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 Mint claims SATA-II controller 
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 8:22 am
Posts: 1
Post Mint claims SATA-II controller
Hello,

Just bought a Fit-PC3 Pro "Mint Box", and replaced the included HDD by a 256GB Crucial M4 SSD. This is a 6Gb/s drive.

But when checking dmesg I had a bad surprise:
[ 0.978800] ahci 0000:00:11.0: version 3.0
[ 0.978909] ahci 0000:00:11.0: PCI INT A -> GSI 19 (level, low) -> IRQ 19
[ 0.979222] ahci 0000:00:11.0: AHCI 0001.0200 32 slots 3 ports 3 Gbps 0x31 impl SATA mode
[ 0.979228] ahci 0000:00:11.0: flags: 64bit ncq sntf ilck pm led clo pmp fbs pio ccc sxs

It looks like the ports are 3Gbps, not 6. The Disk Utility also shows a max reading speed of 282.6 MB/s witch is in line with a 3Gbps controller performance.

As the specifications are claiming 6Gb/s hardware is there something wrong with Mint, maybe not using a compliant driver ? I am using the provided Mint installation (just made a dd to my SSD).

Regards,
Arnaud


Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:10 pm
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:25 pm
Posts: 44
Post Re: Mint claims SATA-II controller
Hello Arnaud,

As far as we know, the dmesg does not necessarily report the SATA mode correctly.
While a max reading speed of 282.6 MB/s might be limited by SATA-II performance, it is also possible that this speed limit is caused by a system bandwidth bottleneck and not by the SATA controller.
Still, in order to get a clear picture of this issue we are currently investigating a possibility that the SATA controller registers in the chipset are not configured correctly for SATA-III. As this configuration is done in BIOS, this is not a driver issue.
There is some BIOS cross-testing that we need to do in order to determine what is the actual SATA configuration.
Hopefully we will have an update on this issue next week.

Best Regards,
Igor.


Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:59 am
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:25 pm
Posts: 44
Post Re: Mint claims SATA-II controller
Hello,

We've concluded our BIOS testing and found an issue with the SATA controller configuration. The current default BIOS setting configures the SATA controller for SATA-II operation mode. We are currently working to add a BIOS configuration option that will allow to modify that setting and switch to SATA-III mode.
Benchmarking the two operation modes with a Kingston SVP200S360G SSD produced the following results:

SATA-II
Read speed - 254 MB/s
Write speed - 233 MB/s

SATA-III
Read speed - 484 MB/s
Write speed - 393 MB/s

The SATA configuration fix will be included in our next BIOS release scheduled within a week.

Best Regards,
Igor.


Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:35 pm
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:20 am
Posts: 28
Location: Canada
Post Re: Mint claims SATA-II controller
Hi,

This is good news. Will the fix also apply to mSATA SSD for rev 2.3 boards?

It might be a good idea if you would label (date or version) the BIOS file on the download page. Presently there is no way for us to see if it is newer.

Regards,

Jean


Tue Aug 21, 2012 1:38 am
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:25 pm
Posts: 44
Post Re: Mint claims SATA-II controller
Hi Jean,

although we have not tested explicitly the SATA channel connected to mSATA, it is the same controller. So the BIOS fix should apply to mSATA as well.

You're right about BIOS versioning. We intend to post BIOS version numbers and release notes.

Regards,
Igor.


Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:43 pm
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Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:43 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Middle Earth
Post Re: Mint claims SATA-II controller
Also posting a change log of what was changed or fixed in each BIOS release.
Thus, someone like me who was interested in the SATA-III fix could tell which
BIOS fixes which problem.

_________________
Arwen Evenstar
Rivendale, Middle Earth


Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:55 pm
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:20 am
Posts: 28
Location: Canada
Post Re: Mint claims SATA-II controller
Hello,

Since the controller manage everything SATA onboard (2.5 in SATA, mSATA, eSATA) is it able to adjust speed to individual drives? If I plug 2 SATA III 6gps drives in mSATA port and eSATA port for example, but put a SATA II 3gps 2.5 in drive in the bay will the controller downgrade all drives to SATA II speed?

Best regards,

Jean


Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:20 am
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Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 10:43 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Middle Earth
Post Re: Mint claims SATA-II controller
sesterce wrote:
Hello,

Since the controller manage everything SATA onboard (2.5 in SATA, mSATA, eSATA) is it able to adjust speed to individual drives? If I plug 2 SATA III 6gps drives in mSATA port and eSATA port for example, but put a SATA II 3gps 2.5 in drive in the bay will the controller downgrade all drives to SATA II speed?

Best regards,

Jean


The standards are supposed to auto-configure downward. So, yes, if the
SATA chip set is programmed to support SATA-III speeds, (for your mSATA
device), then any lower speed should work fine, (in the builtin 2.5" drive
slot).

_________________
Arwen Evenstar
Rivendale, Middle Earth


Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:48 pm
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Site Admin

Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:13 pm
Posts: 1260
Post Re: Mint claims SATA-II controller
SATA III controller treats each SATA port individually, and has full SATA II backward compatibility. E.C. connecting SATA II device alongside SATA II devices, won't switch SATA III devices to the slower SATA II mode. SATA III devices will operate at SATA III mode, and SATA II - in SATA II mode.

_________________
Gabriel Heifets

Fit-PC2/3/IntensePC support.


Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:27 pm
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Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:20 am
Posts: 28
Location: Canada
Post Re: Mint claims SATA-II controller
I received my FitPC3 yesterday with a BIOS dated 06/27/2012. I don't see any options in the BIOS to enable SATA III. I use a Crucial SATA III mSATA drive in the mini PCIE slot and it is running at SATA II speed only. Should I upgrade the BIOS? Is the BIOS available for download on the site newer than the one I have now?

Regards,

Jean


Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:54 pm
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