I am rocking an ASUS Pro ACE x570 mobo that has a U.2 connection (parts of the spec claim 32GB/s … others seem to cobble it together with the PCI.E NVME drives 64 GB/s … I have some gen 3.0 SSDs I plan to place in this ICY Dock ToughArmor MB601VK-1B
it appears to have the U.2 SFF-8639 in the back plane … the mobo has the usual SFF-8643
If I want to minimize the risk of errors, problems, maximize the performance of the gen 3.0 PCI SSD drives… which cables are recommended… I caught Wendel’s video and he mentioned a good cable but I couldn’t see a link… he mentions genz but that I understand is the connector for his adapter… and won’t apply to my setup.
If I want to go Gen 4.0 is there even a point if the U.2 in this MOBO is limited to 32GB/s ?
The ASUS Pro WS X570-ACE can use PCIe Gen4 on its U.2 port, ASUS just never updated the specs since 2019 (where they hadn’t tested a PCIe Gen4 SSD yet)
I’ve tested various SSDs with that motherboard, the U.2 port is getting its PCIe lanes from the X570 chipset, its actual usable limit is around 6,500 MB/s instead of 7,500 MB/s (PCIe lanes coming directly from the CPU)
SFF-8643-to-SFF-8639 cables are a a bit of a gamble when using PCIe Gen4, the shorter the better. 0.5 or 0.3 m would be less of an issue compared to that linked 0.9 m schlong
Note: If you want to change the SSD you have to reboot the system, the motherboard’s BIOS can’t handle PCIe hot-plugging
excellent reply thank you, and yes… I plan to boot up and use only… no hot swapping
I will await the arrival of the icy dock… start shoe horning it into place (this is all inside a HAF EVO XB with SATA trays… which obviously aren’t that interesting anymore… so in goes the U.2 drive bay)
hopefully .3 m will work and I’m home free… but it sounds like no brand or site stands out in terms of cable quality
EDIT: I am in sweden and it’s almost impossible to tell what gen this cable supports…
Pretty much what x570 is capable of. I have 10GbE on the same chipset and I get very random figures when all stuff is active. I don’t get this in practice as I now use a PCIE 3.0 SSD on the chipset lanes. Chipset is only 4 lanes of 4.0 after all, so not really made to run 4.0 bandwidth devices.
Didn’t know the ACE has a connector for U.2. Quite the rarity for consumer boards
Sorry to hear you stepped onto a dreaded shitty-cable mine. However not even working with a PCIe Gen3 SSD is a sign that the cable you got is of extra trashy quality.
And as you mentioned, no, you don’t have to change any BIOS settings for the U.2 port to work with PCIe NVMe SSDs, its default state is set to PCIe, only if you want to use an SFF-8643-to-4xSATA cable you’d have to manually change the setting.
The bad news is I am an idiot when it comes to U.2 …and had never connected the SATA power connector attached to the cable!
The good news is, once I watched an MSI youtube video I realized my mistake… added power… and everything came to life. The icydock is keeping things VERY cool for my first U.2 spec’d drive and I am looking forward to buying some more drive trays for my other SSDs so they can swap easily in future.
please excuse the mounting… I thought I was going to just drop that thing into the slots on the right hand side… the X-Docks tho are a proprietary sort of thing and it would take a bit more work to remove the SATA backplanes , rework the “cage” so instead I plan to buy a 5.25" to 3.5" cage adapter and mount it properly that way… I am not doing RAID or anything fancy it’s just my workstation for linux devops /computer science / windows gaming
I think everybody can remember being in a similar situation at least once or twice, so no worries.
And yes, always be aware of the cooing requirements for your U.2 SSDs, especially during long write operations, these little bricks suck up to around 20 Watts.
(To be on the safe side you should check if your motherboard supports PCIe Advanced Error Reporting and check if any errors show up under extended load scenarios.)
Edit: Unfortunately on AM4 PCIe AER only works with CPU PCIe so you “have” to fly blind when using the ASUS Pro WS X570-ACE’s U.2 port. But as mentioned, PCIe Gen3 should not result in issues with quality cables and backplanes.
As far as I know PCIe NVMe SSDs themselves unfortunately don’t have a permanent counter for PCIe Bus Errors similar to SATA AHCI drives in general with their C7 SMART value that indicates issues with the physical electrical connection between the system’s HBA and the SSD controller (damaged ports, loose or damaged cables etc.).
are these Icy Dock adapters hard to find or something?
I ordered one from B&H over a month ago, still stuck in “processing”, guess I am gonna have to reach out to them myself, but after trying to shop for this stuff it seems a little difficult to obtain these parts