AMD's X399 Platform and NVMe RAID
One of the things X399 lacked when compared to the competition was the ability to create bootable (hardware) NVMe RAID clusters with its M.2 slots. The competition had this in their chipset (where the M.2 drives mainly connect) and through their CPU through a virtual technology. However, AMD took swift action, and is now offering bootable NVMe RAID for the TR4 platform, with an estimated date of September 25th, 2017.
That means with a BIOS update, you can now RAID all three of those M.2 x4 32Gb/s slots connected to the CPU, for up to 9+ GB/s of raw speed or higher (theoretically). While AMD's competition offers RAID 0 free for all devices, RAID 1, 5, 10 and so on will cost money if the CPU is involved (from the chipset you still get those modes free), so AMD decided to offer RAID 0, 1, and 10 for free for all TR4/Threadripper customers.
AMD has some suggested configurations, but the thing to notice here is that none of those configurations are even bringing into play the chipset's IO capabilities, meaning you can do even more. Everything is directly connected to the CPU, and that means there is no CPU to Chipset bottleneck.
AMD has a suggested Game Streaming Configuration, with a GPU running at x16 along with a dedicated capture card. Then you get three M.2 drives, perhaps those beautiful 960 Pros, and with RAID 0 those could be a huge 3TB cluster with 9GB/s sequential read times (theoretically).
AMD has two very similar configurations; one called a Rendering Power House with four Radeon Pro WX 7100s pictured, along with the triple NVMe setup (RAID 10 perhaps?). The setup for rendering is what many professionals would use for producing movies and content creation.
On the second slide, we see AMD's configuration for a Deep Learning box, and the only difference is that the WX 7100s were swapped out for four Radeon Vega FE GPUs. AMD is trying to get across that you can load up seven devices, and these devices can be the best on the market, and all can be unleashed to their full potential. Now with NVMe bootable RAID, that is true.
AMD also wanted us to know that they have been working with vendors for full coverage blocks and AIOs. I have Enermax's Liqtek TR4 360mm AIO already, and I think another editor here has EKWB's full coverage block. Noctua also has coolers coming, and XSPC has a very pretty block coming with built in RGB LEDs.
AMD will bring NVMe RAID to the TR4 platform on September 25th (that is if everything goes accordingly with the BIOS), and then TR4 will have another advantage to tote. The lack of NVMe RAID was a huge issue, and while gamers might care about it, TR4 isn't a gamer's platform, it's a professional's platform that can also game. Professionals require RAID, and not only to improve performance, and with Threadripper's high PCI-E lane count, it just makes sense for AMD to add in bootable NVMe RAID.
Hopefully, we will get our hands-on a 1900X sample and tell you how it does, but until then you have AMD's in-house numbers.
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