In general, Intel states that the OROM does not need to match the version of IRST. Users routinely update IRST with no updates to the OROM. Whether or not it is always better to update the version of IRST is a much to general question, without defining what "better" is, and without considering all the details of the system, what OS it uses, changes to IRST for a new OS (like Windows 8), etc.
The OROM code is a part of the BIOS/UEFI code, and is only able to be updated through a BIOS/UEFI update. I have never seen a non-BIOS update program for the OROM. Mother board manufactures rarely include OROM updates in their BIOS/UEFI updates, some occasionally do, others never include a new OROM.
A few technically savvy users have learned how to literally modify a BIOS file and insert a different version of the OROM code. The new OROM code is extracted from a BIOS file, and inserted into the BIOS file of target mother board to be given the new OROM.
Given the capability of some Intel platforms to support TRIM on RAID 0 arrays of SSDs (Intel 7 series chipset that support RAID, except for X79) when using a version 11 OROM and version 11 IRST driver (there is some debate that the OROM must be version 11.2 or greater, as well as the version of IRST), users of earlier chipset platforms (ie, Intel 6 series) have become more interested in a modded BIOS with these OROMs. Other "small" modifications to the BIOS and OROM were found to be necessary in order for TRIM in RAID 0 to work on the earlier platforms. There is also the factor of determining that RAID 0 TRIM does function on platforms with the modded BIOS and OROM, with apparently both success and failure.
Searching on "modded BIOS" or "modded OROM" will give you an idea what exists, and you may even find a modded BIOS and OROM for your board. Use at your own risk, of course.
Best practice in general to upgrade or not is more the question than any specific version vs another. In my case I don't seem to be able to upgrade past 11.2, when I install 11.6 or 11.7 the service won't start and there's Intel threads on the topic without conclusion.
I emailed Emily asking if there's an OROM upgrade for my board, no response as of yet. I think it's one of the reasons to buy Intel vs 3rd party, I think 3rd party licenses specific versions for their product and doesn't update unless Intel discovers a flaw that permits a freebee. I'm not sure of this, but I suspect it. Of course the reason to buy 3rd party is the nice feature sets they offer like ASRock does :)
I always thought 10.8 was up to date enough for all modern SSD operations, but I'm learning this may not be the case. For my board I do SSD caching of my UEFI boot raid10 (4 x 2tb enterprise disks), not sure if I care or not, but not being able to keep my IRST current is a bit annoying for a high end motherboard.
Now I see what you mean about 11.7 (and 11.6) not working. That's a known bug (to some of us) with IRST 11.6 and 11.7. When your boards Marvell or ASMedia add on SATA chipset is enabled, the IRST Windows GUI won't run, correct? Only the GUI is affected.
The workaround for this is to disable the Marvell or ASMedia in the BIOS. Of course, if you use those ports it's not really a great workaround. BTW, this problem does not happen when using Windows 8, with which the 11.6 and 11.7 drivers are compatible.
When an OROM update is done, it is always listed in the release notes (er, comments) for the BIOS, as in "Update OROM...". It seems you know how to check your version...?
I prefer IRST 10.8.0.1003 on my P67 board, but for purely performance reasons. That is, it gives better benchmark results, which I am finding in many cases have little relationship to real world results.
Are you doing a true UEFI boot? My ASR Z77 board has a different IRST OROM (11.6) for the UEFI boot, but I have no idea what your board's UEFI uses.
Your RAID setup, with caching sounds great, the Vertex 4 is a good SSD. I'm glad to see you can UEFI boot on your board, ASRock did not blow that off. Not many people UEFI boot AFAIK.
As you have seen with IRST 11.6 and 11.7, not all new versions of software are always better. Such as IRST 11.5, which has a memory leak and was pulled by Intel for use for RAID, and was only available as an AHCI driver, if it still is.
I learned recently that a UEFI type BIOS can have different versions of the RAID OROM, one for BIOS booting, the other for UEFI booting. My Z77 EX 4 board has the 11.2...(?) OROM for BIOS booting, and recently added OROM 11.6.1702 for UEFI booting. That was apparently for UEFI booting with Windows 8. UEFI booting with Windows 8 includes the Ultra Fast boot option, which skips all OROM displays, uses all UEFI code for POST, and is the fastest POST and booting I've ever seen. They even added the Intel OROM UI as an option in the UEFI itself, which I have never seen before.
Unfortunately, as soon as a new generation of chipsets and CPUs are released, support for the previous gen dwindles away to almost nothing. I would not expect any new UEFI updates with new OROMs, unless you get lucky.
For Windows 8, I really think you'd need a version 11.6 OROM, for UEFI booting anyway. So you present system might now work with Windows 8, since only IRST 11.6 or greater is spec'd for Windows 8.
They just posted BIOS 2.33A for the Extreme7 Gen3 motherboard, and for me it's the best BIOS since Ivy Bridge CPU's were released. Totally stable.
The 2.33A BIOS is for Windows 8 support, adds the Ultra Fast boot support, but no clue what would happen if I tried to upgrade my UEFI boot SSD cache array to Windows 8. I suspect it would just "work".
I wanted redundancy and performance in my spindle boot disk hence raid10, and to be able to cache the entire array with an SSD. I could have made two volumes, one under 2TB so I could boot MBR and the rest a GPT, but SSD caching only works on one volume. By doing a UEFI boot on a single 3.6TB volume (raid10, 4 x 2TB drives) with two partitions (C & D drives) I get caching on the entire array. You need GPT to get a volume over 2TB and you need UEFI to boot GPT :).
I'm well aware of the out with the old and in with the new tech race, I'd upgrade to a Z77 but I haven't found one that holds a candle to the Extreme7 Gen3 when using 3 AMD cards in Trifire. The Extreme7 Gen3 has the NF200 chip which specifically helps with PCI lanes on a tri-video card setup, though questionable for dual card rigs due to added latency of the NF200 chip. I haven't figured out if the new tech of the Z77 makes this issue entirely mute or not, but I suspect not. When the official AMD 7990 is released I plan to upgrade to it and will consider a Z77 then since it'll be a single video card rig.
It's interesting to hear that they may have snuck in the updated OROM to the UEFI boot for Windows 8, how would I check?
Last edited by Undermoose; 03-07-2013 at 04:20 PM.
I have a similar mb and also a new beta BIOS 2.223 fir WIN8. J have extracted Raid ROM and found that Option ROM for dev 8086-2822 is 10.8.x.xxx; for dev 8086-282a is 11.0.0.xxx and the RAID OROM for UEFI booting is 11.5.0.xxx
Undermoose, to check the OROM version you have start up the Windows IRST GUI, and click on the Help button. A new window will appear with all the help documentation, which is quite useful. In that you'll see a button title System Report. Click on that and you'll see something like this:
The "dev 8086-2822 vs dev 8086-282a" are multiple OROM versions, that are apparently left in the UEFI by "sloppy" programmers. That is at least what one of the guys that know how to extract and replace OROMs into a UEFI/BIOS, called them. Given what I have read, he is likely correct. IIRC, the 2822 and 282a entries identify different chipsets, such as P67 and Z77 (just an example, not the actual IDs.) That actually was one the "hacks" that had to be done when getting TRIM in RAID 0 to work on Intel 6 series chipsets, since apparently the only thing blocking TRIM in RAID 0 on chipsets like the P67 is the code itself checking for an allowed chipset. It is likely more complex than that, so don't take my statements as the full reality.
I'll try to find the links I have to the tools and instructions for viewing a UEFI/BIOS file, I think you would be able to use them.