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AMD unlocks bootable NVMe RAID on Threadripper CPU and X399 boards

By Michael Low & Koh Wanzi - on 4 Oct 2017, 10:54am

AMD unlocks bootable NVMe RAID on Threadripper CPU and X399 boards

Image source: AMD.

AMD is making support for bootable NVMe RAID arrays available for free on its enthusiast-grade X399 chipset. The feature was supposed to be released earlier on September 25, but it was pushed back till now because of the need to coordinate further with motherboard manufacturers.

Drives set up in this way would draw directly on PCIe lanes from the Ryzen Threadripper CPU, thus avoiding performance bottlenecks arising from the relatively narrow PCIe 3.0 x4 interlink between the processor and the X399 chipset.

To get started, you’ll have to download the latest AMD RAIDXpert2 package to obtain the NVMe RAID driver and management software. You’ll also need to perform a motherboard BIOS update to add support for NVMe RAID.

Following that, you can either create the RAID array in the BIOS itself, or use the RAIDXpert2 software.

AMD pointedly notes that no activation hardware or license is required to access the full features and capabilities of NVMe RAID on its X399 platform, an obvious dig at Intel’s decision to make users pay for a hardware key to unlock RAID 1 and 5 modes for its equivalent Virtual RAID On CPU (VROC) solution.

Threadripper will support RAID 0, 1, and 10, and AMD’s solution will work with any NVMe SSD, another improvement over Intel VROC, which requires that you use only Intel SSDs for a bootable RAID array.

Source: AMD.