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How To Install Windows On A PCIe SSD

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Sep 2016 at 9:43pm
Originally posted by jarablue jarablue wrote:

So should we disable (check the box) write cache buffer flushing? Because with my Intel 600p nvme ssd, I am seeing increased writes with it disabled.


You can do that with almost any SSD or HDD, and you will see increased write performance in benchmarks, etc.

Whether you should or not is another story. As the description under that option states:

To prevent data loss, do not select this check box unless the device has a separate power supply that allows the device to flush its buffer in case of power failure.

The Intel 600p series does not have power loss data protection, which is usually implemented with large capacitors on the drive that provide enough power to flush (write) any data in its buffer to permanent storage. Consumer level drives usually do not have power loss data protection.

If the area you live in suffers from AC power losses due to storms, etc, then it may not be a good idea to check that box. If you don't have many AC power loss problems, then you can get away with it being checked, but it is a small gamble of potential data loss.

How do you like your Intel 600p? That's a new model from Intel.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MSuomi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Sep 2016 at 9:19pm
Hello!

I have been using Samsung 950 Pro for a while. For some strange reason I got my older system transferred, not knowing about anything of all the hassle behind it (though I had to remove one of my HDD's, because there was no more free sata place for it). Anyway, when I check the drive from Magician, it seems to run on x2 link width and max should be 4. So what stops it from being at that 4?
My setup is as follows:

Asrock Z97 Fatal1ty Pro
i7 4970k
2x R9 290 Tri-x on crossfire
Samsung 950 Pro on M2
4 HDDs and 1 DVD burner

I left Satae1, Sata3_5 and Sata3_4 empty as I understood that they are shared with M2. I think I have something on Sata3_1... Is that the one, that eats one x2 out of 950 Pro's link width?
I guess I have to replace my HDD's with bigger models, so that I can get at least one of them out...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Sep 2016 at 10:30pm
Originally posted by MSuomi MSuomi wrote:

Hello!

I have been using Samsung 950 Pro for a while. For some strange reason I got my older system transferred, not knowing about anything of all the hassle behind it (though I had to remove one of my HDD's, because there was no more free sata place for it). Anyway, when I check the drive from Magician, it seems to run on x2 link width and max should be 4. So what stops it from being at that 4?
My setup is as follows:

Asrock Z97 Fatal1ty Pro
i7 4970k
2x R9 290 Tri-x on crossfire
Samsung 950 Pro on M2
4 HDDs and 1 DVD burner

I left Satae1, Sata3_5 and Sata3_4 empty as I understood that they are shared with M2. I think I have something on Sata3_1... Is that the one, that eats one x2 out of 950 Pro's link width?
I guess I have to replace my HDD's with bigger models, so that I can get at least one of them out...


On your board, a 950 Pro or any PCIe M.2 SSD will operate at PCIe 2.0 x2. Your configuration/use of the SATA III ports is correct.

If we check the specs of the Z97 Fatal1ty Pro, you'll find that the M.2 slot is rated like this:

1 x M.2_SSD (NGFF) Socket 3, supports M.2 SATA3 6.0 Gb/s module and M.2 PCI Express module up to Gen2 x2 (10 Gb/s)

http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Fatal1ty%20Z97%20Professional/?cat=Specifications

The M.2 slot is not designed as an Ultra M.2 slot, which is PCIe 3.0 x4, sorry to say. The information you get from the Magician software is correct.

You are not the first person to be surprised by this. It's simply a reality of the board's design and the allocation of the resources available.

Intel "Mainstream and Performance" processors, like those that can be used with your board, provide 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes. Those PCIe 3.0 lanes can be shared with other devices, besides video cards.

On the Z97 chipset platform, the chipset resources are DMI2, which is equal in speed to PCIe 2.0.

A Z97 board can be designed to share the PCIe 3.0 lanes with the M.2 slot, but that will reduce the number of PCIe 3.0 lanes available for video cards. In this case a video card will operate at PCIe 3.0 x8 when the Ultra M.2 slot is in use. An example of this is the Z97 Extreme6 board.

Or a Z97 board can be designed to share the chipset's DMI2 resources with an M.2 slot, leaving all the PCIe 3.0 lanes available for video cards, etc. Your board is an example of this design.

Given the amount of resources available on a processor and chipset system, a compromise must be made in favor of one thing or another. Your board does not share the PCIe 3.0 resources with the M.2 slot, so is more a gaming type board. The Z97 platform was one of the first that could support PCIe M.2 SSDs.

M.2 slots and PCIe SSDs are new things, and we must be careful that we understand how they work and that we can meet their requirements. Intel added DMI3 to the Z170 chipset, which is equal to PCIe 3.0, but that is the first chipset that has that feature.

You could run your 950 Pro on your board at PCIe 3.0 x4, if you get an M.2 to PCIe adapter card, and use one of the PCIe 3.0 x16 slots. In that case your video card would run at PCIe 3.0 x8, and you could not SLI two video cards, or do more than a two card Crossfire. Another example of the compromise of resource usage.








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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MSuomi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Sep 2016 at 5:52am
Originally posted by parsec parsec wrote:



On your board, a 950 Pro or any PCIe M.2 SSD will operate at PCIe 2.0 x2. Your configuration/use of the SATA III ports is correct.

If we check the specs of the Z97 Fatal1ty Pro, you'll find that the M.2 slot is rated like this:

1 x M.2_SSD (NGFF) Socket 3, supports M.2 SATA3 6.0 Gb/s module and M.2 PCI Express module up to Gen2 x2 (10 Gb/s)

http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Fatal1ty%20Z97%20Professional/?cat=Specifications

You could run your 950 Pro on your board at PCIe 3.0 x4, if you get an M.2 to PCIe adapter card, and use one of the PCIe 3.0 x16 slots. In that case your video card would run at PCIe 3.0 x8, and you could not SLI two video cards, or do more than a two card Crossfire. Another example of the compromise of resource usage.


It seems I missed that part of the specification (even though I have looked at it). The thing, that made me think otherwise was that the Magician informed the max width was x4 ;)

Anyway, I knew when I was buying 950 Pro, that I would not get all speed out of it. But it's good to be sure, that I have installed and configured it properly.

As having those 290's on crossfire is difficult enough to keep them cool enough as is, I'm not going to temp the gods of computing, by throwing anything more there now :)

I might upgrade to Z170 one day... Or maybe to Zen, but deciding that is sometime next year.

Thank you, for the very clear answer. Good to know more about the underlying thingies!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote egoshman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Oct 2016 at 2:50am
Hello Mr. parsec!

I have an Asrock X99 Extreme4 MB.

I tried installing the Samsung driver for a 950 Pro M.2 SSD a few times but when I check the driver in device manager, it says it's a Microsoft driver from 2006.

I get no error messages during install, but it says the Samsung driver is already installed, do I want to re-install? I say yes, but it still shows Microsoft.

Help! Thanks.


Edited by egoshman - 08 Oct 2016 at 2:51am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Oct 2016 at 1:05pm
Originally posted by egoshman egoshman wrote:

Hello Mr. parsec!

I have an Asrock X99 Extreme4 MB.

I tried installing the Samsung driver for a 950 Pro M.2 SSD a few times but when I check the driver in device manager, it says it's a Microsoft driver from 2006.

I get no error messages during install, but it says the Samsung driver is already installed, do I want to re-install? I say yes, but it still shows Microsoft.

Help! Thanks.


When you installed the Samsung NVMe driver, did the installation display a message that i failed to install? I do not think it failed at all. Notice it asked you if you want to replace it.

I think you are making a common mistake about where you are looking for the Samsung NVMe driver.

In Device Manager, you are looking at the Samsung 950 Pro entry in the Disk drives list, right?

That is the wrong place to look!

In Device Manager, find the Storage controllers entry, almost at the bottom. Open that one up and I think you'll find what you are looking for.



Any storage driver, RAID or AHCI for a SATA SSD, or NVMe for a PCIe NVMe SSD, is used for the SATA or NVMe controller. Those controllers are devices that are separate from the drive, although for an NVMe SSD, the storage controller is actually on the SSD itself.

You can see some other storage controllers in this picture. The Intel SATA RAID controller, that is in the board's chipset. Or the Samsung NVMe Controller, that is part of the 950 SSD.

The Device manager Disk drive entries never have a driver update. The driver you see there is not important for performance, and nothing to replace it exists.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote egoshman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Oct 2016 at 8:56am
You're correct, that's exactly what I did! Sorry, I checked under storage controllers now and it's all good, thanks.

The only remaining issue is that the performance of the 950 Pro doesn't look right. I don't have anything in the PCI5 slot so that's not the problem....could anything else be slowing the SSD down or do these numbers look normal?



Thanks.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Oct 2016 at 10:40am
There is a problem there, that is clear. Your board's M.2 slot meets the 950 Pro's requirement of PCIe 3.0 x4. You thought the driver was the problem, but that is not the case.

The only other caveat when using the M.2 slot on your board is this:

S_SATA3_2 connector is shared with Ultra M.2 Socket.

Given your benchmark results, I don't think that is the problem. Let's look at those results.

The sequential write speed is perfect, slightly over spec. Sequential read speed is about 1/3 of what it should be. The random write IOPs are off by 2/3, and the random read IOPs are way off.

My guess is, your 950 Pro is over heating, and thermal throttling. The 950 Pro runs hot when stressed by benchmark testing, writing to the drive causes the most heat. The 950 Pro has become infamous for thermal throttling, depending upon certain conditions.

The way the Samsung benchmark test works is, first the sequential write test is run, and the data written is then read in the sequential read test. Your 950 Pro made it through the sequential write test fine, but by that time it must have been just at the verge of the throttling temperature, which is 70C. At 75C, the SSD throttles itself to 10% of its normal performance.

The sequential read test result was affected by throttling. Next was the Random write test, not as intensive as the sequential write, but the SSD at that point was already over the throttling threshold temperature, and had no chance to cool off. By the time the Random read test started, who knows what the temperature was.

Let me guess, your video card is in the PCIE1 slot, completely covering the 950 Pro? That is the worst case situation for this SSD. No fresh air flow across it, and the heat from the video card also affects its temperature. 950 Pro owners soon found out about this situation, as that is a common location for mounting an M.2 drive.

Unlike SATA SSDs, M.2 SSD have no metal case to act as heat sink for the SSD controller, and the NAND chips. We took that for granted until we began using M.2 SSDs. I noticed this myself with my 950 Pros, and have changed the PC's hardware configuration to compensate for this.

Download (free) and run HWiNFO64, here: https://www.hwinfo.com/download.php

Run the Sensor display, and scroll way down toward the bottom of the long list of items, and you'll find your 950 Pro. AIDA64's system stress test will also show its temperature, in a graph, without running the CPU stress test.

Have either of those running, and check the idle temperature of your 959 Pro. Then start the Samsung benchmark test again. If I'm wrong about the temperature reaching 70C+, let me know.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote egoshman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Oct 2016 at 7:06am
Don't think it's temperature, but you're right about the location of the m.2 card under the graphics card. I haven't checked the SATA port you mentioned though, I thought it didn't matter since the 950 isn't a SATA device.

Here's the sensor printout:



The numbers below have improved a little today although I haven't changed anything:




What else could it be?

Thanks.



Edited by egoshman - 10 Oct 2016 at 7:14am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Oct 2016 at 10:34am
As I said, the 950 Pro is known to thermal throttle its performance under certain circumstances, but it is not a given that it will do that all the time. I wanted you to be aware of that, and to check if that is what the cause of your performance loss is. I'm not sure yet if you have this problem or not.

It usually only over heats during benchmark tests, and if you were copying many multi-gigabyte folders onto a 950 Pro, that would take several minutes to complete. Some users have installed small heat sinks on the SSD controller and NAND chips on their 950's, and I've even seen some chipset water cooling blocks attached to them.

On the main "Disk Drive" page of the Magician software, the one displayed when you run it. What do you see in the box labeled "PCIe Slot"? It shows the Link Speed and Link Width, which is what I want you to check.

Your HWiNFO screenshot shows your 950 Pro over a 2:05 (two minutes, five seconds) time period. You can see in just two minutes, its temperature varied from 31C to 34C. Was that during the benchmark test you ran? If it was, I'm very surprised it stayed that cool. What video card are you using?

If HWiNFO was not running during the Samsung benchmark test, you did not see what temperature it reached while the test was running. Have HWiNFO running while you run the test. You must have the sensor window open during the test, it only reads the sensors if it is displayed.

It does not matter that the 950 Pro is not a SATA device, that SATA port will still be disabled if the M.2 slot is being used. Some of the system resources are shared between the M.2 slot and the S_SATA3_2 port. If you had a drive connected to the S_SATA3_2, the drive would not be recognized, and it should not affect the performance the SSD in the M.2 slot. But strange things can happen sometimes.

We need to check the temperature while you run the Samsung benchmark, and what the PCIe information is in the Magician software. If it is not thermal throttling, that is a strange benchmark result.

Another benchmark you can try is called Crystal Disk Mark (free), I'd be interested to see your results running it. You want to download CrystalDiskMark 5.1.2 - Disk Benchmark:

http://crystalmark.info/download/index-e.html

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