Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise.

Additional specs:

  • 8GB ECC Kingston RAM
  • HP P212 Smart Array Controller with 256 MB and BBWC
  • 3 Samsung HD204UI disks on raid 5 connected to the P212 controller, 512KB stripe size, cache settings are 25% read & 75% write. Write-back enabled.

The system is configured and running. It only has the file and printer sharing roles installed,  indexing for certain folders (paused for the tests), CrashPlan Desktop+ (on sleep mode for the tests). The server was idle, showing no CPU or disk load during these tests.

The default settings for ATTO were used, only changing the drive to be tested.

Clicking on each image will open it up to its full size.

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Not sure why test 3 was the slowest, even after trying a few times. There was no load on the server at all.

If I’m not mistaken and from what I’ve read online, I believe that adding an extra disk to the raid 5 array should improve speeds, but so far, this is pretty satisfactory for me for now, especially when using “green” disks which run at 5900 RPM.

If anyone out there has any recommendations for getting the best performance from this raid controller, please share them with me. I’m not sure if the current stripe settings of 512KB or the cache settings offer the best performance for my needs, which are general file & multimedia server for a small home network. If anyone would like me to run any additional tests in ATTO by using different settings, let me know. Also please feel free to share any other mods or ideas you may have for the MicroServer.

I plan to post additional details on the installation and setup of the card, with some more pictures.

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3 thoughts on “HP P212 Smart Array Controller Performance Test on HP MicroServer N40L

  1. Did you have any issues making the cable reach the port? I want to do the same but I’m not sure if I’ll have cabling issues.

    1. As it is, the cable does not reach the port on the card. You will need to cut off the cable ties, pull the cable from the front of the case, and feed it through a different opening in the back of the case (inside, not outside).
      This way, it will reach perfectly fine. You’ll see what I mean when you try it.
      Let me know if you need any more help!

  2. Howdy just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue.

    I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same outcome.

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