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    Posted: 28 Oct 2015 at 12:20am
Are there any plans of adding the SM951 (MZVPV512HDGL) SSD drive to the

Ultra M.2_SSD (NGFF) Module Support List

The drive show up in the P1.60 BIOS  as a boot device, it shows in the Nve configuration page, but is not detected as a drive in the Advanced/StorageDetection/UltraM.2

Windows 7/64 sees it as an install device, partitions, formats blue screens during final setup configs

I try to install to an 850 Pro SSD with Nve installed, and windows crashes during final configs saying incompatible hardware.

Are there settings in the BIOS that should be considered when using the Nve, or is it just not compatible with the  SM951 (MZVPV512HDGL)... yet? Shocked



Edited by xnay - 28 Oct 2015 at 12:21am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Oct 2015 at 2:39am
UEFI version 1.60 does state the addition of NVMe support, but UEFI version 1.70 adds further NVMe support. I would suggest using version 1.70... but you have another issue.

That issue is, Windows 7. NVMe SSDs require an NVMe driver, no surprise right? Windows 7 does not have an NVMe driver built in for use with NVMe SSDs.

This explains most of your problems installing Windows 7 on an NVMe SSD. Windows 7 is not compatible with NVMe SSDs.

Windows 8.1 and 10 have a built NVMe driver, stornvme.sys, found in the System32 folder.

I am not aware of anyone taking a copy of the stornvme.sys driver and loading it during a Windows 7 installation. That might work, but it may not be that simple, there may be more files and/or changes in other files to accommodate NVMe devices.

Reviews of the NVMe SM951 have found that the MSoft NVMe driver has issues with write performance in benchmark tests.

Samsung does not have an NVMe driver available for their NVMe SSDs, at least not yet. When the Samsung 950 Pro NVMe SSD is released (12/1/2015 is a date I saw recently), they may provide one, but that is just a guess.

Intel has an NVMe driver for use with their NVMe 750 SSD, but that only works with Intel NVMe SSDs.

Besides this problem, in the UEFI you will also need to configure an option called CSM. CSM is normally found in the Boot screen, and is Enabled by default. When enabled CSM has three sub-options. One of those options is Launch Storage OpROM Policy. It must be set to UEFI only when using any type of PCIe SSD.

The CSM option also can be set to Disabled, which causes all of the three sub-options to be set to UEFI only. When CSM is disabled, Windows must be installed in specific way, and the target OS drive must be formatted to use the EFI bootloader. Windows 7 also has a problem with this configuration, but can be modified to fix it. That fix does NOT cause the lack of the NVMe driver in Windows 7 to change. I suggest just setting the Launch Storage OpROM Policy to UEFI only, with CSM disabled, which is easier for other reasons I have not mentioned.

Regarding your SM951 not being shown in the Storage Configuration screen. The behavior of PCIe SSDs is different than SATA SSDs, and their use is very new. Don't be concerned about how they may of may not appear in parts of the UEFI, as long as they appear in the boot order.

Finally, the inclusion or absence of a drive in the Storage Support List is not as important as knowing how to configure things so it can be used. The list is simply the drives ASRock has tested in a board, and does not mean that others won't work.

PCIe SSDs are not simple plug and play devices, which is why Samsung did not offer the XP941 and SM951 for sale at the usual retail level. PCIe SSDs require the user to do their homework before they can be used, sorry to say.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xnay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Oct 2015 at 7:25am
parsec, thank you very much for elaborating and articulating the issues involving the new PCIe SSD's so thoroughly, it's very much appreciated. You've done your homework on this matter and have saved me some time in figuring it myself, thank you again for that. I'll try the .sys file during the setup and see where it gets me. I typo'd in my last post, I do have the P1.70 BIOS already installed and I'll be sure to set it up as you suggested. I'm not a big fan of the newer OS's, and I realize it's just a matter of time that I'll have no option but to move on from the older versions.

Just one other quick question in regards to the BIOS page, why is the P1.40 version listed on top of the download page, surely the P1.70 BIOS incorporates all previous versions, or am I wrong in my assumption? I'll be sure to update my success, or lack thereof, with the .sys file during a Win 7 setup.

Thanks again parsec, you rock.... no, you ASROCK!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xnay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Oct 2015 at 7:39am
just a quick update, SM951 (MZVPV512HDGL) loaded and runs perty darn good in Win10 Pro/64
ATTO Scores:
Read 2259 MB/s
Write 1328 MB/s

write performance definitely suffering with MS driver, as parsec mentioned. Can't wait to see what Samsung puts out for a driver come December, hopefully an improvement on the MS driver write performance.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Oct 2015 at 2:40pm
Thanks for your kind words. I happen to be an SSD enthusiast, so I know pretty much what is going on with the new drives, and use them too.

I see you had to break down and use Windows 10. Wink  Not only are the new OS versions different, they support new technology like NVMe that Windows 7 doesn't. I'm afraid to say that Windows 7 may soon join Vista and XP in the obsolete group. Shocked  Pinch

So you do see the write performance problem, sorry to say.

Update to the release of the 950 Pro: Newegg is saying the release date is 11/1/2015, not December:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=20-147-466

I hope that is true, and not a come on. You might find the comments in the reviews on that page interesting.

I have no idea why the P1.40 UEFI version is listed at the top. That makes no sense and is simply a mistake IMO.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xnay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Nov 2015 at 10:11pm
another update on the Win7/64 install. There is a Win7 KB2990941 update but later discovered it's apparently for win7 embedded, client, and PE3.1. So, no luck there, unless someone knows of another KB. I tried installing the Win10Pro/64 stornvme .inf with the related .sys file on a fresh Win7Ultimate/64 install to no avail as well. The windows repair shows the nvme drive in it's explorer but does not load it when trying to finish up the install. It's kind of weird there, I thought. Some BS, IMO.   We'll wait and see what Samsung come out with, but until then, it's win10.

On to other setup issues, I've been somewhat disappointed with my hardware performances with this board. My CPU, Memory, Graphics, Nvme SSD are all right at about 10% slower than rated passmark scores in Win7 and Win10. It's had me baffled for the last couple of days, especially the RAM and GPU's. I have all the latest drivers and have spent hours trying this and that... can it be the MB? hmph?

Results similar in Win7/64 & Win 10/64

* Xeon 2695v3ES 2.2GHz with  a 5%OC (12-25X) @25X 2624MHz, TB @2833MHz, 43C @ Idle vs 39C stock idle temp, load temps to follow.

Passmark scores ~19300+, I would expect at least 21000 'ish with the OC, not bad though
CineBench15 scores ~1800+ multi core, 100+ single core
overall, can't complain with an Engineering Sample chip @100MHz short of final release speeds, and who knows what else. Seems solid.

* 64GB Gskill 2800 at 2239MHz in BIOS. Not able to utilize XMP profile due to XEON strap limitation, 105MHz is max I could get from the XEON. BIOS shows quad channel but CPUz has channel number unpopulated and DC Mode grayed out, and ver 1.71 posts CL 15, ver 1.73 posts CL 31

scores atrociously in passmark ~1775, with weak read/write scores. I'm tending to think the CPUz 1.73 CL times are correct with this score. Some feedback on some better memory testing options would be helpful. I think. Is ECC a must with the Xeon chip?

* (2) GTX780ti Classified Kingpin, disc drivers or latest drivers, results similar. Win10/64 scores a few hundred points better single card, a few hundred worse dual card.

Passmark ~8000 single card, DirectX 9 scores atrociously, DX10 & 11 score right at GTX980 speeds. I'm losing my score with the DX9, barely half of a GTX980. In SLI, the scores drop further, to ~7300 overall graphics performance, with DX9 suffering more, and DX10 & 11 nearly the same as a single card. GPUz shows IDle temps @ 27C, under load mid 60's.

CineBench 15 scores ~117 single, ~121 dual, I read about dual scores with same hardware in the 170's, I'm not quite reaching there with my cards

Valley scores a ~58fps single, and ~72fps dual, hit 76 once... once

I'm totally baffled with the GPU results, each card by itself results about 10% slower than typical benchmarks, dual card improvement is almost nonexistant, actually a hindrance according to Passmark. Is it the MB, the XEON, the RAM,  the drivers, the PCIE slots, have I some BIOS settings not configured properly. Is it the GPU cards, are they both bad? Is it a combination of things? hmph?

* Samsung SM951 NVMe, Win10/64 clocks about ~11200 in PMark, about 10% low again, but still a kick butt number. I thought for sure this one would be on par, why not, the MS driver? scratching temple...

Overall system scores on PMark ~4300+ single GPU, 4100+ dual.... dismal

however, Asus's Real Bench 2.4 scores a no slouching 106000+, that's perty darn good, by golly. Though I noticed the RAM didn't show up in the sys info. Am I benching with antiquated software for X99, and everything is really alright?  Is the CPU an issue being an ES, at $450 it was hard to pass up, especially since 5960x's rarely go for less than $1000 ($900 on ebay), though it would be nice to try a 5960x in the rig and bench the result.

JUst a little, or a lot of feedback on my recent build, I'm curious if others have experienced similar issues with/without a Xeon chip, similar issues with the RAM channela/DC Mode not showing up in CPUz, GPU's not running up to par, issues running SLI, etc.... Wacko

*** Update *** KB2990941 works for windows 7, just make sure you don't do as I did, try and install a x86 version on a x64 OS. NVMe is recognized and can be utilized. So far, only works as a hotfix after a windows installation, ie to a SATA III SSD, haven't figured out how to incorporate the hotfix in a WIN7 NVMe clean install???

ATTO best score at 2k R/W score = 2272MB/s  1472MB/s, better than the Win10 NVMe native support scores, I'm impressed.


Edited by xnay - 02 Nov 2015 at 1:27am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xnay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Nov 2015 at 12:30am
just a quick update on the Samsung NVMe driver recently released vs the MS NVMe driver. It states that it's for a 950Pro but worked for my SM951 as well. I would have upp'ed screenshots but registering with a 3rd party site seems a bit cumbersome:

Atto best peak scores are as follows:

MS Driver -  2048K R/W score = 2272MB/s  1472MB/s As stated above with a fresh install of Win10/64, (I typo'd the 2K previously, it should be 2048K) I should also note that this score was achieved with the latest MB drivers (chipset, sound, etc) from ASRock site rather than MB CD drivers, I was not able to achieve these scores with my current setup using the CD MB drivers and benchmarking software installed, so it's not a complete apples to apples comarison, but close. Currernt MS scores are Peak Write @ 256K 1558MB/s Peak Read @ 1024K 2247MB/s, It should also be noted that 2048, 4096, 8192 seemed to bottleneck with all scoring the  exact same at 2220MB/s. The bottleneck at the larger sized Read tranfers is a surprise, I suspect the chipset drivers on the CD aren't as efficient as a later rev'd vesion, or something beyond my scope of expertise???

Samsung Driver - Peak Write @ 256K 1547MB/s, Peak Read @ 2048K 2253MB/s  The Samsung driver also ramps much better at bthe lower file sizes than the MS driver and has an overall better consistency with the scores, especially with the larger file sizes, averaging Read times ~25MB/s better from 1024K and above and write times ~40MB/s better. All in all, a much better driver. I suspect a fresh Win10 install with the latest site driver could boast even better scores?

The SM951 reviewed at R/W times of 2260/1550 MB/s, and with the Samsung driver, I'd say they were spot on.
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