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Optane SSD as Boot drive - SQ Nirvana?


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4 minutes ago, lmitche said:

I am not sure what you are asking.

32G or 64G is the max you can get for Optane. and you still need to access the music storage. and will still going through SSD controller or USB. So just cant avoid them totally just yet.

DigitalDac: Chord DAVE, Amp: MC275 Mono, Preamp: FirstSound, Source: Esoteric K01X, Cable: TaraLab GME interconnect,
CASSOtM Trifecta Mod 75ohm MCI, TheLinearSolution TCXO Router

Analog: SME 20/2, SME V, Skala, Esoteric C03 Phono

 
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Thanks Imitche.

 

I ask only because I had recently tried an M.2 drive (I know, not the same as Optane) and compared it with a standard SSD powered by a LPS and it was clear that the LPS powered SSD was better.

 

I realize that proves nothing as it relates to the Optane drive.

 

Joel

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1 minute ago, lmitche said:

This may explain another reason Optane sounds so good.

 

 

12.PNG

 

That's any NVMe drive, not just Optane.  Although as Roy was pointing out in his thread it depends on what else is on the bus.  There are added benefits from Optane beyond NVMe.

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15 minutes ago, Johnseye said:

 

That's any NVMe drive, not just Optane.  Although as Roy was pointing out in his thread it depends on what else is on the bus.  There are added benefits from Optane beyond NVMe.

Well yes, of course. FYI - none of my pcie lanes are shared here.

 

Sound quality here has hit "ludicrous mode".

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

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11 minutes ago, michaeltay5871 said:

Thanks Imitche for the reply.

 

Sorry, what I am enquiring is whether there is any Optane compatible board that has a ready 12V dc input whereby I can use my LPS directly.  Or do I need to do a mod to feed the 12V supply.

 

Larry was referring to mobos that support the Optane and can take a 12v.  Here's one I'm using now that I believe is Optane compatible.  ASUS Q170T/CSM . I'm not 100% as I haven't tried it yet, but it is compatible with the 7th gen processors which are Optane compatible.  It does not have the 200 series chipset however.  I have not found a 12v mobo with the 200 series chipset yet.  For whatever reason Intel decided to do away with the Q series mobos with the latest chipset.  I'm waiting with baited breath.

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16 minutes ago, Johnseye said:

 ASUS Q170T/CSM . I'm not 100% as I haven't tried it yet, but it is compatible with the 7th gen processors which are Optane compatible.

Intel specs say that Q170 does not support Optane.

NUC7PJYH/AL --> Berkeley Alpha USB --> Jeff Rowland Aeris --> Jeff Rowland 625 S2 --> Focal Utopia 3 Diablos with 2 x Focal Electra SW 1000 BE subs

 

i7-6700K/Windows 10 Version 2004/HDPLEX 300W/HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX --> EVGA Nu Audio Card --> Focal CMS50's 

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1 hour ago, rickca said:

Intel specs say that Q170 does not support Optane.

There are two use cases for the Optane drive.  

 

The first is as a caching device for a hard drive.  This is the intended use of the 16 and 32 gb sticks. Caching will only work with a z270 chipset motherboard powered by an i7-7xxx processor.

 

The second use case is as a nvme SSD drive substitute.  This is how I am using the device here with my z170 motherboard powered by a i7-6700k processor machine. While this is an unsupported use case, it works beautifully and adds to sound quality.

 

My expectation is that the Optane stick will work in any nvme capable motherboard. As this use case is unsupported, you won't know that it does work until tried.

 

Looking at the Asus Q170T-CSM specs, there are two m.2 slots but no support for nvme, so tough to say if it will work as an SSD or not.

 

I don't have a straight m.2 slot machine to use for a test here.

 

Sorry this wasn't explained in more detail earlier.

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

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8 hours ago, rickca said:

Intel specs say that Q170 does not support Optane.

 

Damn, thanks for finding that.

 

7 hours ago, lmitche said:

There are two use cases for the Optane drive.  

 

The first is as a caching device for a hard drive.  This is the intended use of the 16 and 32 gb sticks. Caching will only work with a z270 chipset motherboard powered by an i7-7xxx processor.

 

The second use case is as a nvme SSD drive substitute.  This is how I am using the device here with my z170 motherboard powered by a i7-6700k processor machine. While this is an unsupported use case, it works beautifully and adds to sound quality.

 

My expectation is that the Optane stick will work in any nvme capable motherboard. As this use case is unsupported, you won't know that it does work until tried.

 

Looking at the Asus Q170T-CSM specs, there are two m.2 slots but no support for nvme, so tough to say if it will work as an SSD or not.

 

I don't have a straight m.2 slot machine to use for a test here.

 

Sorry this wasn't explained in more detail earlier.

 

Well it looks like I'll need a new mobo if I want to get an Optane drive then.  Preferably one with the 200 series chipset.  Larry, I'm assuming when you say z270 chipset you mean any 200 series and not just the Z.  Please clarify.  I will also be waiting for a mobo that can be powered with by 12v.  I could go to 19v but would need to use the HDPlex 160W DC-ATX which I'm not excited about.

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Following this thread with interest and have a question regarding mobo compataility. 

 

My Z170 mainboard claims Socket 3, M key, type 2260/2280 SATA & PCIe x4/x2/x1 SSD Support.

 

Is that compatible with the Intel Optane Series SSD 32GB PCIe NVMe 3.0 x2 - M.2 2280 80mm?

 

Thx.

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9 hours ago, rickca said:

Intel specs say that Q170 does not support Optane.

When Intel says a chipset doesn't support Optane, they just mean you can't use the the current 16GB and 32GB modules as a cache for a hard drive as @lmitche explained.

 

Optane support requirements are documented here:

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/architecture-and-technology/optane-memory.html

 

NUC7PJYH/AL --> Berkeley Alpha USB --> Jeff Rowland Aeris --> Jeff Rowland 625 S2 --> Focal Utopia 3 Diablos with 2 x Focal Electra SW 1000 BE subs

 

i7-6700K/Windows 10 Version 2004/HDPLEX 300W/HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX --> EVGA Nu Audio Card --> Focal CMS50's 

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24 minutes ago, rickca said:

When Intel says a chipset doesn't support Optane, they just mean you can't use the the current 16GB and 32GB modules as a cache for a hard drive as @lmitche explained.

 

Optane support requirements are documented here:

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/architecture-and-technology/optane-memory.html

 

 

Thanks once again.  I've learned 3 new things thanks to you.  It looks like there is now a Q200 series chipset.  Optane supported chipsets are on all the platforms, Z, B, H and Q.  No 12v mobos available yet.

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14 minutes ago, Johnseye said:

I've learned 3 new things thanks to you.

Information technology I understand.  It's audio technology that baffles me.  I actually have to listen to things to decide what I like. :P 

NUC7PJYH/AL --> Berkeley Alpha USB --> Jeff Rowland Aeris --> Jeff Rowland 625 S2 --> Focal Utopia 3 Diablos with 2 x Focal Electra SW 1000 BE subs

 

i7-6700K/Windows 10 Version 2004/HDPLEX 300W/HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX --> EVGA Nu Audio Card --> Focal CMS50's 

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2 hours ago, baconbrain said:

Following this thread with interest and have a question regarding mobo compataility. 

 

My Z170 mainboard claims Socket 3, M key, type 2260/2280 SATA & PCIe x4/x2/x1 SSD Support.

 

Is that compatible with the Intel Optane Series SSD 32GB PCIe NVMe 3.0 x2 - M.2 2280 80mm?

 

Thx.

My expectation is that it will work but no guarantee.  This is effectively the same spec board used here.

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

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2 hours ago, Johnseye said:

 

Damn, thanks for finding that.

 

 

Well it looks like I'll need a new mobo if I want to get an Optane drive then.  Preferably one with the 200 series chipset.  Larry, I'm assuming when you say z270 chipset you mean any 200 series and not just the Z.  Please clarify.  I will also be waiting for a mobo that can be powered with by 12v.  I could go to 19v but would need to use the HDPlex 160W DC-ATX which I'm not excited about.

Actually, if I were you, and assuming you can return it, I'd try the 32 gb Optane in your existing board.

 

I can't say which PCH chipsets will support Optane SSDs. Clearly the z270 does, as does the z170, others IDK.

 

Also, clearly there compatible z170 boards that have DC power input and support nvme drives.  I don't like the DC input boards myself. I'd rather have the DC to DC smps away from the motherboard, not on it.

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

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2 hours ago, lmitche said:

My expectation is that it will work but no guarantee.  This is effectively the same spec board used here.

Thanks, understand that there are no guarantees.

 

One more question; I assume that one can do a fresh Win10 installation directly on the Optane drive partition as long as one follows the tweaktown recommendations referenced at the beginning of the thread, correct?

 

 

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42 minutes ago, baconbrain said:

Thanks, understand that there are no guarantees.

 

One more question; I assume that one can do a fresh Win10 installation directly on the Optane drive partition as long as one follows the tweaktown recommendations referenced at the beginning of the thread, correct?

 

 

The Tweaktown article explains how to build the world's fastest RAID SSD using 3 Optane sticks and the three m.2 slots on an Asus Taichi motherboard.  That's cool, but we don't need the space for Windows and apps on a dedicated music server. One stick is plenty.

 

I did nothing but install the stick in the one M.2 slot on my z170 motherboard.  From there it is important to ensure it is seen in the bios.  I had to change the bios switch controlling recognition of devices in the m.2 slot to auto from manual.  

 

At this point, I suspect Windows will install in the normal fashion from a USB stick.

 

Alternatively, I just booted Windows from my USB attached hard disk.  The Optane drive was now shown under disk management as offline.  Using disk partition I set it online and once working copied the system partition to the Optane stick using Paragon Migrate. From there I just set the boot drive to the Optane in the bios and it booted.

 

No drivers were installed.  The whole install took 45 mins.

 

Re-reading the tweak town guide it seems they installed the 3 Optane as SSD drives not nvme drives, so my guess is any motherboard with an m.2 SSD slot will work with Optane as well, but nvme is preferred.

 

Also, I am getting the exact performance numbers as the tweak town article indicates for a single stick.

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

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15 minutes ago, lmitche said:

Re-reading the tweak town guide it seems they installed the 3 Optane as SSD drives not nvme drives, so my guess is any motherboard with an m.2 SSD slot will work with Optane as well, but nvme is preferred.

From the Intel Optane FAQ:

 

Intel does not provide a vendor-unique NVMe* driver for this series. System acceleration requires the Intel RST driver version 15.5 or later. If the drive is not used for system acceleration, it is supported by the standard NVMe* Microsoft* in-box driver that comes with the Windows® 10 operating system.

 

Note that system acceleration refers to caching a SATA boot drive and requires a motherboard with a 200-series chipset. 

 

Here's the whole set of FAQ about Optane from Intel:

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/memory-and-storage/intel-optane-memory/000024018.html

NUC7PJYH/AL --> Berkeley Alpha USB --> Jeff Rowland Aeris --> Jeff Rowland 625 S2 --> Focal Utopia 3 Diablos with 2 x Focal Electra SW 1000 BE subs

 

i7-6700K/Windows 10 Version 2004/HDPLEX 300W/HDPLEX 400W DC-ATX --> EVGA Nu Audio Card --> Focal CMS50's 

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13 hours ago, rickca said:

From the Intel Optane FAQ:

 

Intel does not provide a vendor-unique NVMe* driver for this series. System acceleration requires the Intel RST driver version 15.5 or later. If the drive is not used for system acceleration, it is supported by the standard NVMe* Microsoft* in-box driver that comes with the Windows® 10 operating system.

 

Note that system acceleration refers to caching a SATA boot drive and requires a motherboard with a 200-series chipset. 

 

Here's the whole set of FAQ about Optane from Intel:

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/memory-and-storage/intel-optane-memory/000024018.html

Rick, based on this, do you think the Optane stick works in non-nvme slot? I don't have a system without nvme slots or I'd try it.

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

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https://ark.intel.com/products/99742/Intel-Optane-Memory-Series-32GB-M_2-80mm-PCIe-3_0-20nm-3D-Xpoint

Quote

Power - Active
3.5 Watts

 

USB 3.0 ports should be good for delivering up to 900 mA and iFi Audio iGalvanic 3.0 is bus-powered, that means 4.5 Watts at best and maybe that wouldn't provide enough juice for powering something like this with 32GB Optane?

 

DftlRsD.jpgHs0Byct.jpg

 

LPS-1 should be able to provide up to 5.5 Watts and I assume that USB 2.0 output of ISO REGEN won't supply anything higher than 500 mA. Most likely that wouldn't really work for music storage.

 

So far nobody seemed to be selling an enclosure for M.2 drives with external DC power input yet, most likely it's no go unless we mod that ourselves.

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