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Asus p8z68-Pro SATA forum

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September 22, 2011 9:45:09 PM

I own a Crucial M4SSD and an ASUS p8z68-v pro motherboard, initially I hooked up the Crucial SSD to SATA6E_1 and saw that at start up it found the drive on the Marvell controller and communicating at 6Gb/s. However, I re-read the User Manual and found that the Marvell controller was for Data Drives Only.

The ASUS motherboard user manual indicates that the SATA ports are:
1. Intel Z68 SATA 6Gb/s internal connectors - (GRAY 6 Gb/s) - SATA6G_1, SATA6G_2
2. Intel Z68 SATA 3Gb/s internal connectors - (BLUE 3 Gb/s) - SATA3G_3, SATA3G_4, SATA3G_5, SATA3G_6
3. Marvell SATA 6Gb/s internal connectors - (NAVY BLUE 6 Gb/s) - DATA DRIVES ONLY - SATA6E_1, SATA6E_2
Ironically, they are on the motherboard from top to bottom (once installed in the case) in the following order: 3, 1, 2.

So, I reconnected it to the Intel Z68 controller SATA6G_1 and when I rebooted it said it found the drive on the Intel controller but it was communicating at 1.5Gb/s! On a 6Gb/s SATA controller! What's going on? This is a 6Gb/s SSD and I don't want to have it communicating at 75% less throughput. I'm tempted to go back to the Marvell controller but very concerned that it is only for Data Drives only.
That being said, I actually had it running as a boot drive, installed Win7 Ultimate and was all working originally when it was originally connected to the Marvell controller (didn't know better then), but had a problem with the SSD locking up (found it was a problem with the firmware and needed to upgrade to rev 9). So I know it has worked but I want to make sure I get everything right and it works as FAST and with fewest problems as possible. Any ideas?

So my question are...
1. Even though the user manual says the Marvell controllers are for Data Drives only, can I still use it as my primary boot drive and hook up the SSD to this controller?
2. Why would I see 1.5Gb/s as the indication of throughput on a 6Gb/s controller hooked to a 6Gb/s SSD
a b V Motherboard
a b Ĉ ASUS
September 23, 2011 12:29:38 AM

That quote in your motherboard manual regarding data drives only means that you can only connect a SSD or HDD to those 2 ports. ATAPI devices (CD-ROM players, DVD-ROM players, Blu-ray players, Tape drives) connected to those ports will not work.

The Marvell 6Gb/s controller on your motherboard only uses 1 PCIe lane and is therefore slower than the native Intel 6Gb/s controller. Your SSD should be connected to SATA6G_1 or SATA6G_2 for maximum performance.

The port your SSD is connected to also has to be in AHCI mode for maximum performance. If you installed Windows in IDE mode that may be why you’re communicating at 1.5Gb/s.
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September 23, 2011 2:46:23 PM

The port my SSD is connected to is set to AHCI mode. However, in looking at it again last night I think I finally see what I hadn't seen before.

When I flipped the cables so that the SSD was connected to the Intel controller (SATA6G_1) and it said 1.5Gb/s - what I saw as I was writing it down, was that the Marvell controller was the one telling me the throughput information about the device connected to it. So, I saw HL-DT-St BD-RE WH10L530 with a size of nothing. That was the Blue Ray DVD player that I had swapped from SATA6G_1 to SATA6E_1 - no wonder it was only showing at 1.5Gb/s!

The confirmation of this was that when I put the SSD back on the Marvell controller port SATA6E_1, the Disk name was no longer HL-DT-St BD-RE WH10L530 with a size of nothing, but was instead M4-CT064M4SSD2 with a size of 64GB and communicating at 6Gb/s!

So, although I did connect my Blue Ray player to SATA6E_1 and it did find it (albeit at 1.5Gb/s - which is more than sufficient for a DVD peripheral), 1) Is it not a good idea or will it just not work?

And 2) since you say that I can ONLY connect an SSD or HD to those 2 ports it's OK to use my SSD on SATA6E_1 as my OS boot drive?

Thanks in advance, you've been extremely helpful
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September 23, 2011 2:47:22 PM

The port my SSD is connected to is set to AHCI mode. However, in looking at it again last night I think I finally see what I hadn't seen before.

When I flipped the cables so that the SSD was connected to the Intel controller (SATA6G_1) and it said 1.5Gb/s - what I saw as I was writing it down, was that the Marvell controller was the one telling me the throughput information about the device connected to it. So, I saw HL-DT-St BD-RE WH10L530 with a size of nothing. That was the Blue Ray DVD player that I had swapped from SATA6G_1 to SATA6E_1 - no wonder it was only showing at 1.5Gb/s!

The confirmation of this was that when I put the SSD back on the Marvell controller port SATA6E_1, the Disk name was no longer HL-DT-St BD-RE WH10L530 with a size of nothing, but was instead M4-CT064M4SSD2 with a size of 64GB and communicating at 6Gb/s!

So, although I did connect my Blue Ray player to SATA6E_1 and it did find it (albeit at 1.5Gb/s - which is more than sufficient for a DVD peripheral), 1) Is it not a good idea or will it just not work?

And 2) since you say that I can ONLY connect an SSD or HD to those 2 ports it's OK to use my SSD on SATA6E_1 as my OS boot drive?

Thanks in advance, you've been extremely helpful
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a b V Motherboard
a b Ĉ ASUS
September 23, 2011 3:30:16 PM

masterct said:
So, although I did connect my Blue Ray player to SATA6E_1 and it did find it (albeit at 1.5Gb/s - which is more than sufficient for a DVD peripheral), 1) Is it not a good idea or will it just not work?


If the motherboard is recognizing it I guess it will work. I'm pretty sure it won't hurt to try and see if you can view movies with it connected to that port. But why connect it there against the manufacturer's suggestion?

And [i said:
2) since you say that I can ONLY connect an SSD or HD to those 2 ports it's OK to use my SSD on SATA6E_1 as my OS boot drive?]And 2) since you say that I can ONLY connect an SSD or HD to those 2 ports it's OK to use my SSD on SATA6E_1 as my OS boot drive?
[/i]

Yes, your SSD will work connected to that port, but again not as fast as it would on the native Intel port.

You have 6 Intel ports; I personally would not connect anything to the 2 Marvell ports unless all the Intel ports were being used.
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a c 216 V Motherboard
a b Ĉ ASUS
September 23, 2011 5:46:20 PM

I've been using an ASUS P8Z68-V PRO for the last two months and I have a Blu-ray SATA drive connected to SATA6G_1 and my SATA3 SSD to SATA6G_2 and it all works fine so there is no need to guess if it will work.
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September 23, 2011 5:52:31 PM

Well, eventually, I'll have to since of the 8 SATA ports I'm currently at 7 plugged in (as follows):
1 - SATAIII 6 Gb/s - 64GB - SSD
1 - SATAIII 6 Gb/s - 2 TB HD
1 - SATAII 3 Gb/s - 500 GB HD
1 - Blue Ray Burner/DVD
1 - DVD Burner
1 - eSata connector to case
1 - eSata connector to 7 way card reader and external devices
1 - free

So, my thought would be to connect them thusly:
Marvell SATA6E_1 - eSata connector to case
Marvell SATA6E_2
Intel SATA6G_1 - 64GB SSD
Intel SATA6G_2 - 2 TB HD
Intel SATA3G_3 - 500 GB HD
Intel SATA3G_4 - Blue Ray DVD
Intel SATA3G_5 - DVD burner
Intel SATA3G_6 - eSata connector to 7 way card reader and external devices

Would you agree?
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a c 216 V Motherboard
a b Ĉ ASUS
September 23, 2011 6:06:26 PM

There is also the eSATA 3.0 Gb/s port on the JMicron controller available too. Just look for it on the back panel I/O connectors.
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September 23, 2011 6:11:31 PM

That would give me a 9th connector (or 3rd external connector). But just looking for feedback on if the assignment of drives to controllers is the best order.
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a c 216 V Motherboard
a b Ĉ ASUS
September 23, 2011 6:26:29 PM

masterct said:
That would give me a 9th connector (or 3rd external connector). But just looking for feedback on if the assignment of drives to controllers is the best order.

That port assignment should work fine.

You can always add a SATA PCI Express controller card if you run out.
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September 23, 2011 7:04:04 PM

Thanks - that's awesome. I'm so glad to find out and resolve this.

I do have one other question (and I realize this might need another post), but when I go into the BIOS I can't find anywhere to do a Fast POST. From what I've found in searching the web there should be some way to do this, any ideas? Should I create a new post for this question?
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a c 216 V Motherboard
a b Ĉ ASUS
September 23, 2011 7:57:58 PM

masterct said:
Thanks - that's awesome. I'm so glad to find out and resolve this.

I do have one other question (and I realize this might need another post), but when I go into the BIOS I can't find anywhere to do a Fast POST. From what I've found in searching the web there should be some way to do this, any ideas? Should I create a new post for this question?

There is no Fast POST setting or anything equivalent to it.

You can change the length of time in seconds that the POST Screen/Logo Screen is displayed for.

You can disable the controllers/ports that you're not using.

You can disable Hot Plug detection of SATA devices.
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September 23, 2011 8:47:53 PM

I assume that when I disable the controllers I'm not using and Hot Plug detection of SATA devices it will POST much faster.
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a c 216 V Motherboard
a b Ĉ ASUS
September 23, 2011 9:51:17 PM

masterct said:
I assume that when I disable the controllers I'm not using and Hot Plug detection of SATA devices it will POST much faster.

Yes. It won't need to verify or search to see if any SATA device is attached to the port.
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September 24, 2011 12:39:53 AM

I see in the BIOS how to control the Intel controllers but I don't see anywhere that I can disable the JMicron or Marvell controllers. Is there anyway to do this? Is it in some place different than the regular SATA portion of the BIOS?
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a c 216 V Motherboard
a b Ĉ ASUS
September 24, 2011 3:07:33 AM

masterct said:
I see in the BIOS how to control the Intel controllers but I don't see anywhere that I can disable the JMicron or Marvell controllers. Is there anyway to do this? Is it in some place different than the regular SATA portion of the BIOS?

ASUS EFI BIOS Utility - Advanced Mode --> Advanced tab page --> Onboard Devices Configuration

Marvell Storage Controller configuration options:
[Disabled] - Disables the controller.
[IDE Mode] - ...
[AHCI Mode] - ...

JMB Storage Controller configuration options:
[Disabled] - Disables the controller.
[Enabled] - Enables the controller.
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a b V Motherboard
a b Ĉ ASUS
September 24, 2011 3:21:20 AM

FYI, if you disable the Marvell Storage Controller you won't be able to use your eSATA connector to case you have on port SATA6E_1.
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September 24, 2011 4:24:10 AM

I understand. And I must say you guys are AWESOME! Thanks a million!
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!