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whoopsiesz
Beginner
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Does the RST driver in Win10 secretly issue TRIM commands for Optane Memory M10 16GB ?

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Hi. I have this Intel Optane Memory M10 16GB
In actuality it's only 14.4GB aka 13.41GiB before formatting it, but that's explained in this:
"The capacity shown in the Windows* operating system for the Intel® Optane™ memory series module is less than what is noted on the box. Why is this?
The operating system and related tools report a smaller capacity than you see on the box. The module uses a small portion of memory media management and maintenance. The listed density is the raw density of the Intel® Optane™ memory media. The total user capacity remains constant throughout the life of the drive.
"

I'm wanting to use it exclusively under Linux and I read in the FAQ that:

"Is Linux* supported when using Intel® Optane™ memory for system acceleration?

No, the accelerated SATA drive must be running Windows 10 64-bit to use the Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST) driver software. This enables the supported/validated method of using the Intel® Optane™ memory for acceleration of the most commonly used data. Using the device with other software for caching is is not supported or validated.
"

Also:

"Is TRIM, or Optimize, still useful in optimizing my Intel® Optane™ memory module or volume?

TRIM, or Optimize, isn't necessary because of the Intel® Optane™ memory module architecture. When the volume is enabled, the Intel® RST driver manages it for best performance.
"

I've tested TRIM via blkdiscard and it seems to work under Linux, that is, I don't get an error, and the least block that can be trimmed is 512 bytes, however like many new SSDs the trimmed block isn't immediately reading as zeroes. So far I've only seen X25-M 80G return zeroes after trim due to `hdparm -I` showing "*  Deterministic read ZEROs after TRIM" only for this drive but not for any of the other two SSDs that I've encountered, while all 3 drives also have something like(the "8" may differ): "*  Data Set Management TRIM supported (limit 8 blocks)".

Note that `hdparm -I`(capital i) does indeed not work on this Optane Memory M10 16GB, I only get this:
HDIO_ DRIVE_ CMD(identify) failed: Inappropriate ioctl for device
HDIO_ GET_ IDENTITY failed: Inappropriate ioctl for device

So given the above two texts from the FAQ, I speculate that the reason why Intel says that TRIM isn't necessary is because the Optane Memory isn't itself seen as a drive by itself by the OS and thus Win10 OS cannot use the OS's TRIM on it, however/and, Intel RST driver can and likely does use TRIM on it, but in a way that's obviously invisible to the OS (ie. managed by RST driver because only it knows which places are no longer used, unless this never happens because the whole drive is used up / full all the time? in order to maximize cached response, in which case not even RST driver would need to ever delete anything via TRIM, just overwrite - thus my assumption that RST use TRIM is wrong). And since Win10 is the only supported OS as per:
"What operating systems does Intel® Optane™ memory support when used for system acceleration?

Intel® Optane™ memory requires Windows 10 64-bit to be used as a system accelerator.
"
then, it's obvious that Intel can/would say TRIM isn't necessary (and can't even be enabled for it?), but this doesn't mean that TRIM isn't actually used. However this does mean that nobody else need to know about TRIM.

However, when wanting to use this in Linux, since it's seen similar to an SSD(except hdparm won't work on it), and there's no Intel RST driver here, it falls to Linux kernel/mount options, or 'fstrim' command to issue TRIMs to the drive(Optane Memory).

So, the question(s) is:

is Intel RST driver issuing TRIM commands to the drive? and if so, shouldn't I also do so under Linux ?

(either way, I assume it can't hurt, unless TRIM commands are really ignored by the drive(and returning an ok response?) and/or blkdiscard command under Linux cannot detect lack of TRIM as errors and pretends the TRIM was successful anyway)


If not, then is TRIM actually not a supported function, even though it seems that blkdiscard succeeded TRIMming? (so, again then, blkdiscard is unable to detect failure of the issued TRIM command to succeed either because the drive says it succeeded or because blkdiscard's code doesn't or can't check for the result of it which seems rather unlikely - or maybe kernel NVMe driver is saying it's always succeeded even when it doesn't)

 

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1 Solution
JosafathB_Intel
Moderator
242 Views

Hello whoopsiesz,

Thank you for contacting Intel® Memory and Storage support.

As we understand, you need assistance with your Intel® Optane™ Memory M10 Series. If we infer correctly, we will appreciate it if you can review the following information:

• The Intel® Optane™ Memory M10 Series is a piece of hardware that was designed to accelerate slow SATA devices, and as you mentioned is only compatible with Windows* 10.
• The usage of this hardware with any other OS is not supported or validated by Intel®.
• The usage of this device as a Storage is not supported or validated by Intel®.

This being said, the commands and the usage that you are referring to, are not supported or valid, and can damage your hardware, due to the incorrect usage, consequently voiding your product warranty.

We hope you find this information helpful.

Best regards,

Josh B.
Intel® Customer Support Technician
A Contingent Worker at Intel®

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4 Replies
JosafathB_Intel
Moderator
243 Views

Hello whoopsiesz,

Thank you for contacting Intel® Memory and Storage support.

As we understand, you need assistance with your Intel® Optane™ Memory M10 Series. If we infer correctly, we will appreciate it if you can review the following information:

• The Intel® Optane™ Memory M10 Series is a piece of hardware that was designed to accelerate slow SATA devices, and as you mentioned is only compatible with Windows* 10.
• The usage of this hardware with any other OS is not supported or validated by Intel®.
• The usage of this device as a Storage is not supported or validated by Intel®.

This being said, the commands and the usage that you are referring to, are not supported or valid, and can damage your hardware, due to the incorrect usage, consequently voiding your product warranty.

We hope you find this information helpful.

Best regards,

Josh B.
Intel® Customer Support Technician
A Contingent Worker at Intel®

View solution in original post

JosafathB_Intel
Moderator
233 Views

Hello whoopsiesz,

 

We were reviewing your community thread related to your Intel® Optane™ Memory M10 Series, and we would like to know if you were able to review our previous post and if you needed further assistance.

 

Have a nice day.

 

Best regards.

 

Josh B.

Intel® Customer Support Technician

A Contingent Worker at Intel®

powerarmour
New Contributor III
218 Views

I actually run an M10 16GB as a dedicated spare test drive under Linux, and you can certainly trim it with the fstrim -av command.

Under Linux it'll obviously just behave like any other NVMe drive.

JosafathB_Intel
Moderator
195 Views

Hello whoopsiesz,

 

As mentioned in our previous post, your current configuration is not supported.

 

We do not advise you to use third-party software with the Optane memory since it can damage your hardware. If you need further assistance related to the usage of this software, we advise you to contact the software developer.

 

We will proceed to close this thread now, if you need further assistance regarding how to set up your Optane in Windows* 10, please, open a new ticket.

 

Best regards,

 

Josh B.

Intel® Customer Support Technician

A Contingent Worker at Intel®

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