Intel NVMe SSD: Client NVMe Driver vs RST NVMe Controller driver?

I have a 760p (SSDPEKKW256G8). I have an option to have the NVMe drive either controlled by RST or not. If the NVMe SSD isn’t controlled by RST, I have the option to either use the Client drivers provided by Intel (here), or using the NVMe controller driver provided in the Intel RST drivers.

Which one is more ideal to use?

  • The client driver has a date from 2019, whereas RST drivers have more up-to-date versions available
  • The driver offered from the RST driver package is a NVMe controller; it doesn’t have a RST name if the SSD isn’t RST-controlled (I get offered a different RST-specific driver if it is RST-controlled)
  • The RST NVMe controller driver if I recall correctly loads an Optane driver or service, which I imagine might be useless in my case (I don’t use Optane); the client driver doesn’t have that
  • I’ve done no actual drive R/W benchmarks, but real-world usage is the same, or isn’t different enough to be noticeable

These findings are based on what I remember:
  • The RST NVMe controller driver can replace the Client NVMe driver automatically (driver update -> search for drivers -> point to RST folder), but not vice-versa (Windows reports the “best” driver is already selected)
  • CrystalDiskMark reported NVME 1.3 with the Client drivers

@Espionage724 :
Since I don’t have an Intel 760p NVMe SSD, I cannot tell you, which NVMe driver will be the better choice for your specific system.
Nevertheless I would like to give you some additional information:

  1. It is usually better to use a driver, which has been optimized by the chipset manufacturer for the specific on-board hardware device (here: NVMe Controller of your Intel 760p SSD), than to us a “generic” driver, which supports the Controllers of all Intel NVMe SSDs.
    Note: Contrary to the “normal” Intel NVMe drivers (currently latest version:, which explicitly do support the NVMe Controller of your NVMe SSD, the latest Intel RST drivers are only specific regarding the SATA Controllers, but not regarding the NVMe Controllers (they all are natively supported by the related driver).
  2. The newest drivers are not automaticly the best.
  3. Windows doesn’t know, which driver is the best for a specific hardware device (here: Intel 760p NVMe Controller). The Device Management of the OS just compares the content of the associated *.INF (= text) files and may prefer a driver with a newer date or a higher version (if it is from the same development platform), no matter whether it is really better!
  4. According to my recently done benchmark comparison tests done with a non-Intel NVMe SSD (look >here<) the Intel NVMe driver v4.4.0.1003 seems to be better performing than the latest Intel RST driver v17.8.0.1065.