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Fastest SSD possible for Z97i Plus motherboard

Discussion in 'Storage & Backup' started by nushydude, Oct 30, 2018.

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  1. Doc-of-FC

    Doc-of-FC Member

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    You can already do FC-NVME, why wait for an inferior technology ;)

    FC is lossless and lower latency than nvme-of, with time and the increased deployment of 40/100g networks, then we'll start to consider nvme-of, in the meantime I'll still recommend the deployment of FC-NVME.
     
  2. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    Its funny going to FC events... they all are super happy to say how much faster FC is over 25G. Except 40G is more than obtainable now - and so is 100G if you need it. The only thing really going for them right now is the ASIC based flow monitoring.
     
  3. Doc-of-FC

    Doc-of-FC Member

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    Along with the lack of double / triple buffering, the FC HBA does a DMA operation, essentially a zero copy operation, until we do full RDMA FC wins in the latency dept
     
  4. OCMunkee

    OCMunkee Member

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    So I came across this thread by accident, because I have a Z97I-Plus and (now) a Samsung 950 Pro.

    If you're after the fastest SSD that you can boot from, then the 950 Pro is basically it. Other NVMe/AHCI M.2 drives don't have the boot ROM so booting from them is near impossible on anything Z97.

    If you're after the fastest and aren't booting from it, then you can consider basically anything that exceeds your 10Gbps PCIe 2.0 x2 and comes in NVMe/AHCI flavour, not SATA.
    The 'best' or fastest will vary wildly depending on your actual use case, but most mainstream M2 SSDs (NVMe/AHCI) will comfortably exceed your 10G limit for sustained read/write, I'd suggest looking at Random 4K r/w as that's where the majority of typical usage scenarios sit.

    /My2c
     
  5. OP
    OP
    nushydude

    nushydude Member

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    Thanks for a "proper" answer.

    But I've moved onto another platform so no longer applies to me.
     
  6. Zenskas

    Zenskas Member

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    That wasn't a proper answer. Despite you having moved to another platform, I'll clear this up for anyone else reading along at home.

    Any decent Z97 board CAN boot from likely any NVMe drive on newer BIOS revisions. Your Asus board certainly can as of BIOS version 2604 where it explicitly states "supports NVMe" in the change notes.

    My Gigabyte Z97 board certainly can. It has no problems booting from my 960 Pro in the Asus hyper M.2 adaptor stuck in a free PCIe x8 gen 3.0 slot for max bandwidth. Neither the drive nor the adapter card has a boot ROM built in. I have not modified the BIOS to enable this either - I've just updated the BIOS to the latest official revision. It will also boot just fine from any NVMe drive stuck in the onboard M.2 slot (limited to PCIe x2 gen 2.0).

    You do not need a 950 Pro with the internal boot ROM unless you are either running a crap Z97 era board that was never updated by the manufacturer for NVMe support, or you are looking to run it on an even older board which had dropped support before there was even any use case for PCIe/NVMe boot. In which case you will usually also need an adapter card to go from M.2 to regular PCIe slots as older boards did not have M.2 sockets at all.
    On those older boards you can also look into modifying the BIOS to support NVMe, negating the need for a drive with inbuilt boot ROM.


    As to your original question. What others have said rings true - bandwidth isn't everything for system performance/responsiveness, but you could achieve maximum bandwidth by sacrificing your sole PCIe x16 slot for an adapter card. Or just be happy with any fast drive that is bandwidth bottlenecked by the M.2 slot. You'll likely be hard pressed to notice any difference in general use between say the Intel 660P and a 970 Pro, even if bandwidth wasn't an issue at all!

    For me, I have chucked my 960 Pro into an adapter card which sits in the second PCIe x16 slot (running at PCIe x8 gen 3.0, so not bottlenecking the drive). 960 Pro working beautifully in my aging Z97 system :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  7. OCMunkee

    OCMunkee Member

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    I did not know this! I just remembered having a tonne of issues with my Z97i-Plus and NVMe booting, even when the BIOS had been updated. I guess YMMV but it seems like perhaps the issue was fixed? I haven't got another NVMe SSD to test with.
     
  8. Zenskas

    Zenskas Member

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    It should be working fine on the latest BIOS versions :) My Gigabyte board works flawlessly, and I've also setup an Intel 660P boot drive on a different Asus Z97 board (just a run of the mill cheapo mATX variant)
     
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  9. OCMunkee

    OCMunkee Member

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    Well that's just awesome, now I know, I can upgrade my Dad's PC (Asus Gryphon) and he can have some sweet sweet NVMe goodness too :thumbup:
     

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