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Thread: Asrock Z77 Extreme4-M




  1. #21
    scorpionking is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Asrock Z77 Extreme4-M

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    The SandForce SF-2281 SSD controller, or any SSD controller (Marvell, Intel, Samsung, and a few others manufacture SSD controllers) is the interface between a SSD and the SATA chipset in a mother board. The SSD controller also performs all the operations on the NAND storage chips in a SSD. Besides the NAND chips in a SSD, the other main component is the SSD controller.

    SSD controllers have firmware, the software that works with the controller. Most if not all SSDs have the ability to update their firmware, SandForce controllers certainly can update their firmware, I've done that myself with some of the SSDs I own.

    In my last post, I was describing the problem that some older Mac PCs had with SATA III SSDs. Those Mac PCs used an Nvidia manufactured SATA chipset, that was on the mother board of those Mac PCs. Your Z77 board has Intel and ASMedia SATA chipsets, while those older Macs used the Nvidia SATA chipset. It is ONLY the Nvidia SATA chipset that has problems with SATA III SSDs.

    I've owned mother boards that had a Marvell 9128 SATA chipset, almost all Intel X58 mother boards included the Marvell 9128 chipset, since the Intel SATA chipset used on those boards was only a SATA II interface. The Marvell 9128 SATA chipset was supposed to add SATA III support to those boards.

    I am painfully familiar with the Marvell 9128 chipset and its almost, kind of, not really, SATA III interface. That SATA chipset and others made by Marvell, is one of the biggest false marketing programs in PC hardware history IMO. We can go to Marvell's website today and download the data sheet for the 91xx series of SATA chipsets, and clearly see that they can only be connected to one PCIe 2.0 lane, whose speed is 5Gb/s, not the full 6Gb/s of SATA III. The use of only one PCIe 2.0 lane is marketed as a feature to the companies that purchase these chips.

    The idea that the Marvell engineers did not have SATA III SSDs to test their chipsets with is a false argument, since they knew their chips only worked at 5Gb/s, not the full 6Gb/s of the SATA III specification, published officially by the SATA IO organization.

    Obviously, it is not only SATA III SSDs that use a SandForce SSD controller that will have reduced performance when connected to the Marvell 9128 SATA chipset, it is any and ALL SATA III SSDs. I've run benchmarks myself and have copies of them that show this happens with any SATA III SSD.

    If you are doubting the performance of the Intel Z77 chipset's SATA III ports, forget that, it's not the case. I have two ASRock Z77 Extreme4 boards, and their SATA III performance is just as good as any newer Intel SATA III chipset. The first Intel SATA III chipset was the P67, about a year older than the Z77.
    Hi Parsec,

    I'm still a bit confused with this. Are you saying even though I have updated the firmware of the SSD, I can still update the sandforce 2281 controller on the SSD.
    And if so how is that done. my other issue which I was logically thinking out loud last night. Is does the processor have any effect on the speed of the SSD.
    I have an intel 2nd generation i7 2600, and I've noticed this drive is obviously a generation 3. Do I have to take this in to account or are these two separate factors.
    I tried scaning the internet for answers about this, but can't any where anything about this. When I think about this issue I came to the conclussion it must have some effect, would like to know your thoughts.
    I'm still waiting to hear from OWC, but they have acknowledged my email.

    Thanks


    Kevin
    Last edited by scorpionking; 03-06-2015 at 02:41 PM. Reason: More Info

  2. #22
    parsec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Asrock Z77 Extreme4-M

    Quote Originally Posted by scorpionking View Post
    Hi Parsec,

    I'm still a bit confused with this. Are you saying even though I have updated the firmware of the SSD, I can still update the sandforce 2281 controller on the SSD.
    And if so how is that done.
    There is only one type of update that can be done to a SSD's controller, which is a firmware update. You've already done that, as you said.

    What I was describing earlier is what a particular firmware update does to the SSD controller. The "special" firmware update I described (which I do not know if OWC provided to their customers) is special or different only in the sense that it did something that normally would never be done. This update was meant to be used ONLY by the Mac users that have the Nvidia SATA chipset in their Macs. But this special firmware update caused the SSD to be seen by ALL SATA controllers as a SATA II SSD.

    I mentioned this because it is the only other thing that I'm aware of that could cause your SSD to be stuck at SATA II speeds. As I said earlier, I don't know if OWC provided a firmware update like this to their customers. I know that a few other SSD manufactures did provide this update to their customers.


    Quote Originally Posted by scorpionking View Post
    my other issue which I was logically thinking out loud last night. Is does the processor have any effect on the speed of the SSD.
    I have an intel 2nd generation i7 2600, and I've noticed this drive is obviously a generation 3. Do I have to take this in to account or are these two separate factors.
    I tried scaning the internet for answers about this, but can't any where anything about this. When I think about this issue I came to the conclussion it must have some effect, would like to know your thoughts.
    I'm still waiting to hear from OWC, but they have acknowledged my email.

    Thanks


    Kevin
    Your i7-2600 CPU does not affect the speed of any SATA drive at all. The name "2nd Generation" used by Intel is not related to the SATA generation/standard at all. The name used by Intel is just a coincidence.

    The only thing that can affect the speed of a drive is the SATA controller used in a mother board. As long as the Intel SATA controller in your board has some SATA III ports (your board's Intel controller only has two SATA III ports), a SATA III SSD will work at its full speed.

    I have a Z77 board with an i7-2600K. My SATA III SSDs, when connected to one of the boards Intel SATA III ports (only two ports are SATA III), operates at full SATA III speeds.

  3. #23
    scorpionking is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Asrock Z77 Extreme4-M

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    There is only one type of update that can be done to a SSD's controller, which is a firmware update. You've already done that, as you said.

    What I was describing earlier is what a particular firmware update does to the SSD controller. The "special" firmware update I described (which I do not know if OWC provided to their customers) is special or different only in the sense that it did something that normally would never be done. This update was meant to be used ONLY by the Mac users that have the Nvidia SATA chipset in their Macs. But this special firmware update caused the SSD to be seen by ALL SATA controllers as a SATA II SSD.

    I mentioned this because it is the only other thing that I'm aware of that could cause your SSD to be stuck at SATA II speeds. As I said earlier, I don't know if OWC provided a firmware update like this to their customers. I know that a few other SSD manufactures did provide this update to their customers.




    Your i7-2600 CPU does not affect the speed of any SATA drive at all. The name "2nd Generation" used by Intel is not related to the SATA generation/standard at all. The name used by Intel is just a coincidence.

    The only thing that can affect the speed of a drive is the SATA controller used in a mother board. As long as the Intel SATA controller in your board has some SATA III ports (your board's Intel controller only has two SATA III ports), a SATA III SSD will work at its full speed.

    I have a Z77 board with an i7-2600K. My SATA III SSDs, when connected to one of the boards Intel SATA III ports (only two ports are SATA III), operates at full SATA III speeds.
    Right one Last question, I updated my Bios some time before connecting this drive as I had some other issues that have now cleared. Which were not down to the Bios in the end any way. I updated from 1.40 to 1.80
    Do you think this would affect any changes at all concerning the SATA3 Ports and could I flash back., or do think it would cause more problems.


    Thanks


    Kevin

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Asrock Z77 Extreme4-M

    There is zero chance the BIOS update did anything that would affect the SATA III ports.

    BIOS version 1.80 for your board has been available for 1 1/2 years. If it somehow would have affected the SATA III ports, many users of this board would have noticed long ago, and that would have been reported in this and other forums. ASRock would have fixed that long ago, and removed the BIOS version that caused the problem.

    There is no point in going back to an earlier BIOS version, since none of the BIOS updates could affect the SATA III ports.

  5. #25
    scorpionking is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Asrock Z77 Extreme4-M

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    There is zero chance the BIOS update did anything that would affect the SATA III ports.

    BIOS version 1.80 for your board has been available for 1 1/2 years. If it somehow would have affected the SATA III ports, many users of this board would have noticed long ago, and that would have been reported in this and other forums. ASRock would have fixed that long ago, and removed the BIOS version that caused the problem.

    There is no point in going back to an earlier BIOS version, since none of the BIOS updates could affect the SATA III ports.
    Hi Parsec,

    I have just noticed from this print out that it's only showing 6 SATA PORTS. Why would that be, when in fact it has 8 altogether. It has 4 SATA2 Ports, 2 intel SATA3 Ports and two Asmedia SATA3 Ports.

    Processor: GenuineIntel Intel64 Family 6 Model 42 Stepping 7 3.401 GHz
    BIOS: American Megatrends Inc., P1.80

    Intel® Rapid Storage Technology
    Kit installed: 11.0.0.1032
    User interface version: 11.0.0.1032
    Language: English (United Kingdom)
    Intel AHCI controller: Intel(R) 7 Series/C216 Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller
    Number of SATA ports: 6
    Driver version: 11.0.0.1032
    ISDI version: 11.0.0.1032

    Hardware Information
    Disk on port 0
    Port location: Internal
    Status: Normal
    Type: Solid-state drive
    Size: 224 GB
    Serial number: EX6G24012E26L9761
    Model: OWC Mercury Electra 6G SSD
    Firmware: 541ABBF0
    System disk: Yes
    Password protected: No
    Disk data cache: Enabled

    I would like to know your thoughts on this one, if you could spare the time please.


    Thanks


    Kevin

  6. #26
    CSAsr84 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Asrock Z77 Extreme4-M

    Well you said it yourself: You have 4xIntel Sata2 and 2xIntel Sata3 ports so it is absolutely normal for the Intel sata controller to report 6 ports. The other 2 are Asmedia and use different controller which Intel Rapid Storage Technology does not support.

  7. #27
    parsec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Asrock Z77 Extreme4-M

    Quote Originally Posted by CSAsr84 View Post
    Well you said it yourself: You have 4xIntel Sata2 and 2xIntel Sata3 ports so it is absolutely normal for the Intel sata controller to report 6 ports. The other 2 are Asmedia and use different controller which Intel Rapid Storage Technology does not support.
    Yes this is true. The report was done with the IRST System Report option, that only checks the Intel components on the system.

    Did you ever hear from OWC about your SSD?

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Asrock Z77 Extreme4-M

    The following links might help:



    The disturbing thing is that firmware version numbers are the same for Macs and PCs; 541ABBF0





    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



    Q9650 @ 4.10GHz [9x456MHz]
    P35-DS4 [rev: 2.0] ~ Bios: F14
    4x2GB OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 1094MHz @5-5-5-15
    MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack (1GB) video card <---- SLI ---->
    Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
    WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data)
    Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD (boot)
    SLI @ 16/4 works when running HyperSLI
    Cooler Master 120XL Seidon push/pull AIO cpu water cooling
    Cooler Master HAF XB computer case (RC-902XB-KKN1)
    Asus VH242H 24" monitor [1920x1080]
    MSI N460GTX Hawk (1GB) video card
    Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium
    HT|Omega Claro plus+ sound card
    CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS
    E6300 (R0) @ 3.504GHz [8x438MHz] ~~ P35-DS3L [rev: 1.0] ~ Bios: F9 ~~ 4x2GB Kingston HyperX T1 PC2-8500, 876MHz @4-4-4-10
    Seasonic X650 80+ gold psu (650w) ~~ Xigmatek Balder HDT 1283 cpu cooler ~~ Cooler Master CM 690 case (RC-690-KKN1-GP)
    Samsung 830 128GB SSD MZ-7PC128B/WW (boot) ~~ WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data) ~~ ZM-MFC2 fan controller
    HT|Omega Striker 7.1 sound card ~~ Asus VH242H monitor [1920x1080] ~~ Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium ~~ CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD U.P.S
    .


  9. #29
    parsec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Asrock Z77 Extreme4-M

    The OP's AS SSD screen shot in post #11 shows some of the firmware string, "541A" is all that is shown.

    I could not find anything on the OWC website about a firmware update for the problem with the Mac Minis, they had the Nvidia SATA chipset which caused the problem I talked about earlier. But I never checked their forum, if they have one...

    I'd still like to see the IRST disk information screen shot as I included in post #14, although you said it was Ok.

  10. #30
    scorpionking is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Asrock Z77 Extreme4-M

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    The OP's AS SSD screen shot in post #11 shows some of the firmware string, "541A" is all that is shown.

    I could not find anything on the OWC website about a firmware update for the problem with the Mac Minis, they had the Nvidia SATA chipset which caused the problem I talked about earlier. But I never checked their forum, if they have one...

    I'd still like to see the IRST disk information screen shot as I included in post #14, although you said it was Ok.
    Hi Parsec,

    Right here is the screen IRST screen shot you requested.
    Asrock Z77 Extreme4-M-irst-veiw-jpg

    Funny Thing is I had lots of progress with OWC and they were very helpful. They actually sent me another bench tester called QuickBench. Well and the results are much, much better. And I'm happy. Why it didn't work on other bench testing Applications is strange to me. But here I've posted the results for both the drive. Have a look.

    QuickBench(tm) Benchmark Results File
    (c) 2000 - 2007 Intech Software Corporation, Intech Software Corporation
    Version: 4.0.0
    Test Date: 10 March 2015, 09:22:20


    Operating System: Windows NT (Single User Edition)
    System Version: 6.1 (Build: 7601), Service Pack 1 (v1.0)

    Selected Test Location: C:\ (Local Disk)
    Device Name: OWC Mercury Electra 6G S
    Device Location: IDE Bus: 0, ID: 0
    Device ID: \\.\PHYSICALDRIVE0
    Serial Number: XEG64210E2629L67 1
    Device Capacity: 240,054,796,800 bytes (223.56 GB)
    Partition Number: 2 of 2
    Partition Starting Address: 240,123,904
    Partition Capacity: 239,816,667,136 bytes (223.34 GB)
    Partition Capacity Free: 178,268,225,536 bytes (166.02 GB) - 74.34% Free
    Partition File System: NTFS (uncompressed)


    Test Options:

    Max I/O Size: 1024 KB
    I/O: Type Synchronous
    Test Cycles: 10
    Allow Disk Cache Effects: Yes
    Read Cache Delay: 30 milliseconds
    Write Cache Delay: 20 milliseconds


    ---- Standard Test Details: 4 Kbytes - 1024 Kbytes (1 Megabyte) ----

    Test not run



    ---- Large Test Details: 2 MB - 10 MB ----

    Test not run



    ---- Extended Test Details: 20 MB - 100 MB ----


    Transfer Size Read Speed Write Speed

    20 Megabytes 426.475 MB/sec 455.570 MB/sec
    30 Megabytes 435.122 MB/sec 347.753 MB/sec
    40 Megabytes 445.081 MB/sec 362.265 MB/sec
    50 Megabytes 447.633 MB/sec 464.130 MB/sec
    60 Megabytes 448.015 MB/sec 458.967 MB/sec
    70 Megabytes 449.967 MB/sec 463.973 MB/sec
    80 Megabytes 449.309 MB/sec 457.174 MB/sec
    90 Megabytes 449.262 MB/sec 463.675 MB/sec
    100 Megabytes 449.598 MB/sec 455.963 MB/sec

    Test Average: 444.496 MB/sec 436.608 MB/sec

    Lowest Mark: 426.475 MB/sec 347.753 MB/sec
    Highest Mark: 449.967 MB/sec 464.130 MB/sec

    QuickBench(tm) Benchmark Results File
    (c) 2000 - 2007 Intech Software Corporation, Intech Software Corporation
    Version: 4.0.0
    Test Date: 10 March 2015, 09:09:47



    Operating System: Windows NT (Single User Edition)
    System Version: 6.1 (Build: 7601), Service Pack 1 (v1.0)

    Selected Test Location: D:\ (Internal Crucial SSD )
    Device Name: C300-CTFDDAC128MAG
    Device Location: IDE Bus: 0, ID: 1
    Device ID: \\.\PHYSICALDRIVE1
    Serial Number: 00000000011420DF4E59
    Device Capacity: 128,034,708,480 bytes (119.24 GB)
    Partition Number: 1 of 1
    Partition Starting Address: 1,048,576
    Partition Capacity: 128,033,222,656 bytes (119.24 GB)
    Partition Capacity Free: 22,184,824,832 bytes (20.66 GB) - 17.33% Free
    Partition File System: NTFS (uncompressed)


    Test Options:

    Max I/O Size: 1024 KB
    I/O: Type Synchronous
    Test Cycles: 10
    Allow Disk Cache Effects: Yes
    Read Cache Delay: 30 milliseconds
    Write Cache Delay: 20 milliseconds


    ---- Standard Test Details: 4 Kbytes - 1024 Kbytes (1 Megabyte) ----

    Test not run



    ---- Large Test Details: 2 MB - 10 MB ----

    Test not run



    ---- Extended Test Details: 20 MB - 100 MB ----


    Transfer Size Read Speed Write Speed

    20 Megabytes 333.513 MB/sec 156.327 MB/sec
    30 Megabytes 333.229 MB/sec 138.841 MB/sec
    40 Megabytes 332.222 MB/sec 157.015 MB/sec
    50 Megabytes 329.998 MB/sec 155.880 MB/sec
    60 Megabytes 331.384 MB/sec 155.352 MB/sec
    70 Megabytes 332.302 MB/sec 154.820 MB/sec
    80 Megabytes 333.271 MB/sec 156.596 MB/sec
    90 Megabytes 331.680 MB/sec 156.756 MB/sec
    100 Megabytes 330.826 MB/sec 155.463 MB/sec

    Test Average: 332.047 MB/sec 154.117 MB/sec

    Lowest Mark: 329.998 MB/sec 138.841 MB/sec
    Highest Mark: 333.513 MB/sec 157.015 MB/sec

    I have never heard of this Application but it's been going since 2002. Any how the results I think are as close that I am going to get within the range they specify on their website which are Read 556Mb/s Write 523Mb/s.
    Although I still have some doubt, because it didn't show on any other application. Perhaps this one is for there own bench testing. I'm am totally happy with the results. and thanks for being so helpful.

    Best Wishes


    Kevin
    Last edited by scorpionking; 03-11-2015 at 03:24 AM. Reason: Info

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