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Monday, October 02, 2017
AMD's Ryzen Threadripper CPUs Get NVMe RAID Support


The AMD Ryzen Threadripper processors get The support NVMe RAID 0, 1, and 10 though a beta release of free drivers.

RAID 0 pools several drives into one bigger, faster storage unit, but losing even one drive can jeopardize your data. RAID 1 mirrors your data across multiple drives, ensuring your information stays safe if an NVMe SSD fails. RAID 10 is a blend of the two, but it demands a lot of available drives - either four or six, which is the maximum number of NVMe SSDs Threadripper supports without additional adapters. AMD tested a Threadripper system with multiple Samsung 960 Pro NVMe drives in RAID 0 to see how it scales:


AMD has seen some blistering results from their test systems - a 21.2GB/s from six disks in RAID0! But RAID users know that scaling matters, too, and X399 NVMe RAID still looked great: 6.00X read scaling, and 5.38X write scaling, from one to six disks.

As a note, any user that has an existing SATA RAID config must back up the array's data and break down the current array before proceeding with driver install and BIOS upgrade.

Here is how it woks:

  • Download the latest AMD RAIDXpert2 package to obtain the NVMe RAID driver and management software.
  • Update the BIOS for your AMD X399-based motherboard to add BIOS support for NVMe RAID.
  • Install two or more NVMe SSDs to your system.
  • Create a new NVMe RAID array:
    • Method A: Using your motherboard's firmware. There will be a new menu in your BIOS, or a new menu accessible with a hotkey during POST. This will vary by model.
    • Method B: Using the AMD RAIDXpert2 software.
  • Make sure your disks do not contain important data

These NVMe RAID drivers currently work only on Windows 10 x64 (build 1703) at this time.

With the new drivers, AMD takes digs at Intel's VROC (Virtual RAID on CPU) feature for Core i9 chips. VROC will cost extra money, and works only with specific Intel SSDs and Core i9 CPUs. Core i9's X299 motherboards still support various RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 through the chipset, but the chipset RAID won't touch the performance you get from VROC.


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