Frequently Asked Questions for Intel® Optane™ SSD 9 Series

Documentation

استكشاف الأخطاء وإصلاحها

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11/26/2018

Terminology

Abbreviation Term Definition
NVMe* Non-Volatile Memory Express The next-generation specification used to access SSDs through the PCI Express bus with greater throughput and lower latency.
PCIe* Peripheral Component Interconnect Express A standard connection found on most systems that supports the high speed of the NVMe SSD.
UEFI Unified Extensible Firmware Interface A specification for system firmware, meant to replace legacy BIOS, that provides software layer between the operating system and the system firmware.
CSM Compatibility Support Module A UEFI firmware feature that enables legacy BIOS-style booting by emulating a BIOS environment.

Click or the topic for details:

Hardware and software

Where can I find drivers for my Intel® Optane™ SSD 9 Series drive with PCI Express* NVMe*?

Intel® SSD NVMe Drivers are only available for current Windows* operating systems (OS).

For Linux*, consult your OS vendor for more information about available NVMe drivers and support.

What are the hardware and software requirements for using the Intel® Optane SSD 9 Series as a boot drive?

The requirements for using the Intel® Optane™ SSD 9 Series as a boot drive are:

  • PCIe* NVMe* storage-capable hardware motherboard support. Consult your system or motherboard vendor for more information
    • Add-in card (AiC) form factor: PCIe 3.0 x4 connector 
    • M.2 form factor (Intel® Optane™ SSD 905P Series Only): This is a 22x110 form factor so make sure your motherboard supports this length.  It is also recommended to utilize a thermal solution for best performance results
    • 2.5-inch form factor:
      • U.2 Cable for connection to the SSD
      • PCIe-capable SFF-8643 connector or a PCIe-capable M.2 connector
  • Airflow across the drive to provide cooling, such as a front and rear fan
  • System BIOS that supports UEFI 2.3.1 or later with NVMe support
  • GPT* drive format (see how to install OS to GPT)
  • Microsoft Windows 7* or Windows® 10 operating system
    Note Other OS supporting the requirements above may function properly, but we haven't yet validated them.
  • Intel® NVMe driver installed during OS installation – follow instructions in the Boot Installation Guide
    Note OS that contains a Native NVMe* driver should also work, but the Intel NVMe driver is preferred for Windows.
    • If there's no Native OS NVMe driver, and the Intel NVMe driver isn't available, the drive isn't seen during installation
What are the hardware and software requirements for using the Intel Optane SSD 9 Series as a secondary drive or data drive? The requirements are below:
  • PCIe NVMe storage capable hardware motherboard support. Consult your system or motherboard vendor for more information
    • Add-in Card (AiC) form factor: PCIe 3.0 x4 connector 
    • M.2 form factor (Intel® Optane™ SSD 905P Series Only): This is a 22x110 form factor so make sure your motherboard supports this length.  It is also recommended to utilize a thermal solution for best performance results
    • 2.5-inch form factor:
      • U.2 Cable for connection to the SSD
      • PCIe-capable SFF-8643 connector or a PCIe-capable M.2 connector
  • Airflow across the drive to provide cooling, such as a front and rear fan
  • System BIOS that supports UEFI 2.3.1 or later with NVMe support
  • Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 10 operating system
    Note Other OS supporting the requirements above may function properly, but we haven't yet validated them.
  • Intel® NVMe driver installed after OS installation
    Note OS that contains a Native NVMe* driver should also work, but the Intel NVMe driver is preferred for Windows.
Any specific hardware requirements for the Intel Optane SSD 905P Series M.2 form factor? Yes, the Intel Optane SSD 905P M.2 form factor is a PCIe* NVMe* 22mm x 110mm double-sided device. The compatible motherboard will need to support the 22 x 110 form factor, which should be clearly called out in the motherboard product specification. To ensure sustained performance, a thermal solution should be applied to the SSD to prevent the product from throttling under heavy use and benchmarking.
What motherboards has Intel tested with the Intel Optane SSD 9 Series? See the product compatibility page for more information.
What are the differences between the Intel® Optane™ SSD 900P Series and 905P Series drives? The Intel Optane SSD 905P Series is available in higher capacities. They're supported at higher operating temperatures and come in enclosures that are equipped for higher temperatures. They also have the added M.2 form factor availability, see more here: Product Brief
How can you change the color of the LED's on the Intel® Optane™ SSD 905P Series AIC (Add-in Card) Form Factor? The colors can be changed to a solid Green, Blue, Red or off. These can be set using the Command Line options in the Intel SSD Toolbox 3.5.2 and later versions as described in the User Guide. See Intel® SSD Toolbox, the user guide is contained in the *.zip download package

 

Installation

I have an Intel® SSD 750 Series drive in my system and want to add the Intel Optane SSD 9 Series drive. Which NVMe* driver for Intel® SSDs do I use?

The Client NVMe* Microsoft Windows* Drivers for Intel® SSDs contains support for the Intel® SSD 750 Series drive and Intel® Optane™ SSD 900P Series and Intel® Optane™ SSD 905P Series drives.

I'm trying to install the NVMe* driver that supports the Intel Optane SSD 9 Series drive. I received a message stating the driver I'm trying to install is older than the one I already have installed. Why am I seeing this?

You may have older Intel NVMe* drivers installed on the system. Please be sure to use the Client NVMe* Microsoft Windows* Drivers for Intel® SSDs, which contains support for the Intel® SSD 750 Series drive and Intel® Optane™ SSD 900P Series and Intel® Optane™ SSD 905P Series drives.

How do I install the Windows* operating system on the Intel Optane SSD 9 Series? See the Boot Installation Guide for more information.
Why can't I see the Intel Optane SSD 9 Series on the first restart after installing my operating system? BIOS settings may be the issue. Make sure:
  • The Intel® Optane™ SSD 9 Series is the first boot device
  • You have enabled UEFI in BIOS
  • You used the UEFI installation method on your installation media
How do I connect the U.2 2.5-inch or AiC (Add-in Card) form factor to the system/motherboard? See the Physical Installation Instructions for PCIe* NVMe* SSDs.
Can I use a 2.5-inch SFF 8639 to PCI Express* add-in card adapter for my 2.5-inch Intel® Optane SSD 9 Series? We don't recommend or guarantee functionality and performance of the implementation.

PCIe 25 adapter

 

Performance

What if I don't have a thermal solution on my Intel Optane SSD 905P Series M.2 device, is there an impact? Without a thermal solution, it's possible to experience a performance impact if the device reaches a temperature of 80° C (throttle set point). At this temperature, the device will limit its performance to prevent overheating. The SSD won't be damaged as the throttle set point has been reached. However, the built in thermal throttle safety feature that prevents damage can result in significantly lower performance or shutdown.
A thermal solution came with my motherboard. Can I use this one? Yes, under heavy sustained storage workloads these thermal solutions may extend the time for the SSD to reach its thermal throttle set point. Although Intel hasn't validated these thermal solutions to deliver the same level of sustained performance as the solution provided by Intel, any thermal solution will provide some benefit. Results may vary based on the efficacy of the solution.

Operating system

What operating systems are validated for boot functionality with the Intel® Optane SSD 9 Series? Operating systems that have been tested for system boot functionality are 64-bit versions of:
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 10
  • RHEL* 7.2
  • Ubuntu* 15.04
Can I install Linux on the Intel® Optane SSD 9 Series? We have tested boot functionality on a subset of Linux operating systems. Functionality on all Linux-based OS isn't guaranteed. If you encounter an issue, refer to the Linux vendor support page or contact support.
Can I migrate my operating system to the Intel® Optane SSD 9 Series drive? You can migrate your OS as long as your current OS is set up and installed with the proper UEFI settings. Otherwise, we recommend reinstalling the OS.