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Optane SSD as Boot drive - SQ Nirvana?


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I really appreciate your opinion Larry, it is difficult to address value ;)  Your other improvements I've done (The shorter SATA cables,  and the SATA adapter in the M2 slot, and the Optane now in th M2 slot) have really added much to my system.  Also,  moving my music from my NAS to an internal hd helped too.  So I trust your evaluation very much.  This is all so interesting...all these trials in the end to only find that avoiding the SATA interface, adding another level of galvanic isolation, and clean power to the Adnaco.

 

How do you connect to your home network Larry?  My only open PCIe slot is used by a Mellanox fiber network card allowing me to run fiber to my PC...now in my listening room.  I'd need to use a good 50' ethernet cable.

 

I had to read all this several times to get to this level of understanding!  hehe..

Ryzen 7 2700 PC Server, NUC7CJYH w. 4G Apacer RAM as Renderer/LPS 1.2 - IsoRegen/LPS-1/.2 - Singxer SU-1/LPS1.2 - Holo Spring Level 3 DAC - LTA MicroZOTL MZ2 - Modwright KWA 150 Signature Amp - Tidal Audio Piano's.  

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Chris, Larry has a $20 USB NIC hanging off the other USB port of the Adanco, which carries out further the goal of better sq through isolation.

 

I have an RMA from Intel so I will be trying to run on Optane here again soon.   I'll try not to fix what ain't broken.  :)

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LOL!!  It's SO hard not to keep dicking around when you think there is still room for improvement....it's a real psychological issue for us! hehe

 

So something like this?  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013G4C8RE/ref=sxr_pa_click_within_right_3?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=3163805422&pf_rd_r=82JJPMRTGDX815CMYADP&pd_rd_wg=8jXrN&pf_rd_s=desktop-rhs-carousels&pf_rd_t=301&pd_rd_w=qezMu&pf_rd_i=nic+network&pd_rd_r=33K0FBASQR364EXXMDD1&psc=1

So accord. to specs, CAT6A is good to 100M.  Wow, had no idea.  Either way,  too bad that video card's so big giving me just the one open PCIe slot.

Ryzen 7 2700 PC Server, NUC7CJYH w. 4G Apacer RAM as Renderer/LPS 1.2 - IsoRegen/LPS-1/.2 - Singxer SU-1/LPS1.2 - Holo Spring Level 3 DAC - LTA MicroZOTL MZ2 - Modwright KWA 150 Signature Amp - Tidal Audio Piano's.  

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1 hour ago, Forehaven said:

LOL!!  It's SO hard not to keep dicking around when you think there is still room for improvement....it's a real psychological issue for us! hehe

 

So something like this?  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B013G4C8RE/ref=sxr_pa_click_within_right_3?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=3163805422&pf_rd_r=82JJPMRTGDX815CMYADP&pd_rd_wg=8jXrN&pf_rd_s=desktop-rhs-carousels&pf_rd_t=301&pd_rd_w=qezMu&pf_rd_i=nic+network&pd_rd_r=33K0FBASQR364EXXMDD1&psc=1

So accord. to specs, CAT6A is good to 100M.  Wow, had no idea.  Either way,  too bad that video card's so big giving me just the one open PCIe slot.

Yep, one like that. Crap, I paid as least double for mine. Run it at 100 mbps for best SQ.

 

From there I have three pieces of bjc cat6a connected with two emosystems ITs and an Asus wireless adapter ea-n66 powered by an el cheapo lps.

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

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Latebloomer, I guess you know that all Regens are USB 2.0 devices and the Adnaco is a USB 3.0 device.  USB 3.0 runs at 10x the speed of USB 2.0 and therefore more appropriate for disk access.

 

I believe @rickca is currently testing the new IFI iGalvanic USB 3.0 solution as a substitute for the Adnaco, but in a different configuration then discussed above.

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

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Frankly I don't quite get it which I see a lot of threads seem proposing fast access to hdd.  I see you using Startech enclosure to improve the access speed.  The thing is if music playback with USB 2.0 is smooth enough,  is switching to USB 3.0 give better benefit to sound quality? Could you tell me what hdd you are using and its rpm? 

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7 hours ago, lateboomer said:

Frankly I don't quite get it which I see a lot of threads seem proposing fast access to hdd.  I see you using Startech enclosure to improve the access speed.  The thing is if music playback with USB 2.0 is smooth enough,  is switching to USB 3.0 give better benefit to sound quality? Could you tell me what hdd you are using and its rpm? 

It's a qeueing theory thing, think about it.

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

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Based on Z170 chipset block diagram from Intel shown below, is it correct to read that PCIeX1 slots (normally 2 x PCIeX1) can be directly wired to processor instead of to the chipset Z170? Is it the one referred as 2 x 4 lanes PICe 3.0 in the diagram below?

 

image.thumb.png.62331a620872bb8935a1bc3c894beccb.png

 

Is it right that only way to know how PCIeX1 wired is by studying the pcb trace of it as manual usually not clear about it? I couldn't find from Asus Z170M-Plus manual how PCIeX1 slots being wired.

 

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23 minutes ago, lateboomer said:

Based on Z170 chipset block diagram from Intel shown below, is it correct to read that PCIeX1 slots (normally 2 x PCIeX1) can be directly wired to processor instead of to the chipset Z170? Is it the one referred as 2 x 4 lanes PICe 3.0 in the diagram below?

 

image.thumb.png.62331a620872bb8935a1bc3c894beccb.png

 

Is it right that only way to know how PCIeX1 wired is by studying the pcb trace of it as manual usually not clear about it? I couldn't find from Asus Z170M-Plus manual how PCIeX1 slots being wired.

 

PCIe x1 slots are connected to the chipset (e.g. Z170) not the processor.  The PCIe lanes from processor do not support PCIe x1 expansion slots.

 

Whether a motherboard takes all 16 lanes of PCIe from processor and connects them to a single PCIe x16 expansion slot (for graphics), or splits them into 2 groups of 8 lanes (for two PCIe x16 expansion slots), or into 3 groups (8, 4, 4) is specific to the design of that motherboard, but you will never have an individual processor PCIe lane connected to a PCIe x1 expansion slot.  In other words, all PCIe x1 expansion slots on the motherboard have their PCIe lanes connected to the chipset.

 

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Installed Optane 32GB with ASUS PCIe card in my Gigabyte GA-Z170X-UD5 TH MoBo. First I installed the ASUS card with Optane in to the slot marked PCIEx8, but it was not seen in BIOS or under Device Manager, and the green LED on the ASUS did not come up. Then I removed it from that slot and installed it in to the slot marked PCIEX4, and it showed up in BIOS and in Device Manager.

 

I did a fresh install of Win 10, JRiver, and HQ Player and everything on that front seems to be working fine. No SQ comparisons yet as I am having issues connecting to NAA.

 

I have a 2-port fiber NIC in the PCIEx16 slot for now, Optane might work there as well, but I will try that after I get it going.

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Fixed NAA issue. Music is playing. Certainly improvement in SQ. One of those rare instances when you hear and feel the improvement right away without a doubt (happens rarely to me at least). No brainier. Relatively very inexpensive upgrade.

 

I have not changed anything other than booting from Optane instead of an iPXE remote boot on a fiber network.

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On 2017/9/9 at 9:44 PM, sig8 said:

Installed Optane 32GB with ASUS PCIe card in my Gigabyte GA-Z170X-UD5 TH MoBo. First I installed the ASUS card with Optane in to the slot marked PCIEx8, but it was not seen in BIOS or under Device Manager, and the green LED on the ASUS did not come up. Then I removed it from that slot and installed it in to the slot marked PCIEX4, and it showed up in BIOS and in Device Manager.

 

I did a fresh install of Win 10, JRiver, and HQ Player and everything on that front seems to be working fine. No SQ comparisons yet as I am having issues connecting to NAA.

 

I have a 2-port fiber NIC in the PCIEx16 slot for now, Optane might work there as well, but I will try that after I get it going.

One or two points I would like to raise

1. This is the Gigabyte z170x-ud5 TH(thunderbolt) which is a newer version than mine which is not z170x-ud5 

2. from the manual it says 

1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
* For optimum performance, if only one PCI Express graphics card is to be installed,
be sure to install it in the PCIEX16 slot.
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x8 (PCIEX8)
* The PCIEX8 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX16 slot. When the PCIEX8 slot
is populated, the PCIEX16 slot will operate at up to x8 mode.
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)
* The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with the M2H_32G connector. The PCIEX4 slot
will become unavailable when an SSD is installed in the M2H_32G connector.
4 x PCI Express x1 slots
(All of the PCI Express slots conform to PCI Express 3.0 standard.)

 

Since the PCIEx4 shares bandwidth with the M2H_32G connector is there any benefit at all to use an extra Asus Hyper M.2 x4 to house the Optane rather than using the native M2H-32G connector to plug the Optane ? That is why I have not tried using the PCIEx4 slot for the Asus  Hyper M.2 mini card. 

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3 minutes ago, hols said:

Since the PCIEx4 shares bandwidth with the M2H_32G connector is there any benefit at all to use an extra Asus Hyper M.2 x4 to house the Optane rather than using the native M2H-32G connector to plug the Optane ? That is why I have not tried using the PCIEx4 slot for the Asus  Hyper M.2 mini card. 

There's no point using the Asus Hyper M.2 x4 in the PCIEX4 slot because it is managed by the chipset just like the M2H_32G connector.  You want to put the Asus card in either PCIEX16 or PCIEX8.  Unfortunately, I don't know why @sig8 had problems getting it recognized in the PCIEX8 slot.

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

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9 hours ago, rickca said:

There's no point using the Asus Hyper M.2 x4 in the PCIEX4 slot because it is managed by the chipset just like the M2H_32G connector.  You want to put the Asus card in either PCIEX16 or PCIEX8.  Unfortunately, I don't know why @sig8 had problems getting it recognized in the PCIEX8 slot.

Yes, I had a look at the manual for sig8's and Ted's gigabyte motherboard.  It clearly states it has the capability run both slots to pcie x8. I'm not sure why the switch doesn't happen in both cases.  Someone should call gigabyte to learn why.  Maybe a bios upgrade is needed?

 

The Asus card places the Optane card vertical orientation in a way that I suspect significantly increases convection around the card. It may provide better airflow then in a motherboard m.2 slot unless the slot is under the CPU fan and the fan blows downward.

 

I've been looking at z270 motherboards and it is tough to find the facts about pcie lane allocation. Seems that many boards are locked in x16 lane allocation to a single pcie slot.

Pareto Audio aka nuckleheadaudio

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