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X58A-UD3R v1 SATA setup docs?

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November 27, 2010 6:45:22 AM

Hi all. I have a GA-X58A-UD3R v1 with F6 BIOS, eight two-terabyte hard drives for a ZFS software RAID, and one SSD for booting MacOS 10.6.5, my only operating system. So I'm wanting to ensure that I selected the optimal BIOS setup for nine drives on ten ports. Here's my setup:

http://smuckola.org/pics/sata_setup.jpeg (mirror at http://i.imgur.com/qdwxp.jpg )

Does that look correct? They do function, but I just wanted to make sure.

I found this forum while searching for a description of the general layout of the SATA ports and controllers, and relevant BIOS configuration, on the Gigabyte X58A-UD3R v1 setup. I found some very good posts but I lost them, written by someone with a bizarre writing style involving a bunch of nonsensical and superfluous punctuation marks, such as tilde (~) and braces ({}) and verbal diagrams everywhere. I had to reread every other sentence five times to decrypt it, and people complained about it, but it was eventually very informational. LOL sorry, that's all I remember.

So maybe someone can either point me to such a thread, or write down the layout of SATA ports and controllers on this mighty, Mac-like motherboard! ;-)

Thank you so much and keep up the good work!
November 27, 2010 8:13:18 AM

The understanding that I've gleaned about the SATA controllers is that ports 0-5 are on one controller, ports 6-7 are on another physical controller if you set it to "IDE" mode which is shared with the legacy IDE ports (or they're the same controller if it's RAID mode), and port 8-9 are on a third controller. Or something like that?

When I set 6-7 to "IDE" mode, does that really mean "SATA"? Because it also lets me select AHCI.

Do any of these ports speed up or slow down when you enable more of the interfaces? I'm using all SATA 2 devices. I'm fairly sure that performance won't be a problem, and that I'll be saturating this bus anyway, because I'll probably set up an 8-way 0+1 RAID.

Thanks again for any feedback.
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November 27, 2010 5:56:53 PM

I believe all 3 controllers are separate. I am currently running a 4 disk (soon to be 6) raid 10 soon to be 6. and I believe I can still create 2 raid 0 or raid 1 on each of the other controllers. i have rev 2 of this board
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a c 716 V Motherboard
November 27, 2010 6:29:02 PM

The nonsensical punctuations were from me. I avoid "parentheses" because they often end-up as smilies :(  -> : ( so it's easier to use }: instead. The tilde also denotes a set or range of a set e.g. 3v~4v.

I could have been VERY verbose writing the Ports and been redundant with copy/pasting all of the permutations. If you care to 'decode' this link then by all means please enlighten me; show me how it's done and keep it as brief.
Ports - http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/278015-30-mobo-ideal-...
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November 27, 2010 9:24:36 PM

Hi guys. Thanks a lot for your replies.

Jaquith, I can kind of understand how that could apply to another person's setup, but how about my questions? Do you have any information about which ports are handled by separate controllers? Is there a performance hit on an individual channel if they're all in use by a software RAID, or do they just scale up to the maximum throughput of however many SATA2 channels there are? And whether 6-7's "IDE" mode is actually SATA? Or if my BIOS settings are correct in the above linked image?

Thanks.
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November 27, 2010 9:29:31 PM

I know there was a post somewhere which gives details about the Intel controller, and which mentions the history of the ICH family and the increased maturity of its drivers in comparison to that of the Marvell controller. It talks about the physical separation of the interfaces, some of which I believe depends upon their BIOS configuration. Chrome jacked my session and I can't find it!
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November 27, 2010 9:33:23 PM

Oh yeah and I have the F6 BIOS version. I apologize if I'm being slow on finding these posts! ;-)
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a c 716 V Motherboard
November 27, 2010 10:01:04 PM

I thought the link was pretty clear, and if you read the comments there should be no confusion whatsoever.

SATA2_0 is SATA2 - see the '2'; comment "handle a [4-Drive] RAID array"; beyond RAID 0, 1 or 10 use a Dedicated RAID.

GSATA3_6 is SATA3 - see the '3'; the (2) SATA3 can support RAID 0, or 1.

All of this in clear in the manual. However, your MOBO (rev 1) and the (rev 2) both are about the worst X58 MOBOs available for SSD and RAID (anything). There is a known hardware issue with the GA-X58A-UD3R and RAID - http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/276715-30-x58a-ud3r-r... Therefore, you'll need to purchase a Dedicated RAID Controller, and in particular with 8 HDDs you'd be nuts to run it off any MOBO even if they somehow supported a RAID configuration with 8-10 drives.

The SSD situation with the GA-X58A-UD3R (rev 1) is so bad that the Beta BIOS specifically has to throttle-down the SATA2 to keep it stable; BIOS F7f 'Beta BIOS / Improve SSD compatibility'.

Yes, the ICH10R is more mature but GA's implementation makes a solid RAID into uselessness.

Does that answer your questions? If it were me, I too kept 1 GA-X58A-UD3R (rev 2) for a Hackintosh (the MOBO sucks), replace the MOBO and also get an Adaptec RAID controller.
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November 27, 2010 11:45:01 PM

I would not say this board is the worst of them i can think of others... ( ecs and i don't care for asrock either) this board has been nothing but good to me. if anyone wants to pm me, i will let anyone know how things go when I add more drives which I will be doing after christmas ( i don't want to hijack this thread)

I do currently run 4x500GB F3's in raid 10 on ICH10R with no issues ( of course raid 0 with 3 drives was slightly faster) but that is normal. PLUS I have another 500GB WD drive and a 1TB F3 on the marvell controller and will be attempting to raid 1 the 1TB in the future
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November 27, 2010 11:54:39 PM

You have reminded me to read the manual which I haven't done in a long time. Silly me! Thanks. However, I do know which ports are SATA 2 and which are SATA 3. I asked which ports correspond to different controllers, and what those controllers physically are. I'll check the manual for that.

However, I don't see anywhere in that thread or in any other, which indicates (let alone proves) that the GA-X58A-UD3R v1 has a stability problem with SATA 2 devices. I apologize if I missed something in some other thread. Is that what you're saying?

To reiterate, I do not have hardware RAID, and I will never use hardware RAID. There don't even exist enough hardware RAID ports to attempt an 8-drive RAID. If I ever used a hardware RAID controller, it would only be to provide me with more individual SATA ports for a software RAID after having run out of ports on my motherboard. I have ZFS which is far superior, and entirely based in the operating system's software. As I understand it, the XMP that you're referring to is hardware RAID which is irrelevant to me. ^_^

Thanks.
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November 28, 2010 12:41:53 AM

Yeah I agree with Hard Line. I have seen no empirical evidence that the GA-X58A-UD3R or any other Gigabyte motherboard is endemically flawed by design. What I do see is one person repeatedly calling them endemically flawed at the slightest question, and each time citing a shipment of six bad boards from (in his own words) either a bad batch or with possible shipping damage. And I see a slowdown patch in a consumer product. To slow down some SSDs, which is a new technology designed to intentionally push the limits of everything. Correlation does not imply causality. ^_^
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November 28, 2010 12:46:44 AM

My condolences for those dead motherboards though, Jaquith! I would be mighty distraught, to say the least.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
November 28, 2010 12:48:50 PM

Google X58A-UD3R +SSD +BSOD renders 136,000 results. @Hard line has HDDs not SSDs. I see this MOBO all of the time with the same exact problem, and Gigabyte acknowledged the problem so take it up with them not me. In addition, The BIOS F7f 'Beta BIOS / Improve SSD compatibility' clearly addresses this known problem. Newegg users also address the problem.

I replaced the GA-X58A-UD3R with ASUS P6X58D-E and all the problems are gone. Lsdmeasap {GA Guru} at http://forums.tweaktown.com/ confirms the same problems at his forum.

Gigabyte really screwed their reputation-up with this board.

The SOLUTION is to purchase a Dedicated RAID Controller; keep in mind you do not have to run RAID wot can run JBOD just fine and circumvent the on-board issues.
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a c 177 V Motherboard
November 28, 2010 4:36:28 PM

Hardline, smuckola -

YHPM!
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a c 716 V Motherboard
November 28, 2010 4:48:10 PM

@bilbat keep it in the Forum - you and your Private Messages...or Forum changes. It's truly bizarre.
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November 28, 2010 5:11:45 PM

I forgot how to delete a comment lol sorry feel free to delete
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a c 177 V Motherboard
November 28, 2010 9:43:35 PM

對不起!
I truly wasn't aware I needed to beg your permission to send a PM - will consult you in advance should I feel the need to again...
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November 28, 2010 10:23:55 PM

Jaquith, in this and several other posts, according to me and several others, you're completely devoted to not making any logical sense whatsoever, and often doing so in a vendetta against Gigabyte. :(  Now it's to the point where you're hijacking threads and creating imaginary problems against Gigabyte. For people who don't even *have* problems! In addition, you're answering questions that are not being asked, confabulating the problems and their solutions to fit your own personal goals, which are explicitly the opposite of what we're saying.

That's what you made this technology thread about. About you. So I'll have to follow it through. :\ *sigh*

I tried to clarify it in private in an extremely polite and gracious way to save you some embarassment, but you're just rudely embarassing yourself in public. You took my friendship and with droll precalculation, dropped it in the toilet and stared on, defiantly. You say you don't care what I do with the board? Obviously you do; you won't rest until Gigabyte's products are maximally shamed! You're taking your anti-Gigabyte crusade thread-to-hijacked-thread, telling people that whatever their question is, if they have a Gigabyte board, especially with an SSD, the answer is to destroy it all or buy a hardware RAID card. And with no scientifically empirical proof stated.

In fact, your only citation is your thread where *you* claim that it's probably just a small bad batch of Gigabyte motherboards which have problems that obviously most people do not have which has sustained possible shipping damage, and then magically concluding that they're all inherently bad. That is literally called nonsense. As if even questioning a Gigabyte motherboard means that all Gigabyte motherboards are endemically failed and should be eliminated. I could instantaneously tell, even in your thumbnail picture, that the box looked *crushed*! Check out 'confabulation' on wikipedia.

To top it all off, *nobody* in this thread has even stated a problem whatsoever. Nobody here has stated a problem with this motherboard (completely the opposite). You are going on about RAID being limited to the first four ports, in response to my comments about software RAID (which were not a question). You're talking about hardware RAID! I told you several times that I don't have hardware RAID! I may as well be doing concurrent single-drive benchmarks as far as my hardware is concerned at the moment.

With my sustained throughput of 500MBps reading and 500MBps writing on a five-drive software RAID, plus an SSD, please ask yourself just what *precisely* is it that you're imagining that I have a problem with! That's a rhetorical question; just drop it please! You're a passive aggressive contrarian with a bizarre butchery of punctuation, like APK or like a polite version of the Time Cube guy. So I'll sadly leave this post up to notify future posters that they're not alone, and that we've figured you out. You're a great guy with a lot of knowledge and dedication but there is something wrong with your mind; it obviously does not completely work the way you think that it does. You're scaring people off and wearing people down.

Hard Line, you have nothing to delete! Thank you.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
November 29, 2010 11:22:13 AM

smuckola said:
...I have a GA-X58A-UD3R v1 with F6 BIOS, eight two-terabyte hard drives for a ZFS software RAID, and one SSD...

Your RAID is NOT POSSIBLE with 8 HDD and only your MOBO. Your MOBO has several documented problems employing SSD + RAID. Is that a better answer?

No, originally I was wide-eyed and bushy-tailed about Gigabyte [like you] until I received a series of 'Private Messages' from Lsdmeasap who is the most knowledgeable person on the web with Gigabyte motherboards. I 'hoped' it was the box, but there are countless posts at this and many other forums - as I suggested Google "X58A-UD3R +SSD +BSOD" - IT'S CONFIRMED - don't take my word. Also, the latest BIOS specifically mentions "F7f 'Beta BIOS / Improve SSD compatibility"

Don't make this about 'me' instead grow-up and make it about Gigabyte; I am the messenger and not the creator of the problems. bilbat - check out his 'website' maybe that will explain the problems.

BTW - I do recommend the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD9 and GA-X58A-UD7; the only problems I've seen were user error.

After Lsdmeasap I quickly exchanged the MOBOs for ASUS and the problems disappeared. Further, after this I started posting here and kept an eye out for MOBOs and specifically for non-user created problems or confirmed bad MOBOs, and on the top was Gigabyte. [bilbat] had to create a post sticky for Gigabyte, you don't see them on other MOBOs. I have not seen the need for ASUS, MSI, etc because the incident rate is too low to justify.

Good Luck!
08-06-2010

Lsdmeasap
GIGABYTE Guru - Admin

"The issue is with Gigabyte and their implementation of the Intel chipsets and RAID, and the cheaper motherboards. I have seen it more than a few times, it would be better to use RAID 0 for your OS strange as it sounds."

"Sorry to hear, I'll pass this info along and see if in the future better testing can be done with the cheaper boards.

I've never used a lesser model, so you may be right as it may just be the lower or mid range models that are somehow affected by this. I don't ever have issues on the high end models, but not everyone can buy these I know, especially in instances like yours where you are buying 10 or more for office use.

Hopefully they will keep an eye on this in the future, sorry you had such bad luck with these!" said:
08-06-2010

Lsdmeasap
GIGABYTE Guru - Admin

"The issue is with Gigabyte and their implementation of the Intel chipsets and RAID, and the cheaper motherboards. I have seen it more than a few times, it would be better to use RAID 0 for your OS strange as it sounds."

"Sorry to hear, I'll pass this info along and see if in the future better testing can be done with the cheaper boards.

I've never used a lesser model, so you may be right as it may just be the lower or mid range models that are somehow affected by this. I don't ever have issues on the high end models, but not everyone can buy these I know, especially in instances like yours where you are buying 10 or more for office use.

Hopefully they will keep an eye on this in the future, sorry you had such bad luck with these!"
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