28 PCI-E Lanes...keep 16/8 SLI AND use NVMe M.2??

Hi all. Got a question I'm hoping someone has an answer to, or is running a similar configuration. Basically, I'm running a 5820K and 970 SLI. I'm using a 16/8 PCI-E configuration for the two cards. I was considering getting a Samsung 950 Pro when they become available. I *should* have 4 PCI-E 3.0 lanes remaining for the card requirements. Using my X99 Deluxe, would installing this card utilize the remaining lanes, or try to split up to an 8/8/8 configuration similar to 3-way SLI. I'd rather not sacrifice x8 lanes of GPU for faster storage. I don't really need the 950 NVMe, just want one :) I'm hoping somebody on here would have the new Intel 750 and 5820k/SLI setup and have an answer to this.
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  1. You can keep the 16/8 setup. The m.2 shares bandwidth with lower x 16 and x4 slots and SATAe.....not where GPU 1&2 go in the first two x16 slots. Intel 750 using 3.0 x4 would also work.....just have to pick the right slot (though not both, as you only have 4 lanes left after the 16/8 GPU setup). Of the two, I would recommend the m.2 if you're going to boot from it and Intel 750 if you're going to work from it (and boot from SATA III SSD....RAID or not).
  2. Are you running an M.2, Geekwad? It would be used as an OS drive as you mentioned. My GPUs are in slot 1 & slot 4 for SLI. It's mentioned in manual to use these specific slots for 28-lane CPU. I'e used the original Revodrive and Revodrive 3 in the past(Sandforce RAID). Are these new drives faster?
  3. I am, a 256Gb Samsung SM951 NVMe. I also use a 400Gb Intel 750 as my working drive.

    The SM951 drivers can be quirky, and it's extremely hard to find in the US (I finally got one through a friend in Europe), so I wouldn't recommend it specifically.....but it sure is fast. It feels on par with a good striped setup in real world usage, though it benchmarks faster.

    To be honest though, the the Kingston HyperX Predator (which is what I came from before going to the SM951) didn't feel that much different, and it is quite easy to find. It's 2.0 x4 so doesn't benchmark as fast as the SM951, but it's an easy drive to work with and in daily usage....don't notice the different much.

    The good news is mid next month Samsung is coming out with the 950pro m.2 NVMe, so it may be worth the wait......
  4. Yep, that's the one I mentioned :) Just read the announcement earlier this week. Quick question for you though. Are you using the SM951 as a boot drive? If so, what's the boot speed/POST like compared to a SATA 6G drive? I've looked at the Intel 750 awhile back, but read the POST time is pretty slow compared to standard SSDs. I had gotten used to it when using my Revodrives, but I'd rather not go back to slower boots due to controller initialization on the drives.
  5. Best answer
    I do use the SM951 as a boot drive, and boot is quite speedy (but the same could really be said for a good quality traditional SSD too). I've never actually taken a stopwatch to it, but I would guess it's several seconds quicker. I don't cold boot or restart that often though (unless I'm tinkering), so I wouldn't do it for just that. The real benefit is opening those massive CS and other editing programs, and using the Intel 750 to work from. It's an enormous difference.....especially if lag bothers you when you're working.

    For booting from the Intel 750, my experience was similar. I did it once just to see what it as like when I first got it, and compared to a normal SSD, it actually was slower. I didn't mess with it much to see if could be optimized in any way (there are firmware/driver options that I never checked out), but as a work drive, it's a dream. I did have to fiddle around with the SM951 though (I had this one first, so is the main reason I didn't bother messing with the 750 too much when I got it), so it's a reason that I wouldn't suggest it if you can hold off for the 950pro....if you're inclined to go down this road. Being an OEM product (which tends to run hot too), it really isn't the best drive for money.

    I trust Samsung though, and am fairly confident that when they launch the consumer version (950pro), many of those driver/firmware issues will be addressed......though I will probably still put few VRM heat-sinks on it anyway.
  6. Thanks again for the input. If I were to choose, I would get the 950 Pro over the OEM SM951.
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