Thursday, December 11th 2014

Intel Facing HEDT Chipset Troubles, Again?

In what is a repeat of the design issues Intel faced with its previous X79 Express chipset, over its integrated storage controller, leading to motherboard vendors redesigning their products with fewer SATA/SAS ports than the platform is capable of, the company is facing design troubles with its already-launched X99 Express chipset, which drives its latest Core i7-5xxx "Haswell-E" HEDT platform. Intel X99 Express is based on a common silicon, on which the company's enterprise C610 chipset is also based. On paper, it features as many as ten SATA 6 Gb/s ports. The storage controller has its own exclusive Rapid Storage Technology driver, marked "RSTe" on Intel's Download website.

Intel withdrew version 4.1.0.1046 of its RSTe drivers (even from the list of older drivers), and made its motherboard partners do the same. Replying to German publication Heise.de, ASUS explained that the driver was withdrawn because it doesn't support ATA TRIM command for SSDs striped in a RAID 0 array. The latest driver makes only six out of ten SATA 6 Gb/s ports visible to the operating system, and you can create RAID arrays using on these six ports. The other four ports become visible as part of a separate controller, only when a device is plugged into them. This controller is recognized by Windows' internal Standard AHCI controller driver. This also means that the four ports don't benefit from the SATA power management features the first six ports do, nor can they be part of a RAID array with drives plugged to the first six ports. Intel did not respond to the Heise article.

Source: Heise.de
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30 Comments on Intel Facing HEDT Chipset Troubles, Again?

#1
natr0n
This issue doesn't seem so bad really.
Posted on Reply
#2
Steevo
If you are at the point where you need more than 6 devices plugged in I would suggest using an actual RAID hardware card, it will offer hardware caching, battery backup, and other features not available on the integrated chip anyway.

So, I really fail to see the issues here.
Posted on Reply
#3
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
When Intel screws up most say no big deal. But when Amd screws up everyone loses their minds
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#4
Scrizz
the ports are usable. besides, people doing high-end RAID would be using hardware controllers anyways.
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#5
mroofie
eidairaman1 said:
When Intel screws up most say no big deal. But when Amd screws up everyone loses their minds
Because Intel better than amd :D
Posted on Reply
#6
the54thvoid
eidairaman1 said:
When Intel screws up most say no big deal. But when Amd screws up everyone loses their minds
Not really. If this made the platform inferior it would be an issue but it's more of a technical niggle as far as 'problems' go. I'm not sure what AMD 'screw up' you're comparing it with but your bias makes you paranoid.
FWIW, the X99 platform as a whole, CPU included is over the top for most. I've stuck with X79 for over 3 years now and see no need to upgrade. If anything, Intel have been 'lazy' with progression due to market forces being less than pressing.
Posted on Reply
#7
Fx
Steevo said:
If you are at the point where you need more than 6 devices plugged in I would suggest using an actual RAID hardware card, it will offer hardware caching, battery backup, and other features not available on the integrated chip anyway.

So, I really fail to see the issues here.
Most people will not want to pay a premium for those features. Especially when they are going with SW RAID, and just need extra SATA ports or a simple HBA at most. Integrated ports like this simplifies those requirements and considerations.
Posted on Reply
#8
Assimilator
The fact that the first 6 / last 4 ports on X99 are run off separate controllers, and hence can't be used to build a RAID array spanning those controllers, was made completely clear by Intel at launch. So either the author of this story completely failed to do their research, or this is just sensationalist Intel-bashing.
Posted on Reply
#9
TheLostSwede
Exactly, this isn't a bug, it's by design and Intel never said anything else. In fact, the extra four ports are sort of "optional" at the discretion of the board makers if they want to add more ports.
Posted on Reply
#10
mroofie
Nosada said:
Get your ignorant bigotry of this forum please. This is a place of technical dialogue, not a place for you to spout your neanderthal frustrations. This is the 21st century, the time for all this white-power crap is long over.
That comment from him was unnecessary and I don't think its because of white power he may be a anti Israel supporter there is alot of hate coming from that group
Posted on Reply
#11
Nosada
mroofie said:
That comment from him was unnecessary and I don't think its because of white power he may be a anti Israel supporter there is alot of hate coming from that group
I agree with you, but we are getting off topic :) I'd like to thank the mods for keeping this place as clean as they do though, you guys are awesome!

ON TOPIC: While I agree that this is a very minute issue, you have to wonder why they pulled the RSTe version though. If the SATA ports were divided over two seperate controllers from the get-go, what actually broke in this update?
Posted on Reply
#12
The Von Matrices
Assimilator said:
The fact that the first 6 / last 4 ports on X99 are run off separate controllers, and hence can't be used to build a RAID array spanning those controllers, was made completely clear by Intel at launch. So either the author of this story completely failed to do their research, or this is just sensationalist Intel-bashing.
TheLostSwede said:
Exactly, this isn't a bug, it's by design and Intel never said anything else. In fact, the extra four ports are sort of "optional" at the discretion of the board makers if they want to add more ports.
The original post wasn't very clear, so allow me to clarify. There are two issues with the latest RSTe release:

1.) SATA ports 0-5 do not support TRIM on RAID 0
2.) SATA ports 6-9 do not install an Intel driver and revert to a standard Microsoft driver.

If you ask me, #2 is the bigger concern - you don't want a driver package that doesn't actually install a driver. It's good that Intel pulled the release; otherwise, people would install the newer release thinking it was better and more stable than the old one, which it obviously is not.
Posted on Reply
#13
buggalugs
Intel have had a bad record for chipsets for the last few generations.

The first Sandy Bridge boards were pulled from sale because of a design flaw, a bunch of features were cut from X79 boards before launch because of problems. Z87 boards had a chipset hardware fault that luckily didn't affect too many people before revisions were made. Now they have issues with X99 that forced them to do a workaround. Maybe they need to more testing before rushing to market....
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#14
Dj-ElectriC
X99 is one hella problematic platform.

It has been 4 months since it came out and guess what? there's still a wide issue with memory competability on huge amounts of boards. Moreover, there are some issues that haven't resolved yet, critical issues. I haven't seen my X99's BIOS in months, becuase i cannot even access it. No updates.
Posted on Reply
#15
bpgt64
Steevo said:
If you are at the point where you need more than 6 devices plugged in I would suggest using an actual RAID hardware card, it will offer hardware caching, battery backup, and other features not available on the integrated chip anyway.

So, I really fail to see the issues here.
And with SSD's you will turn all of those features off. Source -- LSI 9266 4i + 4x 256 GB 840 Evo's. Performance sucked with cache. Direct write through is the way to go.
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#16
ssdpro
Dj-ElectriC said:
X99 is one hella problematic platform.
The first platform to adopt a set of new standards (such as the 6 series SATA 6Gb/s, 7 series USB3 which still wasn't right with 8 series, now DDR4 on X99) always is. A HEDT system should be about stability anyway and what is tried, tested, and true. This one is an experiment, a beast when working, but I sure do read about a lot of problems considering the meager adoption rates.

On another note: After about 3 full months of release the errata on the X99/C610 has already grown to 9 pages, 25 items. My personal favorite is errata 22) SATA signal voltage violation exceeding ATA specification 3.1 for both tx and rx connector for any SATA I or II device with no plan to fix of course. The neat part is a similar erratum is in the 8 and 9 series PCH update but includes only SATA I devices... so they just doubled down and expanded that problem on the X99 to include any SATA 3Gb/s HDD or SSD you might use. A real bonus.

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/...ec-update.html
Posted on Reply
#17
KevinCobley
My Crucial MX100 SSD Raid array is working perfectly, Trim is running original driver package 13.1.0.1058.
It was well known before X99 launch the extra 4 SATA ports would run on the Microsoft AHCI controller, I can't see the other 3 drives on RST, but they are present on explorer and are all working properly at SATA 3 speeds.
Posted on Reply
#18
EarthDog
eidairaman1 said:
When Intel screws up most say no big deal. But when Amd screws up everyone loses their minds
Way to make this something it remotely isn't...:confused:
Posted on Reply
#19
Steevo
bpgt64 said:
And with SSD's you will turn all of those features off. Source -- LSI 9266 4i + 4x 256 GB 840 Evo's. Performance sucked with cache. Direct write through is the way to go.
So one card has cache issues and thus all of them must be bad? Plus you are close to saturating the X8 PCIe bus if you were running RAID0 and the controller were able to keep up, which I am guessing it couldn't. Once you breach that you need to go with a PCIe memory card/SSD, and from there work on making your system more balanced with switched fabric storage, and have your drives in racks, on dedicated systems.
Posted on Reply
#20
bpgt64
No what I am saying is that the drI've is basically cache so allowing it to direct write makes writing a 400 gb file for a 4k recording possible..wherrs as you'd fill up that 1 gb cache in a hurry.
Posted on Reply
#21
boogerlad
Typical Intel shafting their HEDT platform again. No surprise here.
Posted on Reply
#22
The Von Matrices
ssdpro said:
The first platform to adopt a set of new standards (such as the 6 series SATA 6Gb/s, 7 series USB3 which still wasn't right with 8 series, now DDR4 on X99) always is. A HEDT system should be about stability anyway and what is tried, tested, and true. This one is an experiment, a beast when working, but I sure do read about a lot of problems considering the meager adoption rates.
The problem is that every chipset release has at least one new feature. You can't categorically avoid products with the first implementations of features or else you would never buy anything. And I disagree with you that the HEDT market is about stability; I think it's the exact opposite. The HEDT market is there to sell the components that failed to pass validation for the enterprise/Xeon market. If you care about stability, you buy Xeon(s) and a C series chipset, not a HEDT system.

I feel as if in the recent past, Intel is not only releasing chipsets but also processors one revision too soon. In their latest products, the early adopters have gotten burned because one major feature is broken at release and only fixed in a newer stepping that comes out months later. Intel should delay releases by a few months, produce one more stepping that fixes errata, then release that stepping as the only version.
Posted on Reply
#23
Jstn7477
Dj-ElectriC said:
X99 is one hella problematic platform.

It has been 4 months since it came out and guess what? there's still a wide issue with memory competability on huge amounts of boards. Moreover, there are some issues that haven't resolved yet, critical issues. I haven't seen my X99's BIOS in months, becuase i cannot even access it. No updates.
That is actually a Gigabyte problem, there were no updates for three months until the 9th of this month. BIOS F8h on my UD5 seems much better, but I haven't tried my card reader again yet. At least the damn thing isn't freezing or shutting off after applying BIOS settings as much anymore.

For your Gaming G1: http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=5126#bios
Posted on Reply
#24
SimpleTECH
Jstn7477 said:
That is actually a Gigabyte problem, there were no updates for three months until the 9th of this month. BIOS F8h on my UD5 seems much better, but I haven't tried my card reader again yet. At least the damn thing isn't freezing or shutting off after applying BIOS settings as much anymore.

For your Gaming G1: http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=5126#bios
There have been plentiful of updates for Gigabyte. You just have to know where to look....

http://forums.tweaktown.com/gigabyte/
Posted on Reply
#25
Live OR Die
I don't think i'm using RSTe i'm using just the normal RST drivers on my x99.
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