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Z77 OC Formula and NMVe

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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I've had a similar question about the same NVME hardware and adapter applied to my Z68 Gen3 motherboard. Someone else can confirm, but I believe that the drive will be useable once the driver is installed or you're using Windows 10 as an OS.

But you are not likely going to be able to boot from the NVME. In my case, I don't need the system to boot from an NVME M.2 used in the way I plan to use it.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
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It may be bootable with a bios mod.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,560
948
126
It may be bootable with a bios mod.
More likely, that means either a DIY mod or a mod that someone else made as DIY.

It's less likely --much less so -- that the board maker would refresh the BIOS revision to make it so.

I just wanted PCIE bifurcation implemented for the x16 slots of my Sabertooth Z170. With that, I could run two NVME M.2's on a special adapter card, so they could configure as RAID0 with each drive using four of the eight PCIE lanes.. I discovered that some other Z170 boards actually provided bifurcation. Sending a query to ASUS, they told me "we do not have such plans for the Sabertooth board."
 

Patre

Senior member
May 29, 2013
398
0
76
The reason I want to boot from it is my current 250GB SSD is getting filled up. I primarily use my machine for DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) related work and use it only as a boot drive/software drive....thus the reason to upgrade to a larger boot drive.

I'm using Win10 Pro x64 and if all that's needed is a driver, that's excellent news!! I just wanted to make sure this is correct as my motherboard is about 5 years old (pre-NVMe days).

Regarding the bios mod: if it's not too complicated I don't mind giving it a shot, but don't want to be with my machine being unusable.

This guy at the AsRock forums found a solution (see the last post): http://forum.asrock.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3319&KW=nvme&PID=51247&title=z77-extreme-4-nvme-pcie-ssd-booting#51247
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,560
948
126
The reason I want to boot from it is my current 250GB SSD is getting filled up. I primarily use my machine for DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) related work and use it only as a boot drive/software drive....thus the reason to upgrade to a larger boot drive.

I'm using Win10 Pro x64 and if all that's needed is a driver, that's excellent news!! I just wanted to make sure this is correct as my motherboard is about 5 years old (pre-NVMe days).

Regarding the bios mod: if it's not too complicated I don't mind giving it a shot, but don't want to be with my machine being unusable.

This guy at the AsRock forums found a solution (see the last post): http://forum.asrock.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=3319&KW=nvme&PID=51247&title=z77-extreme-4-nvme-pcie-ssd-booting#51247
Is that "IT" then? You can make an NVME boot if the motherboard accommodates UEFI?

Somehow, I may have picked up the appropriate assumptions about this when I belatedly chose to investigate NVME M.2 in October, 2016 with my sig/Skylake system. [Dang! This thing is so--o-oo-o--oo good!]

After struggling to install Win 7 with slipstreamed drivers, then following a Win 10 install to its own system-volume, I decided I had to convert the entire enchilada to GPT and UEFI. That was the imperative for my Z170 system, but there are UEFI options in my Z68 Gen3 BIOS.

For me, it wouldn't have mattered so much if the NVME isn't bootable. I'd install a top-end SATA SSD, add a PCIE x4 NVME M.2 in the bottom x4 slot of the mobo, and use it to cache the SSD and any additional SATA SSDs or HDDs (with a much greater payoff for the HDDs.)

I will not lay it out for you unless you ask for details -- I've acquired the reputation of "caching hot-dawg."

But judging from the Z68 and Z170 systems where I've configured it, it is rock-solid, tip-top, and requiring only so much maintenance for someone with the time and experience to work with it.

I think I'm going to inventory my free PCIE slots on two older systems and then find myself a couple good 250GB NVME drives . . . . In fact, I think I'll take another peek at an Optane Intel 900P drive again. Sooner or later, I shall send the purchase order to myself over in "Hardware Acquisition."
 

Patre

Senior member
May 29, 2013
398
0
76
That's what I'm a bit afraid to try without some help/guidance from someone who knows what they're doing (unlike me :().
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,560
948
126
This reminds me of the Eastwood's (Dirty Harry's) script line at the end of that movie, when Andy Robinson (the Killer) is moving his hand toward the gun on the boat dock.

"Do you feel lucky? Well do you . . . ? . . . [etc.]"

For me, the BIOS mod could be the deal-breaker and lead me toward an already-contemplated solution.

(1) Buy or re-deploy PrimoCache v. 3.0.2 to the target system.

(2) install NVME and driver

(3) use the NVME to cache a large HDD or SSD.

Performance-wise, you could probably expect a boost of the slow media to 80% of the NVMe spec speeds, assuming that you'd run whatever software or file-access once before.

But you wouldn't need to make the NVME bootable.
 

Patre

Senior member
May 29, 2013
398
0
76
Bonzai, I truly appreciate all the replies and have been reading your other posts (especially on PrimoCache) which has intrigued my interest greatly. :)

I'm still getting that 970 NVMe, but will continue to use my current SATA SSD for my boot drive. Just planning on moving all my software apps to the 970. My system specs are still the same as in my sig.

As I mentioned above, I primarily use my PC for high end audio recording/mixing/producing which also is RAM intensive (of course within the software program Sonar Platinum).

I'm hoping you can help me/guide me in doing the following, but with a few questions in mind:

1) Are my system specs (specifically RAM) enough to benefit by using PrimoCache?
2) Will there be a huge noticeable difference?
3) Any downsides to doing this?

Sorry for the noob questions, but I'm not very familiar with how all this will work out as stability is a big concern for me.

Thanks,
Patre
 

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