ARM device with decent disk performance?

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
I continue to monkey with ARM platform.  One area I am meh with gear I have at this point is disk performance. 


My Pi's, Odroids, etc. all are SD card installations.  SD cards are rather meh as general purpose disk at this point in history.


Looking for some recommendations.  Does anyone have an eMMC ARM device, a NAND based, some hybrid SSD, etc. that performs decently well?


Running MySQL / MariaDB on these devices - lots of writes like thousands one after another at times. Small sized data. Optimized that  by killing InnoDB / converting databases to MyISAM which made a big difference.   Some other optimizations might happen, but I am hitting a wall soon either way and performance is less than I can tolerate.


Anyone have anything I might enjoy?
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
The OLinXino seems mighty similar to the CubieBoard2, except for the lack of NAND on the Cubie.


I have a Cubie Router board disassembled in parts heap, so maybe I'll drag that out and experiment :)
 

TheLinuxBug

New Member
Nand is inherently slower than even a MicroSD card (well a good one).  Nand usually does read/writes up to 16M/sec while on good SDcards you can see up to 30M/sec read performance.


If you need IO speed then the best bet is to use an A20 device which comes with a true SATA controller.  Now, the controller can still only handle 45M/s write and something between 100-200M/s read. This is just the max the platform support with the CPU.  Unfortunately, most of the other new ARM devices you are seeing out there such as Raspberry Pi, A33's, A80s, etc do not actually have a true SATA controller but a SATA to USB adapter built onto the board.  As such, those devices are limited to the speed of the USB bus which usually is around 30M/sec.


So, if you need the speed, best bet is a A20 with a SATA drive (at least at this time).


my 2 cents.


Cheers!
 
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wlanboy

Content Contributer
Are you seeing good disk IO out of the NAND flash or SATA or other on that board?
SATA drive - had an old Scandisk SSD with 120GB on hands.
The ScanDisk Ultra MicroSD XC1 is the perfect system disk. /tmp /mdb and /work is on the SSD.


I bought the A20 version without NAND because that is only needed for Android and I do prefer SSD > SD > HDD > NAND.
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
SD cards have never been very thrilling on ARM devices.  Tons of issues if anything.  Never had the luxury of NAND or eMMC.. both were expensive and not aftermarket choices, so I avoid.


I have an unused A20 here with this: http://www.bananapi.com/index.php/component/content/article?layout=edit&id=59


Haven't broken it open and figured out the whole install dance for it yet, but inclined to now that SATA is the recommendation and it has such.


Quite informative @thelinuxbug.
 

TheLinuxBug

New Member
I bought the A20 version without NAND because that is only needed for Android and I do prefer SSD > SD > HDD > NAND.
You can run Android from the SDcard also, its just a bit of a pain in the ass because if you don't setup your image correctly or use a small card you don't end up with much room for app installation.


For anyone who has an A10 device I actually spent time and built a bunch of Android SDcard images for it and they are linked from linux-sunxi.


A10 Android SDcard images


Linux-sunxi page


I know you are talking about the A20, but you can build images similarly for it if your manufacturer doesn't provide a working SDcard Android image for some reason.


my 2 cents.


Cheers!
 

willie

Active Member
The Odroid XU4 has SATA though I semi-remember hearing that it goes through a SATA to USB bridge or something lame like that.  It also has eMMC which is faster but more expensive than SD cards.  I wish they'd put M.2 SSD slots on these boards.


There's considerable difference in speed between SD cards on the pi2:


http://www.midwesternmac.com/blogs/jeff-geerling/raspberry-pi-microsd-card


Newegg has Evo+ cards (the ones that did best in that benchmark) for a few bucks more than other cards, still very affordable.  I might order a few.
 

TheLinuxBug

New Member
Newegg has Evo+ cards (the ones that did best in that benchmark) for a few bucks more than other cards, still very affordable.  I might order a few.
Sillicon Power Elite series 16Gb SD card with advertised 85M/sec read are pretty freaking nice.  I use one in my BananaPi M1 that I use with Android (on SDCard) as a media center.


They had these on sale on Newegg as well a bit back in a 3 pack for a really good price, though I think that has expired by now.  But I still give them a big thumbs up in performance!


Cheers!
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
Sillicon Power Elite series 16Gb SD card with advertised 85M/sec read are pretty freaking nice.  I use one in my BananaPi M1 that I use with Android (on SDCard) as a media center.


They had these on sale on Newegg as well a bit back in a 3 pack for a really good price, though I think that has expired by now.  But I still give them a big thumbs up in performance!


Cheers!
Newegg has the 64GB cards now at $19.99 shipped :)  Going to give one a try.  Thanks for the recommendation on this brand.
 

willie

Active Member
That's a great price.  When you get the card, it would be interesting if you could run the benchmarks in the link above.  The 4K random read/write speed was a big stumbling block for memory cards and cheap SSD's in the past, but it's better now for some of them.
 
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drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
When you get the card, it would be interesting if you could run the benchmarks in the link above.
Which benchmark / link?  Blindness happening... I'll schedule a task / reminder with details my end so it gets done :)  ... I have a few devices I can run it through to see difference in various gear too...  Doing a lot of documentation this week so setups are there in my records for reference and later duplication.    I write doc for others, but fail to myself.. Trying to change that - whole new year thing.
 

drmike

100% Tier-1 Gogent
I know it sounds silly, but have either of you @willie or @wlanboy @TheLinuxBug  tested USB tethered drives on speed?   I haven't yet (don't have much to go playing with at current on USB drives). 


Some of the newer flash drives have some serious speed claims.    Wondering if ARM platform is going to reflect that or if we all get put on the slow bus...
 

wlanboy

Content Contributer
I know it sounds silly, but have either of you @willie or @wlanboy @TheLinuxBug  tested USB tethered drives on speed?   I haven't yet (don't have much to go playing with at current on USB drives). 
Test 1:


JetFlash®700 USB 3 stick (to ensure that the stick is not limiting anything):

Code:
[email protected]:/media/hdd# hdparm -tT --direct /dev/sda1

/dev/sda1:
 Timing O_DIRECT cached reads:    64 MB in  2.04 seconds =  31.33 MB/sec
 Timing O_DIRECT disk reads: 104 MB in  3.01 seconds =  34.52 MB/sec
Code:
[email protected]:/media/hdd# dd if=/dev/zero of=test bs=16k count=8k conv=fdatasync && rm -rf test
8192+0 records in
8192+0 records out
134217728 bytes (134 MB) copied, 8.9079 s, 15.1 MB/s
Test 2:


ScanDisk Cruzer Micro 16 GB

Code:
[email protected]:/media# hdparm -tT --direct /dev/sda1

/dev/sda1:
 Timing O_DIRECT cached reads:    52 MB in  2.06 seconds =  25.27 MB/sec
 Timing O_DIRECT disk reads:  78 MB in  3.06 seconds =  25.50 MB/sec
Code:
[email protected]:/media/hdd# dd if=/dev/zero of=test bs=16k count=8k conv=fdatasync && rm -rf test
8192+0 records in
8192+0 records out
134217728 bytes (134 MB) copied, 14.2753 s, 9.4 MB/s
 

willie

Active Member
I haven't done anything with small ARM boards other than Scaleway which I can't plug anything into.  Well also some where I used to work, but I can't get to those now.  I do know some USB flash drives are now claiming to use SSD-like controllers, much faster than the usual pen drive, but they cost more too.  Anandtech.com has some reviews.  I've used a usb2.0 hard drive with my old laptop and got around 20MB/s xfer.  My new laptop has a usb3.0 port but I haven't tried a usb3 hdd with it yet.
 
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TheLinuxBug

New Member
USB devices will be limited by the USB 2.0 bus on the system.  Therefore, the max speed you will see read/write with any USB device should be around 30M/sec.


This is why SATA is so much faster on the A20 as it isn't attached to the USB hub as a USB device, but is a true SATA controller which exposes more speed than what USB 2.0 can accomplish.


Cheers!
 

willie

Active Member
Some Odroids have USB3 if that matters.  The Scaleway boards have gigabit ethernet that really does seem to work at such speeds.  I don't know what the bus interface is.
 
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