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FM2A88X Extreme6+ PCIe System boot

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Gem View Drop Down
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    Posted: 10 Oct 2015 at 1:56pm
Can anyone confirm if I can system boot from a PCIe M.2 card FM2A88X Extreme6+? I would like to use a Samsung SM951 512Gb SSD. The OS will be Windows 10. I am using the onboard RAID controller for data disks. If this is possible, are there any recommendations for the M.2 card and any instructions for how I set this up? I have not seen PCIe as a boot option in the UEFI.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Oct 2015 at 12:54am
Since the FM2A88X Extreme6+ board does not have an M.2 slot, you would need an M.2 to PCIe adapter card for any PCIe SSD.

All Samsung SM951 SSDs require a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface to operate at their full speed. You would need an FM2+ processor to have PCIe 3.0 support.

An adapter card connected to one of the PCIe x16 slots that can operate at PCIe 3.0 would share the PCIe 3.0 lanes with a video card, so the video card would be operating at x8. An SM951 can be used with a PCIe 2.0 x4 interface, but with a reduction in performance.

There are two types of SM951 SSDs, AHCI and NVMe. Which type do you want to use?

You won't see any PCIe boot options in the UEFI/BIOS. PCIe SSDs appear as another entry in the boot order, with some differences in the entry related to the configuration of the Windows installation required to allow them to be bootable.

Finally, all boards that can boot from either type of SM951 require a UEFI/BIOS update that allows booting from PCIe SSDs. There is also the need for a UEFI compatible storage Option ROM that is part of the UEFI/BIOS file. I don't see any mention of PCIe SSD boot support in any UEFI/BIOS version for your board.

PCIe SSDs are not simple plug and play devices. They are the latest type of SSDs currently available, and aren't supported by all mother boards. AMD boards in general may not have all the requirements to allow their use as storage devices or as bootable devices.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gem Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Oct 2015 at 3:14am
Thank you for the prompt post parsec. I did some research on RamCity, Tomshardware and a number of other sites. From everything I have read, I have not seen anyone who has managed to get a M.2 system boot from any AMD based ASRock motherboard. I am guessing it's either not possible, nobody has managed to make it work or kept it to themselves.

I have a 6700T CPU so it has PCIe 3.0 capability.  I also have version 3.70 of the UEFI so if it was going to work, it should.

However, as you have said it's not plug and play and by no means going to be straightforward. Also, on scan.co.uk that sells the SM951, they suggests that it doen't support system booting. This surprises me because I expect the ability to system boot is down to the motherboard and UEFI rather than theM.2 adapter card or the SSD. 

So, after some testing, I have decided to go for two 480Gb Sandisk Ultra II SCSI SSDs in RAID0. At just瞿200 for 960Gb, this is half the price of the M.2 option and I know it works as I have had it running well with spinners. As I'm using the hardware RAID on the motherboard, the performance is actually not too shabby, though still probably half that of the M.2 solution.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wardog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Oct 2015 at 4:49pm
I don't mean to bust your bubble yet your A10-6700T is PCIe 2.0.

Save your money.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OvCa77 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Oct 2016 at 1:32am
Hello, I have the same board, but I have better processor. Mine is 7850K, so it supports PCIe 3.0. I am thinking about buying NVMe SSD and insert it in PCIe slot. Will it work or not?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Oct 2016 at 10:51am
Originally posted by OvCa77 OvCa77 wrote:

Hello, I have the same board, but I have better processor. Mine is 7850K, so it supports PCIe 3.0. I am thinking about buying NVMe SSD and insert it in PCIe slot. Will it work or not?


An NVMe SSD will work in your board, but NOT as the OS/boot drive, sorry to say.

All mother boards need a UEFI/BIOS that supports NVMe in order to use an NVMe SSD as the OS drive. I can't find any ASRock FM2A88X board that has a UEFI/BIOS update that adds NVMe support.

PCIe SSDs will work fine with a PCIe 2.0 interface, but not at their full performance level. All current PCIe NVMe SSDs require a PCIe 3.0 x4 interface for maximum performance.

AMD is a bit late in providing an NVMe Option ROM (stored in the UEFI file) compatible with their chipsets. Only this year we can find UEFI/BIOS updates for ASRock AMD 990FX chipset boards that have NVMe support. There is one ASRock 970 chipset board that has a UEFI update with NVMe support.

I have no idea why the A88X chipset has been apparently left out regarding NVMe support. Normally ASRock is a leader in providing support for the latest types of SSDs and storage protocols, like NVMe. But if the chipset manufacture does not provide that capability to a mother board manufacture, there is nothing they can do.

Many PC builders want to use NVMe SSDs in older chipset boards, but NVMe support is simply not available for most of those systems.

BTW, the difference between an NVMe SSD and a good SATA III SSD is not much in actual use for most people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OvCa77 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Oct 2016 at 4:06am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Oct 2016 at 11:34am
Originally posted by OvCa77 OvCa77 wrote:

Yes, but it is one:http://asrock.com/mb/AMD/A88M-G3.1/, prove is bios update:http://asrock.com/mb/AMD/A88M-G3.1/?cat=Download&os=BIOS


Found one, good! A bit tedious for me checking 15 boards, and that is only the A88X boards.

I have no idea why some AMD boards have NVMe support added, and others don't. NVMe support is more common in boards with an M.2 slot, and in high end boards.

The problem with the FM2A88X Pro+ R2.0 board is it only has one PCIe 3.0 x16 slot. The other slot is PCIe 2.0 x16 physically, but x4 electrically.

You would need to decide what gets priority, the video card or PCIe SSD.

Try contacting ASRock support and ask for a UEFI/BIOS that adds NVMe support:

http://event.asrock.com/tsd.asp
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OvCa77 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Oct 2016 at 3:35pm
I dont have pro+, I have Extreme6+
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OvCa77 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct 2016 at 8:53pm
Hello, I've contacted Asrock Support and they gave me NVMe bios for Extreme6+. Thank you for advising me. Link to updatehttps://1drv.ms/u/s!Aj5teyURhjZxg-4uvDaAklJPIWq3Fw

Edited by OvCa77 - 18 Oct 2016 at 8:53pm
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