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Will M.2 Drives for RAID kill GPU speed?

Level 7
I am considering getting some smaller M.2 drives to run as a RAID for my OS. I have been more than fine with 500GB using SATA RAID drives but don't want to go over 1TB. I am running the Intel i9 11900k CPU.

So here is the question.
I see that the XIII Hero has 2 Gen4 slots and 2 Gen3 slots.
The manual seems to indicate that if I go with Gen4 and put them in M.2_1 and M.2_2 that PCIEX16_1 (I think that means my RTX3060 GPU slot) will run at x8 Mode instead of x16 Mode?

Does this mean that using the first two M.2 slots that support Gen4 drives will kill the GPU speed?
Should I go with the Gen3 M.2 drives and loose the speed offered by the Gen4?

Or is there a way to run a RAID 0 in M.2_1&2 without slowing the connection to the GPU?

This manual isn't really clear on what happens.

Level 13
GPU should be on a different lane.
There are upsides and downsides to running raid0. Sure it will get you faster sequential reads but kills the low que depth Q1 4k random reads which is the bulk of whats in the OS. all the tiny 4k dll files. Better off to run a single drive for the OS. If you want a raid0 for storage of large media files then that works great but for the OS the latency of raid is slowing you down.

Thanks for offering help.

I am currently running a RAID 0 on two SATA6 Toshiba SSD drives and it definitely loads up Windows much faster than if I use just one of the Toshiba SSD drives. Since it is RAID 0 it should be faster regardless of file sizes including the reading of DLL files and my experience seems to confirm that.

You are right I should be setting up RAID 5 for my data which is significant (Photography RAW, PSD, PSB, JPEG files mostly). Unfortunately I didn't buy all the external USB drives at the same time and they are of vastly different sizes and speeds so at the moment at least I am not inclined to set them up as RAID. Besides, they are USB 3.0 external so I am not sure how much speed I would gain.

But what I was looking at is that the XIII Hero supports two GEN4 M.2 SSD drives. I was considering getting two M.2 256GB NVMe drives and moving my OS to them as they should be faster. But what concerns me is in the manual there is a note that on page VIII (specifications) that reads:
** M.2_2 shares bandwidth with PCIEX16_1 and PCIEX16_2. When m.2_2 is enabled, PCIEX16_1 will run at x8 mode and PCIEX16_2 will run at x4 mode.

On page XIII under Connectors with shared bandwidth there is a chart that shows:
PCIX16_1 running at 8x instead of 16x if there is a drive simply inserted in M.2_2.

What I am not clear on is does this indicate that the ASUS ROG STRIX RTX3060 run slower if there is a drive in M.2_2 slot. I think the GPU supports 16x speed but am not 100% sure if this means I slow my GPU by simply installing a drive in the M.2_2 slot. If that is the case I cannot understand why you would ever want to put a drive in M.2_2 and reduce the bandwidth of your GPU by 50%. It seems to be saying if you have a GPU, don't use M.2_2 at all!!!

Or perhaps I am reading this wrong?
If I understand it correctly then perhaps I would be better just getting a single 500GB M.2 drive and just using M.2_1 for my OS drive. I think it would probably still be faster than my two Toshiba SATA SSD drives?

What do you think?
Thanks again,
Thanks again! This M.2 drive stuff is somewhat new to me.

While the bandwidth of the GPU is reduced by 50%. The performance doesn't decrease by much at all. Even on a 3080, the performance drop by going from Gen4 16x -> 8x is just a couple % usually, and oftentimes the difference is almost nothing. It depends on the game you're playing (or what other GPU tasks you're doing).

If you're using a RAID with 2 SATA SSDs, a single well-performing M.2 NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD can greatly outperform them by quite a bit! SATA6 has a bandwidth of 600 MB/s, while PCIe 4.0 4x has a bandwidth of almost 8 GB/s! Of course, this depends on the exact SSD, but if you look at some reviews out there you'll see that NVMe drives will greatly exceed the speed of SATA drives

Thanks for the feedback.

I used to make games (art) so that kinda broke me from playing games so much. Mostly I am using high end 3D graphics applications such as 3ds max , Maya and Blender. Even then it's not so much for animation as it is still frame stuff (album covers). Still the modeling process can be pretty intensive on GPU usage but probably not nearly so much as the actual game. Just depends on the size of the textures and the number of polys. The final rendering is more CPU than GPU intensive.

I guess I just need to determine if a M.2 Gen4 Raid 0 is as useful as I thought it might be. It sounds like a single Gen4 should do better than my current Toshiba drives. My main frustration is waiting for apps such as Photoshop and 3DS Max to load. Once up and running they seem to be fine even on my older system. Loading files isn't quite as painful.

Thanks, at least you got me looking into how much that 16x benefits the GPU. But at least I think I was reading the manual correctly.