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x99 SATA Controller Driver Confusion

post #1 of 4
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What drivers are we supposed to use for the sSATA controller on these X99 boards? Asus has only one type of SATA driver on my board's page; the standard RST driver*. That installs fine for the regular SATA controller, but it isn't accepted by the sSATA controller.

The sSATA controller accepts Intel's RSTe enterprise drivers, but they seem to result in some weird behavior for me. For one, they kill sequential writes in ASSSD and seem to hang the benchmark. They also result in weird Event Viewer errors, and I think they might be causing my hanging during startup. I see that you can install the RSTe drivers for the standard RST controller too, but with all the same side effects.

The default Windows drivers have predictably terrible performance, so I'd like to use something else, but what?

*on a side note, why does asus include 13.X for Win7/8 and 14.x for Win10 in those standard RST drivers? Why wouldn't I use 14.X drivers in Windows 7?
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post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oubadah View Post

What drivers are we supposed to use for the sSATA controller on these X99 boards? Asus has only one type of SATA driver on my board's page; the standard RST driver*. That installs fine for the regular SATA controller, but it isn't accepted by the sSATA controller.

The sSATA controller accepts Intel's RSTe enterprise drivers, but they seem to result in some weird behavior for me. For one, they kill sequential writes in ASSSD and seem to hang the benchmark. They also result in weird Event Viewer errors, and I think they might be causing my hanging during startup. I see that you can install the RSTe drivers for the standard RST controller too, but with all the same side effects.

The default Windows drivers have predictably terrible performance, so I'd like to use something else, but what?

How is the controller for the first six ports configured? RAID or AHCI?

What RSTe driver version are you trying to use (4.5.4.1031 are the newest, I believe) and what errors are you seeing in Event Viewer?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oubadah View Post

*on a side note, why does asus include 13.X for Win7/8 and 14.x for Win10 in those standard RST drivers? Why wouldn't I use 14.X drivers in Windows 7?

The 14.x drivers for the X99 work fine in Windows 7, but it's possible that ASUS simply hasn't been supporting their Windows 7 driver pages as aggressively as Windows 10.
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post

What RSTe driver version are you trying to use (4.5.4.1031 are the newest, I believe) and what errors are you seeing in Event Viewer?

I've tried a few versions, but I'm currently on 4.5.4.1030. The errors I've seen are:

129 "Reset to device, \Device\RaidPort0, was issued"

143 "The device \Device\RaidPort0 is attempting to use more than 8 buses, which exceeds the supported maximum. Please refer to the latest documentation from your storage controller manufacturer to determine whether this device and driver are designed to work on this operating system."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post

How is the controller for the first six ports configured? RAID or AHCI?

For the record, this board has 8 ports and uses a 4+4 configuration, not 6+4 (why they didn't use 6+2 is a mystery to me). I wonder if this is connected to the behavior I'm seeing.

I did have the first controller set to AHCI, but I recently switched it to RAID. Since doing so I have only seen the 129 type errors, but that could change.

What I really want to know is: where did the idea of using RSTe drivers for the X99 sSATA controller come from? Yes, you can install them on that controller, and some people even seem to be using them without any side effects, but whether you can and whether you should are different questions. I've yet to see a single board manufacturer provide RSTe drivers on the download page for an X99 board, and Asus themselves have said that "X99 has never supported IRSTe" (http://www.legitreviews.com/intel-pulls-rste-drivers-for-haswell-e-x99-platform-due-to-issues_155176). Further, as pointed out by someone in the Asus X99 thead, the wording in the Asus manual is: "[the sSATA ports] do not support Intel rapid storage technology and RAID configurations". Do they mean "Intel rapid storage technology" to include RST/RSTe drivers? Seems possible.

Most of the talk about using RSTe drivers on x99 boards is on win-raid.com, or from people who heard it on win-raid.com. Of course the question then becomes; if RSTe is not the correct driver for the X99 sSATA, then what is? The 2006 Microsoft default? I should add that with the Microsoft default, I have zero issues with the sSATA controller apart from the sub-standard performance relative to the main controller+RST drivers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post

The 14.x drivers for the X99 work fine in Windows 7, but it's possible that ASUS simply hasn't been supporting their Windows 7 driver pages as aggressively as Windows 10.

That's the weird thing though; it's a single download containing both 13.X in a "Win7" folder and 14.X in a "Win10" folder. I guess if Asus does some kind of in-house validation that maybe they haven't done >13.X for Windows 7 yet.
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post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oubadah View Post

For the record, this board has 8 ports and uses a 4+4 configuration, not 6+4 (why they didn't use 6+2 is a mystery to me). I wonder if this is connected to the behavior I'm seeing.

That's the first time I've seen a board configured that way. Normally the first six ports, all RAID capable, are on the first SATA controller, with the sSATA controller (which don't support RAID on the x99) taking up the remainder.

The behavior you are seeing is likely due to the RSTe drivers never being written to work along side the RST drivers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oubadah View Post

What I really want to know is: where did the idea of using RSTe drivers for the X99 sSATA controller come from?

The HEDT platform chipsets are essentially workstation chipsets with different firmware and the chipsets they are based off only support RSTe. Additionally, X79 boards often let you choose between RST and RSTe support in the BIOS, and many would choose the latter to have all of their SATA ports work.

Since the hardware is the same (X99 has no physical differences from a C612 chipset) and all the hardware ID's match, it's usually perfectly possible to use the RSTe drivers on them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oubadah View Post

Yes, you can install them on that controller, and some people even seem to be using them without any side effects, but whether you can and whether you should are different questions. I've yet to see a single board manufacturer provide RSTe drivers on the download page for an X99 board, and Asus themselves have said that "X99 has never supported IRSTe" (http://www.legitreviews.com/intel-pulls-rste-drivers-for-haswell-e-x99-platform-due-to-issues_155176). Further, as pointed out by someone in the Asus X99 thead, the wording in the Asus manual is: "[the sSATA ports] do not support Intel rapid storage technology and RAID configurations". Do they mean "Intel rapid storage technology" to include RST/RSTe drivers? Seems possible.

Most of the talk about using RSTe drivers on x99 boards is on win-raid.com, or from people who heard it on win-raid.com. Of course the question then becomes; if RSTe is not the correct driver for the X99 sSATA, then what is? The 2006 Microsoft default? I should add that with the Microsoft default, I have zero issues with the sSATA controller apart from the sub-standard performance relative to the main controller+RST drivers.

ASUS is technically correct. X99 has never officially supported RSTe.

The "correct", as in only officially supported, driver for the sSATA ports is indeed the Microsoft AHCI driver. Indeed, if you install the Intel chipset .inf package while the sSATA controller is enabled, it will often explicitly tell that controller to use the MS driver, despite labeling it as an Intel part.

There really isn't any good way around the performance differential. You can try forcing the Intel AHCI driver over the sSATA device, but this often doesn't work at all, or has more severe side-effects than the RSTe driver.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oubadah View Post

That's the weird thing though; it's a single download containing both 13.X in a "Win7" folder and 14.X in a "Win10" folder. I guess if Asus does some kind of in-house validation that maybe they haven't done >13.X for Windows 7 yet.

I'm not exactly sure what ASUS is doing, but few motherboard manufacturers post the most recent drivers available for given hardware. I usually grab drivers from more updated sources, and only fall back to the ones on the mobo maker's site when I experience the rare issue with newer drivers.
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