Monday, 11 February 2013

X79-UD5 IRST TRIM with RAID0 SSDs in Windows 7

Hi all, just a quick update, to cut a long story short - I developed a problem on booting up since I swapped some drives around.

I swapped the 1TB out and in place put in a 500GB WD drive, setup a RAID0 with the two other 500GB drives and put the 1TB in my new server/HTPC (update to come on this) for remote backup from my main setup.

The problem was my boot times rocketed from around 15 seconds to 1 minute 20 seconds at points. It was a little frustrating especially as I'm running the two RAID0 256GB M4 SSDs. Eventually after a day of working on/reinstalling the OS/swapping drives about, I discovered it was the Marvell drivers having a paddy as, to create the RAID, I'd moved my optical drive onto the Marvell controller. On boot it was hanging for 60s just trying to initialise the DVD drive. Had to create custom event views for it to try and track it all down.

In the process, however, I discovered that on the X79-UD5's new BIOS, there is an option to switch around the Intel Controller's mode. I was presented with two options, either RSTe, or IRST. Now we all know that the new 7 series chipsets support RAID TRIM, however X79 is on the 6 series and was not supported.

Knowing that previously I'd been using RSTe (enterprise version) drivers, I had a dig around and found that if I switched the OROM (option rom) to IRST, I could install the standard version of Intel Rapid Storage Technology. I'm currently running version, which, after a little checking, is now issuing and executing TRIM commands on the RAID0 M4s!

So - hopefully the rest of the motherboard manufacturers will, at some point, be issuing updates to allow this OROM to be switchable, especially as us enthusiasts on X79 won't like to be left out of such luxuries as TRIM, especially considering we are more likely than others to be running RAID SSDs!

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