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NVMe RAID Support Now Available on AMD Threadripper

Question asked by kingfish on Oct 3, 2017
Latest reply on Oct 4, 2017 by ajlueke

"When AMD launched Threadripper back in early August, it promised that support for some features, like NVMe RAID, would arrive at a later time. As of now, drivers to enable NVMe RAID are now available for RAID 0, 1, and 10 (aka 1+0) configurations. This a significant selling point for AMD’s X399 chipset if you’re in the market for this kind of ultra high-end storage configuration, given that Intel locks off the capability.

This NVMe RAID support is separate from conventional SATA RAID arrays built via the X399 chipset. NVMe RAID hangs directly off the CPU’s PCI Express lanes. Up to three M.2 drives can be used to create an array, and up to six NVMe drives total if you use a single GPU and dedicate the other PCI Express lanes to the task, as shown in the X399 chipset diagram below:



This differs from what Intel plans to offer in several respects. While Intel has talked about a new storage option called VROC (Virtual RAID on CPU), the company hasn’t divulged much information about how it works. Tech Report states VROC will only be compatible with Intel-brand SSDs, and that you’ll have to pay for the feature, with an additional fee on top of the first if you want RAID 5 support. Granted, most people probably don’t want RAID 5 support, but charging twice for VROC to enable NVMe RAID support isn’t going to sit well with customers who are already paying a premium for X299 motherboards and Skylake-SP CPUs. No such restrictions are in place on AMD’s side of the equation, though there are a few things to be aware of.