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Extreme4/3.1 BIOS RAID Update coming?

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chertens View Drop Down
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    Posted: 24 Aug 2015 at 2:32am
So I recently replaced the ASUS motherboard and AMD processor that had run in my system for 6 years with a brand new Extreme4/USB3.1 and an Intel CPU.  

I have a configuration with RAID arrays built for the SYSTEM (mirrored SSDs) and DATA (RAID5 SATA3 drives).

The Intel driver and utility included with the PC as we as the downloadable version on the ASRock Support pages are older than the currently released set (

  • new: 32/64bit Intel RST(e) AHCI & RAID drivers v14.6.0.1029 WHQL dated 07/27/2015
  • new: Intel RST(e) Drivers & Software Set v14.6.0.1029 WHQL dated 08/04/2015
You do have the v14.6.0.1029 on the support page for other motherboards (Fatal1ty Z87 Killer), just not he Extreme4/3.1.

I have installed the driver and it is working fine, and it allows me to configure "Write-Back" caching.

My concern is the BIOS ROM.   Will there be a BIOS update made available to upgrade to a newer version closer in vintage to the v14.6.0.1029? 

Something that would include "Intel RAID ROM/EFI BIOS modules: v14.5.0.2241"  or newer/equivalent?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Aug 2015 at 8:50am
At least two "Extreme4/3.1" boards exist, an X99 and Z97 models, so not sure which board you have.

The only board that uses the RST(e) (Rapid Storage Enterprise) driver is the X79 platform. which does not have an Extreme4/3.1 model.

You are referring to the Intel IRST driver, the latest versions being 14.5 and 14.6. The dates of the 14.6.0.1029 driver downloads you listed are simply the dates the drivers were first included on each board's download page.

Intel updates their IRST driver several times a year, and always with a new platform such as the just released Skylake. The latest IRST driver that Intel officially includes on their download pages is
14.5.0.1081.

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/product/55005/Intel-Rapid-Storage-Technology-Intel-RST-

ASRock has provided a few pre-official Intel release versions of IRST lately, such as the 14.6 version.

Regardless, all of the above is not a big deal, just being ultra PC geek accurate... Geek

I have occasionally seen updates of the Intel Option ROM in a UEFI/BIOS update for one or two ASRock boards I have used. But that is unusual, not something that is usually done unless there is a definite need for the update.

While I too would prefer to have an Option ROM version matching or more closely matching the version of the IRST driver I am using, as you are asking about, the good news is matching the two is not required.

For example, this is what I'm using now on an ASRock Z87 Extreme6 system:



I'm using the IRST version 13.6 driver package, and the UEFI has the 12.5 Option ROM.

There are people using IRST version 12 and possibly 13 drivers with their X58 boards, that have the separate ICH10R SATA chipset, with the earlier IMSM (Intel Matrix Storage Manager) compatible Option ROM in the BIOS.

My point is matching the Option ROM version and driver version is not essential. I have done some UEFI/BIOS modifications in the past that updated the Intel Option ROM to a newer version. You can also find some people that will do that for you. I never noticed any difference when using the newer Option ROM version, and each time a new UEFI/BIOS version is released for your board, you must perform the UEFI mod again.

Any particular reason you are asking about this?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chertens Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2015 at 9:23am
So point taken, I am using the X99 board, and the Intel driver with write-back support and it is working great, the question was about whether I should expect AS Rock to offer an updated ROM BIOS after 13.2.0.2134 or the 14.6.0.1029 driver for use with the X99 Extreme/3.1?

System Report

System Information
OS name:  Microsoft Windows 10 Pro
OS version:  10.0.10240  9200
System name:  CHRIS-PC
System manufacturer:  To Be Filled By O.E.M.
System model:  To Be Filled By O.E.M.
Processor:  GenuineIntel Intel64 Family 6 Model 63 Stepping 2 3.301  GHz
BIOS:  American Megatrends Inc., P1.20

IntelĀ® Rapid Storage Technology enterprise Information
Kit installed:  14.6.0.1029
User interface version:  14.6.0.1029
Language:  English (United States)
RAID option ROM version:  13.2.0.2134
Driver version:  14.6.0.1029
ISDI version:  14.6.0.1029







Edited by chertens - 26 Aug 2015 at 9:38am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2015 at 1:20pm
I answered that in my first post, as best as I could:

I have occasionally seen updates of the Intel Option ROM in a UEFI/BIOS update for one or two ASRock boards I have used. But that is unusual, not something that is usually done unless there is a definite need for the update.

It's possible of course, but I would not be surprised if it never happens. The only update of this kind I'm aware of happened to the ASRock Z77 boards, over two years ago.

The number of mother boards I've used whose Intel RAID Option ROM version matched the version of the Intel RAID driver I eventually used is exactly zero. That is simply a factual statement, because RAID Option ROM updates are rare.

BTW, IRST 14.6 was removed from all the download pages for some reason.

Just wondering, why are you asking about this?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chertens Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Aug 2015 at 7:43am
Understood and thanks.

Had not noticed that IRST was removed, curious, I have no idea why that would have been done....worrisome.

I had been having some issues with the new build I did using the Extreme 4/3.1 and one was related to disk read/write performance on the array I had built.   In looking at the caching options in the Intel software, it appeared that only read only caching was available.   I have a fairly regular primary and secondary backup method for the data on the array, so was interested in seeing if I could find and updated driver that would provide the ability to use different cache modes like write back, or basically just had some improvements/bug fixes.

I also still have a lingering annoyance in that no matter what I try, winsat or other posted ideas on multiple boards, the Intel array is recognized as an media type of SSD instead of HDD... was wondering if this was related to the version of the storage driver, unfortunately there is no clear consistent thread I have been able to find on this topic.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Aug 2015 at 4:30pm
Originally posted by chertens chertens wrote:

Understood and thanks.

Had not noticed that IRST was removed, curious, I have no idea why that would have been done....worrisome.

I had been having some issues with the new build I did using the Extreme 4/3.1 and one was related to disk read/write performance on the array I had built.   In looking at the caching options in the Intel software, it appeared that only read only caching was available.   I have a fairly regular primary and secondary backup method for the data on the array, so was interested in seeing if I could find and updated driver that would provide the ability to use different cache modes like write back, or basically just had some improvements/bug fixes.

I also still have a lingering annoyance in that no matter what I try, winsat or other posted ideas on multiple boards, the Intel array is recognized as an media type of SSD instead of HDD... was wondering if this was related to the version of the storage driver, unfortunately there is no clear consistent thread I have been able to find on this topic.




Something sounds wrong, but I think I see your problem. I had to create a RAID array on this system (very new OS installation) to show you what's going on. This is the Manage Volume screen in the IRST Windows program:



You can see the various caching options here, but first you must click Modify on the Cache mode line. The default value is Off, and you get zero options. Click Modify and you'll get the options in my picture.

Intel has changed the way the Cache mode settings are displayed and selected on the Manage screen. Every time you want to change or look at the options, you must click Modify. If you've never used this before, it is not very intuitive.

What is seeing your RAID array as composed of SSDs, when it contains HDDs (right?), the IRST Windows UI? What HDDs are you using in the RAID array?

That reminds me of Windows 8, which has a new manual TRIM feature, in the Optimize option in the Tools tab of a drives Properties. Early on in Win 8, some SSDs in RAID 0 arrays would be recognized as HDDs, but it still allowed you to run TRIM on them. I did not try a defragment. That is the reverse of your situation.

I've used IRST RAID for several years, and while it certainly is not bug free, your caching selection situation is not a bug. BTW, I was using the IRST 14.5 driver, with a 13.2 Option ROM when I created that RAID 0 array and took the screenshot of the IRST Manage Volume screen.

The removal of the IRST 14.6 driver could have been caused by several reasons. It might have contained one or more major bugs, and would not be the first time a release of the IRST driver was removed after it was released. I can recall at least two versions in the past that had that happen.

Or, Intel might not want the 14.6 version to be made available through normal sources like a mother board manufactures download pages. The latest version of IRST that Intel provides is 14.5.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chertens Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Aug 2015 at 6:55pm
Thanks, so the utility that is seeing the HDD based RAID volume as an SSD media type is Windows tools, defrag utility.  
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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 12:50am
Originally posted by chertens chertens wrote:

Thanks, so the utility that is seeing the HDD based RAID volume as an SSD media type is Windows tools, defrag utility.  


So you are Ok now with the RAID caching options?

Just to be clear (to me), your HDD RAID volume is seen as composed of SSDs by the Win 8.1 (??) defrag utility? Just the opposite of my situation. Are you able to defrag that RAID volume?

If so, MS still has bugs with drive recognition in RAID. Confused To be fair, RAID is well known to confuse all kinds of software, many programs simply must ignore RAID volumes and cannot work with them. This bug has existed with several versions of the IRST software, since Win 8 was released. Whom is responsible for fixing it (Intel or MS), I don't know.
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