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Bat's How To: Unleashing the Wild M.2 SSD

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Nebulous

Señor Senior, Senior
Joined
Oct 11, 2002
Location
The Empire State
At least you have the possibility to install NVMe drivers batz. I don't have any such luck. PNY doesn't have drivers for their drives. Not even a firmware update. I have to rely on winder's "generic" drivers and they're dated 2006.
Nothing after that. :rolleyes:
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Woomack, you have the TUF 2 like I do, right? Asus don't like you to flash back to an earlier BIOS version. The Winflash program grays out the older versions, but I heard there is a way to run it in the command prompt. I have used EZ Update or whatever they call it in the BIOS (UEFI) method the two times I've done it. That way don't like going back either, but I could have swore there was a way in the BIOS to revert back to the previous version. There is also the old fashion way of making a bootable disc and doing it that way. I have no idea if that will work for going back. The manual says to rename the BIOS file to X299TUF2.cap before flashing, which I have done, but is that really needed?

Yes, I have the same TUF 2 board.
There is soft for flashing from DOS but I don't have it and I'm not sure if it's in public for these chips. Support only said that it's impossible to make it at home and they won't even give me any other option than to make RMA. However to make RMA I need more data why I have to flash BIOS to older version and because it's overclocking worse is not really good reason.
Anyway, 3rd BIOS is overclocking the same as 1st so for now I'm not changing it.
It could be easier if this board had flashback USB port but I just saved ~$100 on a board without it. The cheapest one with this port is lowest Strix or TUF Mk1.

At least you have the possibility to install NVMe drivers batz. I don't have any such luck. PNY doesn't have drivers for their drives. Not even a firmware update. I have to rely on winder's "generic" drivers and they're dated 2006.
Nothing after that. :rolleyes:

For your drive there is no need to install any driver as MS driver offers optimal performance. I asked Patriot when I was preparing data for review and Phison is simply not providing drivers because they're not required. As an advantage, you can install OS and boot without problems while some Samsung drives need drivers for that.
 
OP
batboy

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
I spent several hours last night and a big chunk of this morning messing with Samsung NVMe drivers. I found older drivers and the new 2.2 that were parsed from the installer and people swore worked with the SM961 drives. A couple times it looked like it updated and the Samsung drive info popped up on the device manager, but then it would get disabled. I read the Samsung installation .pdf guide again. There it is, right there, I must have skimmed over it the first time.

Windows Operating System shall successfully load the driver only when Samsung NVMe SSD 960 PRO, 960 EVO or 950 PRO is installed to
(1) PCIe slot directly connected to CPU or (2) M.2 or PCIe slot connected to PCH.

However, in the PCH case, Windows Operating System cannot load the driver under following BIOS configurations where the PCH Storage Configuration is set to “Raid Mode, or NAND/Storage Remapping option*” is enabled.

Of course that's set to RAID in the BIOS, so looks like I'm stuck with the Intel drivers (at least it's not Microsoft).

So, if you use a single Samsung SM961 as a boot drive with windows 10, then yes, the drivers I found will work.
 

Sentential

Contributing Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2003
Location
Knoxville, TN
I spent several hours last night and a big chunk of this morning messing with Samsung NVMe drivers. I found older drivers and the new 2.2 that were parsed from the installer and people swore worked with the SM961 drives. A couple times it looked like it updated and the Samsung drive info popped up on the device manager, but then it would get disabled. I read the Samsung installation .pdf guide again. There it is, right there, I must have skimmed over it the first time.



Of course that's set to RAID in the BIOS, so looks like I'm stuck with the Intel drivers (at least it's not Microsoft).

So, if you use a single Samsung SM961 as a boot drive with windows 10, then yes, the drivers I found will work.

If it makes you feel any better the Intel drivers are by far the fastest and most stable.
 
OP
batboy

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
I was not sure about the fastest, but the Intel RST drivers are definitely stable and fairly recently updated.

Final thoughts on my little project of running two Samsung SM961 NVMe drives in RAID 0.

Let me say this straight out. This is a great setup if you are a benchmarker on a budget. I love the high benchmark scores, but after having the single Samsung 960 Pro as a boot drive and now the twin SM961 drives that scores higher in most disk benchmarks (although not all); honestly, I can't tell the difference between them in real world usage. And, the average fellow probably don't really need either setup just to surf the net and check email.

I do not hesitate to recommend any of the Samsung drives I currently have in my fleet: not only the M.2 drives, but also my faithful SATA 2.5" Samsung 850 EVO. The time has not yet come for the NVMe RAID 0, although about the price... let me say again, I did build this RAID 0 for less than the price of a single 960 Pro. Striped drives are all about performance. There is an old saying in the car hotrod culture: cheap, fast, and reliable--pick two. I think it mostly applies with computers too. But, two SM961 drives might be the exception to the rule (although only time will tell on reliability).

Seems pretty clear there is a bottleneck in drive speed at about 4 GT/s on my current setup. Not sure if I had one of the drives in PCIe slot adapters if that would help or not? I think the PCIe lanes on the current motherboards are too congested (CPU uses them and the vid card(s) of course), but each new motherboard version seems to get better. Of course they better because PCIe 4.0 is ready to roll out soon and PCIe 5.0 should be ready by 2019. The raw bit rate max for 4.0 will be 16 GT/s and for 5.0 the goal is to double that amount (currently 3.0 is 8 GT/s).
 
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Sentential

Contributing Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2003
Location
Knoxville, TN
I did build this RAID 0 for less than the price of a single 960 Pro. Striped drives are all about performance. There is an old saying in the car hotrod culture: cheap, fast, and reliable--pick two. I think it mostly applies with computers too. But, two SM961 drives might be the exception to the rule (although only time will tell on reliability).

Seems pretty clear there is a bottleneck in drive speed at about 4 GT/s on my current setup. Not sure if I had one of the drives in PCIe slot adapters if that would help or not? I think the PCIe lanes on the current motherboards are too congested (CPU uses them and the vid card(s) of course), but each new motherboard version seems to get better. Of course they better because PCIe 4.0 is ready to roll out soon and PCIe 5.0 should be ready by 2019. The raw bit rate max for 4.0 will be 16 GT/s and for 5.0 the goal is to double that amount (currently 3.0 is 8 GT/s).

That’s the point right there. It was ultimately cheaper and gave you more storage with better performance which is the essence of overclocking.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Seems pretty clear there is a bottleneck in drive speed at about 4 GT/s on my current setup. Not sure if I had one of the drives in PCIe slot adapters if that would help or not? I think the PCIe lanes on the current motherboards are too congested (CPU uses them and the vid card(s) of course), but each new motherboard version seems to get better. Of course they better because PCIe 4.0 is ready to roll out soon and PCIe 5.0 should be ready by 2019. The raw bit rate max for 4.0 will be 16 GT/s and for 5.0 the goal is to double that amount (currently 3.0 is 8 GT/s).
its not really congestion. Its the DMI3.0 which is bottlenecking the m.2 R0 setup on that platform. The only way around this is to use an x8/x16 AIC plugged into the cpu connected pcie slots so it has more bandwidth.

For more info, look up a z270 chipset block diagram. ;)
 

||Console||

Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2004
That’s the point right there. It was ultimately cheaper and gave you more storage with better performance which is the essence of overclocking.

+1
Im pretty sure thats why we all got into this so we could own a faster PC then we could afford at that time .
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Seems pretty clear there is a bottleneck in drive speed at about 4 GT/s on my current setup. Not sure if I had one of the drives in PCIe slot adapters if that would help or not? I think the PCIe lanes on the current motherboards are too congested (CPU uses them and the vid card(s) of course), but each new motherboard version seems to get better. Of course they better because PCIe 4.0 is ready to roll out soon and PCIe 5.0 should be ready by 2019. The raw bit rate max for 4.0 will be 16 GT/s and for 5.0 the goal is to double that amount (currently 3.0 is 8 GT/s).

I mentioned that couple of times and EarthDog said that too in multiple threads. DMI is limited to ~3.95GB/s or something near and this is maximum you can make on M.2 sockets regardless if you are using 1 or 2 SSD. This is why on X299 VROC would be good option while it requires hardware key or special PCIE card to run RAID without issues.
 

custom90gt

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Fun post, I don't think I'd have the guts to epoxy the heatsinks on. I have PM961s that I just used some double sided thermal tape and light aluminum heatsinks to drop the temps a few degrees with.
 

Evilsizer

Senior Forum Spammer
Joined
Jun 6, 2002
i would be one of those guys going, where is my thermal tape.... i would be to afraid of getting the epoxy on the tiny parts..

good read batz! :comp:
 
OP
batboy

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
No problem. I've had fun playing with these new M.2 SSDs.

Nothing wrong with thermal tape if you get the better stuff. I have an Alphacool (I think) gel pad that is 0.5mm thick. Looks like it should work good. I went with Thermaltake thermal tape on the 960 pro, so I know what you mean. But, for some reason with these SM961 drives, it just seemed to be the thing to do... void the warranty... Arctic Silver thermal epoxy... just like the old days.
 

Nebulous

Señor Senior, Senior
Joined
Oct 11, 2002
Location
The Empire State
That's how we did back in the old days batz, screw the warranty! We used to AS Epoxy everything! Big 'ol cpu heatsinks on GPU's, mem sinks on everything. We also used AS Epoxy to sink up the VRM's on the older boards. Yup, the good 'ol days of hardcore cooling & volt moddings!
 
OP
batboy

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
Amen brother Neb.

Don't forget about wiring up the CPU pins to trick the motherboard into thinking it had a higher default vcore. I did that to my Celeron 566 that I ran at 850 MHz 24/7. I got a screenshot of 1054.7 MHz. I just looked on HWBOT and I'm still in 17th place for Celeron 566 CPU frequency. Somewhere I have a photo of the voltage pins wired up.

42361.jpg

EDIT: I didn't find the Celeron Coppermine photo, but I did find a P-4 Northwood where I wired two VID pins together.

northwood-vid-pin2.jpg
 
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Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
On some other platforms you can use standard, cheap PCIE cards and run RAID on them while on X299 you have to pay for hardware key or RAID is disabled :-/ AMD is adding PCIE RAID option for free in X399.
 
OP
batboy

batboy

Senior Moment
Joined
Jan 12, 2001
Location
Kansas, USA
On some other platforms you can use standard, cheap PCIE cards and run RAID on them while on X299 you have to pay for hardware key or RAID is disabled :-/ AMD is adding PCIE RAID option for free in X399.

Well, to be accurate, I'd say this: On the X299, RAID is "limited" for NVMe drives. It's certainly not completely disabled because I'm running 2 NVMe drives in RAID 0. I know what you mean though, you're referring to the PCIe adapter cards.