Intel SS4200 processor upgrade and speed benchmark

I have an Intel SS4200 home storage server running Ubuntu 14.04 server at home, and because the read speeds were only around 60 Mbyte/sec, I decided to do a processor upgrade. After the upgrade I had some problems with the fan, and the speed did not significantly increased. Read more for the details.

After reading some forums, I have decided to buy an used Intel E5800 processor for around 12 €, because according to the forum this was the strongest processor compatible with this hardware. The physical part of the upgrade was easy, I removed the plastic air leader in front of the processor, unscrewed the screws of the heatshink removed the processor, applied new thermal grease and installed back the heatshink and the air leader.

After switching back the unit, the fans spinned up and they did not spin down at all as they used to do before. First I thought that the processor was not working at all, but surprisingly the NAS was present on the network and I could log into it. After some googling I figured out ther the problem is that fan control is not working.

Fixing FAN control

Firt install lm-sensors and fancontrol:

sudo apt-get install lm-sensors fancontrol

Next you can run sensors-detect, but it was not working well for me, so directly add the following lines to your /etc/modules:

sudoedit /etc/modules


Restart you box and now the modules to detect temperature and fan speeds should be loaded. To check if it is working type the command:

laco@Backup:~$ sensors
Adapter: ISA adapter
Core 0:       +35.0°C  (high = +76.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 1:       +36.0°C  (high = +76.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

Adapter: SMBus I801 adapter at 0400
5VSB:         +5.01 V  (min =  +4.50 V, max =  +5.50 V)
Vcore:        +1.07 V  (min =  +0.00 V, max =  +2.99 V)
+3.3V:        +3.31 V  (min =  +2.97 V, max =  +3.63 V)
in3:          +1.15 V  (min =  +0.00 V, max =  +1.49 V)
in4:          +1.13 V  (min =  +0.00 V, max =  +1.49 V)
3VSB:         +3.27 V  (min =  +2.97 V, max =  +3.63 V)
Vbat:         +3.15 V  (min =  +2.70 V, max =  +3.30 V)
fan1:           0 RPM  (min =    0 RPM)
fan2:         927 RPM  (min =    0 RPM)
fan3:        2403 RPM  (min =    0 RPM)
fan4:           0 RPM  (min =    0 RPM)
temp1:          FAULT  (low  = -127.0°C, high = +68.0°C)
SIO Temp:     +44.0°C  (low  = -127.0°C, high = +127.0°C)
temp3:        +51.0°C  (low  = -127.0°C, high = +75.0°C)

Next step is to run fancontrol and follow the instructions. In my case pwm2 was controlling the fan behind the processor and pwm3 was controlling the other fan. So I set up that pwm2 was controlled by hwmon1/temp2 and pwm3 by hwmon1/temp3. I set up the minimal fan speed for 40 °C and the maximal as recomended for 60 °C. This is your risk that how do you set up the fans, because with incorrect settings you can boil you NAS. After running fancontrol you should start the fancontrol service:

sudo service fancontrol start

Thats it. On restart this should already work, if not make sure fancontrol is started on startup.

Speed test before and after

I did several test to see how fast the NAS can be. On linux I used IOZone on windows I used CrystelDiskMark.

First I did an internal measurement on the SS4200 with the original hardware and got the following result:

Read: 110,6 Mybte/sec Write: 112,4 Mbyte/sec

As the theoretical maximal speed of a gigabit ethernet is 125 Mbyte/sec, these values are close to the possible maximum.

Next I made some iSCSI speed tests:

From a linux machine I got the following results:

Read: 54,2 Mybte/sec Write: 88,7 Mbyte/sec

From a windows machine I got the following results:

Read: 48,5 Mybte/sec Write: 74,8 Mbyte/sec

The close to 90 Mbyte/sec writing performance is OK, but the approximately 50 Mbyte/sec read performance is bad, and on top of it I use much more read then wrote.

As a comparison I measured iSCSI speed of my Synology DS414 NAS also.

From a linux machine I got the following results:

Read: 88,0 Mybte/sec Write: 76,2 Mbyte/sec

From a windows machine I got the following results:

Read: 77,2 Mybte/sec Write: 67,8 Mbyte/sec

What I see that the SS4200 is better performing in write operations but far not better in read operations and the linux iSCSI is faster and also that Synology in Linux environment has a pretty good speed.

As a comparison I made some Samba speed measurements on Windows:

Read: 60,0 Mybte/sec Write: 73,6 Mbyte/sec

And the same for the Synology DS414:

Read: 68,0 Mybte/sec Write: 99,9 Mbyte/sec

Better read speeds but far from the ideal 90-100 Mybte/sec. I tried to do the same measurements on linux, but run into some permission problems I could not fix it fast enough so I gave that measurement up.

Next I changed the processor and had the following results:

From a linux machine iSCSI test I got the following results:

Read: 53,4 Mybte/sec Write: 99,1 Mbyte/sec

From a windows machine iSCSI test I got the follwoing results:

Read: 70,2 Mybte/sec Write: 83,5 Mbyte/sec

From a windows machine samba test I got the follwoing results:

Read: 60,2 Mybte/sec Write: 75,1 Mbyte/sec

So the conclusion from my side was, that the processor upgrade did not had much positive result on the read speeds, except for windows iSCSI, the write speed has a bit increased, but not significantly. Therefore I do not recommend upgrading the processor to increase NAS performance.


Anonymous said…
maybe worth to upgrade the memory to 2GB? or maybe Server OS related? I upgraded the CPU to E2220 and Memory to 2GB (Max)

I have this box since 2009 and never install linux on it. I had Windows Home Server V1 which gave me anywhere from 70MB/s to 80MB/s read/write performance. Now, I am on Server 2012 R2 and the speed improved to 90~100 MB/s

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