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DevillEars View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22 Jul 2015 at 7:09pm
This board has two "groups" of SATA ports:
 
1) 6-ports labelled SATA_0 to SATA_5
2) 4-ports labelled S_SATA_0 to S_SATA_3
 
Questions:
 
a) To which group should I install an SSD as a system/OS drive?
b) Do the two groups have different bandwidth per port?
c) If yes, what are these bandwidths per port for each group?
 
SSD is currently attached to one of the S_SATA ports and running very slowly (~80MB/sec).
Other HDDs (Seagate ST3000DM001) also attached to same group and not showing any signs of decent throughput either.
 
Query:
Any tips/hints on how to maximise I/O bandwidth achieved across SATA?
 
Dave
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote odiebugs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2015 at 8:08pm
I have to go, but just to help quick in case someone does not come along for the rest of info.

The 6 Sata3 are the Intel ports, and windows needs to be on the Sata3- 0 and not on the S Sata.

Yes, they have different bandwidth, the Intel ports are the fastest. 

Have a good day.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DevillEars Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2015 at 11:18pm
Thanks mate, I was reasonably sure that one of those groups was connected direct to the chipset and the other was fed through some third-party SATA controller (similar to various Z97 implementations), but could not find any definitive statements in the manual as to which was which.
 
All the best.
 
Dave
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2015 at 2:48pm
Originally posted by DevillEars DevillEars wrote:

This board has two "groups" of SATA ports:
 
1) 6-ports labelled SATA_0 to SATA_5
2) 4-ports labelled S_SATA_0 to S_SATA_3
 
Questions:
 
a) To which group should I install an SSD as a system/OS drive?
b) Do the two groups have different bandwidth per port?
c) If yes, what are these bandwidths per port for each group?
 
SSD is currently attached to one of the S_SATA ports and running very slowly (~80MB/sec).
Other HDDs (Seagate ST3000DM001) also attached to same group and not showing any signs of decent throughput either.
 
Query:
Any tips/hints on how to maximise I/O bandwidth achieved across SATA?
 
Dave


X99 boards like yours have two SATA controllers, but BOTH are provided by the Intel X99 chipset. ALL of those ports are SATA III, 6Gb/s.

Your board does not have an add on SATA controller like the ASMedia or Marvell.

There is one difference between the two sets of ports. The six ports labelled SATA_0 to SATA_5 support RAID and can be used in RAID mode with the Intel IRST driver. These six ports can be used in RAID, AHCI, or IDE mode.

The four ports labelled S_SATA_0 to S_SATA_3 do not support RAID, and can be used in AHCI or IDE mode only. I don't know if the following is Intel terminology, but the 'S' in the name of those ports could be "Secondary", but only because they do not support RAID.

I just got an X99 board myself, so I'll be testing all the ports. But they really all should be the same bandwidth, SATA III 6Gb/s.

Try your SSD on the SATA_0 port. You do NOT need to be in RAID mode to use those ports, they are simply capable of supporting RAID.

Questions regarding your situation:

What SATA mode are you set to in the BIOS/UEFI? The default is AHCI, and there is NO reason to use IDE, which has the worst performance. If you are using IDE mode now, you can't just change to AHCI, you'll need to do a registry edit to do that.

What are you using to measure the speed of the drives, where you see ~80MB/s?

What SSD are you using?

Are all your drives directly connected to the SATA ports?

This is a benchmark I just ran on my X99 board, with a SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD on the SATA_0 port. I use RAID mode on those ports, but this is a single SSD, no RAID array, and RAID mode does not make the ports faster.



This SSD is the OS drive on this PC, so won't get the highest speeds possible since it is serving the PC. I've had slightly better results on other mother boards, but only in the 4K results. I don't have this PC optimized yet for SSD benchmarking. Otherwise the results here are fine and what I would expect to see.

All drives do not perform at the same speed all the time, the size of the files and number of files they are dealing with makes a big difference.

The speed you see in the Seq row means sequential, and refers to large files of 500KB and larger. Large file are the easiest to read and write quickly, which we see in the ~500MB/s read and write speeds.

The 4K row means small, 4KB files. Notice the speed, ~30MB/s. The file is so small the main thing that takes time is locating it and all the overhead from the Windows file system.

The 4K-64Thrd row is a test of 64 separate small (4K) file read and write requests sent to the SSD from the PC's memory via AHCI's Native Command Queuing (NCQ) feature. Notice that reading a total of 256KB (64 x 4K) can only be done at ~360MB/s total because of the overhead of locating each file and dealing with the file system. Using IDE mode with no NCQ (only available in AHCI and RAID mode) would be much slower still.

Comparing a HDD to this SSD is unbelievable, they are so slow. This is the same benchmark on another PC of a so called "SATA III" HDD, which in reality does not exist. This is using RAID mode, which for single drives as in the SSD above, really is AHCI mode.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote odiebugs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2015 at 9:15pm
Originally posted by DevillEars DevillEars wrote:

This board has two "groups" of SATA ports:
 
1) 6-ports labelled SATA_0 to SATA_5
2) 4-ports labelled S_SATA_0 to S_SATA_3
 
Questions:
 
a) To which group should I install an SSD as a system/OS drive?
b) Do the two groups have different bandwidth per port?
c) If yes, what are these bandwidths per port for each group?
 
SSD is currently attached to one of the S_SATA ports and running very slowly (~80MB/sec).
Other HDDs (Seagate ST3000DM001) also attached to same group and not showing any signs of decent throughput either.
 
Query:
Any tips/hints on how to maximise I/O bandwidth achieved across SATA?
 
Dave

Very sorry, one of the mods has it posted as a ASmedia  controller for the first four S Sata, but not his fault as I though the same thing, the manual  doesn't say how the new chipset has added the four ports.

Up until the X99 intel only provided 6 Sata 3,  now they provide 10, but funny how only the 6 can run RAID.


As to why the S Sata, which is a Intel controller is slow, I have no clue, I can't even see the UEFI pages on the manual,  as the publisher who made it shouldn't even  be making hot dog package covers.


There are Storage configurations missing from the manual, such as AHCI, RAID.  


The manual would post what Sata to use for the OS, it no longer does.   

Again sorry to say this,  but I don't know why there's a speed problem, but you really should bench two of the S Sata and  the Sata3 -0 port to see if you get any slow speeds,  you don't want the OS on a Sata 3 port that is slower then the other ones. 

Remember,  a  bench  is actually of the SSD, but will show a difference if the ports have lower or higher bandwidth up to the SSD's max speed. 




Edited by odiebugs - 23 Jul 2015 at 10:03pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DevillEars Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2015 at 10:26pm
Hi Odie,
 
Those kind folks who did the build on this PC are going to re-route the SATA connections for me on Monday.
 
The planned drive population (with planned port allocations) is as follows:
 
a) System Drive (Samsung 850PRO 512GB) - Port SATA_0
b) Data Drive 1 (Seagate Enterprise 6TB) - Port SATA_1
c) Data Drive 2 (Seagate Enterprise 6TB) - Port SATA_2
d) Data Drive 3 (Seagate Enterprise 6TB) - Port SATA_3
e) Data Drive 4 (Western Digital Green 6TB) - Port SATA_4
f) Data Drive 5 (Western Digital Green 6TB) - Port SATA_5
g) Data Drive 6 (Western Digital Green 6TB) - Port S_SATA_0
h) Data Drive 7 (Seagate ST3000DM001 3TB) - Port S_SATA_1
i) Data Drive 8 (Seagate ST3000DM001 3TB) - Port S_SATA_2
j) Data Drive 6 (Seagate ST3000DM001 3TB) - Port S_SATA_3
 
As a temporary "stopgap" the optical drives will be connected as follows:
 
k) DVD R/W Drive (Asus) - Port Sunix/Marvell Controller slot 0
l) BD R/W Drive (LG) - Port Sunix/Marvell Controller slot 1
 
Longer term, my plan is to ditch the Sunix/Marvel 1x SATA card in favour of an Intel 8x 8-port PCIe 3.0 controller card and then re-think the port allocations.
 
Answers to your questions:
 
SATA Mode has been set to "AHCI"
 
The I/O bandwidth determination was done using TeraCopy to copy 10 x 5TB files from drive to drive after a subjective assessment that copies were taking more than twice as long as they do on my older system (Asrock Fatal1ty Z77 Professional) where on SATA-to-SATA copying from/to Seagate Enterprise drives I was hitting >200 MB/sec and even on USB 3.0 (Sandisk Extreme) to Seagate Enterprise I was seeing 180+ MB/sec copy rates. Copying a similar set of files from one ST3000DM001 to another saw TeraCopy return a copy rate of ~80 MB/sec (or ~50% of what I get on the older system).
 
SSD in use is a 512GB Samsung 850PRO
 
All drive SATA connections are from the motherboard ports to their corresponding hotswap bay connectors with drives set to "Internal" (i.e. not swappable). (Older system wired the same way)
 
From your follow-up post, the fact that Intel have separated the SATA ports into two groups via the implementation on the X99 chipset may just be a RAID limitation which has been used to segregate the sinful SATA ports into two "logical" groupings - one, RAID-capable comprising 6 ports; the other Non-RAID comprising 4 ports. If this is the case, then all 10 ports should offer similar individual bandwidth. Should empirical tests show major bandwidth differences between the two groups, then maybe - somewhere between Intel and Asrock - a secondary SATA controller has been implemented via some form of PCIe switch (like PLX's PEX range) to eke "virtual bandwidth" from the available lanes.
 
I have to agree that the supplied motherboard manual leaves much to be desired in terms of both content (inadequate and missing coverage) and quality of reproduction (UEFI pages virtually illegible).
But, then again, that's what forums such as these are for... Smile
 
These grey areas are what has led to considering the installation of an Intel 8x 8-port PCIe 3.0 controller (1 x PCIe 3.0 lane per drive sounds like a much better solution). Then I'll ignore the S_SATA ports completely and just use the X99's 6 x SATA ports plus the 8 ports on the Intel controller. A bit costly, but the right solution usually is initially more but less over time...
 
Given the 28 lane limitation of the Core i7-5820K, my only concern is whether adding the Intel card would compromise GPU performance (I can't determine how many "lanes" are allocated to DMI between CPU and X99 - if any - or whether all 28 lanes are available for any PCIe 3.0 devices, while all PCIe 2.0 devices will connect via X99).
 
Things were a lot simpler back in 1969 when I first got into IT... Embarrassed
 
Thanks again for your feedback - much appreciated.
 
Dave


Edited by DevillEars - 23 Jul 2015 at 10:36pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote odiebugs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Jul 2015 at 11:01pm
Wow Dave,  that is a setup. 

You better not be storing all of our Social Security cards, LOL Tongue

We know that RAID 0 has the six limitation but still can't find out why the limit extends to the S Sata. 

Don't forget to do a bench on the OS drive when done, you are only benching the large file part and you want to see what the drive looks like with all the other factors like small and latency. 

Try Anvil's storage utility, then just search for some benches on the same SSD you have to get an overview of what your performance is. 

Thanks for such a great reply, and lets hope your happy with the setup and gives you top performance. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2015 at 12:57am
DevillEars, thanks for answering my questions. Just saying, you may have me confused with odiebugs...

You have two SATA mode settings on X99, both should be AHCI by default.

I'll be checking the performance of the SSATA ports later today, as I am curious about the apparent performance difference when using the SSATA ports. I'll be using a SSD for that testing.

Your HDDs that are not enterprise level drives, particularly the Green drives, will not perform at the level of your enterprise drives. Also, HDD performance decreases as they are filled with data, and kept de-fragmented. The inner cylinders will always be slower than the outer cylinders.

If you copy between high performance and lower performance drives, particularly if the drives doing the writing are the lower performance drives, they will limit the transfer speed. Another point I tried to make earlier, is that there are exactly ZERO HDDs that can perform at SATA III speeds. The absolute best 10,000 RPM HDDs cannot reach the maximum real world speed of SATA II, which is ~260MB/s. That of course is only with large files.

When Intel first provided SATA III on all six of the SATA ports in their 8 series chipsets (Z87, etc) we were able to try three - six SSDs in RAID 0 arrays. That is when we first saw the bandwidth limitations when most or all of the SATA III ports were in use. That was about 2.5GB/s for sequential, large files.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote odiebugs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2015 at 1:45am
I wonder if Devil will RAID five of the drives, in a 2 or three drive config, as this will make them a lot faster than there Sata 1 speed.  Especially the 3 drive config. 

Edited by odiebugs - 24 Jul 2015 at 1:45am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DevillEars Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Jul 2015 at 2:18am
I'm not planning on implementing RAID in any form on any of my PC platforms - just on a NAS with a rather niche application.
 
What I suspect is the problem is that the Core i7-5xxxK CPUs and the X99 chipset still retain some of the limitations of their predecessors with regards to SATA port support (total SATA bandwidth) and that the six-port reference in Intel's Feature/Benefit analysis supports this. The kludge to add four more ports has been achieved via an on-die SATA hub.
 
The CPU:PCH interface via DMI 2.0 4x has not changed from X79 to X99 and remains a bi-directional data path with a peak bandwidth of 20GB/sec. In designing any PCH, the bandwidth allocation by device type cannot have changed in total, but the added inclusions of M.2 and SATA Express may have fouled up the logic somewhere....
 
Intel's 8-port PCIe 3.0 (8x) RAID card cannot connect to the CPU via the PCH, so - for it to work - any driver software must allow the CPU to "see" that 8-lane slot-connected device directly over the PCIe 3.0 to CPU interface and to correctly identify that device as a RAID controller and not a GPU or PCIe SSD.
 
Given that PCIe 3.0 bandwidth per lane (actually 985 MB/sec) is, to all intents and purposes, double the bandwidth per lane of PCIe 2.0 (500 MB/sec), any PCIe 3.0 8x / 8-port SATA RAID card should offer a peak raw data rate potential of almost 1000 MB/sec (just how this translates to real data transfer rates up/down is something else - and someone else can figure it out...).  This kind of potential performance is way ahead anything available via any CPH-based SATA 6G approach.
 
If this doesn't work then I'm going to be somewhat p*ssed off as I don't see a way to achieve a nine-HDD disk array that delivers decent data transfer rates across all nine drives using any PCH-based solution as the SATA management section(s) of the PCH are going to be a bottleneck (unless someone either knows something I don't or can figure out some bypass approach).
 
This last point is one of the reasons I've not pursued any NAS-based solution and any fibre-based SAN solution is way too costly for a home-office solution.
 
I got rather excited when I saw some early tests on Intel's 750 PCIe 3.0 NVME-based SSD but that approach doesn't help my mass storage requirements - it just offers a single drive that can perform at around five times the throughput of any current SATA 6G single drive - a bit like considering a Ferrari when you need a bus... Smile
 
I guess I'll now wait and see what the various experts come up with...
 
Dave
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