Asus Z390-a MB: Raid 1 with 2 x m.2 ssd on system drive + windows spaces on 2 x sata 4 tb? — Micro Center

Asus Z390-a MB: Raid 1 with 2 x m.2 ssd on system drive + windows spaces on 2 x sata 4 tb?

Im just checking whether this is possible. Asus Z390-A (Prime) Motherboard, configured to run 2 x m.2 (m key) 500gb ssd as c: drive (i.e. system), via bios / motherboard
Then have 2 x 4tb sata as software raid 1 via Windows 10 Spaces.
The z390A has 6 sata ports, but the documentation is confusing regarding how many sata ports are given up if using 2 x m.2 ssds (not pcie slots).
We will also be adding a SATA dual layer dvd burner.  So need minimum 3 operative SATA slots plus the 2 x m.2 ssd's.
Thanks in advance :) & here is the current design...


  • TSMichaelBTSMichaelB admin
    edited June 29
    Welcome to the forum, @p_james. This is a really great question. The ASUS PRIME Z390-A will support RAIDed M.2 SSD's, however let's take a closer look at the compatibility warnings you saw.
    "*4 The PCIe x16_3 slot shares bandwidth with SATA_5 and SATA_6. The PCIe x16_3 is default set at x2 mode.
    *5 The M.2_1 socket shares bandwidth with SATA_2 port when using M.2 SATA devices. Adjust BIOS settings to use a SATA device."

    I bolded the important parts above. As you can see, the bandwidth of the PCIe x16_3 slot has been reduced from x4 to x2 because the slot shares bandwidth with SATA_5 and SATA_6. This means the ports will still function if you use the PCIe x16_3 slot, but it's warning you that the slot itself is set to run at a reduced bandwidth by default.

    The next warning mentions that the M.2_1 slot shares bandwidth with SATA_2 when using M.2 SATA devices. This means that the SATA_2 port will be disabled if you occupy the first M.2 slot with a SATA based M.2 SSD. If you use a PCIE based M.2 SSD, you'll be fine.

    So to summarize, what you are wishing to accomplish can be done on this board. You can configure an M.2 RAID via BIOS and still configure your storage spaces software RAID using Windows 10 while having a SATA port left over for your DVD burner. Hope this helped clarify this pretty confusing topic. If you have any questions, let us know!
  • Thanks, I am hoping to visit the dallas store this afternoon to double check. i still get confused between an m.2 key M being PCIe based vs SATA.  We dont have any other needs for PCIe at this stage although we may decide to add more SATA in the future, although we can do usb 3 to external drives if necessary. Appreciate your answer very much - thank you!
    And for people wondering why the heck we would want raid 1 ssd for the system, this is a mission critical business computer that we do not want to take the small chance of a system ssd failure.
  • For those wanting to know, it was very to install. The bios is very easy to use.
  • p_james said:
    For those wanting to know, it was very to install. The bios is very easy to use.
    Happy to hear! I didn't configure an NVMe RAID, but I did a similar setup with some SSD's and a large array of mechanical hard drives for my local Plex server. We used a BIOS-level RAID for the SSD's and a large "RAID 5" storage space for the mechanical drives from within Windows 10. It's been working flawlessly for a couple years now and was extremely easy to configure. 
  • Very nice, I'm glad it went well for you p_james. That was very clearly explained TSMichealB. Thank you both. I reviewed this post because I am preparing to build and was researching a similar configuration. I'm very new to the raid set ups so the M.2 key M being based Sata or PCIe confused me from go, lol. Asus has a very user friendly bios thankfully and I made my way threw on a TUF Z-390 plus. I was going "RAID 0" for performance using SSD's rather than redundancy. This new project I want to do "RAID 0" again using one M.2 key M as my boot, and two additional M.2's for the "RAID" volume. I'm using a ROG Maximus XII FORMULA Z-490 and a Core I 9 10900K. The board has 3 M.2 slots, but my understanding seems to be that I need a "Hyper M.2 X 16 card" (its an expansion card that holds 4 additional M.2's) I've never known of this till recent. LOL, now I'm very scared because this is also my first attempt at a custom hard line liquid cooled  system and I have tons of money wrapped up and my budget is gone (like $1500 past gone). :) I think for Now I'm going to just get the build physically put together using the 3 drives I have now in a simple configuration, and work out the "RAID" later, The physical build alone is a lot more planning intensive than I had first considered, of course it has grown in scale as I have purchased parts. And warning to all, fittings for tubing WILL SWALLOW YOUR WALLET WHOLE. LOL

  • Titan363 said:
    And warning to all, fittings for tubing WILL SWALLOW YOUR WALLET WHOLE. LOL

    Yeah, this is one of those hobbies where prices can get out of hand pretty quick. Be sure to post your build once it's finished!
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