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  1. #1
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    The Belated X99 Build

    Anybody here have any experience with the new M.2 standard in the latest board biulds?
    Specifically SSD type usage in these new standards.

    I'm in the thinking stages of a new X99 build and boards are starting to appear with these new
    M.2 slots on them.

    I guess it would also be worthwhile to query whether Windows 10 will come with
    the NVMe command mode driver as part of the OS itself, as does AHCI already.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2014-10-25 at 09:11.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  2. #2
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    Don't know if you've read this but this is what Wiki has on them http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.2

  3. #3
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I've seen that, thanks.
    I've been searching around a bit more and I'm finding It's looking a wee bit early at the moment for desktop implementation.
    I've run across an article where Apple has implemented it in their latest OS with their thin laptop's, but nothing in Windows just yet.

    This is something that's looking like it would be best to avoid for at least a generation, specifically with desktop standard ATX motherboards implementation.
    The idea of a SSD on a PCIe's bandwidth is sweet, but there are still way too many issues yet unresolved.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

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    From what I read and understood of the article it looks like a handy development with the multi-fit, but my preferences are take-away rather than cooking up my own spec and am a bit long in the tooth now to even start learning - I leave things like to my brother who builds his own.

  5. #5
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    t's looking a wee bit early at the moment for desktop implementation.
    Clint on that I am in agreement. It is hard to even find the size M.2 card that a MB will accept, and the cards themselves are scarice and pricey. My x97 MB cmae with the ability to use one and in is not unlikely it will remain unfulfilled.



    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Yeah I think so too...
    A few years back when I was doing my last build I got on board with the then spanking new bootable PCIe SSD drives, a
    drive I still use to this day, but not as it was intended. Attempting to restore images to the drive
    as a primary bootable drive was more cumbersome than it was worth. That was a 500 hundred dollar drive.

    I think I'll wait until W10 comes out, that'll give the X99 chipset, and other things like M.2, time enough to mature a bit more.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    For those of you who are interested in the M.2 drive:

    I've completed my X99 desktop build with the new, well I shouldn't say new, M.2 PCIe drive.
    It looks to me like the PCIe M.2 drive is well supported in this newer chipset, at least from my build perspective.
    The M.2 PCIe drive standard has been around since the mid Z97/X97 chipset, but not the start of it, it had the majority of it's bugs worked out during the Z97/X97 chipsets.

    It's installation, recognition in EUFI, and Windows 8.1 OS setup were flawless in this new X99 build of mine.
    It's noteworthy to mention that the after OS installation of drive's performance wasn't noticeably faster than
    a top of the line SATA controlled SSD, but it did bench a bit better. (below)

    I've chosen the Plextor M6e Series 256GB M.2 to build with.
    71LfJQYXn7L__SL1500_.jpg
    80mm x 20mm and thinner than a memory stick without the heatsink.
    There is also a 5 year warranty on this drive.

    The drive was recognized immediately in EUFI after installation, and installation of the OS from either USB thumb/flash or CD/DVD drive
    proceeded quickly and painlessly. (when you're doing a new build that's what you want, and it doesn't get any better than that)
    *When building a new computer the EUFI BIOS is ALWAYS updated first prior any other consideration, especially with a new chipset.
    *On some boards the M.2 slot is fixed horizontally while on others it stands up vertically.
    *On the X79/Z97 chipsets you may need to choose M.2 in the EUFI prior to it being recognized and ready for
    installation to it. If that's the case you'll need to look in PCI interface and not the SATA controller interface when in EUFI.

    PROS:
    On supported mainboards with the latest EUFI BIOS, setup and OS install takes just a few minutes.
    (on some boards it's recognized instantly while on others you'll need to set it up in the EUFI first)
    Outside of a speed RAID setup with quality SSDs on the SATA 3.0 controller, M.2 will be the fastest SSD around.
    It's very new and we're likely to see the speed slowly creep upwards over the generations.
    M.2 has it's own mainboard slot with no cables to mess with. Easy to physically install.
    It's anywhere from 60mm to 80mm in length, about the length of your pinky.

    CONS:
    Even with a whopping advertised 32Gb/s data transfer speed on the M.2 slot you can forget about seeing anything
    close to that bandwidth anytime soon. I don't think any SSD is quite there yet regardless of controller limitation.
    You're likely not even to see sequential Read Speed: 770 MB/s - Sequential Write Speed: 580 MB/S, but it'll be in that ballpark.
    (Mine is in the 600/500 ballpark).
    Like any other SSD drive, when it dies, it's likely to die without warning.
    It's very new and there will be no "back porting" to unsupported motherboards.
    *The drive I've chosen, and this might not be true of others, shows up in the POST screen temporarily.
    I don't particularly care for that.

    Drive Image Restoration:
    With the Macrium imaging software that I commonly use, I just restored an image I created recently. It was just like restoring to
    a regular SATA port connect SSD. There was no extra efforts to recognize the drive for image restoration, it was readily seen from
    the Macrium boot disk. I suspect this will be the same for other imaging software as well.

    Benched using Performance Test 8.0 by Passmark software:
    PT 8.0.jpg
    It's noteworthy to mention that the after OS installation of drive's performance wasn't noticeably faster than
    a top of the line SATA controlled SSD, but it did bench a bit better in most regards.

    In conclusion; the M.2 PCIe SSD drive, while not much more expensive than the usual SATA SSD controlled drives
    are easy to set up with little to no fuss. It's full potential (speed) is likely to take longer though, but it's definitely
    the future direction of main OS drives...even for the desktop
    If you are a dedicated speed RAID array fan I don't think you'll want to abandon it just yet though.


    See my sig for the build details.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2015-01-22 at 12:46. Reason: Some minor additions
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

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    ruirib (2015-01-18)

  9. #8
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Glad its working for you. It look like a good one w/ native PCIe rather than SATA I/F. Is it the SSD R/W that is the bottle neck? Availability and pricing seems to be better than last year when I was building my new box

    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  10. #9
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    I can see that being a boon for computer manufacturers because of the reduced installation time and no cables, plus reduced space requirements.

    cheers, Paul

  11. #10
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    And eventually one may hope the price will be less than a ssd. No case needed!
    Maybe next upgrade.
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  12. #11
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wavy View Post

    Glad its working for you. It look like a good one w/ native PCIe rather than SATA I/F. Is it the SSD R/W that is the bottle neck? Availability and pricing seems to be better than last year when I was building my new box

    I don't know why it performed poorly (in comparison) on the sequential read test. Certainly no bottleneck with my 40 lanes.
    They've got the nice new M.2 connector and the EUFI support, I guess now the next thing to do will be to work on getting
    the actual bandwidth performance up beyond the SATA 3.0 standard.

    Me moneybags when it comes to new builds, I'm always willing to try something new.
    The REVO kind of sucked as a main OS drive as far as image restoration goes, this Plextor is easy to restore to in comparison.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2015-01-19 at 17:41.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  13. #12
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    REVO
    ??
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  14. #13
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    OCZ PCIe REVO drive, the first gen. I experimented with that when it first came out.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  15. #14
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    The X99 build

    The actual build started back in January, but I've run into a few snags along the way, which I'll tell you about as I go through it.
    The build is by no means final as I continue playing around with various layouts and cooling configurations in the case itself.

    I'm going to continue in this thread for my latest X99 system build. Since I've already done the M.2 drive it makes sense to continue in this thread.
    It may give some of you guys and gals out there who are contemplating doing an X99 build, possibly, some ideas, and
    hopefully, some of you who have never built, ...inspire some of you to take on your own project, ...or maybe not.

    The CASE

    Alright then, let's get started...

    I'm going to start with the case first. Although your choice of case will be entirely preferential, cooling an enthusiast grade
    build should be at the very top of your list when choosing a case. If serious performance is not on your agenda then the type
    of case you choose will not be so much of an issue. The price tag on a case alone can vary wildly, as you'll see.

    In this particular instance I've chosen a MountainMods U2UFO case.
    They are a company located somewhere in Oregon state. I highly recommend looking over their website.
    Although made of aluminum and can be quite heavy, they're damn good and sturdy, as well as decently designed.
    Of course you'll pay a few hundred dollars more for it, but if it's exactly what I'm looking for then it's well worth it, but personally,
    you can choose to spend your money on whatever tickles your fancy.

    I purchased the case about a year ago for around 600 dollars and transferred my older X58 build into it. The case is basically an 18 inch
    aluminum cube, probably comparable to two mid size towers put together, so plenty of room inside for the 7 drives I normally run.
    As you may or may not know, I live full time in a 26 foot travel trailer, which is an important consideration for me when it comes to having
    limited space while not sacrificing computing power and other computer related needs. I can tell you first hand that in an RV you'll need some extra
    built in redundancy when it comes to cooling, especially if you've ever spent the summer in the desert in one of these things.

    The MountainModsU2UFO case
    01a - Copy.jpg BB (32)a.jpg BB (21)a.jpg
    This is the case opened up and, mostly, emptied of the previous build. It's an 18 inch cube with aluminum panels
    that fit on with thumb screws, 8 in total per panel. I've chosen the horizontal design largely because in the past I've had issues
    with hardware coming loose in the vertical position. (driving down the road while pulling the trailer, you hit a bump, then after when
    you get everything set up, you come to find you're missing something, seriously). The horizontal position just works better for me
    and I've tested it by..."travelling down the road and hitting a bump".

    My original intention was to go with a server grade motherboard, the Asus E-WS X99 (snag one), but that board didn't pan out as
    I had to return it for issues I was having. (I had difficulty getting it to POST, no matter what I tried)
    It's a huge disappointment when you get a bad board and luckily I did have that Deluxe to fall back on, otherwise I would have
    wasted the better part of the day troubleshooting and then putting the old system back together.

    I'm normally a fan of Intel boards, but they are no longer making enthusiast grade boards, let alone X99 boards, so I'm currently using the
    Asus X99 deluxe, this was to be my backup board if the workstation were ever to fail. The E-WS was fully refunded, minus the shipping cost,
    because the merchant I got it from didn't have a replacement. So at this time I'm just going to keep the Deluxe board, especially
    since I've already put it through it's paces, and I have found it to be a highly reliable and stable motherboard.

    Case Layout:
    I'm in the process of trying something a bit different this time around. I'm going place the mechanical drive array (5) in the bottom rear
    of the case and have two intakes on the fans down there.

    (B) The drive brackets: Up to 3 drives per bracket with a single 120mm fan attached to it. then they are mounted
    with regular fan screws, and a grill on the exterior. I've got two more drive brackets in the case, one behind the one you see in
    the image, and one with two SSD's in the lower front, opposite the one shown in the image (B).

    A BB (25)a.jpg B BB (17).JPG
    Excuse the fan grills, this is still a work in progress. The PSU is an exhaust, as well as the upper 120mm fan for the CPU area.
    Having the drives place where they are tucks them out of the way and allows me to bundle cable down there where they won't be
    easily seen, or have any impact on important cooling related obstruction.

    When I ordered all the parts for my build, I elected to go with the Corsair Hydro Series Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler H100i,
    of course I don't regret it, but I failed to take into account that my case panel didn't have the proper spacing for a 240mm radiator. So I had to order a modified
    case panel from Mountain Mods that took almost two months to materialize (snag two)
    Having 4 fans mounted on the rad in a push-pull mode ties into my overall "cooling redundancy" concept, it works and very nicely at that... which I'll show you later on.

    The 240mm liquid cooler rad and the 4 fan array are mounted on the top panel (not shown) and It is safely protected by being just under the desk.
    Originally I wanted to place it to the right side of the case, but unfortunately, the 5 inch bays sit there with a sheet of aluminum sticking in the way of it by an inch or two.

    A P1010005.JPG B BB (20).JPG C BB (37).JPG
    (A) This is me figuring out that I cannot mount my 240mm rad, so while Mountain Mods was making me a side panel, I did a push-pull fan
    config. with just one side of the radiator. It works; temps in upper 30s C at idle, 70s C under load.

    (B) Setup configured with the Asus add-on fan controller board screwed down on the removable motherboard tray.
    (It's an extended ATX configuration that I was anticipating for the workstation board's layout).
    It's a very nice idea from Asus, but I've since gone back to my Scythe 5 inch bay, 6 fan controller.
    I was having issues with the fan control in EUFI. The case fans were running faster than I want (over 12-1600 rpm with little load) and I couldn't get the kind
    of fine tuning that I would have liked in the UEFI setup, even in DC mode. I think it might have had something to do with the fans being 3 pin, but I don't know for certain.
    That other card in PCIe is an add-on eSATA card. I plan on doing backups of large drives to large drives, by way of
    high capacity internal drives that I can just stow away when not using.
    The StarTech docking station I got a while back works well enough for that.

    (C) A front view of the case sitting under my desk.
    Bay fan controller, minus the fan controller circuit board. Two exhaust fans to the left side, one intake for the SSD drive bracket, and one
    intake for the GPU area. (intake fans protected with the fine aluminum grills)
    I like to keep the case fans running under 900 rpm, otherwise they tend to be ridiculously loud. They are not loud now.

    NEXT
    Testing the setup under clock adjusted conditions
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2015-03-25 at 04:45.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

  16. #15
    5 Star Lounger
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    That is a thing of beauty.

    I see the ASUS is one of the boards they just added USB3.1 support to (BIOS and driver update)....

    http://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/USB_31_TYPEA_CARD/

    Maybe you can actually get 150MB/s now <sigh>.
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2015-03-26 at 13:14.

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