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P8Z68-V PRO SATA question

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June 10, 2011 3:51:50 AM

I have distilled my problem down to one question:

Can I use the Marvell SATA 3 (6 gb/sec) ports on this mobo to run a RAID1 array?

If not, I'm kinda ticked. All I want is one SSD for boot/OS/app and two HDDs in a RAID1 array for storage. That's three drives, with supposedly four SATA3 (6 gb/sec) ports available.

But if the Marvells are not RAID-capable, then I'm a SATA3 drive short.

Anybody?
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 107 V Motherboard
June 10, 2011 6:34:07 AM

None of the current ASUS Z68 boards support Marvell RAID. They all have the wrong version of the Marvell controller chip.
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June 10, 2011 7:45:49 AM

Thanks.

After further reading and research, I believe I am now correctly informed that it doesn't matter one whit, because my planned dual 1.5 TB WD Caviar Blacks, at 7200 RPM SATA3 (6 Gbit/sec) can't saturate even a SATA2 (3 Gbit/sec) pipe with throughput. Am I right on that? So I can use the SATA2 ports for my RAID 1 array on my HDD's and get the same exact performance. Whodathunk?

And so, combine the apparently meaningless 6 Gbit/sec designation on those WD's (or any HDD so designated?) with the TLER/RAID issue specific to Caviars, and the result is a double RMA. I picked up another 500 GB Momentus XT Hybrid to go along with one I already have, and I'm going to RAID1 those on the SATA2 ports instead. I'll lose some storage, but hell, I still have an Intel SATA3 port and the two "SATA3" Marvells (the two other SATA2 are being used for opticals), plus a 2 TB external for backups.

Still, I wonder what those Marvells are good for ultimately. They will not work with opticals. They do not support RAID. Anybody with an SSD (or two) is going to use the Intel SATA3 ports, which are faster AND support RAID. And regular HDDs can't tap the SATA3 data transfer the Marvell's are supposed to have. To me, they end up being nothing more than un-RAID-able SATA2 ports. <shrug>

I guess I can slap in a 3 TB single HDD into one of those Marvells for extra storage, and call it a build ... for now.

Thanks again for the input. It is much appreciated.
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Related resources
a b V Motherboard
June 10, 2011 7:02:19 PM

Those ports are perfectly good for connecting data drives. If you wanted to add a couple of large data drives, it's nice to have ports to put them on.

Yes, you'll use the two Intel 6Gbps ports for any SSDs (I think you have to use the Intel ports to get full TRIM support).

Yes, you'll use the four Intel 3Gbps ports for any opticals (or other ATAPI type devices).

So it's useful to have the Marvell ports for data drives. I'm not sure, but don't you have to use SATA3 ports to get NCQ? That would be a good reason to use these over the SATA2 ports.

Not everything is about RAID...
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June 10, 2011 7:46:14 PM

Points well taken.

I'm going to hook up a large HDD there for storage. Should round out my build well.

Thanks a ton.
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June 13, 2011 7:39:56 PM

24hour....am I reading/hearing you right in stating that the P8Z68V-Pro board will only support RAID1 on the SATAII ports and not the SATAIII Marvell ports? I just built my system this weekend and can't get my (2) 1TB WD drives to RAID1 on this board in the BIOS when hooked up to the Marvell ports. Is that true about 6.0gb/s HDDs not actually being able to use the 6.0gb/s SATAIII speeds!? WTF!? Why don't they tell you this in the specs? A quick rundown....would love some help if possible:

Asus P8Z68-V Pro board
(1) Intel 510 120GB SSD (SATAIII port 1 on Z68 controller)
(2) WD 1TB HDD (want to RAID 1 for data mirroring) (SATA III port 1&2 on Marvell controller)
(1) WD 1.5TB HDD pulled from old PC for extra data storage (SATAIII port 2 on Z68 controller)
(2) DVD/RW drives (SATAII ports 3&4 on Z68 controller)

So....given the fact that I want my Intel SSD to be the primary boot drive on SATAIII ports and then RAID1 my 1TB drives (which I thought I could do on Marvell SATAIII ports as well)....what exactly needs to be set to what in the BIOS. I feel like I am close but far away!! I just want the maximum speeds out of all my drives with RAID1 capability on my new 1TB drives which will hold my daily accessed data (pics, mp3s, movies, other things). If I need to swap ports completely please let me know. I assume I also need the set SATA controller in the BIOS to RAID or do I keep it @ AHCI? Help if you can...or anyone for that matter!!! :cry: 
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 107 V Motherboard
June 14, 2011 3:05:34 AM

First: In most cases, regular platter hard drives cannot take full advantage of SATA3 speeds. They just don't transfer data fast enough.

Second: The Marvell controller that ASUS uses on its Z68 boards is not capable of RAID operation. There is a different version that can do RAID, but ASUS doesn't use that for whatever reason.

In this case you'll have to forget RAID-ing the two 1TB drives. I think you can RAID the Intel SATA3 ports together, and the Intel SATA2 ports together ... but then I don't think you could get the burners to work if the SATA2 controller is in RAID mode. You can't use the burners on the Marvell ports. About the only way you could do it with this board is to have the two 1TB drives on the Intel SATA3 ports in RAID mode. But then you're really wasting the SSD on the SATA2 ports, and you don't want that.

Or you could return the board for refund and get one that does do RAID on the Marvell ports.
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June 14, 2011 4:07:55 AM

Leaps-from-Shadows said:
First: In most cases, regular platter hard drives cannot take full advantage of SATA3 speeds. They just don't transfer data fast enough.

Second: The Marvell controller that ASUS uses on its Z68 boards is not capable of RAID operation. There is a different version that can do RAID, but ASUS doesn't use that for whatever reason.

In this case you'll have to forget RAID-ing the two 1TB drives. I think you can RAID the Intel SATA3 ports together, and the Intel SATA2 ports together ... but then I don't think you could get the burners to work if the SATA2 controller is in RAID mode. You can't use the burners on the Marvell ports. About the only way you could do it with this board is to have the two 1TB drives on the Intel SATA3 ports in RAID mode. But then you're really wasting the SSD on the SATA2 ports, and you don't want that.

Or you could return the board for refund and get one that does do RAID on the Marvell ports.


!%#^!^%$!^$#%$#%$!%!!!!!!!!!! Sorry, had to get that out of the way.

So, this seems to be a real bummer. After messing with things I have the Intel SSD on the original SATA3 port and the (2) 1TB HDDs now on the SATA2 ports and when I go to RAID1 the HDDs in the BIOS, everything seems to take ok visually in the system but upon Windows starting up, it BSODs so quick, I can't see the message and it then continues to get caught in a loop of rebooting.

The only way I can get back to a stable working order is to go back in the BIOS and reset the SATA mode back to AHCI and no longer have it in RAID mode. At this point, I can only assume by doing this, that my RAID1 array previously set-up is no longer active correct? Even though I see my D: (which is the 1TB drive showing up in Disk Management in Windows). I wouldn't know if this is still in RAID mode or not in Windows....is there a way to tell this? Because it will always just look like 1 drive whether it is working or not, correct?

Lastly, why won't my optical drives work? I get if things are raided then things like DVD drives wouldn't be able to work but in the BIOS I only see 1 set of choices for SATA mode (IDE, AHCI, or RAID). The only other similar SATA looking controller options are the Marvell controller (Disabled, IDE, AHCI) and something called JMB Storage Controller which has a bunch of options but I have no idea what that is. Any more input!!?? Thanks a ton for the help. I am PC savvy enough but this in-depth board is over my head.
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June 17, 2011 7:59:39 PM

If anyone comes across this forum and has this same issue here is the fix w/out having to re-install Windows after you set-up RAID.

Ok here are the registry settings you need to change

Enable switching between all IDE/AHCI/RAID modes by changing "Start" Values in these keys to 0
Code:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci\ Start
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Pciide\ Start
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\iaStorV \Start


While you are in AHCI change those three values to "0", then reboot and change the BIOS to RAID mode.

I find this to be a better forum: http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?p=1037343894

Also, Leaps-Shadows dude is for the most part right above but incorrect on the last part. I found that putting the BIOS into RAID allowed me to have RAID1 on the SATA2 ports with my (2) 1TB drives while also having (2) DVD/RW drives plugged into the other 2 SATA2 ports. I continue to have my SSD on the Intel SATA3 port and 1 more additional HDD on the Marvell port. Everything is playing nice now, hope this info helps someone along the way. The reg fix was easy and way better than re-installing Win7. :pt1cable: 
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June 21, 2011 8:22:46 AM

I had a little trouble with the same Intel 510 (120 GB), but I swapped it into my laptop, it liked it better, and so I left it there and ordered an OCZ for my build. It's a zippy laptop now. :)  I love SSDs!!

The OCZ is a Max IOPS (120GB), and I use it as my boot/OS/App hooked up to one of the Intel SATA6 ports.

Then I used two of the SATA3 ports to array a pair of Seagate Momentus Hybrid XT (500GB) in a RAID 1.

The other two SATA3 ports I'm using for opticals (Blue Ray and DVD burner). They seem to be working fine, although I haven't tried to burn anything yet.

I have a Seagate Barracudua 2TB coming that I'm going to hook up to one of the Marvells, for storage and backup, and I have a 2 TB external hooked up via USB 3.0 as well. That's redundant enough. :) 


My load was easy peasy. Updated BIOS to 0501, enabled hot swap on everything, set SATA to RAID, powered on, set the array, booted with Windows 7 disk and loaded fresh onto the SSD, installed Win7 with no issues, loaded ASUS drivers, and then updated Win7 until they were all installed. Then installed Outlook, and then Home& Office, all 64-bit.

No troubles yet. Knock on wood.

PC flies.

Since I learned that spinners can't even saturate a SATA2, I've changed my mind about this board, although I STILL wish ASUS would have given us the RAID-capable Marvells, at the very least! I mean, why NOT? Better yet, I would have preferred 4 or 6 Intel SATA 6, and 6 (minimum) SATA3, and you can keep the Marvells.

Still, in practical terms, you have the two Intel SATA6 ports for SSD, which you can RAID, and since you really don't need anything beyond RAID1 with SSD, you're pretty much styling. The SATA3 are great for RAIDing spinners, which can't take advantage of the throughput of SATA6 anyway, so ...

(Still, if you want to go to four disc arrays, plus opticals, we could have used some more SATA2s, but ...)

And the Marvells can handle a big old' spinner or two for storage.

So you can have your SSDs using SATA6, even RAID them, you can still have your spinners in RAID too, AND you can have a high-cap spinner, plus a couple optical. End of the day, I still have a SATA6 Intel available. I don't know if that bothers me yet. :) .

Keep us posted on your build.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 107 V Motherboard
June 21, 2011 9:27:45 AM

To get that many SATA ports, you would have had to wait for the X79 chipset. That will have 10 SATA3 ports plus four SATA2 ports without the need for any extra controllers. The X79 is a server chipset that Intel decided to offer us mere mortals -- that's why it has so many SATA ports.

Just to be clear, in my posts:
SATA3 = 6Gbps
SATA2 = 3Gbps
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a b V Motherboard
June 21, 2011 12:25:21 PM

You also have the option of installing a RAID controller - plug in a card with the appropriate number of SATA ports of the colour and flavour you like.

Beware: using RAID on SSD means you lose TRIM. I haven't seen any compelling reason to RAID my SSDs.
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June 21, 2011 2:11:17 PM

24hourcampfire said:
I had a little trouble with the same Intel 510 (120 GB), but I swapped it into my laptop, it liked it better, and so I left it there and ordered an OCZ for my build. It's a zippy laptop now. :)  I love SSDs!!

The OCZ is a Max IOPS (120GB), and I use it as my boot/OS/App hooked up to one of the Intel SATA6 ports.

Then I used two of the SATA3 ports to array a pair of Seagate Momentus Hybrid XT (500GB) in a RAID 1.

The other two SATA3 ports I'm using for opticals (Blue Ray and DVD burner). They seem to be working fine, although I haven't tried to burn anything yet.

I have a Seagate Barracudua 2TB coming that I'm going to hook up to one of the Marvells, for storage and backup, and I have a 2 TB external hooked up via USB 3.0 as well. That's redundant enough. :) 


My load was easy peasy. Updated BIOS to 0501, enabled hot swap on everything, set SATA to RAID, powered on, set the array, booted with Windows 7 disk and loaded fresh onto the SSD, installed Win7 with no issues, loaded ASUS drivers, and then updated Win7 until they were all installed. Then installed Outlook, and then Home& Office, all 64-bit.

No troubles yet. Knock on wood.

PC flies.

Since I learned that spinners can't even saturate a SATA2, I've changed my mind about this board, although I STILL wish ASUS would have given us the RAID-capable Marvells, at the very least! I mean, why NOT? Better yet, I would have preferred 4 or 6 Intel SATA 6, and 6 (minimum) SATA3, and you can keep the Marvells.

Still, in practical terms, you have the two Intel SATA6 ports for SSD, which you can RAID, and since you really don't need anything beyond RAID1 with SSD, you're pretty much styling. The SATA3 are great for RAIDing spinners, which can't take advantage of the throughput of SATA6 anyway, so ...

(Still, if you want to go to four disc arrays, plus opticals, we could have used some more SATA2s, but ...)

And the Marvells can handle a big old' spinner or two for storage.

So you can have your SSDs using SATA6, even RAID them, you can still have your spinners in RAID too, AND you can have a high-cap spinner, plus a couple optical. End of the day, I still have a SATA6 Intel available. I don't know if that bothers me yet. :) .

Keep us posted on your build.


Glad to see you were able to get things working. Although, it sounds like you bailed on the board!? Anyway, I am up and running and all is well. The SSD on the Intel SATA3 (6.0) ports is FRIGGIN' AWESOME!! The RAID1 set-up on the SATA2 (3.0) Intel ports are trucking along now too. I actually ended up putting my 3rd HDD on an additional Intel SATA2 (3.0) port and then put my optical drives on the Marvell SATA3 (6.0) ports. Enabled RAID on the BIOS after the reg fix in my previous post and I am good to go. My only problem I ran up against shortly after solving all of this was the (2) 1TB HDDs from Western Digital failed SMART and had bad sector reads (never had issues with WD). So, I had WD replace them under their warranty (5 years) because Newegg wanted $10+ each to RMA (which is BS). They actually sent me 2TB drives, and I bought 1TB...nice!
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 107 V Motherboard
June 21, 2011 3:28:02 PM

I hope the optical drives on the Marvell ports don't cause you problems in the future. I'm surprised they work at all, as Marvell states that they won't.
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October 13, 2011 7:34:15 PM

i just bought this board last night and was able to use the marvell sata ports for a bluray burner and a WD caviar black 1TB drive. here's my set up...

-marvell sata port has a bluray burner and WD caviar black 1TB drive

-intel sata3 has 2x ocz vertex plus 60GB on RAID0 (OS has been freezing, firmware version 3.50 on the SSD - i have a RMA on them and will be replacing them with kingston hyperx 120GB also will be raid0 soon)

-intel sata2 has 4x seagate 500GB 7200rpm 16MB cache on raid5

aside from the crappy ocz ssd, it's been working. once i get my 2x kingston hyperx ssd i will try to get them to run on the marvell controller instead of the intel. unfortunately, if i will use marvell controller, i need to load the drivers during the windows 7 install :( 
also you have to set the marvell controller as raid in the bios or it will only detect the first drive on the first port
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November 20, 2011 4:30:19 PM

Guys
New to this forum but I would just like to throw a huge spanner in the works.

I just set up my system as follows.
P8Z68 with i7 2600k 16gig ram. 2x WD 600gig SATA6 gig Raptors 2x WD 2.0TB black SATA 6gig and 1x Crucial 250G SSD 6gig.

2x WD Raptors in Raid 0 on the intel chip (dark blue connectors)
1x SSD set up with ASUS intel smart response pointing to the WD raptors
2x WD 2TB Blacks in Raid 1 on the Marvel controller for storage (grey connectors)
1x ATAPI on SATA 3 for DVD Rom light blue
1x Case esata on remaining port. Light blue

And yes I know raid0 for the system has no fail safe but Hey I have always reinstalled an OS at least once a year and never keep critical data on it.

I sep up the system with the CD rom drive connected and the raptors first and installed the OS

Next enable the Marvel in the BIOS and then reboot and enter the MARVEL rom, use the keys to set up the drives in Raid 1.
Reboot and then install the Marvel drivers from the MB CD.
Reboot and you will of douse still see no drives.
Now go into the maintenance drive management (start- Computer- hover over and right click and select manage) sorry but some people don't know. Then you will see your Raid set that's unallocated. Just create new volume and partition, Format and hey presto.

Windows experience showing 6.9 for the Hard drives.

What I did do in the very beginning is set up the SSD on the intel 6G port on it's own installed OS and drivers and only got a 5.9 score on the data transfer.

The crucial drive is a top rated £372 unit figure that?
I guess the raptors in stripe mode can out perform data transfer but not on boot. However with it set up as it is now maybe it helps or not, I may even buy a second one as they are capable of being installed in raid.

Not too sure if totally a good idea as only a novice.

All info above is in the MB handbook

With the 2gig HD670 ATI card my overall score is 6.9 with the split being 7.8 Graphics 7.9 memory

Not too sure why the forum says you can't raid the MARVEL????
It's pretty easy to do.



Next installed the SSD and installed all drivers from the MB CD

Then went back in the Bios and turned on the MARVEL boot rom, and rebooted the computer, Ctrl M into the boot rom and set up the 2 WD blacks on raid 0
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November 30, 2011 6:33:16 AM

Thomo121 said:
Guys

2x WD Raptors in Raid 0 on the intel chip (dark blue connectors)
1x SSD set up with ASUS intel smart response pointing to the WD raptors
2x WD 2TB Blacks in Raid 1 on the Marvel controller for storage (grey connectors)
1x ATAPI on SATA 3 for DVD Rom light blue
1x Case esata on remaining port. Light blue



Hi, also new to this forum.

I have the P8Z68-V PRO Gen3 version and in my manual it says the dark blue connectors are the Marvel ones, and the grey ones are Intel. This seems to be the reverse of the above?
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January 13, 2012 4:26:42 PM

I am far from an expert, and seeking my own advice. I am building my own P8Z68-V (Pro version) and will try to respond to your queries based on my research to date. Nice rig specifications, btw.

"What I did do in the very beginning is set up the SSD on the intel 6G port on it's own installed OS and drivers and only got a 5.9 score on the data transfer.

The crucial drive is a top rated £372 unit figure that?
I guess the raptors in stripe mode can out perform data transfer but not on boot. However with it set up as it is now maybe it helps or not, I may even buy a second one as they are capable of being installed in raid. "

I have not setup my P8 yet, but on my P6T w/ 60gb OCZ SSD drive my Win7 Experience Score is 7.8. There is a forum, http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/3116/tweaktown_s_soli... that talks about getting best performance from SSDs. Which SATA port is the SSD on? I've heard only the Intel SATA ports support TRIM which greatly enhances performance.

"Not too sure why the forum says you can't raid the MARVEL????"
I think the recommendation is to use the Intel ports for RAID given the intel drivers for Rapid Storage Technology support of the Z68 build-in chipset on the MB.

I plan to build PC for photo / video editing, install SSD for OS and programs, RAID array for data, and possibly a 1nd SSD for scratch files. I may run out of SSD ports, however, as the Marvell ports to not support optical/ATAPI devices.
2 x SSD Intel 6gb SATA ports
2 (RAID 0) or 3 (RAID 5) 3gb Intel ports for 2 or 3 2TB Hitatchi drives (there are 4 total ports which need to be set to RAID)
Then there are 2 Marvell ports which I can't use for SSD (not TRIM support) or my DVD (not ATAPI support). I could add another platter drive but don't really need it.
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January 31, 2012 5:40:35 AM

Finally have the following setup working:

On Marvel controller DVD and WD Raptor (OS boot)
On Intel controller sata3 (1,2 ports) - free
sata2 (3,4 ports) - 2xSeagate 1.5 TB total 3 TB stripped RAID + Unlocked Disk SW
sata2 (5,6 ports) - 2xSeagate 1.5 TB total 1.5 TB mirrored RAID

I was going to make RAID5 array, but don't have 4 identical disks.

How do you think, is it possible to use together 2xSeagate 7200RPM and 2xSeagate 5900RPM disks in RAID5 ?
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February 1, 2012 12:11:32 PM

I believe any RAID configuration does recommend identical disks; not sure if it is a requirement, however storage space would be limited to the smallest drive in the array. I think the "identical" helps eliminate any potential problems between manufacturers and as in your case drive access speed. I do not think I would create a RAID array of drives with different platter speeds.
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March 30, 2012 5:47:31 PM

I am honestly confused and I have (humbly) built many, many systems in my time... but I need to get to end of this to solve my share of problems with this board. :D 

There are two mobos being discussed here, the "Pro" and the "Pro/Gen3": it is my understanding that other than PCIe 3.0, USB3 and IvyBridge (22nm) compatibility (only since BIOS 3202, just released btw!) there should be no further differences between the two.

I have the Gen3 with 2 x SATA3 (6Gb/s) SSD drives that are not really doing too well on the Marvell SATA3 controller (pretty dismal AS SSD results :pfff:  ); my Intel SATA3 (6Gb/s) ports are set to RAID1 with my two indispensable 2Tb Black Caviars (my life is on those disks).

After a fair bit of reading, I have come to the conclusion I really need to use the Intel SATA3 ports in AHCI mode for the SSD's to gain the higher functions and work at top performance.

So then, where do I go for my RAID setup? :( 

It's bad enough I will have to clone the RAID array before moving it, let alone having to buy a silly $40 PCIe x1 controller card!!!!! This motherboard wasn't cheap to start with... :fou: 

So I have just re-checked my P8Z68-V Pro/Gen3 manual and it does NOT list RAID as an option available for the Marvell SATA3 (6.0Gb/s) controller (listed as "mv9172" in Windows Hardware ID's). I am really at a loss as to how some of you have achieved this.

Then there is even clear indication in the manual's "Specs" section that the Marvell controller is ONLY for data drives, i.e. no optical or ATAPI drives allowed... yet someone has got a DVD-RW and even a BluRay plugged in!! :o 

Finally there was a comment about a "CTRL-M" key stroke during Marvell BootROM to enter a mysterious RAID setup, yet on my board the mv91xx OptROM (BIOS version 1.0.0.0022) does not hint at anything of that nature; even the latest motherboard UEFI BIOS 3202 does not give a RAID setting for the Marvell controller.

Can anyone clear the air of all these uncertainty, pretty please?

Paul
Perth - Australia
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