CPU effect on freenas performance? Best low powered CPU for home use?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by talexander, Apr 29, 2012.

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    talexander

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    talexander, Apr 29, 2012

    Hi Guys,

    I'm new to FreeNas, setup a box at work with basic ZFS pool of raid 1 2x1TB drives.

    Currently have a media center PC with 700 GB used thinking of switching to a freenas system and storing it all on network.

    Question:

    What's the best performance/price for CPU's? I'd obviously want it on 24x7 so power is a concern. Ideas? Initially I was looking at like a 65w I3 but I'm reading some folks using as low as E350's from AMD?

    Suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Tim

    P.S. Anyone had issues using snapshot on ZFS? I make the ZFS snapshot and it says successful but its not listed and console says out of space, even though have 300GB free and trying to snapshot a 10GB dataset.
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    louisk FreeNAS Aware

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    louisk, Apr 29, 2012

    Unless you're planning on installing lots of plugins and doings lots of processing on the NAS, pretty much any modern 64bit CPU will work fine.

    Pay attention to memory. You want 1G RAM per 1T of disk, and a minimum of 4G RAM.
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    Joshua Parker Ruehlig FreeNAS Guru

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    Joshua Parker Ruehlig, Apr 29, 2012

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    andoy31 Newbie

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    andoy31, May 1, 2012

    I actually have the same dilemna --- either to go with e350 or go with intel g530; price (about $30 higher)and power consumption (~10 watts higher) are almost the same however the performance gain is more than double....

    @joshua, can you share the current throughput of your setup with 8 GB and 16GB of memory?
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    survive Super Moderator

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    survive, May 5, 2012

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    ProtoSD FreeNAS Guru

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    ProtoSD, May 5, 2012

    Hey Will,

    Not sure about other Atoms, but mine has one PCIe x4 slot. My little Atom system isn't half bad at all, I'm just trying to figure out what happened to my network performance, which isn't horrible either.
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    survive Super Moderator

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    survive, May 5, 2012

    Hi protosd,

    You have one of the Supermicro Atom boards, right? Those are high-class Atom boards with their PCI-e slots, double the RAM support & proper Intel NICs. That's what I would look at if I were shopping for one.

    -Will
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    ProtoSD FreeNAS Guru

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    ProtoSD, May 5, 2012


    Yup :)

    I originally overlooked the documented 4GB max RAM but decided to take the chance and try 8GB, and it does work, which I am very pleased about. That and the PicoPSU make it very compact, quiet, and low power, as well as the nice dual Intel NICs! It uses ~45-60w depending on load, which only peaks out at 60w during a scrub with 5x 2TB disks. Mine has the 1.6Ghz D510 processor, but a few others here have the model with the 1.8Ghz D525 processor.
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    Joshua Parker Ruehlig FreeNAS Guru

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    Joshua Parker Ruehlig, May 6, 2012

    I get 60-80MBps = 480-640Mbps over the network, and 300MBps = 2400Mbps localy. This is with 16GB of ram, though I got similar performance with 8GB. I believe I have more cached and I get more of a initial boost when touching commonly accessed files because of the 16GB upgrade but I can't prove it.
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    joeschmuck Old Man

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    joeschmuck, May 6, 2012

    I'm jealous, my system runs 63 watts idle (no drives spinning), 76 watts at idle (drive spinning but no activity), and up to 97 watts with lots of activity. It was something like 22 watts less with my video board removed but then the system doesn't boot reliably all the time without the video board installed so I had to cram it back in. I hope the OP found an acceptable answer here.
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    RAJOD

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    RAJOD, Mar 17, 2013

    Well any cpu as fast as a 3200+ A64 solo core should do.
    I'm running that with only 2 gigs of system ram and getting 38mB/sec to and 50mB/sec from RAID 1TB raid 1.

    I don't have prefetch enabled due to only 2 gigs of ram but its much faster than my 1TB WD worldbook NAS. That one only gets like 12mB/sec over same network.
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    JaimieV FreeNAS Aware

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    JaimieV, Mar 18, 2013

    Or even less. TurionII @ 1.6GHz, 5gig RAM, gets 60-80meg/second r/w from 4x2Tb RAIDZ1. That's AFP though, which is less sensitive to CPU speed than CIFS is.

    Could just be due to RAM - if you can squeeze another 2gig in RAJOD, do it!
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    RAJOD

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    RAJOD, Mar 19, 2013

    Yea I'm just testing it right now. They gave me the wrong drives so I just have two drives (a 1TB and 500GB) were suppose to be twin 1TB. I'll get the replacement in the next day or so.

    Maybe I can go more. Back when that MB was made I think 1 gig per DDR stick was all it could do as there were no 2 gig DDR sticks. But old ram cost more than newer DDR so it gets to the point where i could get just a new mb/cpy/ram which I think is silly for a personal 1-2 user backup raid.

    Its got really slow content creation speed of .6 MB/sec (intel NAS bench) even my WD myworldbook gets 1.1MB/sec.

    I'm not sure why I did ZFS over UFS, maybe for my setup UFS raid would be better with low ram.

    I'll prolly get two more 1TB drives as they only 50.00 per drive. Then can do Raid 10 for better write speed.

    Just don't get why a xp computer with a shared drive and only 2 gig of ram video cards etc can share a drive and perform as well or better than freenas which is suppose to be thin.

    I just mad a share on wifes win7 computer and did the intel content creation test and it got 11.4 MB/sec.

    Did one on a xp machine with 2 gigs ram and got 7 MB/sec.

    So why is freenas so SLOW in that test vs non detedicated windows machines with a share?

    I'm getting .5 with free nas, I'm thinking I could just install windows xp pro do raid 1 and remote desktop to it and have better speed than freenas on same hardware.

    Something seems wrong here.
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    JaimieV FreeNAS Aware

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    JaimieV, Mar 19, 2013

    It's ZFS that needs it, it's not only a serious memory hog but if you have under 4gig then it won't do read-ahead caching. This trashes performance. I'm not sure how much going to RAIDZ1-mirrored would improve things - a little, I'd guess.

    If you use UFS, you can run very happily in one gig or even less. But you lose all the data-protection benefits of ZFS,so it's a serious tradeoff for some uses. If yours is just for backups, UFS will probably be quite fine.
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    RAJOD

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    RAJOD, Mar 19, 2013

    I just want raid 1 for backups I liked some features of ZFS but did not realize it came at such a cost. .5 content creation vs 7 which is 14 times slower vs a windows xp share on same network.

    I'll see if that MB can handle 2 x 2 gig sticks. For large file transfers its fine so maybe that slow content creation score wont ever come into play.

    I liked the scrub feature of ZFS too. But I'm not really sure what ZFS RAID 1 offers over UFS raid 1. I think I'll try to keep the ZFS as in the future I can swap out the MB/CPU and ZFS will already be configured.
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    gpsguy Active Member

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    gpsguy, Mar 19, 2013

    As JaimieV said, in addition to the lack of memory, if you're using CIFS, CPU speed has an effect on the performance.

    I presume your wife's Win7 and the XP machine that you're comparing this to, have faster processors, than the FreeNAS that's 7-8 years old.

    I was in the similar predicament with a system running Server 2003 with an Athlon XP 3000+. Last year I migrated to FN and am running it on a HP N40L.

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    RAJOD

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    RAJOD, Mar 19, 2013

    Yea Looks like this socket 754 MB is maxed out with 2 ram slots (1 gig per slot) Its a Biostar K8M800-M7A

    So the question becomes with 2 gigs of Ram and a A64 3200 CPU which setup will give best RAID 1 performance.

    1. windows xp
    2. Free Nas using UFS (is there prefetch here?)
    3. FreeNas Using ZFS (no prefectch)
    4. Other NAS software.

    Yes I was using windows CIFS shares. I'll chose any option that will allow me to map a drive from the NAS. If there is another (faster option) I'll use that. I'm all ears.
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    RAJOD

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    RAJOD, Mar 19, 2013

    I compared it to older hardware to.

    1. Same setup on XP - XP faster in content creation using old PC with 2 gig ram
    2. Vs 1TB mybookworld NAS that has a slow 380mhz cpu and less than 2 gig ram. This NAS was 2x faster on content creation than my faster A64 with more ram.

    On large file transfers freenas with 2gigs A64 is faster than mybook by 2 - 3 x.

    So how does a 380 MHz ARM CPU and 128 MByte RAM NAS beat my FreeNas box that has 2 gigs ram (sixteen times more ram) and a cpu that is running at 2220 MHZ (vs 380Mhz)

    My NAS box compared to the MyBook NAS

    16 times more ram
    5.8 times faster cpu.

    Yet the puny Mybook has over 2x the intel content creation speed vs FreeNas on faster hardware.
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    cyberjock Forum Guard Dog/Admin

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    cyberjock, Mar 20, 2013

    I'm glad you are able to compare the speeds. Now let's talk about comparing reliability of data, how silent corruption is handled, how bad sectors are handled, and how those devices rate in terms of reliability against FreeBSD.

    Oops, all of your machine just came up short on those tests? My bad.....

    The point I'm making is that you are comparing apples to oranges, especially if you are using ZFS. You need to match hardware to the software. Clearly you haven't read the manual or you'd know everything that has already been said regarding why your server is not performing to your satisfaction. The manual tells you how much RAM you should have, what you should do if you don't have at least 4GB(spoiler: you didn't do that), what kind of CPU you want for CIFS(spoiler: you want something with a high clock speed), as well as when pre-fetch is enabled/disabled as well as the consequences and why. This is such a noobie mistake I've mentioned it in my stickied guide at least twice(but I think 3 times), and every other thread titled "my performance sucks" is usually for the same exact problems you had. In fact, before I opened this thread I knew what was going to be your problem with about 90% accuracy, then I didn't respond because it's abundantly clear you didn't try to help yourself solve the problem because the answer is in so many places you couldn't have even accidentally not seen the answer.
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    RAJOD

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    RAJOD, Mar 20, 2013

    No need to get defensive on FreeNas, I was hoping you would chime in.

    Show me a place that compares apples to apples on content creation bench using diff cpus, ram etc. I'm trying to see what exactly will boost this. Is it ram, is it cpu, is it the drive type etc.

    Oh and I had read your guide prior to this, very nice work. Good Power Point presentation.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with what my free nas does. I'm trying to squeak the most I can get out of an old computer and hope I can tweak it for better performance. And for this I'll take reliability over speed, so I'll not be dumping it for XP even if it is slower.

    Its not like I went out to make the perfect NAS. I had an old computer laying around doing nothing. I wanted to try FreeNas on it and see how it ran. I was well aware it said 4 gigs is better. But that MB can't hold more than 2 gig. And it runs with 2 gig and does fine with large files transfer sizes. Then I started doing some benching using APPLES to APPLES hardware using same machine to execute from differing only in the software controlling the share. Freenas vs XP.

    I also tested another NAS with much much lower specs on ram and cpu and it was faster in certain areas. This made me wonder if I could configure FreeNas to at least match the worldbook NAS in speed. I tried UFS and ZFS, single drive and raid 1. Nothing raised the content creation above .58 MB/sec.

    Im wondering how that ARM cpu with 0.128 GB ram performs better on that test.

    Its true I am new to it but I have read quite a bit. Have not seen much on why its so slow on content creation.

    I tried it with UFS and ZFS and it made not difference. I did find a post from someone with better specs that also has a poor score. He only gets a 3.4 on it with 8 gigs and a sandybridge cpu. My wifes 1 drive win7 share gets 12.4 on that bench.

    Now it maybe that FreeNas has to sacrifice that much speed (4x) in content creation to have better reliability over a windows based NAS.

    I would be pretty disappointed going out and spending money on a sandy bridge and really not getting that much better performance in this area over a free A64 I have laying around.

    It could be that a low content creation score never really comes into play for my needs. I was hoping someone would chime in a say "yea I have a 2 gig system and turned off this setting which was slowing it down"

    If .58 MB/s is as good as my old system can do I'm fine with that. But what if some guy has the same system and found a setting that gives 8MB/s ? Then I'd make the proper changes without spending a nickle. Might not happen but never know unless you ask.

    Specs:
    Sandy Bridge i3
    8GB Ram
    Supermicro board
    1Gbe enabled
    3x500GB Velocirpator in RAIDZ

    MB/s
    3.4 Content Creation

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