[Guide] X99: SATA controllers and drivers

INTRODUCTION

What is the purpose of this post? The X99 mainboard was the first one for me with two independent SATA controllers. Since I have found a lot of opinions (often contradictory) about these controllers (like “what drive to plug where” or “which drivers to use”) so I decided to explore this topic. That turned out to be interesting and took quite a lot of my spare time. I hope this post will give the most important tips for the other users of X99 controllers to make their life easier.


PORTS

X99 mainboards usually have 10 SATA ports. In this configuration, the first six are connected to the first controller (it has no fixed name, I will name it in ASUS way: SATA Controller 1), the last four are connected to the second controller (SATA Controller 2).

  • SATA Controller 1 can work in AHCI or RAID mode. Device ID is DEV_8D02 (AHCI) or DEV_2822 (RAID).

  • SATA Controller 2 can work in AHCI or IDE mode. Device ID is DEV_8D62 (AHCI) or DEV_8D60 (IDE).

  • There are also mainboards with different port configurations, such as 8 SATA ports, and then (for example) the first four are connected to SATA Controller 1, the next four to SATA Controller 2 - it is always good to read the mainboard manual before connecting the drives and installing the drivers. My recommended options will refer to the configuration of 6+4 ports and they should be adjusted accordingly for any other configuration.

    In most cases these both controllers are Intel ones (this is also considered as a “better set”) but sometimes SATA Controller 2 has a different manufacturer, such as ASMedia, which could have a significant impact on the choice of drivers and how to connect the drives in ports as ports controlled by Intel controller are usually better to use. My recommended options will refer to two Intel controllers as I know this case much better.


    DRIVERS

    Two independent SATA controllers is not all the users of X99 are presented with. There are also three different controller drivers which can even be “mixed” and used together at the same time on the same system. In some “special cases” (like any non-Intel controller) there could be even more than three different drivers to use but, as I said before, I will only refer to “only Intel controllers” case. Here we have the following drivers:

  • Intel RST(e) (Intel Enhanced Rapid Storage Technology) drivers, the current version number (with X99 support) is 14.8.16.1063 (I will refer to them as v14). They support AHCI/RAID modes and TRIM.

  • Intel RSTe (Intel Rapid Storage Technology “Enterprise Edition”) drivers, the current version number (with X99 support) is 5.2.0.1194 (I will refer to them as v5). Like the v14 drivers, they support AHCI/RAID modes and TRIM.

  • System native drivers, their version number depends on the operating system and system updates. They will be “installed by default” on any controller which is in use and “not taken” by any other driver (v14/v5). Their main benefits are “simplicity of use” and very low chance for any system conflicts but we usually get low transfer speed rates while using them.


  • BASIC OPTIONS

    After installation of the system, we will have native drivers installed on all active controllers (ie those where at least one drive is connected to). So we can have only one SATA native driver installed (for SATA Controller 1 or for SATA Controller 2) or two drivers (one for SATA Controller 1 and one for SATA Controller 2).

    As native drivers offer slower transfer rate, in most cases it is recommended to install v14/v5 drivers. Which driver to install on which controller? This is another topic to discuss:

  • In the case of SATA Controller 1 (AHCI/RAID) we have two options: we can install v14 or v5 drivers. There are no major differences between them in terms of performance but in favor of v14 is the fact that they are currently the only official drivers offered by the X99 boards manufacturers to download.

  • In the case of SATA Controller 2 (AHCI/IDE), we also have two options, v14 or v5. However, in this case v14 may cause some problems, so installation of v5 is recommended.


  • RECOMMENDED OPTIONS

    Optical drives are “slow enough” to have them installed on controller with native drivers and they do not need any additional drivers to install to increase their performance, but you should install v14/v5 drivers for any SSD/HDD. The options depend on how many drives we want to connect, what are the drives (SSD/HDD/optical) and what modes we want these drivers to run (AHCI/RAID).

    Note: If you do not intend to use RAID mode, do not install the entire driver package - use only AHCI drivers as they are less likely to have any negative impact on the system and provide a better overall stability.

    Ultimately, the choices come down to three recommended options:

  • Option 1 for up to six any (SSD/HDD/optical) drives:

    Connect them to SATA Controller 1 and install v14 drivers. For SATA Controller 2 you have two options: you can either connect any optical drives to its ports running system native drivers (that way you will get some more “free ports” on SATA Controller 1) or you can simply not use SATA Controller 2 at all and even disable it completely in BIOS.

    Note: SATA Controller 1 is the only controller on X99 mainboards to allow running drives in RAID mode. If you are going to purchase additional drives and connect them as RAID in the future, you can reserve some ports for them on SATA Controller 1 - in this case options 2 or 3 could be better idea to start with.

  • Option 2 for seven or more drives (but the total amount of SSDs/HDDs is still up to six):

    Connect the SSDs/HDDs to the SATA Controller 1 and install the v14 drivers. The rest (optical drives) should be connected to the ports of SATA Controller 2 working under system native drivers.

  • Option 3 for seven or more drives:

    Connect up to six of them to SATA Controller 1 and install the v14 drivers and then connect the rest of them to SATA Controller 2 and install v5 drivers.


  • CLOSING WORDS

    This post is a direct continuation of my discussion on forum. This is also some kind of summary of my two-weeks-long discussion with @100PIER and I would like to thank him very much for the patience he had to answer “all my stupid questions” I sent him. I’d also like to thank @Fernando for running such great forum and I hope my post will help at least one other forum user. The topic was completely new for me so if anyone spots any my mistakes in the above post then please let me know.

    @Lex ,
    May be I suggest to add into your guide the DEV IDs such as I have got with my Sabertooth X99:

    X99_SATA_DEV_IDs.PNG



    Can you check you have the same Devices IDs for your X99 platform ?

    @100PIER : That’s going to be interesting because my SATA Controller 2 is the same DEV_8D62, but your SATA Controller 1 is DEV_2822 and mine is DEV_8D02. The rest of both keys (VEN, SUBSYS, REV) are still the same.

    According to this website and “listed possibilities”:

  • DEV_2822:
    - Adaptec Serial ATA HostRAID
    - Intel Chipset SATA RAID Controller
    - Intel Embedded Server RAID Technology II
    - Intel(R) 82801HR/HH/HO SATA RAID Controller
    - Intel(R) Desktop/Workstation/Server Express Chipset SATA RAID Controller
    - Intel(R) ICH8R/ICH9R SATA RAID Controller
    - Intel(R) ICH8R/ICH9R/ICH10R SATA RAID Controller
    - Intel(R) ICH8R/ICH9R/ICH10R/DO SATA RAID Controller
    - Intel(R) ICH8R/ICH9R/ICH10R/DO/5 Series/3400 Series SATA RAID Controller
    - Intel(R) ICH8R/ICH9R/ICH10R/DO/PCH SATA RAID Controller
    - LSI Embedded MegaRAID
    - ServeRAID C100

  • DEV_8D02:
    - Intel(R) 9 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller
    - Intel(R) C600+/C220+ series chipset SATA AHCI Controller
    - Intel(R) C610 series/X99 chipset 6-Port SATA AHCI Controller - 8D02
    - LSI Embedded MegaRAID

  • … looks like my “set of possibilities” is “more correct” one? Or maybe this website just is not correct? (but I can’t find any other similar one)

    Anyway, do you know why there is a difference?

    @Lex ,
    I ignore why DEV_8D02 for your SATA Controller 1.
    May be due to AHCI mode BIOS setting ? My BIOS setting for Controller 1 is RAID mode.

    @Lex :
    Here is my comment:

    1. DEV_2822 is just the externally visible DeviceID of all Intel SATA RAID Controllers from ICH8R up, but the internal DeviceIDs are quite different. That is the reason why the latest Intel RAID drivers are not running properly with old Intel SATA RAID Controllers (despite the exact matching HardwareIDs).
    2. There is no Intel(R) 9 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller with the DeviceID DEV_8D02.
      Here are the related entries of the iaAHCIC.inf of the Intel RST(e) AHCI driver v13.2.8.1002:

      1
      2
      3
      4
      5
      6
      7
      8
      9
      10
       
      diskId1 = "RST AHCI Installation Disk" 
      ;client
      PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_8C02&CC_0106.DeviceDesc = "Intel(R) 8 Series/C220 Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller"
      PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_8C03&CC_0106.DeviceDesc = "Intel(R) 8 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller"
      PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_8C82&CC_0106.DeviceDesc = "Intel(R) 9 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller"
      PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_8C83&CC_0106.DeviceDesc = "Intel(R) 9 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller"
      PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_9C02&CC_0106.DeviceDesc = "Intel(R) 8 Series/C220 Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller"
      PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_9C03&CC_0106.DeviceDesc = "Intel(R) 8 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller"
      PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_9C82&CC_0106.DeviceDesc = "Intel(R) 9 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller"
      PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_9C83&CC_0106.DeviceDesc = "Intel(R) 9 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller"
       

    @Fernando : Here are the entries of the iaAHCIC.inf of the Intel RST(e) AHCI driver v14.8.0.1042:

    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    6
    7
    8
    9
    10
    11
    12
    13
    14
     
    diskId1 = "RST AHCI Installation Disk" 
    ;client
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_8C02&CC_0106.DeviceDesc = "Intel(R) 8 Series/C220 Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller"
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_8C03&CC_0106.DeviceDesc = "Intel(R) 8 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller"
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_8C82&CC_0106.DeviceDesc = "Intel(R) 9 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller"
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_8C83&CC_0106.DeviceDesc = "Intel(R) 9 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller"
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_9C02&CC_0106.DeviceDesc = "Intel(R) 8 Series/C220 Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller"
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_9C03&CC_0106.DeviceDesc = "Intel(R) 8 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller"
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_9C82&CC_0106.DeviceDesc = "Intel(R) 9 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller"
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_9C83&CC_0106.DeviceDesc = "Intel(R) 9 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller"
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_9D03&CC_0106.DeviceDesc = "Intel(R) 6th Generation Core Processor Family Platform I/O SATA AHCI Controller"
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_A102&CC_0106.DeviceDesc = "Intel(R) 100 Series/C230 Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller"
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_A103&CC_0106.DeviceDesc = "Intel(R) 100 Series/C230 Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller"
    PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_8D02&CC_0106.DeviceDesc = "Intel(R) 9 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller"
     
    Last line is for DEV_8D02 and named as Intel(R) 9 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller.

    @100PIER : I've asked my friend who also has X99 platform but based on different mainboard, MSI X99A Raider, and his SATA Controller 1 also shows as DEV_8D02. No, he doesn't use RAID mode either.

    On one of the HWiNFO screens I've got from you your Sabertooth X99's SATA Controller 1 was also identified as DEV_8D02. At that time you had only two drives connected to it, so, indeed, DEV_2822 could be related to RAID mode setup.

    Intel gives the SATA Controllers absolutely misleading names.
    The X99 Chipset belongs to the C600+ Series and not to the 9-Series Chipsets.

    @Fernando
    @Lex
    I have done 3 different tests under W10 RS3 with the different SATA mode (AHCI only or RAID+AHCI) configurations on Sabertooth X99:

    1) BIOS settings AHCI for Controller 1 and Controller 2.
    Only one SATA device connected on one SATA port of Controller 2, no device connected on Controller 1:

    Capture1.PNG



    2) BIOS settings AHCI for Controller 1 and Controller 2.
    One SATA drive connected on Controller 2, and one SATA drive connected on Controller 1:

    Capture2.PNG


    Details:

    Capture3.PNG



    3) BIOS settings RAID for Controller 1 and AHCI for Controller 2.
    RAID0 installed on Controller 1
    AHCI mode for one device on Controller 2

    Capture4.PNG



    Conclusion:
    -When BIOS settings a full AHCI mode machine , W10 does automatically handle the connected device(s) on Controller with Intel SATA Driver v5.1.0.1098 (IASTORE) as DEV_8D02
    You can observe DEV_8D62 (Controller 2) does coexist with DEV_8D02 (Controller 1).
    Controller 1 is handled by a Intel SATA driver, and Controller 2 is handled by a Intel sSATA driver.
    -When BIOS settings a mixed mode machine (RAID for Controller 1, and AHCI for Controller 2) automatically the Controller 1 does change to DEV_2822 which is handled by native AHCI/RAID driver v14.8.x branch (in my case).

    @100PIER : I’ve updated the opening post with Device IDs for each controller. I wasn’t sure about Device ID for SATA Controller 2 / IDE mode but I found it here - it is DEV_8D60.

    @Lex ,
    This confirm the Controllers 1 and 2 are like "chameleons".
    There DEV IDs do change according the mode they are programmed (RAID, AHCI, IDE) !

    This happens with all Intel SATA Controllers (not only the X99 Chipset ones).

    Ok, so I have an Asus Sabertooth X99 system, and I seem to be having an issue with the 2nd set of SATA controllers. After a reinstallation of Win 10 x64 1709, I have the following controllers listed -

    Intel(R) 9 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller
    and
    Intel(R) C610 series/X99 chipset sSATA AHCI Controller - 8D62

    In Device Manager, Computer, instead of listing AHCI, lists ACPI x64-based PC.

    I am having issues with the drives on ports 7 thru 10. Accessing them basically freezes the system periodically. Never seen this before :frowning: Nothing is RAID.

    Any assistance would be appreciated!

    @DeathStalker : If nothing you have is RAID, then do not install whole software package - the only thing you need is drivers package (the smaller one, with only INF files) - unpack it in some folder. You need to install it by selecting specific device in device manager and use "have disk" option - then point to the folder you unpacked the drivers.

    So which files exactly would I be using at this point?

    As of now, I just have the full package - intel_rst_14.10.0.1016(www.station-drivers.com)

    This is the correct description of your computer and has nothing to do with the SATA mode of your on-board SATA Controllers. The word “AHCI” can only be found within the names of the Controllers, which are listed within the Device Manager sections “IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers” or “Storage Controllers”.

    You cannot use this RST Drivers & Software Set, because it doesn’t support your on-board Intel sSATA AHCI Controller.
    This is what I recommend to do:

    1. If you should have already installed any complete Intel RST Drivers & Software Set, you should uninstall as first step the Software named “Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology” from within the “Add/remove Software” section of the Control Panel. After having done that, you should reboot your computer.
    2. As next step I recommend to download the driverpack named “64bit Intel RSTe AHCI/RAID Drivers v5.3.0.1388 WHQL for Win8-10”, which contains the latest and probably best AHCI driver for your SATA ports 7-10 running in AHCI mode. You can find the download link within the start post of >this< thread (look into the spoiler of Chapter I B near the bottom).
    3. Unzip the content of the RAR archive into any folder of your computer by using WinRAR v5.xx.
    4. Run the Device Manager, expand the section “IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers”, right-click onto the listed “Intel(R) C610 series/X99 chipset sSATA AHCI Controller - 8D62” (must have the DeviceID DEV_8D62, but is maybe named differently) and choose the options “Update driver software” > “Browse my computer…” > “Let me pick…”.
    5. Hit the “Have Disk” button and navigate to the folder, where you have stored the previously downloaded and unzipped driverpack".
    6. Choose the INF file named iaAHCIB.inf. The related Controller is named ""Intel(R) C600+/C220+ series chipset sSATA AHCI Controller"
    7. The rest will be done automaticly.

    After the reboot your system drive is running in AHCI mode using the matching and currently latest Intel sSATA AHCI driver v5.3.0.1388.

    @Fernando
    Here is a screenshoot of a large SATA and sSATA configuration.
    I suspect a bug inside W10 Storage Device Panel Control detection for the 4 devices connected to the Controller2 sSATA. (plus NVMe PCie storage)
    It does detect two 850 EVO 1TB and one 850 EVO 500GB SSDs devices.
    Physically I have only ONE 850 EVO 1TB and 2 850 EVO 500GB devices !
    BIOS and All other tools (HWinfo64, CDI, DCI, siv) does detect perfectly the presence of only one 850EVO 1TB and of the two 850EVO 500GB.
    How can you explain a such W10 Panel Control bug ?

    X99_Storage_Devices_Abnomaly_21nov2017.PNG.jpg

    I cannot explain it, but I suspect, that it is just an intialization error while starting the computer.
    This is what I recommend to try:
    1. Run the Windows PowerShell as administrator, type “WinSAT diskformal” (without quotation marks) and hit the “Enter” key.
    2. Reboot and run the Device Manager again.
    Another option is to delete all Samsung 850 EVO entries, which are currently listed within the “Disk drives” section of the Device Manager, and then to reboot. This way the initialization of all connected Samsung 850 EVO SSDs will be restarted.

    @Fernando ,
    Thanks for the reply.
    I have used the WinSAT command:

    X99_WinSAT_21nov2017.PNG


    But the Bug is always present:

    X99_after_WinSATand reboot_21nov2017.PNG

    @100PIER :
    Please try my alternative tip.

    Thanks Ferando,
    The 2 alternative tips offered under ‘Device Manager’ -> “Disk drives” I have tested are:
    1) “deactivation” + Reboot PC : this does not fix the bug.
    2) “uninstall” option + Reboot PC: It is OK !!!
    Thanks again.