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Need help undering new PC standards - nvme/pcie ssd/m.2

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The last time I built a PC was when Intel first introduced the Core “i” series, around 2009. That being said, overtime I’ve never made much upgrades to my system aside from the graphics card and later down the road I swapped my i7 930 for a Xeon X5650, but my board remained the same. Recently, however, I completely scrapped my old machine and put together a brand new machine from scratch as listed below.

Seeing as it’s been so long, the new motherboards have tons of features of which many I’m not familiar with. However, I plan on finding out about those features over time but my biggest concern right now is the whole “NVMe/M.2/PCIe SSD” situation and I’m not sure whether or not I’m doing things correctly in that regard.

I’ve researched how people could not get their NVMe SSD to detect in their UEFI settings and were unable to boot Windows 10 because of it, however I had no such issue. However, I’m not sure how my 950 Pro is actually configured. I made sure to disable CSM completely before booting off of the Windows 10 setup USB and the drive was properly recognized and I was able to install Windows in a whopping 3-4 minutes which in itself was ridiculous.

After I installed Windows, I immediately installed Samsung’s NVMe driver and rebooted and then installed their magician software to make sure I’m getting the proper read/write benchmarks. The parts that confuse me is my current and max link speed is only rated at 10 Gbps, but I thought the 950 pro had a max link speed of 32 Gbps. Asus Z170 series boards also advertise that as the max speed available for M.2 drives. When I run the benchmark, I’m getting the rated 2500/1500 read/write however my read IOPS is considerably lower than what’s advertised (180k as opposed to 300k).

The other thing I’m confused about are certain settings in the UEFI regarding M.2 or PCIe SSDs. I read that you have to boot as NVMe but the only options for boot is AHCI or RAID. There’s an M.2 and Sata Express configuration which if I change to M.2 mode my system reboots, then reboots again and defaults back to Sata express. I read this was intended because the other mode is to run in M.2 Sata mode instead of PCIe mode. There’s also a PCI-Ex163 setting which has Auto or X4 mode and I selected the X4 mode and disabled Sata6g_56 as required but none of that really changed anything.

Am I understanding things correctly, or what? From what I can tell, the biggest issues people had with the new PCIe drives was getting the UEFI / Windows to even recognize the drive, but I never had such issue. I’m just under the impression I have it configured wrongly and thus not getting the optimal performance out of the drive. I don’t want to continue and set up everything OS wise until I’ve got it all resolved.
Edited by Timid - 2/1/16 at 11:01am
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-5930K Haswell-e Asus X99-E WS/USB 3.1 Visiontek Radeon 7870 2GB with 6 miniDisplayports G-Skill Ripjaws 64GB (8x8GB) DDR4 2133 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 850 EVO 4TB SSDs Samsung 950 Pro 512GB m.2 SSD boot drive Noctua NH-D15S Cpu cooler Win 7 Ultimate 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair AX760 Scratch built. Currently under construction at ... Logitech M525 El Cheapo Allsop hard plastic 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7-3930k ASUS P9X79 WS MSI R7850 Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC Radeon HD 7850 2GB... Monoprice 1x2 powered HDMI Splitter 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Kingston HyperX 32GB (8 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDR... 128GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD 4TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD 4TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
4TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD 4TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD LG 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Inter... COOLER MASTER GeminII S524 120mm Long Life Slee... 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 Ultimate 3 x Asus VG248QE Vizio VO320E 32" TV Logitech G510s 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
Corsair HX750W Antec Two Hundred v2 Logitech M525 with Unifying Receiving Corsair SP2500 2.1 Speakers 
AudioOtherOtherOther
ASUS Xonar Essence STX Virtual 7.1 Channels 24-... LSI 9211-8i HBA card HooToo® HT-CR001 3.5" PCI-E to USB 3.0 Multi-in... StarTech HSB220SAT25B 2 Drive 2.5in Trayless Ho... 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-5930K Haswell-e Asus X99-E WS/USB 3.1 Visiontek Radeon 7870 2GB with 6 miniDisplayports G-Skill Ripjaws 64GB (8x8GB) DDR4 2133 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 850 EVO 4TB SSDs Samsung 950 Pro 512GB m.2 SSD boot drive Noctua NH-D15S Cpu cooler Win 7 Ultimate 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair AX760 Scratch built. Currently under construction at ... Logitech M525 El Cheapo Allsop hard plastic 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7-3930k ASUS P9X79 WS MSI R7850 Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC Radeon HD 7850 2GB... Monoprice 1x2 powered HDMI Splitter 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Kingston HyperX 32GB (8 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDR... 128GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD 4TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD 4TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
4TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD 4TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD LG 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Inter... COOLER MASTER GeminII S524 120mm Long Life Slee... 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 Ultimate 3 x Asus VG248QE Vizio VO320E 32" TV Logitech G510s 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
Corsair HX750W Antec Two Hundred v2 Logitech M525 with Unifying Receiving Corsair SP2500 2.1 Speakers 
AudioOtherOtherOther
ASUS Xonar Essence STX Virtual 7.1 Channels 24-... LSI 9211-8i HBA card HooToo® HT-CR001 3.5" PCI-E to USB 3.0 Multi-in... StarTech HSB220SAT25B 2 Drive 2.5in Trayless Ho... 
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