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Samsung 840 pro and old Marvell 6G Controller

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olddude

Registered
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Just replaced my older 60g OCZ Vertex 2 drive with a new Samsung 256g 840 pro. I got tired of trying to manage the limited space on the OCZ and thought I would up my SSD speed while I'm at it.

In the original setup the SSD was on one of the 3g SATA connectors. My MB is an Asus P6X58D-E. It has two 6g SATA ports (Marvell 91xx SATA 6g controller) and I put the new 840 pro on one of those. I had to activate the Marvell controller and install drivers and all went well. The Marvell is set to AHCI in bios.

Testing for benchmarks using both ATTO and Samsung's Magician I get about 75% of read (410 MBs) rating and less than 50% of write (240 MBs). :( Although that is still faster than my old OCZ so I did get some speed gain.

To cut to the chase my research indicates that the Marvell controller on this MB has some flaws that inhibit it from working well as a full 6g SATA port. I have checked for driver updates and ASUS says my driver is the latest (although I see newer drivers on the web no one on the Asus company forum is supporting trying them.)

Finally, assuming I have all the settings correct, and Asus Magician says I do) what can I do to fix the speed problem. Oh... I mean short of a new mother board. (I am not interested in throwing hundreds of dollars at the problem.


I'm thinking maybe a PCIE SATA 3 6G controller card for the new 840 pro?

Thanks for any suggestions.
 
OP
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olddude

Registered
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
How does the speed of the drive compare when connected to the Intel controller?
The first test I had the drive on an Intel SATA 3g port as I had forgot I did not have the OCZ on the Marvel 6g and I just unplugged the old drive and plugged the new one in.
Capture1 first.PNG

The second test I switched over to the Marvell 6g port but had not changed that setting to AHCI because I didn't know there were two AHCI settings... one for intel SATA and the other for Marvell SATA. :shrug:
Capture test two.PNG

The third test was on the Marvel 6g with AHCI. This is almost the exact reading I get from Samsung Magician.

Capture third test.PNG

Thanks for your interest!
 
OP
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olddude

Registered
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
I don't have any Intel SATA 6G ports. :( The MB has 6 Intel 3g ports and 2 Marvell 6G ports.
 

redduc900

Inactive Moderator
Joined
Dec 17, 2000
Location
Portland, OR
Connect the drive to the Intel controller and make sure the SATA mode is set to AHCI. Disable the Marvell controller unless other drives are connected to it, then download and install the latest X58 chipset / AHCI driverset from Intel. Then re-run ATTO and post the results.
 
OP
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olddude

Registered
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Connect the drive to the Intel controller and make sure the SATA mode is set to AHCI. Disable the Marvell controller unless other drives are connected to it, then download and install the latest X58 chipset / AHCI driverset from Intel. Then re-run ATTO and post the results.

Thanks,
I used the Intel driver update utility it said I needed an update to the Intel Chipset driver and it downloaded and installed Version 9.4.0.1017. I am not sure if this is the same as the x58 chipset AHCI driver set.

Anyway moved the 840 pro back to an Intel SATA 3g port (made sure AHCI was on in bios) and speeds were cut to mirror my first test on the Intel Sata 3g port. So unless I downloaded the wrong driver its faster on the Marvell Sata 6g port but not as fast as it should be.

If I missed on getting the right Intel ACHI driver slap me on the back of the head and point me in the right direction. :-/

Capture Test 4.JPG
 
OP
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olddude

Registered
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Check the current AHCI driver version, and check it against the latest from Intel...

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/SearchResult.aspx?lang=eng&keyword="AHCI+SATA+Driver"

Thanks for your patience!
I could not make sense of the drivers offered at the link compared to my AHCI controller. When I check device manager it lists my controller as an Intel ICH10 Family 6 port AHCI controller 3A22. When I search Intel for that nothing comes up. BUT... the driver installed is an Intel driver dated 02/25/2013 v 9.1.9.1003 which is 6 years newer than the driver offered on the Asus site. So I guess I have the latest driver?

Capture ahci controller driver.JPG
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
That's the fastest you'll get either on-board controller to run. SATA 3Gb/s tops out at a bit over 250MB/s (as you saw in post 8) and the Marvel stuff isn't able to actually run full SATA 6Gb/s speeds.

PCI SATA 6Gb/s add-on card or just live with it are your options.
 

cw823

Honeybadger Moderator
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
Location
Earth
That's the fastest you'll get either on-board controller to run. SATA 3Gb/s tops out at a bit over 250MB/s (as you saw in post 8) and the Marvel stuff isn't able to actually run full SATA 6Gb/s speeds.

PCI SATA 6Gb/s add-on card or just live with it are your options.

QFT.

The other advice in this thread boggles my mind. x58 SATA3 is junk, we should all know that. Then he gets SATA2 speeds on a SATA2 controller.

Not sure what else was expected.
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
@olddude
Maybe some other point of view ... random transfers are most important for SSD and just because of that we see so high difference in performance between SSD and HDD. Intel SATA 2 is actually about as fast in random transfers as SATA 3. In both cases you probably won't see transfers above ~200MB/s. Access time is also about the same. I doubt that you are using SSD as a backup/database drive.
So as you see you have nothing to worry about if you are using Intel SATA 2 ports as your Samsung SSD will be still faster than older Vertex series in all random operations.
This is also reason why getting pcie SATA 3 card won't help you much and if you get some cheaper controller then it will be also on something similar to Marvell.
 

Mr Alpha

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
@olddude
Maybe some other point of view ... random transfers are most important for SSD and just because of that we see so high difference in performance between SSD and HDD. Intel SATA 2 is actually about as fast in random transfers as SATA 3. In both cases you probably won't see transfers above ~200MB/s. Access time is also about the same. I doubt that you are using SSD as a backup/database drive.
So as you see you have nothing to worry about if you are using Intel SATA 2 ports as your Samsung SSD will be still faster than older Vertex series in all random operations.
This is also reason why getting pcie SATA 3 card won't help you much and if you get some cheaper controller then it will be also on something similar to Marvell.
QFT
 
OP
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olddude

Registered
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
@olddude
Maybe some other point of view ... random transfers are most important for SSD and just because of that we see so high difference in performance between SSD and HDD. Intel SATA 2 is actually about as fast in random transfers as SATA 3. In both cases you probably won't see transfers above ~200MB/s. Access time is also about the same. I doubt that you are using SSD as a backup/database drive.
So as you see you have nothing to worry about if you are using Intel SATA 2 ports as your Samsung SSD will be still faster than older Vertex series in all random operations.
This is also reason why getting pcie SATA 3 card won't help you much and if you get some cheaper controller then it will be also on something similar to Marvell.

I am seeing reports of similar problems with PCIE cards not doing any better than the 3g ports on my motherboard. I don't think I'll go in that direction.

I know this was all about benching rather than real observed difference in speed of the 840 pro. But... one likes to get what one pays for if he can. :)

So I have it on the Intel 3g port now and the only decision left is whether to move it back to the Marvell 6g. Some on the Asus company forum claim the Marvell has stability problems. I only had it on the Marvell port for two days but it ran fine.

I am not unhappy with the drive and I love the additional storage. I have all my programs on it with plenty of room for future growth and have all my music and docs on another drive.

I have had the case open 4 times in the last two days and feel like I'm pushing my luck. I'm always amazed the thing fires up after I've been tinkering inside. I'm just a bumbling old dude with shaking hands so I think I'll leave well enough alone for awhile. :sly:
 

RGone

Senior DFI Staff
Joined
Apr 20, 2004
Location
JAX, Mississauna
@olddude
Maybe some other point of view ... random transfers are most important for SSD and just because of that we see so high difference in performance between SSD and HDD. Intel SATA 2 is actually about as fast in random transfers as SATA 3. In both cases you probably won't see transfers above ~200MB/s. Access time is also about the same. I doubt that you are using SSD as a backup/database drive.
So as you see you have nothing to worry about if you are using Intel SATA 2 ports as your Samsung SSD will be still faster than older Vertex series in all random operations.
This is also reason why getting pcie SATA 3 card won't help you much and if you get some cheaper controller then it will be also on something similar to Marvell.

Wonderfully accurate. +1

RGone...