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dual M.2 PCIe raid 0 bootable drive on a GA-Z170X-Gaming 7

Hello.

I'm considering buying the GA-Z170X-Gaming 7 so I can use both m2 slots on a raid 0 volume to boot the system.

Simple question: Is it possible?

From what I see on here (http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/7553/samsung-950-pro-pcie-gen-3x4-nvme-ssd-raid-report/index.html) it's quite impressive, but I've seen a lot of people posting some difficulties. Also, it reads on the manual, page 67: "(Note 2) An M.2 PCIe SSD cannot be used to set up a RAID set either with an M.2 SATA SSD or a SATA hard drive."

Does it mean that I can only use a m2 pcie ssd in raid 0 with ANOTHER m2 pcie ssd, or it can't be used at all for that purpose?

Thanks

shadowsports

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Re: dual M.2 PCIe raid 0 bootable drive on a GA-Z170X-Gaming 7
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2016, 06:09:37 am »
The disks have to be the same type. 

m.2 PCIe, m.2 AHCI, or SSD..  but you cannot mix them just get two of the same types of disks and you'll be fine.

m.2 PCIe is what you are looking for  ;)
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Re: dual M.2 PCIe raid 0 bootable drive on a GA-Z170X-Gaming 7
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2016, 12:37:14 pm »
Yes, I already doing this. But the reading performance is limited by the mother board around 3GB/s and never catch up to 5GB/s (2500MB/s x 2). The key point is UEFI BIOS setting and the latest Intel RST driver during Windows installation.

dmdilks

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Re: dual M.2 PCIe raid 0 bootable drive on a GA-Z170X-Gaming 7
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2016, 02:00:24 pm »
The thing is that when you use a Video card it will steal some of the performance. Most of the test or benchmarks are done without a video cards. All you can do is try it both ways. With & without the video card.
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shadowsports

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Re: dual M.2 PCIe raid 0 bootable drive on a GA-Z170X-Gaming 7
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2016, 04:08:12 am »
And...  X4 performance is only available with a single drive in the lower slot.  When one is installed in the upper slot...

(Note)   The   PCIe   x4   SSD   runs   at   x2   speed.   See page 32 of your manual.
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Re: dual M.2 PCIe raid 0 bootable drive on a GA-Z170X-Gaming 7
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2016, 07:57:13 am »
The thing is that when you use a Video card it will steal some of the performance. Most of the test or benchmarks are done without a video cards. All you can do is try it both ways. With & without the video card.

My computer didn't insert any interface card. So this is not the case.

Re: dual M.2 PCIe raid 0 bootable drive on a GA-Z170X-Gaming 7
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2016, 08:21:43 am »
And...  X4 performance is only available with a single drive in the lower slot.  When one is installed in the upper slot...

(Note)   The   PCIe   x4   SSD   runs   at   x2   speed.   See page 32 of your manual.

If both SSDs run at x2 speed, then the reading speed should be limited to 984.6MB/s x 2 x 2 ~= 3.9GB/s. In my computer, the reading speed is arround 3.2GB/s. It is a acceptable result by RAID 0 overhead.

Quitis

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Re: dual M.2 PCIe raid 0 bootable drive on a GA-Z170X-Gaming 7
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2016, 08:48:00 am »
Dual M2's is a great setup for raid. If performance is what you want then just make sure you get the following. M.2, PCIe x4, NVMe. Also, make sure they're the same size. The Samsung 950 Pro's are great for this kind of thing btw.

Now, one thing to keep in mind doing this. Dual PCIe M.2 in Raid is gonna be the most grabby of the motherboard resources. On the PCIe side of things, you'll lose the PCIEX4 PCIe x16 slot. That 4 channel slot will be used for the M2H_32G port. On the SATA side of things you'll pretty much lose the use of everything except SATA3_4, 6 and 7 as well as all of the SATAe ports. So keep that in mind if you'd rather have mass storage over super boot drives.

Anyway, good luck.

joevt

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Re: dual M.2 PCIe raid 0 bootable drive on a GA-Z170X-Gaming 7
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2016, 10:31:01 am »
The note "The PCIe x4 SSD runs at x2 speed" only refers to the case where you want to use a PCIe x4 SSD in the  M2D_32G M.2 connector with a SATA Express drive connected to the first two SATA ports (SATA3_0, SATA3_1). That is not a problem because you don't have a SATA Express drive (they don't exist).

In other words, you can use the first SATAe port, but that would make the PCIe x4 SSD in M2D_32G run at x2 instead of x4 which is not good for RAID since you want both M.2's to run at the same speed.

shadowsports

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Re: dual M.2 PCIe raid 0 bootable drive on a GA-Z170X-Gaming 7
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2016, 03:02:02 pm »
And...  X4 performance is only available with a single drive in the lower slot.  When one is installed in the upper slot...

(Note)   The   PCIe   x4   SSD   runs   at   x2   speed.   See page 32 of your manual.

If both SSDs run at x2 speed, then the reading speed should be limited to 984.6MB/s x 2 x 2 ~= 3.9GB/s. In my computer, the reading speed is arround 3.2GB/s. It is a acceptable result by RAID 0 overhead.

Greetings,
3.2 is acceptable.  This is the result of maximum vs. theoretical bandwidth.  It could be the drivers version in conjunction with the type of drives or firmware version they are running.  Could be the size of your stripe, etc.  Many variables.   
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joevt

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Re: dual M.2 PCIe raid 0 bootable drive on a GA-Z170X-Gaming 7
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2016, 11:41:43 pm »
And...  X4 performance is only available with a single drive in the lower slot.  When one is installed in the upper slot...
Just to reiterate, that interpretation of the note in the manual is incorrect. X4 performance is available with both drives. You won't get X2 unless you use an X2 M.2 drive or you connect a SATA Express drive to the SATA Express port.

Re: dual M.2 PCIe raid 0 bootable drive on a GA-Z170X-Gaming 7
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2016, 02:44:38 pm »
And you loose 5 out of 8 sata ports :-). It's not a deal if you not plan to use optical or sata drives though, but if you have thouhgt of using some kind of backup storage and puting everythign in same case, 3 sata ports can be quite limited. 2 of those available are via asmedia chip which usually has poor performance, but for backup storage it should be fine. So bottom line, if you are into cheap mobo to run raid 0 on two 950 Pros with just one graphics card, this mobo can cut it, but if you are into something that will stretch a bit longer into future, this one is a poor choice. I am returning back mine :-).

joevt

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Re: dual M.2 PCIe raid 0 bootable drive on a GA-Z170X-Gaming 7
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2016, 10:01:20 am »
And you loose 5 out of 8 sata ports :-). It's not a deal if you not plan to use optical or sata drives though, but if you have thouhgt of using some kind of backup storage and puting everythign in same case, 3 sata ports can be quite limited. 2 of those available are via asmedia chip which usually has poor performance, but for backup storage it should be fine. So bottom line, if you are into cheap mobo to run raid 0 on two 950 Pros with just one graphics card, this mobo can cut it, but if you are into something that will stretch a bit longer into future, this one is a poor choice. I am returning back mine :-).

All Z170 motherboards are similarly limited. They only differ in the way they use their PCIe lanes. What arrangement of the Z170's PCIe lanes would you like? Or maybe you want to switch to a different chipset? I guess if you add some PCIe bridges or switches, then the limits would go away, but that adds costs, and may affect performance.

 

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