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Bad performance with ST16000NE000 SATA drive under VMD

Level 7
I was trying to setup a RAID-1 from two Seagate ST16000NE000 disks, and in the Intel RST forum they told me to complain to Asus. They think it is a BIOS problem. So here we go:

The issue happens as soon as I map SATA drives under VMD in the BIOS, even without actually configuring a RAID array:
- When mapping SATA drives under VMD, the ST16000NE000 drive (a CMR disk) gets stuck every couple of seconds. It reads or writes data at normal speed, but then gets stuck for some time. "Some times" means between a few seconds and what feels like a minute
- Replacing the SATA cable didn't change anything
- When unmapping SATA drives from VMD, the same ST16000NE000 drive works flawlessly and fast again. I can go forth and back.
- When using an older WD Black Series disk (2 TB), the issue does not occur
- When mapping SATA drives under VMD and copying an entire partition from the Seagate drive to another disk using Paragon Partition Manager, the process shows the expected performance (in this case, 3h/TB = 100 MB/s, which is about the limit the target disk was able to do)
- The issue also happens when the only drive connected to the Intel RST controller is the mentioned ST16000NE000 disk, so it is not an interaction between two drives on the controller

I've tried Intel RST drivers in,, and also the latest 18.x.x.x version (don't remember the exact version), all show the same behaviour. My BIOS version is 2103 because 2204 is unstable for me, but 2204 was running long enough to show that the same issue happens there. I did read the post about not to combine memory kits - after combining memory kits - so I won't complain about the instability with 2204.

Level 7

With firmware 2703, the problem seems to have vanished.