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SM951 as OS boot device information

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2015 at 12:40pm
Originally posted by Smoothhead61 Smoothhead61 wrote:

That's great news GuruNot :-), I'm curious if one could run 2 x SM951's in Raid 0 as a boot drive.


You're on the leading edge yourself with that question, and configuration. Actually, the bleeding edge may be more appropriate.

We've seen ASRock demonstrate a RAID 0 array of Intel 750 SSDs in RAID 0, but not as a boot drive. There are new UEFI options that must be used and set in order to create the RAID 0 array. That is in the last 1/3 to 1/4 of the video, which I highly suggest you watch to get an idea of how it works:

http://www.asrock.com/news/index.asp?id=2890

The Skylake platform is so new, very few people have experience with it. Add to that combining multiple M.2 PCIe SSDs in the newly available RAID option for that type of SSDs, and we will be asking you if it is possible to boot from a RAID 0 array of M.2 PCIe SSDs.

It worries me a bit that nothing was said about the ability to use an M.2 PCIe SSD RAID array as an OS/boot drive, since we know that will be the first question once the RAID capability is available. Perhaps that is not possible yet, and Intel will add that capability in a future driver update.

In the USA, Skylake processors are difficult to purchase, the only ONE available is the i5-6600K. We won't see i7-6700Ks in the USA until 8/31/15.

Given that, and the fact my favorite local PC component retailer does not have any ASRock Z170 Extreme7+ boards in stock, my Skylake build is on hold for a while. Since many people are waiting for the i7-6700K in the USA, the Skylake user base is still very small. Subtract from that the subset of users that are trying to RAID 0 M.2 PCIe SSDs, that are still not easy to find everywhere, and you are one of the pioneers in that area. Beer

If a RAID 0 array of M.2 AHCI PCIe SSDs functions in the same general manner as SATA SSDs, then the 4K random read speed will be reduced relative to a single M.2 AHCI PCIe SSD. The benchmark shown in the ASRock video supports that theory of mine, as it showed ~34MB/s for three Intel 750 SSDs, which is lower than the best SATA III single SSDs. The Intel 750 is known to have poor 4K random read performance, but the trend in 4K read speed will be the same with the SM951, unless a miracle occurs.

I mention this because you won't be gaining performance in booting Windows. A RAID 0 array of AHCI SM951s will not boot faster than a single SM951, due to the reduction in 4K random read speed normally seen in RAID 0 arrays of SSDs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2015 at 12:43pm
Originally posted by Smoothhead61 Smoothhead61 wrote:

Hi to all,
I am a newbie on this forum and this is my first post. I hope I am in the right thread!
I am gathering components for my new build which will include the new z170 extreme 7+ motherboard. I plan on running 2 x Titan X in sli (WC), i7 6700K CPU, + 2 x Samsung SM951 ACHI pci-e 3 x4 SSD drives. First question is, can I run both Titan x's in sli + 1 or 2 x SM951's pci-e on this motherboard? Secondly, can I run the SM951's in raid 0 as my boot drive?
I appreciate any advice given.


Yes, with each running in x8 mode.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote robman1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2015 at 1:52pm
BitFenix Pandora w/ICON Core Window Micro ATX Case
ASRock Z97M OC Formula Motherboard
intel i5-4690K CPU
G. Skill RipjawsX Series 8gb (2x4gb) DDR3 1866mhz Dual channel memory
PowerColor Radeon R9 285 2gb TurboDuo Video card
DEEPCOOL Gamer Storm GABRIEL 120mm low profile CPU heatsink-modded with Cooler Master Jetflo blue led 120mm PWM CPU cooler fan
BitFenix Spectre  120mm fans (x2) front intake 
Cooler Master Blue LED 120mm fans R4-L2S-122B-GB 39.8 CFM (x2) front intake stacker fans
Cooler Master Jetflo blue led 120mm PWM CPU cooler fan (x1) top air exhaust/exit
EVGA SuperNOVA GS 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX PSU
Samsung 128gb SM951 NVMe M.2 SSD
Addonics M.2 to PCIe 3.0 x4 adapter card
APEVIA Case speaker
Total:  $775 (including sales and rebates)

Still need a badass monitor approximately $150 (17 to 24 inches) I had to send back an ASUS that said 1080 but wasn't crisp at all. Also, I have a WIN 8.1 PRO product key from previous PC but unsure how to start a WIN 10 PRO clean install on new build. Can I just connect LAN CAT 6 and download new BIOS without OS installed?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Smoothhead61 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2015 at 4:36pm
Great build Rob, especially for that price. You must have been doing some wheeling and dealing :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote robman1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Aug 2015 at 7:30am
Thanx, I had friends get newegg accounts, $25 off $200 orders x3 friends accounts=$75 savings there + $70 in rebates=$145 savings. Every vital component is 5 star reviewed by majority too. 

Just waiting on my SM951 NVMe Addonics M.2 to PCIe 3.0 x4 adapter from Amazon but I'm gonna use the M.2 slot temporarily to try and figure out getting WIN 10 Pro on the machine right now and get functional. If anyone has advice on getting a clean install for WIN 10 Pro on new build with nothing but a WIN 8.1 Pro product key- I would REALLY be appreciative. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Aug 2015 at 2:26pm
Originally posted by robman1 robman1 wrote:

Thanx, I had friends get newegg accounts, $25 off $200 orders x3 friends accounts=$75 savings there + $70 in rebates=$145 savings. Every vital component is 5 star reviewed by majority too. 

Just waiting on my SM951 NVMe Addonics M.2 to PCIe 3.0 x4 adapter from Amazon but I'm gonna use the M.2 slot temporarily to try and figure out getting WIN 10 Pro on the machine right now and get functional. If anyone has advice on getting a clean install for WIN 10 Pro on new build with nothing but a WIN 8.1 Pro product key- I would REALLY be appreciative. 


Nothing but a Windows 8.1 product key? As in no Windows 8.1 Pro installation media?

As long as the  8.1 Pro product key is not being used on another PC, you can search the Internet for "Windows 8.1 ISO download". Preferably get the ISO from Microsoft itself, ~4GB download, I've done that several times.

Once you have the download folder, go into the folder and select all the files, left click and choose Mount. Then left click and select Send to... and choose a USB flash drive you have in the PC, no larger than 32GB, no smaller then 8GB. The files will be copied to the USB flash drive and that becomes your installation media which you boot from to install Windows. It then must be activated.

The downside to the Windows 10 "free upgrade" is it costs you the product key from the Windows installation that MUST exist for the upgrade to applied. A special Windows Update must be applied to the Windows (7, 8, or 8.1) installation to schedule the Win 10 upgrade. An icon appears after that update is installed which is used to start the upgrade procedure.

I was disappointed that it is not simply possible to download a Win 10 ISO, and use the product key from a Win 7, 8, or 8.1 disk I have towards a Win 10 installation. The "free" Win 10 upgrade cannot be done any other way. Censored
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote IanJM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Aug 2015 at 6:31pm
Hi

Its possible to download Windows iso using a generic key to get your download
You will then be able to download the iso - you will need another key to activate
Google "windows 8 generic key"

If you have upgraded to windows 10 its possible to download the iso to install on another machine
I did this a few days ago and had no problem

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Aug 2015 at 12:57am
Originally posted by IanJM IanJM wrote:

Hi

Its possible to download Windows iso using a generic key to get your download
You will then be able to download the iso - you will need another key to activate
Google "windows 8 generic key"

If you have upgraded to windows 10 its possible to download the iso to install on another machine
I did this a few days ago and had no problem

Ian


How did you activate Win 10 on the other PC using the ISO file installation?

I know you can do a clean install of Win 10 using the ISO file AFTER the PC has the Win 10 upgrade installation on it, without any problems. But activating the Win 10 ISO installation on another PC, what key do you use?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote IanJM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Aug 2015 at 1:26am
You dont need a key if the PC has windows 7 or 8.1 registered on it - its a free update

For a free upgrade to Windows to it must be done on windows 7 or 8.1 and is upto date on updates - part of the update registers the PC's identity with microsoft - no key is required. 

I think you can use the downloaded iso to do the upgrade, but I would do a backup first just in case it fails.  After the PC has been upgraded you can then do a clean install and Microsoft will recognise that the PC is already registered.

If the PC is a new self build or has an older version of windows you will need to buy a licence key - possibly cheaper at present to buy a 7 or 8.1 key but you will need to install 7 or 8.1 before upgrading to 10


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote IanJM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Aug 2015 at 5:41pm
Just a note to say that my SM951 NVMe 256Gb is still realy impressing me

I have now updated from legacy BIOS to UEFI and boot times are now much faster
Update was fairly straight forward - there is several ways shown on the net but I did the simple way.
Clean install of UEFI Windows 10 pro x64 onto the SM951 and then replaced the C partition with my upgraded version from my legacy Samsung 240.

Only downside so far is that the standard rescue boot CDs for Acronis TI 2015 and Paragon HDM 15 dont see the MVMe drives - I had to create Windows PE versions.
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