5 Replies Latest reply on Oct 21, 2012 11:23 PM by parsec

    Disable Marvell 9128 and run AHCI Mode

    Robert Muma

      If I disable the Marvell controller on the DX79SR motherboard and run AHCI Mode. Will the port still run at 6Gb?

        • 1. Re: Disable Marvell 9128 and run AHCI Mode

          Ok, you lost me. Your board has two SATA controllers, the main one that is part of the Intel X79 PCH chipset, and the Marvell 9128 (kinda, sorta, not really) SATA III controller. They are independent of each other, are configured separately and differently, and have their own drivers.


          If you disable the Marvell controller, regardless of mode, it will not function, period.


          If you disable the Marvell controller, the Intel controller will still be functioning normally, regardless of the mode, AHCI, RAID, or IDE (yuck.) Two ports at 6Gb/s each, and four ports at 3Gb/s each.

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          • 2. Re: Disable Marvell 9128 and run AHCI Mode
            Robert Muma

            Thank you for taking the time to respond.


            I like my configuration of drives for my work and I want to use the i7 7960 Sandy chip as a processor. Because of the demand of Photoshop and Lightroom for moving data from one drive to the other, I’m trying to max out the capability by using all 6 GB speed drives (or whatever the max speed is for SATA III and the hardware). The motherboards I found for the 2011 socket just don’t support more than four devices (four ports) at 6 GB. I can live with the four-ports at 6Gb but I want to best ports to be running scratch drive in the Photoshop file-save drive. That leaves me with two Marvell ports at 6Gbs of which one needs to be used as a boot drive.


            When you say you are lost it is understandable because I’m lost and provided the information. I’ve been doing a huge amount of research the last two weeks and I guess I’m confused between disabling the  Marvell controller and changing the driver to msahci and that somehow magically a new controller would take over. I can see now that when the Marvell controller is disabled the Intel controller does not take over no matter what driver is loaded.


            I am thinking about buying an Adaptec7805 controller card which supplies 8 ports to work as my controller. The card comes out this month and they are telling me it should work on this board. As you mentioned to me in another post I’ve entered the world of experimentation.

            Thank you again for your time.

            • 3. Re: Disable Marvell 9128 and run AHCI Mode

              I don't follow what you mean about the Intel controller taking over when the Marvell is disabled. Each of those controllers are physically wired to their designated SATA ports. The Intel has two 6Gb/s ports, and four 3Gb/s ports. The Marvell has two so-called SATA 6Gb/s ports, that are actually shared on one PCIe lane, whose speed is 5Gb/s. ALL mother boards using add on chips like the Marvell 9128 are built this way, nothing can fix it.


              When the msahci driver is used with the Marvell controller, it's entry in Device Manager disappears from Storage Controllers, and appears under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers, just to drive you crazy. That's a Windows thing, the underlying details for that I don't understand.


              The Intel SATA controller on your X79 chipset are the best performing of any SATA controllers used on PC mother board made today. Better than AMD, Marvell, ASMedia, whatever, although the AMD controllers are way better than the others.


              Hint, hint, if you can wait... next year when the new Haswell CPUs are released, and with them the Intel 8 series chipsets, the Intel SATA controller will have between four and six SATA 6Gb/s ports. That's what I'm looking forward to!

              • 4. Re: Disable Marvell 9128 and run AHCI Mode
                Robert Muma


                Thank you; you have answered my question and sorted out my confusion. You have had problems understanding what I was asking because the questions really didn't make sense. I now have a better understanding of how these controllers work. The Marvell issue is very complex.


                It is frustrating and I don’t see any sense in spending the amount of money it would take to build this machine and really not get the features that I’m paying for. It may just be better to wait. I think I’ll put a new motherboard in my existing machine, update a few drives and just wait this thing out.


                I’m thankful for people like you are willing to take their time to help people like me.

                • 5. Re: Disable Marvell 9128 and run AHCI Mode

                  Thank you for that. While you were confused a bit, I could tell you were trying, and just not some kid posting, "... my PC sux, what's wrong!".


                  The Marvell, ASMedia, etc, add-on SATA controller chipsets are a pet peeve of mine. They qualify (somehow) as SATA III, but their performance is poor. Then mother board manufactures claim they are "6Gb/s" capable, when in fact they are connected to one PCIe lane, whose known speed is 5Gb/s. Next, those chips can only be connected to ONE PCIe lane, by design! Marvell states that in their literature.There are one or two chipsets they make that apparently can be connected to more than one PCIe lane, but no one uses them. Talk about false advertising, and it's been like that for years, since the X58 board days.


                  Just to drive you more crazy (sorry), there are a couple of X79 boards now that have built in LSI RAID controller chips. They use SAS connections, not SATA, but I believe they give you adapter cables. ASRock makes one, and I think Gigabyte does too. How well do they work? I have no idea, they are quite new. One review I saw did not say they are the new best thing, the performance did not surpass the Intel SATA 6Gb/s controller ports.


                  Hang in there and good luck! If you need I/O performance above all else, don't go for the super expensive CPUs, like the $500+ 2011's, that won't help you. The ~$300 Ivy Bridge CPUs have more computing power than most of us will ever use, and their SATA chipsets are just as good (and the drivers are better.) The next year or two may finally provide the hardware you need, more than two real SATA 6 Gb/s ports, SSDs using the new SATA Express standard (plug into PCIe x 4, etc, slots), and newer, faster NAND storage chips in SSDs.