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SATA 6G Marvell Controller Issues

Last response: in Motherboards
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December 12, 2011 5:37:26 PM

So, before I upgraded from a Vertex 2 to a Vertex 3 HDD, I hadn't been utilizing my mobo's SATA 6G ports so I could just leave the controller disabled to speed up boot times (and because, according to benchmarks, the Vertex 2 couldn't max out Sata3 yet). Anyways, since using the SATA 6G port for my new SSD, I'll come up to my computer only to find it a the black screen informing me that it couldn't boot into Windows. When I rebooted sometimes the Marvell controller screen would appear and the Vertex 3 would just be undetected and sometimes the controller screen wouldn't appear at all. The workaround for this seems to be to restore defaults, which fixed the issue with the Marvell controller, but then I'd need to enter the BIOS a second time to to fix the boot order, since the Vertex would no longer be selected as the boot drive. The only time I've ever seen the actual blue screen, it mentioned a Marvell91 something driver as the issue, but that was after I tried installing the Marvell driver from Asus's website, which didn't seem to fix the issue. After that I did a clean install of Windows and DIDN'T install any Marvell drivers and thus far I haven't actually seen the blue screen, even though yesterday I came to a black bootup screen TWICE. I also tried looking at the event logs but found nothing other than a log saying the system had rebooted unexpectedly (duh). My specs are listed in my sig, and the SATA 6G controller is set to AHCI, although I tried IDE for a while to see if it helped (it didn't). Please let me know if there is any other info that might help. Thanks for any assistance!
a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
December 12, 2011 6:37:45 PM

1) What firmware is your SSD on. OCZ Sata III SSDs have had significate issues. Firmware 2.15 supposely fixed it (most issus anway). Also verify that you have the latest Bios update for your system.

2) You will not get full advertized spec using the marvel controller. Quoted specs are normally on a Intel chipset running Intel's iaSTor driver (Ver 10.5 or later).

Comment on using your Intel SATA II vs the marvel Sata III for your SATA III SSD;
It is the Sequencial reads that takes a big hit in benchmarks using compressable data - This is NO BIG deal as this is the LEAST important matrix for a program/OS SSD. Looking at PCMark vantage benchmark which is closer to real life performance you will see ther is not a big difference. The High Sequencial performance is important when the drive is used as a storage drive and working with large file structures.
Bottom line - in real life you will not see much difference in performance using your SATA III SSD on a Intel SATA II port vs the marvel Sata III ports - ONLY in the Benchmarks will you see a big difference.
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December 12, 2011 6:57:58 PM

RetiredChief said:
1) What firmware is your SSD on. OCZ Sata III SSDs have had significate issues. Firmware 2.15 supposely fixed it (most issus anway). Also verify that you have the latest Bios update for your system.

2) You will not get full advertized spec using the marvel controller. Quoted specs are normally on a Intel chipset running Intel's iaSTor driver (Ver 10.5 or later).

Comment on using your Intel SATA II vs the marvel Sata III for your SATA III SSD;
It is the Sequencial reads that takes a big hit in benchmarks using compressable data - This is NO BIG deal as this is the LEAST important matrix for a program/OS SSD. Looking at PCMark vantage benchmark which is closer to real life performance you will see ther is not a big difference. The High Sequencial performance is important when the drive is used as a storage drive and working with large file structures.
Bottom line - in real life you will not see much difference in performance using your SATA III SSD on a Intel SATA II port vs the marvel Sata III ports - ONLY in the Benchmarks will you see a big difference.



1) My SSD is only on version 2.08. I haven't been able to update the firmware because it seems that they updated their firmware updater tool so it no longer works if the drive you're trying to update is currently running Windows...this is especially infuriating because of COURSE it's running Windows, I'm not going to use an SSD for data storage! You'd think they'd have a file I could stick on a USB to boot into and update from there, but I wasn't able to find one. I AM running the latest mobo BIOS though.

2) Are you saying I could use a Vertex 3 in a SATA2 and see a negligible performance decrease? I had just assumed that the advertised 550 MB/s (that seemed to be supported by benchmarks) was so much higher than the theoretical max of 384 MB/s for SATA2, that it would be foolish to plug the new SSD into a SATA2 port. I'll look for myself, but it would help if you could post a link or two to any articles about this.

EDIT: I found a performance review that also covered several real world benchmarks and included the Vertex 3 running on both a SATA6 AND a SATA3 connection: Storage Review of Vertex 3 Sadly, on every one of the benchmarks, even the real world benchmarks, the numbers to seem to indicate performance that has been just about halved...

EDIT #2: Nvm on the firmware updating, realized they have a Linux-based updating tool and I know I've got an Ubuntu cd lying around here somewhere...should be able to boot into that and run the updater...
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
December 12, 2011 8:02:51 PM

You can still update the Firmware even though it has your operating system on it. I have 2 120 gig Agility III that I updated (one is the OS drive). Go to there websit and down load the linux boot disk (I think its method 2). any way you boot to the cd and it will update your firmware. As always Back up your boot drive, Windows 7 has a good backup that will create an image of boot drive and if anything goos wrong - just pop in the windows instalation disk, pick repair-from image and walla bang operating system and all programs are restored.
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December 14, 2011 4:50:51 PM

Well, turns out there WAS a recent BIOS update, so I flashed it even though the changelog didn't list anything directly related to my issues. I was also able to update the firmware using OCZ's Linux boot disk. I hadn't realized they had their own bootable disk for download, wish they would make it easier to get to. Anyways, after doing that my computer's been on for 2 days with no crashes, so I'm gonna consider this matter solved for now, thanks for your help.
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December 14, 2011 4:51:02 PM

Best answer selected by bikeracer4487.
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