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3x M.2 Drives+2x HDD Drives - Which Mobo?

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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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3x M.2 Drives+2x HDD Drives - Which Mobo?

Not sure if this has been answered 100x over. Just a little confused on my build. If there is already a thread or detailed answer for this then please by all means just link me to the post and I will delete this one.

Im looking to setup my new build with 3 Samsung 970 M.2 drives. Just how I want to do it for my adobe editing flow. I also want to add my two current WD Black 2tb Drives for storage. I keep reading about lane sharing and how using 3 m.2 drives will eliminate the Sata ports not leaving me enough for the HDD, and possibly for the bluray player.

So I guess I need one of two things here. Someone to point me in the right direction of a mobo for the i7-8700k or the i9-9900k (still undecided) that will work with that setup, or explain a little about the lane sharing and why I wouldnt be able to use them all together.


This is probably super simple and Im over thinking it so excuse my newbness. Been a while since I had to build something new.

Attached is the current parts list, and MoBo I was going to go with.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 06:26 PM
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This would work and is very similar to my current set up with 3x M.2 on a Z390 Taichi Ultimate.
I've got a Samsung 970 evo, and two SM951, although one is ACHI rather than NVMe. I've also got 3 spinning SATA drives connected.

With 3x M.2 drives on the Z390 Taichi you'll only have one native chipset SATA port, with another two available from the ASMedia controller.
A PCI-E add-on card can always be added for additional SATA ports which would be fine for a blu-ray drive.

I haven't yet benchmarked all drives simultaneously but reading and writing between NVMe devices is yielding expected speeds.

Your build looks good.
I ended up going for the 9700k but seems you aren't considering it?
If your workloads benefit that highly from HT to rule out the current i7 then I would suggest the 9900k would be a clear winner although I couldn't say how far you'll be able to push it with the 212 Evo. I've been very pleasantly surprised by my temperatures with a 9700k running with a NH-D15 after reading the challenges cooling the 9900k.
It seems a daily OC ( vcore ~ 1.35) would be limited by voltage before temperature.

For me there was little price difference between the standard Taichi and the Ultimate, at least little enough to justify the 10GBASE-T and WiFi improvements. Similarly the MB power buttons are great while I'm waiting for my delayed case.
I also went for an EVGA G1+ PSU over the G2. The G1+ was priced a little better while being a newer platform and (at least by some reviews) more efficient but they're both very solid and backed with a 10 year warranty.

Let me know if there's anything specific I can answer for you.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome! Thanks for the info. Honestly I think that answered what I was asking. So you have 3 m.2 drives and 3 platter hdd.

Also are there any other mobo options out there besides the Taichi that would be able to run the same sort of setup?

And tbh, I don’t OC. Haven’t tipped that table yet. My last build lasted me quite some time so this one I’m trying to build right again so I’m not having to upgrade stuff in the next few months again.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-07-2019, 09:59 PM
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use the pcpartspicker website, choose which cpu you "start" the pc build with.


The website will automatically filter the motherboards that are supporting whatever cpu.


Then on the left side of the build, when you search the motherboards, you can toggle how many m.2 ports you need.


Then you find all available marketed motherboards that fit your needs.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 02:44 AM
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There's also a nice list available here at anandtech which lists boards with 3x M.2 slots.

The Gigabyte Aorus Master also would have 3x SATA ports available with 3x M.2 in use but that's the only one I looked into.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Sweet. Back to researching and reading. Much appreciated for the links! That list from Anandtech looks perfect to help me out.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 01:07 PM
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The Z390 Aorus Master would work. Great VRMs as well. One of the m.2 lanes will disable 2 SATA ports if you use it, but there are plenty of open ones left.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 01:18 PM
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Being able to connect them and use them is one thing. Being able to use them simultaneously at FULL speed is another and it's not going to happen on a platform with only 16 PCI-E + 4 more from the chipset while also being in 16X GPU mode.

I do not know what you intend to do with the drives but each one needs 4X PCI-E lanes to function at full speed. You can take away 8X Lanes from the GPU and allocated them to 1 or 2X NVMEs (if the motherboard allows it) and the rest will have to share bandwidth with SATA/USB/LAN....(not to mention 10GBit LAN)....

What the real world performance is going to be, depends on your workflow of course, the motherboard options and your UEFI settings. If you are into 4K/8K video editing and require a RAID-0 configuration with multiple NVMEs you really need to look at another platform such as X299 or AMDs equivalent that offer far more PCI-E lanes.

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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by Abaidor View Post
Being able to connect them and use them is one thing. Being able to use them simultaneously at FULL speed is another and it's not going to happen on a platform with only 16 PCI-E + 4 more from the chipset while also being in 16X GPU mode.

I do not know what you intend to do with the drives but each one needs 4X PCI-E lanes to function at full speed. You can take away 8X Lanes from the GPU and allocated them to 1 or 2X NVMEs (if the motherboard allows it) and the rest will have to share bandwidth with SATA/USB/LAN....(not to mention 10GBit LAN)....

What the real world performance is going to be, depends on your workflow of course, the motherboard options and your UEFI settings. If you are into 4K/8K video editing and require a RAID-0 configuration with multiple NVMEs you really need to look at another platform such as X299 or AMDs equivalent that offer far more PCI-E lanes.
I currently do not do 4k/8k video editing, but will in the future. Currently I only do 1080 video, but alot of it. I cover drag racing and do full feature event DVD's and BluRays. Just trying to speed up the workflow in Adobe Premiere Pro and Encore, which on my end has become alot faster since I started in 2010. So currently my computer is my hold up on waiting for things like renders, file transfer etc. plus alot of dropped frames and just all around lagging when im trying to rush thru the editing progress. So with recommendations from alot of others with this new build I was wanting to do the 3 SSD setup with 2 other drives for on computer storage. I also have my 48tb QNAP which i move older stuff to, but wanted to still keep some stuff locally incase its needed from previous systems.

So I was going to break it down like this -
m.2 1 - OS and Software
m.2 2 - Project files and source media
m.2 3 - Media Cache & Scratch files
HDD 1 + 2 - Storage for everything else


I dont game, or OC but do ALOT of video all day everyday. Im sure at this point anything I put together will be faster than this current setup. But what do you mean by it will work but not at FULL speed?
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 03:13 PM
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I meant that you won't be able to be reading AND writing from NVME_1 --> NVME_2 while you are also READ/WRITE to HDD_1 & HDD_2 from the other NVME for example....

Yet, even Reading from NVME_1 and copying to NVME_2 at FULL bandwidth depends on certain factors such as:

Your motherboard and its m.2. topology E.g. whether it allows you to set the GPU PCI-E slot to 8X and release the 8 remaining lanes and use them with 1 or 2 m.2 slots on board. Remember each NVME drive needs 4X PCI-E lanes for full bandwidth and you have 16X lanes from the CPU and 4X lanes from the chipset connected directly to the CPU (the 24 Chipset Lanes are not direct but a hub for everything LAN/USB 3.0/ 1 or 2 NVMEs / SATA and they all communicate with the CPU via a 4X PCI-E link.

So if you have your GPU set at 16X in order to use 2X NVMEs at full speed at the same time you would need 8X Lanes and you simply don't have them unless you reduce the GPU to 8X (not an issue in your case) and the M/B allows setting 1 or 2 NVME slots to CPU through the remaining 8X lanes..while the other goes through the the chipset 4X link. It might be the case that you need an NVME PCI-E card for this to happen but for this you need to study the motherboard manuals.

Honestly, in your case I would seriously consider going on a X299 platform and a 10 Core CPU and then you get 44 PCI-E lanes and no such limits now or in the future for 4K/8K video. That's what these platforms are made for.



***NOTE***

This is from Asrock and the Z390 Taichi

*M2_1, SATA3_0 and SATA3_1 share lanes. If either one of them is in use, the others will be disabled.

If M2_2 is occupied by a SATA-type M.2 device, SATA3_3 will be disabled.

M2_3, SATA3_4 and SATA3_5 share lanes. If either one of them is in use, the others will be disabled.



It looks like there is no way to set any of the M2 slots to directly communicate with the CPU via PCI-E since all are wired through the DMI Link (the chipset) meaning that you have 4X Lanes that ALL of them Have to share with SATA/USB/LAN...

With 3 M2 drives you lose the following SATA ports:

SATA_3_0
SATA_3_1
SATA_3_3
SATA_3_4
SATA_3_5

Out of the 8 SATA ports you are left with 3 and after you connect your 2X HDDs with one.

The big issue here is that ALL those + LAN/USB/SAT share the same 4X PCI-E lanes so you can do the math.

However, please note that the 970 EVO cannot sustain max speed for long anyway (that is what the Pro is for and why more expensive) so the "cripple" effect won't be that noticeable but everything depends on how you use them and how heavy you multitask.

X299 - i9 7940X
(24 items)
CPU
i9-7940X
Motherboard
Asus Rampage VI Extreme
GPU
Asus Strix GTX 1080Ti OC
RAM
64GB Trident Z RGB
Hard Drive
Samsung M.2 960Pro 512GB
Hard Drive
WD Gold 10TB
Hard Drive
WD Red 4TB
Hard Drive
WD RED 4TB
Hard Drive
WD Green 2TB
Hard Drive
WD Green 2TB
Hard Drive
WD Green 2TB
Power Supply
Corsair AX1500i
Cooling
MO-RA 420 Pro
Cooling
EK RVIE Monoblock
Cooling
Phanteks Asus Strix 1080Ti GPU Block
Cooling
EK-XTOP Revo Dual D5 PWM
Cooling
Bitspower Fittings
Cooling
Heatkiller 200mm Reservoir
Cooling
9X Corsair ML140 Pro Fans
Case
Coolermaster Cosmos 2
Operating System
Windows 10 Pro
Monitor
BenQ SW320 32" 4K
Mouse
Logitech MX Master 2S
Mouse
Logitech MX Master 2S
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