One of the big stories at Computex this year was about removing the bottlenecks from high speed M.2 to NVMe SSDs pretty much every motherboard was bristling with mounts and Partners like asus even showed off this Crazy card that could hold 4 drives at a time for a theoretical 16 gigabytes per second of throughput So when Samsung approached us to sponsor a video showing off their flagship? 960 Pro we had plenty of inspiration for how to build the awesomest dream SSD raid setup Unfortunately getting it to actually work has been… Well an adventure. Yeah lets put it that way Now as the de facto choice for Speed Freaks for the entire past year Samsung’s 960 pro needs no introduction But they sponsored this video, so we’re gonna do it anyway. Each of our four drives has 512 gigs of V-NAND storage is rated to a blazing fast 3,500 megabytes per second reads and 2100 megabytes per second writes has a custom 5 core Samsung processor onboard and A five-year warranty and somehow the whole thing is the size of a stick of gum So then let’s go let’s plug them all in and rip up some benchmark scores right wrong Finding a board with enough slots was the first challenge we had to solve I thought I saw one at Computex that had 5, but that turned out to be a figment of my imagination So we settled then on the asus prime x 299 deluxe with a separate PCI Express card to handle the last M dot 2 but one small problem as cool as it is to run Windows software raid for eye watering sequential performance numbers that has been done to death and Besides we wanted to actually Experience the speed in day-to-day use so that means that we need to boot Windows from our array let’s talk about intel’s virtual raid on CPU or vrock Since the latest skylake x high-end desktop processors share much of their pedigree with server level xeon chips they Actually have three What are called volume management devices built in each of which can give up to four PCIe 4x? devices direct access to the CPU for high bandwidth low latency performance Cool the issue though is that today? Is not yet officially launched and making matters worse Intel is rumored to be planning to enable the feature with a hardware key that will only be available through bundles with X 299 motherboards or SSDs Thankfully though AMD decided to ride in on a white steed and save the day by announcing a free driver update and Sadly yes their marketing materials specifically emphasized the free part.
That’s the world we live in now Which would enable bootable nvme raid on the X? 399 thread Ripper platform, so a quick swap to the Asus zenith extreme, and we are ready to Cry on the desk because AMD pulled the software almost immediately after the announcement due to Compatibility issues once. It was finally re-released. We then had to bundle our way through the incredibly poorly documented process of a Loading the AMD nvme controller driver which allows B The AMD rate controller driver to be installed, which allows C. The AMD raid configuration driver to be installed Then even when we were in Windows running on four SSDs. We hit another roadblock Our Iometer benchmark results were nowhere near what AMD posted on their blog So after still more research mad props to Gary from asus by the way, man We figured out that because of thread Ripper CPU is technically two separate dies linked by AMD’s infinity fabric interconnect Considerations must be made to ensure that the nvme load is balanced between the dies Otherwise this 11 gigabyte per second link as fast as it is could actually become a bottleneck So armed with a detailed diagram of PCIe Lane allocations and a pre-release bios.
We pushed onward Meanwhile though. We actually hadn’t given up entirely on vrock Now while I wouldn’t recommend getting your Intel drivers from Russian download mirrors Did find one that claimed to enable vrock without a raid key, and actually it technically worked? But our performance numbers were way off compared to the guys at PC perspective who also got vrock working via what we think was a similar method and Anyway, neither of us could get it to boot with non Intel SSDs So back to AMD thread Ripper then which for better or for worse has bootable raid today AMD got back to us with a preset for iometer and some guidance to help us replicate their results Not while actually booted from it mind you but with a raw as an unformatted file system And we implemented everything meaning that it is finally time to do this So after physically balancing the for samsung 960 pros between the dies Using a asus’s dimm.2 for two of them, and they’re hyper m .2 x16 card for the other two we booted in pure UEFI mode and Configured our array using the built-in raid expert 2 utility We then f6 to all three drivers In order and saw our two terabyte array as available for OS installation once booted into Windows we launch iometer with one megabyte reads and writes at 32 Q depth and had to rub our eyes at the results 12 gigabytes per second on reads and 7.3.
Gigabytes per second on writes and that is without AMD’s BS raw filesystem stuff We are talking a fully operational NTFS formatted bootable array with those kinds of numbers for comparison a single 960 Pro delivered three and a half gigabytes per second on reads and Two gigabytes per second on writes in the same machine now crystal disk mark didn’t scale quite as well on reads But we do have to keep in mind that this technology is still in its infancy At least on the driver side and we might actually see More of the raw hardware’s potential unlocked in the future So thanks to Samsung for sponsoring this X raishin of high-end bootable raid on the desktop I don’t think this crazy ride is quite over yet, but we’re gonna take a little breather And then maybe we’ll revisit it once things have settled down particularly on the Intel side over the next few months So thanks you guys for watching if you dislike this video You can hit that button but if you liked it hit like get subscribed maybe consider checking out where to buy the stuff we featured at the link in the video description Also down.
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