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Step into the next generation of RAID performance with MSI motherboards

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Posted on December 04 2017


When you are enjoying your favorite games or working on the content creation, long loading times can really ruin your experience or efficiency. To solve this problem, RAID uses two or more hard disks working in parallel for larger capacity and big performance increase. Still not satisfied with your hard drive speeds? In this article, we will introduce you to the next generation of RAID, VROC. Improve your system performance even further!

Index

1. “VROC” vs RAID

2. Besides VROC, MSI supports NVME on AMD X399 chipset

3. How to set up VROC and RAIDXpert2 for MSI motherboards


Chapter 1: “VROC” vs RAID

“VROC” is the abbreviation of “Virtual RAID on CPU”. Intel® VROC is an enterprise RAID solution specifically designed for NVMe-based Solid State Drives (SSD). The biggest advantage of VROC is the ability to manage RAID volumes with NVMe-based SSDs directly connected to CPU PCIe lanes without using a RAID hot bus adapter (HBA). A CPU PCIe 3.0 x16 slot can support data transfer up to 128 Gbps, which is 4x faster than transferring by DMI with the 32 Gbps limit of the DMI bus, and 22x faster than SATA 3.0. As a result, Intel VROC unleashes all the performance potentials of NVMe SSDs and reduces the cost of setting it up, compared to conventional RAID configurations. This RAID solution is more reliable for data protection and easy to scale with flexible drive configurations.

Key Benefits for Intel® VROC

• HDD/SSD transfer speeds up to 128 Gbps

 Drive NVMe SSDs to their full potential

 Fewer hardware queues

 Bootable RAID

 Host Insert/Surprise removal

 Cost effective and simple

 

 

 

Intel® VROC with Intel® VMD

Intel® VMD”, the abbreviation of “Intel® Volume Management Device”, is a hardware feature which works on the MSI VROC-supported motherboards.

VROC is primarily targeted to professional workstations and server platforms. Same with the traditional RAID, VROC supports different types of RAID (RAID 0/1/5/10).

Some types need the exclusive hardware key (Intel® VMD) to implement VROC. The chart below shows which hardware key is needed for different RAID configurations.

Intel® Volume Management Device

 

Combine MSI motherboards with MSI M.2 Xpander-Z to take use of up to 5x M.2 slots to further enhance and optimize your VROC set up. Take your M.2 SSD performance to the next level.

MSI X299 XPOWER GAMING comes bundled with M.2 Xpander-Z

 

Chapter 2: Besides VROC, MSI support NVME on AMD X399 chipset

For X399 based motherboards, AMD’s high-end platform, MSI also supports CPU NVMe SSD RAID by introducing an exclusive BIOS feature called RAIDXpert2. The big difference with INTEL VROC is AMD X399 only supports RAID 0, but doesn’t require a hardware key to run. All you need to do is to download and flash the latest X399 BIOS set up your RAID configuration. You will then unlock incredible NVMe SSD RAID performance for your gaming and content creation experience. All MSI X399 motherboards feature at least 3x M.2, providing you with the possibility to configure the fastest NVMe SSD combinations available.

 ↑  MSI X399 GAMING PRO CARBON AC & X399 SLI PLUS support RAIDXpert2 for CPU NVME RAID

 ↑  MSI X399 GAMING PRO CARBON AC features 3x M.2 Shield v2 to protect your M.2 devices and offer the best heat dissipation to prevent performance throttling

 

Chapter 3: How to set up VROC and RAIDXpert2 for MSI motherboard

In the video link below, we will show how to launch INTEL VROC and AMD RAIDXpert2 in MSI exclusive BIOS setting.

INTEL VROC: https://youtu.be/2rGRdiv3KYY

 Model: X299 XPOWER GAMING AC

• CPU: I9-7980XE

 M.2: Intel 600P *5 with M.2 Xpander-Z

For more info: http://bit.ly/2hKWxFb

 ↑  5x Intel 600P M.2 in VROC  ↑  1x Intel 600P M.2

 

AMD RAIDXpert2: https://youtu.be/5MClnWJ9mws

• Model: X399 GAMING PRO CARBON AC

• CPU: 1950X

• M.2: Samsung 960 EVO (MZ-V6E500)500GB *2

For more info: http://bit.ly/2zkx3rT

 ↑  2x Samsung 960 EVO M.2 in RAIDXpert2  ↑  1x Samsung 960 EVO M.2

*Benchmark results may differ, depending on system configuration.


Concluding

Whether you prefer Intel’s X299 chipset or AMD’s X399 platform, if you want the best HDD/SSD performance, Intel, AMD and MSI make sure to unlock their full potential with full NVMe support. Intel VROC allows you to manage RAID volumes with NVMe-based SSDs directly connected to CPU PCIe lanes without using a RAID hot bus adapter (HBA). A CPU PCIe 3.0 x16 slot can support data transfer up to 128 Gbps, which is 4x faster than transferring by DMI with the 32 Gbps limit of the DMI bus, and 22x faster than SATA 3.0.

For X399 based motherboards, AMD’s high-end platform, MSI also supports CPU NVMe SSD RAID by introducing an exclusive BIOS feature called RAIDXpert2. The big difference with INTEL VROC is AMD X399 only supports RAID 0, but doesn’t require a hardware key to run, just the latest BIOS version.

 

So what are you waiting for? Don’t waste valuable time waiting on your hard drives to catch up, set up NVMe RAID with MSI X299 & X399 motherboards!

Available models: MSI X299 & X399 based motherboards: https://msi.com/Motherboards

 

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