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PSulc
Beginner
3,095 Views

NUC Kit NUC8i7HVK question: Can I install 2 M.2 2280 pcie SSD storage cards and run them in raid 1 configuration?

The spec page suggests that there are 2 M.2 2280 slots available for pcie SSD storage.

 

Tom's Hardware states the following:

 

"Internally, the NUC has three M.2 slots. One is dedicated to an Intel Wireless-AC 8265 card that supports 802.11ax 2x2 and Bluetooth v4.2, while the other two accommodate SSDs (one 2280 and one 2242) in either SATA or NVMe flavors."

 

So there appears to be a discrepancy.

 

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8 Replies
n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
1,981 Views

No, there's no discrepancy; you just don't understand the nomenclature. In the loosest of terms, you can use PCIe and NVMe interchangeably.

 

To answer your question, yes, you can install two M.2 NVMe SSDs or two M.2 SATA SSDs and create a RAID0 or RAID1 array containing them. The important thing to understand is that you cannot mix interfaces. That is, they both have to be M.2 NVMe SSDs or they both have to be M.2 SATA SSDs; you cannot do it with one M.2 NVMe SSD and one M.2 SATA SSD.

 

Here, in a nutshell, is the process that you will follow to setup a RAID0 (or RAID1) array on two matching M.2 SSDs:

 

  1. Install the two M.2 SSDs into the KY/HN/HV NUC.
  2. Power on the NUC. At the BIOS POST Splash Screen, use F2 to enter BIOS Setup (the Visual BIOS program).
  3. Click on Advanced then Devices and then on the SATA tab.
  4. Change the Chipset SATA Mode parameter to the RAID setting.
  5. If using M.2 NVMe Drives, enable (check) both of the M.2 Slot # RST PCIe Storage Remapping parameters.
  6. Use F10 (followed by Y) to save BIOS Configuration and edit BIOS Setup.
  7. At the subsequent BIOS POST Splash Screen, again use F2 to enter BIOS Setup.
  8. Click on Advanced then Devices and then on the Add-In Config tab.
  9. Click on the Configure button for Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology.
  10. Click on Create RAID Volume.
  11. Change the Name if you wish.
  12. Select the RAID Level you want.
  13. Select the two M.2 SSDs.
  14. Change the Strip Size if you wish.
  15. Change the Capacity if you wish.
  16. Click on Create Volume.
  17. Use Esc key to exit this configuration tool.
  18. Use F10 (followed by Y) to save BIOS Configuration and edit BIOS Setup.
  19. When the BIOS POST Splace Screen appears, power off the NUC.
  20. On another PC, add the Intel Rapid Storage Drivers to your installation media. These drivers are provided in the F6FLPY-x86.ZIP or F6FLPY-x64.ZIP files on the RST download page. Simply place the contents of the appropriate ZIP file into the root folder of you installation media.
  21. Back on the NUC, power it back on and use F10 to choose where to boot from. Select your installation media.
  22. When the Windows 10 install process gets to the screen where you select where to install Windows, use the option to load storage drivers and point it to the root folder of your installation media. It should identify the RST driver, load it and then return to the selection screen.
  23. Tell the installer to install to the unused space on the RAID array.
  24. Proceed from there.

 

Hope this helps (reciting from memory, but hopefully accurate),

...S

 

 

 

Hope this helps,

...S

PSulc
Beginner
1,981 Views

Thanks for the reply Scott. My question was more on the physical side of things in that Tom’s hardware explicitly states that only one 2280 slot is supported, the other being 2242. I appreciate all the info about setting up raid. Fortunately I have no reason to install windows 10 and can use Linux for all my needs so I will be avoiding all the windows 10 install insanity/stupidity/incompetence and I’ll probably end up using software raid though I will likely try hw raid first and compare.
n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
1,981 Views

In that case, Tom's Hardware is incorrect. There are two 2280 slots for M.2 SSDs plus the 2242 slot hosting the M.2 Wireless card.

...S

TPaan
Beginner
1,981 Views

I came across this question and I still wonder if it is possible to have two m.2 ssd installed in a NUC8i7HVK and use the second m.2 ssd for storage or is it only for a RAID configuration?

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
1,981 Views

Yes, you can definitely do that. In fact, that is what I would call the (more-) normal usage model. I bought a smaller but super fast M.2 SSD to be my boot device and then a much larger but much slower (and thus cheaper) M.2 SSD for my data drive. The data drive can be slower because the files are not accessed that often.

...S

TPaan
Beginner
1,981 Views

Oh that's great. I read somewhere that some had problems getting the second m.2 ssd to show in windows.

Thanks for the quick answer.

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
1,981 Views

The two M.2 Type M connectors can host both NVMe and SATA SSDs, so any combination you would like to use should work. The only thing you need to remember is that, if you do want to use RAID, the valid combinations are NVMe+NVMe or SATA+SATA (i.e. no mixing types).

 

A pet peeve of mine is that I regularly see cases where folks see symptom A and (somehow) conclude that it is problem B without any analysis or verification of any kind (and they are invariably wrong). A frustration of mine is that (a) I cannot delete these idiot's posts and (b) if I do post a correction, folks don't read down far enough to see this correction and continue to presume that the idiot's conclusion is actually the case (when it isn't).

 

Off my soapbox now...(sigh!)

...S

 

n_scott_pearson
Super User Retired Employee
1,981 Views

Oh, and while I am at it, one more thing: Using RAID 0 with a pair of NVMe SSDs is a complete waste of time. The bandwidth of a single x4 NVMe connection is equivalent to the bandwidth of the DMI bus that connects the processor to the chipset (PCH), so bus saturation will prevent any significant speedup in disk performance. Worse, this same bus supports all SATA, USB, LAN, WLAN, BT, Audio, etc. traffic as well, so this is going to disaffect the RAID 0 performance as well. Using RAID 1 (disk mirroring) is ok, however - but remember that there may be a performance penalty for doing so.

 

...S

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