Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) Question


mccnavy

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Intel used to have a summary explaining the different versions of their Graphics Driver. I never found one for RST, although there are a lot of versions. It seems the current versions getting periodic updates are 17.X, 18.X, and now 19.X (which I believe is for the newest motherboards). However, I've found that both 17.X and 18.X will install on my machine (Z270 chipset...so several years old now). Does anyone know the features enabled in each version, or a resource that provides that information? I'd obviously like to make sure I'm installing and using the optimum drivers. Thanks
 

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DigitalGoat

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The later versions are for newer Intel CPUs and chipsets (10th, 11th gen etc.), however if you are not using Intel RAID and/ or Optane cache then you really do not need the RST drivers or application.
Windows 10 and above have out of box drivers (with AHCI set in BIOS) that work as good as the RST ones.
If you are using Intel NVME drives then there are specific Intel NVME drivers but again the Windows drivers will work fine (you may need the Intel drivers for extra functions, such as the MAS toolbox, depending on the drive).
 

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Chrysalis

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One thing I discovered with the RST drivers vs Microsoft's own AHCI driver, is if a device gets CRC errors, then the RST driver will auto cap the SATA port speed to 300/300 instead of 600/600 in an effort to clear up the errors.

I discovered this back when I had a incorrect voltage configured on my motherboard which was causing signalling errors on the SATA ports (later discovered also NVME).

On the stock AHCI driver, these errors would just keep accumulating. On the RST drivers, there would be initially a few errors, but then the port would be capped until the next reboot which killed the errors but of course also slowing down the SSD.

A nice feature, of course it doesnt solve the source of the errors, but does mitigate damage, in terms of system stability and filesystem corruption.
 

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geneo

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18.x is meant for z490 and newer, 19.x for z590 and newer. You might run into issues with 18.x with a z290

Intel often does provide release notes on their download site. For instance:


You can find older versions:


The release notes sound pretty scary sometimes, but I have never had issues, they are generally rare bugs

Generally I find the latest version appropriate to you chipset work best.
 
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Steve C

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mccnavy

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I forgot about that site...thanks.
 

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This is my experience, and it's on Win10, so take it for what it's worth.

I'm running v.18.6 (September 2021) on both a 10th-gen PC (Z490 chipset) and a 5th-gen (X99) chipset without issue, even though Intel says the latest version 'technically' doesn't support the X99 chipset. What I've noticed is if it will install, it should work. If you try to install newer versions on really old chipsets, they say they're not supported. Like I have a 10-year old Win10 PC in the den that's a 1st gen Core, H55 Express chipset, and the last version it supported was 12.9, which is what it's running. Runs like a champ.

I do have Intel RAID5 D: drives on the two machines listed in my profile (3 drives each). I have found it to be hit-or-miss with various driver versions they've released because of the Intel Optane Memory and Storage Management UWP app. This is what replaced the old Win32 app where you could create new RAIDs and verify them (I do this periodically, and this is what I base my assessment on).

For instance (this is true on both motherboards listed in my profile), v.18.3 or v.18.1 would never finish verifying without multiple reboots. After a certain percentage was complete, the verification would stall out -- it could run for days without incrementing the percentage complete. But if I rebooted, it would pick up where it was and move forward a bit more before it would stall out again. It would take several reboots to verify the RAID on either one of them. This was consistent, happening every single time. But v.18.6 does the verification to completion on both without reboots, also every single time. I ran about half-a-dozen of them to confirm v.18.6 seems solid, and I plan on sticking with it. Version 17.9 was also solid on both motherboards.

So my thoughts on recent versions:
17.9 -- great
18.1 -- awful
18.3 -- awful
18.6 -- great
19.x -- haven't tried it, probably won't any time soon.

Editing to add I never ran 18.1/3 for more than the few days of testing it took before I rolled back to 17.9. I just updated from it a few weeks ago when prepping the machines for a possible Win11 upgrade, which is now not happening any time soon.
 
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