5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 29, 2015 1:43 PM by mikec_intel

    updating driver for an nvme controller that is behind RST raid volume

    Alex31

      hi,

       

      specifically i'm planning on getting 2 x Samsung 950 Pro M.2 for RST raid-0 on a z170 board (asus z170-ws).

       

      i don't quite understand however, once the drives get behind such raid volume (and it's probably not only relevant to samsung but also intel 750 ssd, or any other pcie storage device) how can user continue to be able to update the nvme controller driver whenever needed (example samsung releases newer driver version, etc)?

       

      from other's comments it appears that once raid is created any nvme driver installers just no longer "see" the device (hidden behind raid set).

       

      so questions are

      - will it be possible to use (and update) manufacturer-specific nvme driver if devices are already behind z170 raid volume?

      - will it be possible to create RST raid volume in Windows after installing manufacturer's own driver (instead of default Microsoft's nvme driver)?

      - if i want intel RST to make use of manufacturer's nvme driver, is it possible to somehow add their inf/sys files to RST floppy drivers during Windows installation on raid volume?

      - can you basically confirm that for now (RST 14.8) pcie raid sets only use Microsoft's generic nvme driver?

      (so are not able to take advantage of manufacturerr' performance optimizations http://ssd.samsungsemi.com/ecomobile/ssd/update15.do?fname=/Samsung_NVMExpress_Driver_rev10.zip)

       

      thank you!

        • 1. Re: updating driver for an nvme controller that is behind RST raid volume
          mikec_intel

          Hi Alex31,

           

          In regards your questions about NVMe firmware update and Intel® chipset z170.

           

          1) It will depend on every Solid State Drive manufacturer recommendations

           

          2) Yes, it will be possible to create a RAID configuration after installing manufacturer's own firmware update.

           

          3) The SSD firmware update is not related to the Intel® Rapid Storage Technology software. You might try while installing the operating system. It is necessary to confirm with your SSD manufacturer.

           

          4) The latest RST driver supports the Solid State Drive firmware update.

           

          Intel® update recommendations for Intel® NVMe SSDs are the following:

          https://downloadmirror.intel.com/23929/eng/Intel%20SSD%20Data%20Center%20Family%20for%20PCIe%20Installation%20Guide_3305…

           

          Regards,
          Mike C

          • 2. Re: updating driver for an nvme controller that is behind RST raid volume
            Alex31

            hi mikec,

             

            my questions was not about FW updates at all (those are rarely needed), but about driver updates (samsung link i provided earlier was not firmware but driver).

             

            my understanding of how z170 RST pcie raid works is intel driver operating on top of pcie nvme contoller drivers (if there's intel sw engineer here correct me if i'm wrong).

             

            the problem i asked about is when such raid is enabled there seems to be no way to use manufacturer optimized driver (unlike in single drive scenario), so instead of intel RST -> samsung-optimized NVME driver hierarchy, in raid we only get intel RST -> microsoft-non-optimized NVME causing inferior drive performance..

             

            pls read article for more detail, main idea seems to be (whether its intel fault or samsung's or both) is that once raid is created there' s no way to change/choose/update the underlying nvme device driver

            http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/samsung-950-pro-ssd,4313-2.html

             

            (quote: ...In RAID, the 950 Pros appear as an Intel software array. Samsung's driver does not recognize them, preventing you from installing it. The same thing happens to Intel's SSD 750s in RAID. Until Samsung adjusts its software to support RAID arrays, you'll have to use Microsoft's NVMe driver built into Windows 10, 8.x and available as a download for Windows 7. Per-drive performance drops, unfortunately, which will become obvious in certain workloads when we compare a single 950 Pro to two in RAID 0. Microsoft's implementation is more conservative, serving as a catch-all to support all revisions of NVMe. It's good enough to get your system up and running, basically...)

            • 3. Re: updating driver for an nvme controller that is behind RST raid volume
              mikec_intel

              Hi Alex31,

               

              Samsung needs to update their optimized driver with RAID arrays as Tomshardware mentioned in their articule.

               

              Regards,
              Mike C

              • 4. Re: updating driver for an nvme controller that is behind RST raid volume
                Alex31

                hi Mike thank you for clarifying this.

                any chance you could still request current status of this issue from the intel engineers side? even if it's samsung software flaw intel is probably aware and co-working with them to resolve it, i hope.. it might be more difficult to receive comment on this from samsung for an end user.

                could you try and forward this question to RST team? we would like to know approximate time frame when RAID with 950s will begin to work as intended, thanks again for your help!

                • 5. Re: updating driver for an nvme controller that is behind RST raid volume
                  mikec_intel

                  Hi Alex31,

                   

                  Sure, I am going to check with our engineer department.

                   

                  Regards,
                  Mike C