Wednesday, September 14, 2011

SD Card Speeds

After yesterday's benchmarks revealed a possible problem with the SD card performance, Mark Salter asked me to run a few more tests to see if the DMA API patch set is hurting the SD card (but helping USB storage).

I recompiled the kernel but I disabled the DMA API patch set.  I also tested with smp (the default) and nosmp.  And just for good measure, I re-tested the 2.6.35-g6d019da-dirty kernel because the last time I tested 2.6.35 was in May and I've updated a few packages since then.

It does not appear that the DMA API patch set is to blame for the slower SD card performance.  The random seek times were longer than 76000ms for all variants of compared to just 664ms on 2.6.35.  The sequential reads were fastest with 2.6.35, but today's test was quite a bit faster than May's test; I'm not sure what to make of that.  Likewise, sequential writes were also fastest with 2.6.35.

Thus, some other change between 2.6.35 and 2.6.40 must be responsible for the drop in SD card performance, but what?

Version 1.96Sequential OutputSequential InputRandom
SizePer CharBlockRewritePer CharBlock
K/sec% CPUK/sec% CPUK/sec% CPUK/sec% CPUK/sec% CPU/sec% CPU
SD Card 2.6.35 (May 2011)2G4193312553371433699175981527.41
SD Card 2.6.35 (Sept 2011)2G3991311853465444899191041627.91
SD Card + DMA patch + SMP2G2265186242544333999196261615.61
SD Card + DMA patch + nosmp2G1958166932513334399208291317.21
SD Card + no patch + SMP2G2676166932271341199195921615.71
SD Card + no patch + nosmp2G1854160332395338299208941316.51

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