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GA-Z68XP-UD4 w/SSD Reporting as SATA2 not SATA3

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January 24, 2012 2:26:39 PM

I just put together a new build with a GA-Z68XP-UD4, i7-2600K, 16GB Corsair Vengeance, Sapphire Radeon 6970 and a Patriot Wildfire 120GB SATA3 SSD. Hooked it all up and powered it on. Installed W7-64, the Gigabyte and Radeon drivers and started looking around.

I ran the weak Windows Experience Index and got an overall score of 7.8 due to the disk score reporting 7.8 instead of 7.9. I found that odd since a new SATA3 SSD ought to be tops in this "score". I then looked at the Intel Storage Manager application and it shows the SSD as a 3Gb/s drive, not 6Gb/s or SATA2 instead of SATA3. This is odd since I installed the SSD into one of the Intel SATA3 ports. I have two other Seagate Barracuda 2TB drives and a LiteOn Blu-Ray drive in the SATA2 ports. Nothing in the GSATA ports at the moment.

That's as far as I got before deciding to go to sleep last night so I have not yet installed any other disk benchmarking tools to confirm it's running at SATA2 speeds but I don't expect the Intel software to be lying knowing that the Intel SATA drivers are generally regarded as being excellent.

So what gives here? Is there something I am missing? There's no switch to set on the SATA3 ports and they should run a SATA3 drive at the right speed. If I plugged in to the SATA2 ports I can see it running/reporting as a SATA2 given that's the speed of that port but, in this case, I'm clearly in the SATA3 ports.

I'll have to move it to the GSATA3 ports or plug in to the eSATA3 ports (don't have an external SATA3 enclosure though) to see what they report as a test but was hoping someone here might have a clue as to what I need to do/check to get this running right.

Thanks!
a c 128 V Motherboard
January 24, 2012 2:52:26 PM

This is a longshot, but could it be the cable is not up to USB3 specs?
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January 24, 2012 3:42:19 PM

It's possible but I'm using the cables that came with the board and are labeled 6Gb/s. You never know what the problem could be so I'll swap them out and see if that's it as an additional test.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
January 24, 2012 4:01:08 PM

Assuming you're using the Intel SATA3 ports (SATA3_0, SATA3_1), the simplest thing to do is run ATTO and test the SSD; see -> http://www.attotech.com/products/product.php?sku=Disk_B... if any of the speeds exceed >300MB/s then it's on the SATA3 and fine.

Also, only use BIOS SATA -> AHCI <=> Start = 0 Windows. See -> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976

Start = 0 for the following registry keys:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\IastorV
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January 24, 2012 5:14:02 PM

ATTO. Ok, I'll give that a go. I've had the Intel Storage Manager report failing drives that actually weren't failing so it's possible the interface is simply reporting the wrong value. Hopefully ATTO gives me some useful info. Thanks.

As for the rest, I'll check it out too. However, I booted to the BIOS first, made sure the defaults were set (common Bilbat commandment), changed the mode to AHCI knowing I was going to use that from the get-go, rebooted and continued on. W7 handled it from there so I never did change the mode after the fact so I'm not sure those values are not already set but I will check them. Thanks.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
January 24, 2012 5:26:45 PM

qhorque said:
I've had the Intel Storage Manager report failing drives that actually weren't failing so it's possible the interface is simply reporting the wrong value.
I never did change the mode after the fact so I'm not sure those values are not already set but I will check them. Thanks.

Intel Storage Manager has it's issues, I've found it's often best to use the latest version on Gigabyte's site listed for your MOBO than going to Intel and using the 'latest' version.

It seems to me the registry values aren't set correctly. While I appreciate Loading Optimized Defaults the problem is booting into Windows if they change and Windows loads or fails to load correct drivers and registry corruption occurs.

Further, IMO its best to have ALL the SATA values the same e.g. ALL AHCI, then either in this case run 'Fix It' or do as I do edit the registry to the correct values.
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January 26, 2012 3:09:53 PM

I checked it all out and discovered two things:

1) The second noted registry value was not set to 0 but instead to 3. Changed it to 0 with no effect.

2) Upon checking the connections and figuring out whether or not I was going to swap out SATA3 ports or even try out the GSATA ports, I noticed what I had forgotten - the SSD was inside an internal case I bought so that I could easily swap out SSDs (it's a Kingwin 3.5" bay that has an eject button to easily swap out an SSD). I totally forgot that the pass-through was only capable of SATA2, not SATA3. Duh.

So, simply taking the SSD out of the tray and plugging it in directly to the SATA cable was what worked. ATTO reported a max of about 280 in the case and around 580 out of the case and Intel Storage Manager now reports it as a 6Gbps device....

My mistake. All I did was take it out of the old computer (SATA2) and pop it in the new one and didn't even think of the removable bay being the limiting factor.

Thanks for the help nonetheless as it did teach me some things I did not know.
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a c 717 V Motherboard
January 26, 2012 3:46:47 PM

Yeah, that 'ill do it ;)  Huge improvement!!!

The values, both of them, need to be Start = 0. Otherwise, data corruption and a whole lot of 'not good' things can and will happen.

Good Luck! :) 

Here's my settings, I have SSD + RAID 1 HDD's. Both RAID and AHCI use Start = 0:
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May 14, 2012 6:52:12 PM

qhorque said:
I just put together a new build with a GA-Z68XP-UD4, i7-2600K, 16GB Corsair Vengeance, Sapphire Radeon 6970 and a Patriot Wildfire 120GB SATA3 SSD. Hooked it all up and powered it on. Installed W7-64, the Gigabyte and Radeon drivers and started looking around.

I ran the weak Windows Experience Index and got an overall score of 7.8 due to the disk score reporting 7.8 instead of 7.9. I found that odd since a new SATA3 SSD ought to be tops in this "score". I then looked at the Intel Storage Manager application and it shows the SSD as a 3Gb/s drive, not 6Gb/s or SATA2 instead of SATA3. This is odd since I installed the SSD into one of the Intel SATA3 ports. I have two other Seagate Barracuda 2TB drives and a LiteOn Blu-Ray drive in the SATA2 ports. Nothing in the GSATA ports at the moment.

That's as far as I got before deciding to go to sleep last night so I have not yet installed any other disk benchmarking tools to confirm it's running at SATA2 speeds but I don't expect the Intel software to be lying knowing that the Intel SATA drivers are generally regarded as being excellent.

So what gives here? Is there something I am missing? There's no switch to set on the SATA3 ports and they should run a SATA3 drive at the right speed. If I plugged in to the SATA2 ports I can see it running/reporting as a SATA2 given that's the speed of that port but, in this case, I'm clearly in the SATA3 ports.

I'll have to move it to the GSATA3 ports or plug in to the eSATA3 ports (don't have an external SATA3 enclosure though) to see what they report as a test but was hoping someone here might have a clue as to what I need to do/check to get this running right.

Thanks!


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