The Intel® Rapid Storage Technology has been tested with disk of one type only (either SSD or HDD) and it should work just fine. We have also received reports from customers where the SSD part is recognized but the HDD is not.
My recommendation is to test either SSDs or HDDs for setting up the RAID since hybrid systems may show unexpected behavior with the software.
Kevin, thanks for the response! This has certainly been an exercise in reading the fine print of everything I can find and still missing something.
Having read Seagate and Intel to Demonstrate Solid State Hybrid Drive Capabilities at Intel Developer Forum 2012 (Seagate and Intel to Demonstrate Solid State Hybrid Drive Capabilities at Intel Developer Forum 2012 | Seagate), I thought that buying a Seagate SSHD would maximize compatibility and reduce anomolies. Would have thought the recognition of the Seagate SSHD would be a slam dunk. Despite not recognizing the SSHDs, they are working fine in a RAID1 configuration with Windows 7 loaded on them. Clean install loading the "F6" drivers during the Windows 7 install.
Based on reading (http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/technology-briefs/smart-response-technology-brief.pdf), one is lead to believe that a PCIe SSD should work fine. Now, I have someone telling me that the PCIe SSD will never work because its built-in controller is non-Intel and is working in AHCI. Their opinion is that an SSD will only work attached to an Intel SATA port. If so, the documentation surely is misleading.
I am willing to try anything. Do you have any diagnostic steps you like me to run? I'm as perseverant as they come having grown up installing 10 MB hard drives on IBM XT computers while in engineering school, but this has been as a formidable opponent as I've had in a very long time. ;>
Just to review, my desired setup is to have the two 4TB drives in RAID1 as the OS boot drive (accomplished) cached by the 128 GB Plextor M.2 PCIe SSD. I can see the SSD drive in windows. I have tried it clean, with just MBR and no partitions, and with a 20 GB NTFS partition. Can access it fine from Windows 7. Curious, is that the OS sees the SSD as a regular drive (i.e. does not show it as anything other than a regular drive).
At this point, I have invested over $120 of my time and am willing to punt on the Plextor drive if it is the culprit. I have read that it does have BIOS ROM provisions to be able to boot non-UEFI or UEFI, vs. other SSDs that are only UEFI. Maybe a UEFI only SSD would be better.
Does it make any difference that my DVD drives are plugged into SATA 0 and SATA 1 and the SSHDs are in SATA 2 and SATA 3? All of these are full fledged ports vs. SATA 4 and SATA 5 that share bandwidth with the SATA Express port.
I must be missing the proper random number generator here or something. This shouldn't be that hard.
Paul (aka schoboat)
See my Device Manager screen shots.
The correct configuration for raid would be using the Intel® SATA ports. I am not very familiar with this Asus board but you may need to check with them or make sure the ports you are using are Intel SATA ports.
As the document you mentioned, It is necessary to have the chipset mode set as RAID to have the Acceleration working.
I am running the chipset in RAID mode (look at the picture above from Device Manager). The board is built with the Intel Z97 chipset. I have a Intel 4790k processor.
I am using the Intel SATA ports for RAID1 using the Seagate SSHD drives and booting off of the RAID1 drives. Working fine. However, they are showing as stadard drives and there is no indication that the RST system is aware they are SSHD drives (i.e. to share hint information). By reading http://www.seagate.com/about-seagate/news/seagate-intel-developer-forum-2012-master-pr/, I would have thought that the Intel chipset would recognize the Seagate SSHDs, but I can live with that.
The real problem I am trying to solve is the use of the Plextor PCIe SSD connected to the M.2 port as an SRT cache. Reading http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/technology-briefs/smart-response-technology-brief.pdf, that should work fine. RST does not see the PCIe SSD. By definition, a PCIe SSD can not connect to an Intel SATA port. If http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/technology-briefs/smart-response-technology-brief.pdf, is to be believed, I should have no issue.
From my side I do not have the same model you have so I tested it with an Intel® Z87 board with the same Intel® Rapid Storage Technology version you are using and it has been working fine for me.
My recommendation is to check the mSATA is set as unallocated. Another step is to increase the partition on the HDD that contains the Operating System to 250MB so the system can has more space for the Metadata.
In case it is still not working, I would say the problem you have could be related to a motherboard limitation.
I believe mSATA ≠ PCIe SSD. Reference this article (SSD Guide: M.2 PCI-Express, M.2 SATA, M-SATA And SATA Express - The Differences Explained!) that addresses the differences.
The Intel article (http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/technology-briefs/smart-response-technology-brief.pdf) specifically addresses that SATA *and* PCIe can be used for SRT.
Also, as I've said, the operating system is on a 4TB GPT set up with the requisite EFI and MSR partitions preceding the 3725 GB primary partition.
Partition ### Type Size Offset
------------- ---------------- ------- -------
Partition 1 System 256 MB 1024 KB Partition 2 Reserved 256 MB 257 MB Partition 3 Primary 3725 GB 513 MB
After trying every combination of BIOS settings, I decided to punt and get a Samsung 850 Pro 128GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD and connect to a SATA port. That worked and RST saw it immediately.
So, it appears that PCIe may not be supported after all (or at least the Plextor PCIe SSD). That's a shame because the PCIe M.2 interface is capable of ~10 Gbps vs. a SATA interface of 6 Gbps. Would have really liked the PCIe 10 Gbps SRT caching of my 4 TB RAID1 setup.