Confused about RAID/AHCI on this X79 board

Hey guys, I’ve been reading this forum for a bit and downloading drivers from here but I can’t seem to figure out the best way to configure this setup.

Right now I’m building a PC for a friend with a GA-X79-UP4 board, with the following SATA connectors:
2x SATA 600 (Intel X79 integrated)
4x SATA 300 (Intel X79 integrated)
4x SATA 600 (Marvell 88SE9172)
The Intel controller can be switched between IRST/RSTe mode in BIOS (is this the DEV_2826 vs DEV_somethingelse stuff?). SATA OpROM version is in RSTe mode and in IRST mode.

We have one SSD and two HDDs, the SDD contains the system partition and we’re looking to run the two harddrives in RAID1, to store important data. There are so many different ways to configure this, but I have no idea what the best option is.

Now we could either run the SDD on the Marvell controller, and the RAID array on X79 integrated, or the SSD on x79 in AHCI and RAID array on Marvell, or both SSD+HDD on Marvell. I think running the RAID array on the Marvell controller would be the easiest option but I have no idea about the pros/cons of each controller.
Then, if using RAID on Intel, should we pick IRST or RSTe, and why? And which drivers would be the best to use? (RSTe v3.7.0.1049 / v3.8 / v4.1 / v13, or IRST v11.2.1006 / v11.6.0.172 (does this even exist?))
Or if using RAID on Marvell and AHCI on Intel, which Intel AHCI drivers should we pick? (on my own PC, I currently run RSTe v13 drivers on this same board in AHCI mode, got BSODs all the time on v3/v4)

Any enlightenment on this would be appreciated.

@ jwt27:
Welcome at Win-RAID Forum!

As you already have realized, there are a lot of options to connect your SATA storage devices and to choose the related BIOS settings…
Only an X79 board user with a rather similar HDD/SSD configuration, who has already tested all possible options, may be able to give you a concrete answer to your question.

This is what I would do:

  1. Since the Intel SATA 600 ports of the X79 board are the fastest, I recommend to connect the system driver (= SSD) with one of them and to set the Intel SATA Controller to “AHCI” mode.
    This way your friend will get the best possible performance with his current storage devices. Additionally he has the option to create later a very fast RAID0 array after having purchased a second SSD.
  2. You can use 2 of the Marvell SATA 600 ports for the RAID1 array.
    This will give your friend later on all options to re-configure the Intel SATA ports without touching the data, which are stored within the RAID1 array.
  3. Anyway I would update the Intel and Marvell RAID ROM and - if applicable - the SataDriver modules of the mainboard BIOS.


Hi Fernando,

Thanks for your advice. We moved the RAID array to the Marvell controller and connected the SSD to the Intel controller. This works really well and now I’m thinking of adding a RAID array to my own system, too. Two SSDs in RAID0 sounds awesome :slight_smile:

Now that we’re running the Intel controller in normal AHCI mode, which driver would you recommend to use? We’re both using the latest RSTe v13 driver now without the configuration panel, which seems to work okay. But perhaps there are better options available?
Also how would we go about updating the SATA ROMs? I assume you’d have to find a new ROM version, add it to a BIOS ROM image, and flash it? And what benefits would this have when using only AHCI mode?

The actually used driver is ok and the installation of the software dispensable.


Not any.