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Z97 Extreme6/Samsung EVO 960 SSD

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Ken429 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ken429 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Z97 Extreme6/Samsung EVO 960 SSD
    Posted: 25 Feb 2017 at 9:46pm
Will the Z97 Extreme6 MB allow the SAMSUNG 960 EVO M.2 250GB NVMe to run at rated speed (x4)? I have set the BIOS to use SATA3_4 and SATA3_5 for the drive. Anything else I need to do?

Getting a little smarter, I think. The "Force M.2" BIOS setting pertains to the "General" M.2 slot and has nothing to do with the Ultra M.2 slot? Therefore, since I'm installing a Samsung 960 in the Ultra Slot I can still use SATA_3_4 and SATA_3_5 for standard drives? Will the 960 installed in the Ultra Slot steal lanes to the cpu from the video card?

Is there a write up somewhere that explains what ASRock is doing on the Z97 Extreme6 MB to make all this happen?

I found a reasonably good write up on the Z97 Extreme MB and it explained what was going on with the Ultra port.

I now have the Samsung EVO 960 installed in the Ultra Slot and the benchmark programs all say it is very fast - although not as fast as several people have posted. I assume the old Z97 Extreme6/4790K is not quite as fast as the newer MB's and processors? Also, as expected the boot time improvement compared to the SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD is hardly noticeable - maybe 1 or 2 seconds faster at best.

One thing I don't understand is why the Samsung EVO 960 does not show up in the BIOS Advanced>Storage Configuration>M2_1 or M2_2 entries. The entries show "Not Detected" and yet the Hard Drive Boot Priorities shows the Samsung drive and allows it to boot W10 OK?




Edited by Ken429 - 04 Mar 2017 at 5:38pm
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Ken429 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ken429 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Mar 2017 at 7:02pm
Looks like everyone on this forum has moved on to Z170 & Z270 MB stuff. Questions concerning "Old Iron" get no response!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wardog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Mar 2017 at 7:30pm
Originally posted by Ken429 Ken429 wrote:

Looks like everyone on this forum has moved on to Z170 & Z270 MB stuff. Questions concerning "Old Iron" get no response!


Sorry Ken. I missed your initial post.

M2_1 is Gen3 x4. That's the Ultra M.2 slot your board has. And the one to use with that 960 EVO you have.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Mar 2017 at 11:30pm
Originally posted by Ken429 Ken429 wrote:

[URL=][/URL][URL=][/URL][URL=][/URL]Will the Z97 Extreme6 MB allow the SAMSUNG 960 EVO M.2 250GB NVMe to run at rated speed (x4)? I have set the BIOS to use SATA3_4 and SATA3_5 for the drive. Anything else I need to do?

Getting a little smarter, I think. The "Force M.2" BIOS setting pertains to the "General" M.2 slot and has nothing to do with the Ultra M.2 slot? Therefore, since I'm installing a Samsung 960 in the Ultra Slot I can still use SATA_3_4 and SATA_3_5 for standard drives? Will the 960 installed in the Ultra Slot steal lanes to the cpu from the video card?

Is there a write up somewhere that explains what ASRock is doing on the Z97 Extreme6 MB to make all this happen?

I found a reasonably good write up on the Z97 Extreme MB and it explained what was going on with the Ultra port.

I now have the Samsung EVO 960 installed in the Ultra Slot and the benchmark programs all say it is very fast - although not as fast as several people have posted. I assume the old Z97 Extreme6/4790K is not quite as fast as the newer MB's and processors? Also, as expected the boot time improvement compared to the SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD is hardly noticeable - maybe 1 or 2 seconds faster at best.

One thing I don't understand is why the Samsung EVO 960 does not show up in the BIOS Advanced>Storage Configuration>M2_1 or M2_2 entries. The entries show "Not Detected" and yet the Hard Drive Boot Priorities shows the Samsung drive and allows it to boot W10 OK?




The Z97 Extreme6 was the FIRST mother board to have an "Ultra M.2" slot that was a full PCIe 3.0 x4.

The M2_1 Ultra M.2 slot uses the PCIe 3.0 lanes from the CPU, as any mother board will that is older than the Intel 100 series chipsets (Z170, etc) that now use the DMI 3 resources from the chipset itself.

Any PC platform only provides a limited amount of PCIe 3.0 lanes, for Intel systems like yours that is 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes from the CPU. The Z97 chipset only has PCIe 2.0 lanes available, that Intel calls DMI 2.

So anything that uses, shares, or "steals" PCIe 3.0 lanes from the CPU as the Ultra M.2 slot does, will reduce the number of PCIe 3.0 lanes available for other devices. A video card on your board that has 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes will only provide a PCIe 3.0 x8 connection to a video card if the Ultra M.2 slot is being used. That is how it works on ALL mother boards made by anyone, except for the new Intel 100 and 200 series chipsets.

If a platform like the older Intel and AMD systems that only support PCIe 2.0 lanes from the CPU and/or chipset, an M.2 slot on those boards will only be PCIe 2.0 x2 or x4. Intel X99 systems have more (28 or 40) PCIe 3.0 lanes available depending upon the CPU, so an Ultra M.2 slot on those boards will not reduce the number of PCIe 3.0 lanes to a video card slot.

That is all the explanation needed for the resources provided to the M.2 slots on various existing PC platforms. It is the same for all mother board manufactures, not just ASRock. Just check that an M.2 slot is a full PCIe 3.0 x4, as all of them may not provide that interface. That is it for the M.2 SSD interface 101 class. Geek

The reason your 960 EVO is not listed in the Storage Configuration screen on your board is simple, if not obvious. The Storage Configuration screen receives its information from the chipset only, not the PCIe lanes/interface. The SATA ports are provided by the chipset. If you used a SATA M.2 SSD, which uses the SATA/chipset resources, it would be shown in Storage Configuration. Your 960 EVO is connected to the PCIe lanes from the CPU, nothing related to the chipset. It is normal for an NVMe M.2 SSD to not be shown in Storage Configuration with your board. Check the System Browser Feature in the Tools screen, that will show your 960 EVO.

The new Intel 100 and 200 series chipset boards, that use the chipset to provide the Ultra M.2 interface(s), will show NVMe SSDs like the 960 EVO in the Storage Configuration screen. They are the only boards that will do that, since they use the chipset interface, not the PCIe interface from the CPU.

BTW, it is known that the PCIe 3.0 lanes from a CPU provide very slightly better performance in benchmarks than the DMI 3 lanes in the 100 and 200 series Intel chipsets.

You are right about the Force M.2 settings only applying to the M2_2 slot, not the M2_1 Ultra M.2 slot. The M2_2 slot uses the Z97 chipset's DMI 2 lanes, which are shared with the SATA ports. The M2_2 slot is only PCIe 2.0 x2.

Benchmark performance test results are very dependent on several things. One is the Windows Power Plan being used. The High Performance power plan will provide better results than the others. Another is the power saving options for the CPU. If the processor C State power saving options are enabled, that will cause lower benchmark results.

Yet another is how the SSD being tested is used in the PC. If it is an empty, new SSD that is not the OS/C: drive, it will show the best results in benchmarks. If the SSD is the OS drive, which is constantly doing work for Windows, it will have lower benchmark results. CPU over clocks and memory speed are also factors. Comparing SSD benchmark results must always be an apples to apples comparison. Plus benchmark results can vary from test to test on the same SSD used in the same way.

I have two 500GB 960 EVOs, and I find them to be rather variable in their benchmark results when used as the OS drive. Worrying about it will just make you crazy.

If you are getting a faster "boot time" with your 960 EVO compared to a SATA III SSD, consider yourself lucky. Many NVMe SSD users complain that the opposite is true, their "boot time" is slower. What they really mean is their PC startup time is slower, which is really the POST time plus the actual loading and running of the OS, the real boot time. NVMe SSDs tend to cause a longer POST time. They are not SATA drives, NVMe is a new, different storage protocol. That adds an additional POST process.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ken429 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Mar 2017 at 5:49pm
Thanks all for the information. I kind of expected that the Samsung EVO 960 would not make my system any faster but I had to have one just to see how it would work in the Z97 Extreme6 MB. Now I've got an excuse to build a new system based on the 200 chip set! OR... play with the new AMD 8 core CPU's. I do a lot of video conversion using Handbrake, doubling the number of cores/threads should make things go faster since Handbrake is always CPU bound??
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mark of omaha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Mar 2017 at 3:05pm
Just curious, but are you SURE that you installed it into the M.2 Ultra slot?

I'm only asking because I was having issues with my own Z97 Extreme6 & EVO 960 until I remembered that this motherboard has TWO slots for M.2 drives.

If you installed it in the M.2 slot closest to the bottom of the motherboard (as I did) that is a normal M.2 slot.

The M.2 Ultra slot is hiding beneath your video card.  Uninstall the video card and install your M.2 drive there.

My performance went from 800 mb/s to 2900 mb/s.

Hope this helps!



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Mar 2017 at 10:03am
Originally posted by Ken429 Ken429 wrote:

Thanks all for the information. I kind of expected that the Samsung EVO 960 would not make my system any faster but I had to have one just to see how it would work in the Z97 Extreme6 MB. Now I've got an excuse to build a new system based on the 200 chip set! OR... play with the new AMD 8 core CPU's. I do a lot of video conversion using Handbrake, doubling the number of cores/threads should make things go faster since Handbrake is always CPU bound??


I have both the Z97 Extreme6 board, and an ASRock Z270 board. There is zero performance loss with the Z97 Extreme6, it uses the PCIe lanes from the CPU, fastest interface possible. A Z270 board will not provide any more performance.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nukEd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Apr 2017 at 7:05am
Hello,
I found this thread through google.

I have the problem, that my 256GB 960 EVO could not be recognized in the Ultra Slot.
I have the newest 2.70 firmware. After the firmware update I could see only once the NVMe configuration option and after a restart it was gone, no matter what I tried it won´t come back and the SSD could not be recognized whether in UEFi nor in Windows.
Then I tried the slower M.2 slot and it was finally recognised. I also could install W10 on it, but AS SSD showed me something like 650 MB/S read and 350 MB/S write...

I have no idea what to do, I also tried the "Force M.2" Option but as I read here it applies only for the normal M.2 Port.
Any suggestions?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Apr 2017 at 10:04am
Originally posted by nukEd nukEd wrote:

Hello,
I found this thread through google.

I have the problem, that my 256GB 960 EVO could not be recognized in the Ultra Slot.
I have the newest 2.70 firmware. After the firmware update I could see only once the NVMe configuration option and after a restart it was gone, no matter what I tried it won´t come back and the SSD could not be recognized whether in UEFi nor in Windows.
Then I tried the slower M.2 slot and it was finally recognised. I also could install W10 on it, but AS SSD showed me something like 650 MB/S read and 350 MB/S write...

I have no idea what to do, I also tried the "Force M.2" Option but as I read here it applies only for the normal M.2 Port.
Any suggestions?


I have seen an increasing number of disappearing 960 EVO threads and posts on multiple websites and forums. Do not dismiss that your 960 EVO may be defective. If it continues to disappear after being recognized, return it.

If you are looking for your 960 EVO in the Storage Configuration screen, you won't find it there. I explained why in a post in this thread, and where it will be recognized, a few posts above yours. I see no reason to type it all in again.

The lower M.2 slot is PCIe 2.0 x2, instead of the optimal PCIe 3.0 x4 interface, so the lower speed is to be expected.

To try to fix the recognition problem, in the UEFI, in the Boot screen, find the CSM option. Open it's sub-option and find the Launch Storage OpROM Policy option, and set it to UEFI only. Save and Exit the UEFI to apply that option.

When you install the 960 EVO in the Ultra M.2 slot, clear the UEFI/BIOS with the board's jumper. Then be sure to reset all the non-default UEFI options you use, including the one I described above.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nukEd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Apr 2017 at 8:54pm
All the same, even the system browser in UEFi won´t find the EVO. It says empty.
Also the W10-Installation do not recognize it.
I think that the M.2 slot must be faulty not the SSD, because it works fine in the normal slot..
Damn
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