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SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,315
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 289
Message 21 of 46

Re: Help for RAM & SSD Lenovo M58

Understanding that the M58 product line was withdrawn prior to 2013, you can get specifications from the Lenovo PSREF Site by looking into the "withdrawn Products" page.

 

On that page you can drill down through the "Withdrawn Lenovo Product Books (products before 2013)" items, in the ThinkCentre category.  You can then click on the link to the "ThinkCentre desktops: 2005 - 2013 (withdrawn models)" PDF.

 

The goal is to find your M58 SFF model 6303.  Unfortunately it is not present in this PDF, although many other M58 models are.  However thanks to this CNet page providing the detail specs for the M58 6303 we know it is a machine with Pentium E5400 2.7Ghz CPU and Intel Q45 Express chipset.  This combination is shown for other M58 models that are listed in the PSREF document even if the 6303 is not.

 

And for other like machines (as well as that CNet detailed specs page) it shows:

 

(1) maximum memory 8GB, using 1GB or 2GB sticks

(2) memory speed 1066 MHz, PC3-8500

 

I suppose it's possible there was a BIOS update (with no corresponding update to the PSREF) that added support for 4GB memory sticks.  But I believe the memory speed is governed by the CPU and chipset, and that didn't change.  So using any faster memory while it might be "physically acceptable / compatible" would almost certainly be slowed down to the 1066MHz capability of the chipset and CPU.  Mixing memory speeds and clock timings causes all faster memory to be slowed down to match the speed of the slowest memory that is installed.

 

Trying to install total memory larger than 8GB would seem to me to be an unacceptable goal, unless again there was a BIOS update that somehow made this possible.  But again, this does seem to be hardware related and not flexible based on the BIOS, so I'd honestly be surprised if the architecture of the machine supports anything larger than what the PSREF says.

 

 

As far as your SSD goes, the M58 6303 specs state that the storage interface is "serial ATA-300".  This is another way of saying SATA-II, or SATA Revision 2, or 300MB/s, or 3Gb/s, or simply SATA2.  It is definitely not SATA3 which is double the speed of SATA2.

 

So, at maximum SATA2 speed (which is normally not really achieved in the real world, or by benchmark programs such as Crystal DiskMark) the maximum speed you would see would be that 300MB/s.  Your screenshot shows 279MB/s, so that's pretty good and just a bit below maximum speed possible from SATA2.

 

I don't know if the BIOS on the M58 provides any setting for the SATA controllers, but if it is set to ATA (legacy) mode rather than AHCI that could certainly account for why Samsung Magician shows that AHCI is not active.  ATA runs the SATA controller in compatibility mode for older drives and disables/loses some native SATA2 features like NCQ (native command queuing) which thus degrades performance from optimal.  If Magician shows that then it must be true.  So it's either that the BIOS doesn't support AHCI, or it might be set to "ATA" which would seem unnecessary and inappropriate if you're using a Samsung EVO 850 SSD.

 

But even so, SATA2 is only going to provide a max of 300MB/s per Crystal DiskMark results.

Richard150
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Message 22 of 46

Re: Help for RAM & SSD Lenovo M58

I have an M58 7360 ... and there was a bios update in 2012 (supporting all of M58 models I believe) that enabled 4GB modules.  I have sucessfully run 16Gb on my machine at CPU Bus speed (FSB) 1333 MHz and memory bus speed at 1067 MHz.  You can confirm this in the bios. Certainly if you have mixed memory then it will run at speed of slowest.

 

AHCI & RAID support is an opton but diabled in my BIOS by default..

 

Would enabling AHCI improve the speed/performance of a modern SSD ?

 

Thanks

SeniorGuru
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Views: 278
Message 23 of 46

Re: Help for RAM & SSD Lenovo M58

Here's a pretty good description I found on the web of what AHCI supports that ATA does not, specifically NCQ.  The following explains how NCQ can improve overall performance when many tasks at once are accessing the drive kind of simultaneously, but if you're just doing one thing (like playing a video or music file) then there's no performance advantage gained through NCQ.

 

==================================================================

 

Basically AHCI is a newer way to interface with the SATA controller. This allows you to take advantage of SATA features such as Native Command Queuing (basically, you give your hard drive a bunch of commands, and let it figure out the best order to run them in to increase total throughput... without command queuing, the operating system can only send one command at a time, and the OS really has very little idea how to do this in the optimum order... this helps most when you are accessing data scattered over the drive rather than in order... if you run multiple programs that both use the disk it'll help, but it will have little effect when playing a movie off the hard drive), there are some other features that are enabled, but are more appropriate for desktops. The downside is you need updated drivers.

In ATA mode, the SATA controller is basically pretending to be Intel's last generation parallel ATA controller. Whether or not you have real performance differences between the two modes probably depends on exactly how you use your disk drive, so you may want to try it out (if your Operating System doesn't get spooked by the change).

 

==================================================================

 

I believe Intel RST is available for additional marginal improved performance of SATA controllers running in AHCI mode (so its writeup states).  But you'd have to install Intel RST driver appropriate for the Q45 Express chipset.

 

Note that much of this performance improving technology really applies to HDD spinner drives, where the heads have to move in and out around the physically spinning platters.  So doing something to try and minimize unnecessary arm motion (kind of like solving the traveling salesman game theory problem) is a good thing.

 

But just as "defrag" on an SSD is unnecessary (and actually may reduce the total lifetime of the device due to unnecessary extra write cycles, although this may have only been true on earlier generation SSD devices), it's conceivable that NCQ and Intel RST applied to a SATA SSD is of no benefit, simply because there are no heads and no mechanical arm motion for read/write which jmight benefit from optimzing the motion.

Bcn
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Message 24 of 46

Re: Help for RAM & SSD Lenovo M58

The problem isn't the sequential results but the 4k ones which are quite subpar.

Here is a video with the same SSD on Sata 2 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Hj3kYHtV_0

Check at 10:53; You can see the different in the last 2 tests.

As indicated on my screenshot, I get better results in safe mode, which I'm not sure is normal.

I added another screenshot of the Bios option for the AHCI; I didn't find more options related to this (latest bios).

SeniorGuru
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Views: 247
Message 25 of 46

Re: Help for RAM & SSD Lenovo M58

Couple of comments on the photos...

 

(1) I suggest you adjust your startup boot sequence list.  You actually want your USB drives and CDROM to be in front of your SSD (and there's no need to also have your WDC spinner in the list since it's just for "data"). That way you can boot automatically and without human intervention from USB or CD/DVD should you want to simply by inserting the media and booting.  Otherwise you have to interrupt the boot sequence manually and (I think) press F12 to select the boot device.

 

(2) What do you think the designation of SATA1 is next to your SSD size, connected to the SATA Drive 0 controller socket (presumably)?  In contrast, the WDC spinner connected to the SATA Drive 1 controller socket is designated with SATA2 next to its size.  Could this mean the drive is operating in SATA1 mode while the WDC spinner is operating in SATA2 mode?  Or is it simply a sequence number of your SATA drives?

 

 

In addition to what that YouTube video told you to do in order to trigger the installation of drivers to support AHCI mode upon re-boot after running REGEDIT to reset the StartOverride DWORD value from 3 to 0, I mention that I found a written set of instructions on the web for how to do that.  They suggest resetting two other values as well.  I don't know if this is relevant or critical, but here are those instructions:

 

You can try the below steps and check if it helps:

 

1. While in Windows, press the Win+R keys to open Run, type regedit, and click/tap on OK to open Registry Editor.
2. If prompted by UAC, click/tap on Yes.
3. In the left pane of Registry Editor, browse to the key location below.


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStorV

4. In the right pane of the iaStorV key, double click/tap on the Start DWORD to modify it. (see screenshot above)
5. Type 0 (zero) for AHCI, and click/tap on OK.

6. In the left pane of Registry Editor, browse to the key location below.


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStorAV\StartOverride

7. In the right pane of the StartOverride key, double click/tap on the 0 DWORD to modify it.
8. Type 0 (zero), and click/tap on OK.

9. In the left pane of Registry Editor, browse to the key location below.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\storahci

 

10. In the right pane of the storahci key, double click/tap on the Start DWORD to modify it. (see screenshot above)
11. Type 0 (zero) for AHCI, and click/tap on OK.

12. In the left pane of Registry Editor, browse to the key location below to see if you have the StartOverride here. If you don't, then go to step 15 below. 
          HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\storahci\StartOverride

13. If you do, then, in the right pane of the StartOverride key, double click/tap on the 0 DWORD to modify it.
14. Type 0 (zero), and click/tap on OK.

15. When finished, close Registry Editor.
16. Boot the computer to your BIOS or UEFI firmware settings.

17. In your BIOS or UEFI firmware settings, enable AHCI, and save & exit to apply and restart the computer.

Note: These settings will vary per brand and model number of motherboard. Please read your motherboard manual for more specific details about how to change SATA settings for it.

18. When Windows starts, it'll automatically install AHCI drivers.

19.  When finished, you'll need to click/tap on Restart Now to restart the computer one last time.

 

 

Also, I looked at my own Thinkpad P70 laptop which is also running Win10 and has a Samsung 850 Pro SATA3 SSD installed (along with two Samsung 950 Pro M.2 NVMe SSD drives).  And of course the motherboard SATA controllers support SATA3, so the Crystal performance of my 850 Pro is of course faster than your SATA2 numbers for your 850 EVO.

 

CrystalMark_850-Pro.jpg

 

And Samsung Magician does show AHCI enabled.

 

Note that the Intel RST driver (AHCI) should be installed.  If it's not, perhaps that's why Samsung Magician shows that AHCI is not enabled for your M58 situation.

 

The chipset on my P70 is of course different from your Q45 Express chipset on the M58, but the Intel RST driver is installed (iaStorAC.sys) and it is version 15.  Intel RST goes back older, but different versions support different chipsets.  So can you see what your Device Manager shows on the M58 when you expand IDE ATA/ATAPI Controller.  Here is what my P70 Device Manager shows:

 

Intel_RST_driver.jpg

 

Here is the Intel download page for the RST (AHCI/RAID) drivers. I'm assuming that when you post the IDE controller Device Manager picture that the applicable Intel RST driver would then be known.

Community SeniorMod
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Message 26 of 46

Re: Help for RAM & SSD Lenovo M58

I successfully used this version of RST, 11.7.0.1013, on an older system that also used a 4-series Chipset (a different Chipset, but same gen as your Q45.)   Take a look at the storage controllers listed in the 'Read Me' file to see if yours is listed.  Otherwise, you can search other older RST versions to find a match (unfortunately it involves looking at the Read Me file for each to find your storage controller.)

 

Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (AHCI) for Windows 7/8: ver 11.7.0.1013, 12/6/2012

 

I believe that it's important on systems that were sold prior to SSDs becoming factory options, to find the latest Intel storage driver to ensure that TRIM and other SSD functions to reduce wear are implemented fully and correctly. 

 

f-t500 rst.png

 

 

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I do not work for Lenovo. I do not respond to Private Messages for help, your questions should be posted in the appropriate forum where the information exchange may help others. If I helped you, click the 'Kudos' button, if solved, the 'Accept as Solution'.
Community SeniorMod
Community SeniorMod
Posts: 3,432
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Message 27 of 46

Re: Help for RAM & SSD Lenovo M58

This block diagram from an Intel document on the Q45 Chipset, indicates that all the SATA ports are 3Gbps, and that AHCI is supported (also indicated elsewhere in the doc):

 

f-q45 sata specs.png

 

__________________________________________________________________________
I do not work for Lenovo. I do not respond to Private Messages for help, your questions should be posted in the appropriate forum where the information exchange may help others. If I helped you, click the 'Kudos' button, if solved, the 'Accept as Solution'.
Bcn
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Message 28 of 46

Re: Help for RAM & SSD Lenovo M58

Thanks for your help guys!

 

@

 

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,315
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Message 29 of 46

Re: Help for RAM & SSD Lenovo M58


@Bcn wrote:



You can certainly have your actual boot drive first, and that will not impact anything and perhaps make booting marginally quicker since the BIOS doesn't have to look for any removable.bootable device to boot from.  Of course you will need to then do something (like interrupt booting via F12, etc.) if you actually do want to boot from a USB flash drive or bootable CD/DVD, etc.

 

I'm just in the habit of always placing my removable.bootable devices at the top of the list so that I never have to do anything special or manual if I want to boot, say, from a Macrium Reflect bootable USB flash drive other than just insert it and boot.  It's mere presence will tell the BIOS to boot from it.

 

As you say, no big deal.  But if you're going to put your primary bootable internal drive (where the Boot Manager "active" partition lives) you might as well exclude everything else anyway, since those lower items will never be used under any circumstances.

 


@Bcn



Yes, all three SATA connectors on the motherboard should be SATA2 speed and AHCI-capable. The question is are there any BIOS settings or indications that AHCI isn't enabled.  Certainly Magician tells us it's not, which is a mystery.

 

Also, your CrystalMark results confirm something's also not right as it is apparently under-performing in many of the categories.

 

I just thought it looked strange to have "SATA1" showing next to the drive which was providing performance problems.  It would interesting for you to run CrystalMark on your WDC spinner as well, just for comparison and curiosity.

 


@Bcn


Yes, when I looked at my own current keys the values ARE in fact 3.  I was puzzled at first since the YouTube video and this written instructions certainly say to set the value to 0. But perhaps that just re-triggers Windows to install the AHCI driver (Intel RST?) at next re-boot, after which it will restore the DWORD value back to 3.  I don't really know.

 

Note that the video only showed one Registry key to change, whereas the written instructions named three.  I think that was perhaps because Intel RST hadn't yet been installed on his machine?  Maybe because the BIOS was still set to IDE at that time? Don't know.  I think I may only have had two of the three.

 

Nevertheless your original screenshot showed that you did NOT have the STORAHCI StartrOverride key.  So how could you have changed it, or did you create it?

 

Is it there now, after installing Intel RST 11.7.4.1001?

 


@Bcn



I don't think that makes much difference.  Yes, that screenshot was taken back in 2016 when I was getting started with my P70 that had arrived in January.  Initially I simply retained the delivered HDD spinner and added two M.2 NVMe drives, cloning Windows from the spinner to NVMe0. I then re-purposed the HDD spinner for "data", along with the second M.2 NVMe drive.

 

Later in the year I decided to replace the HDD spinner with the Samsung 850 Pro SSD, and that's when that screenshot was taken.  That was the version of CrystalMark at that time. They may have decided to change some terminology for the underlying tests they perform, or maybe you're right and they actually have changed the nature of the tests.

 

Just for consistency and to avoid confusion, I will repeat that benchmark and post the results, using the current version of the product.

 


@Bcn



Your earlier screenshot of the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers in Device Manager was before you installed Intel RST.

 

Can you please post an updated screenshot now that you have installed Intel RST.

 

Assuming you have all proper SATA data cables going from the SSD (which had to be a new cable you added) and WDC spinner (it had an original SATA cable) and optical drive (again it had an original SATA cable) It would be interesting for you to swap the target connected SATA controller sockets on the motherboard that these cables connect to.  For example, if you swap the WDC and SSD connectors, do we see the reversal in the BIOS and does that first name now show 160GB SATA1 and the second name now show 250GB SATA2, or does the "SATA1" follow the 250GB so that you see the first name as 160GB SATA2 and the second name as 250GB SATA1.

 

In other words is that SATA1 and SATA2 suffix nothing more than a sequence number, or is it actually some indication of whether the drive is operating in SATA1 or SATA2 mode?  It really would be hard to believe that SSD is running at SATA1 speed, but nevertheless I'm curious to know what does display if you reverse the two motherboard SATA controller connectors for the two drives.

 

Note that you don't really require the use of any specific one of the three motherboard SATA controllers for the boot drive or any other SATA device.  They're really all the same.  They might end up appearing "out of sequence" in DISKMGMT.MSC or Partition Wizard, but it all still works perfectly fine.  There's nothing magic about DISK0, DISK1, or DISK2, and any of them can be the primary SSD boot drive, "data" WDC spinner, and optical drive, and everything will still work just fine.

 

We still have to try and get to the bottom of why Magician shows AHCI as deactivated.  Could be BIOS setting, SSD drive itself, driver associated with the SATA AHCI controller, or who knows what?  But it does seem very related to the performance degradation you're seeing in some of those benchmark tests.

 

 

I'm surprised that 1809 is being installed on your M58.

 

I am still at 1803 on all of the Win10 machines I have my fingers on.  1809 has not been pushed out to ANY of them, including my own Lenovo Thinkpad W530 and P70 laptops, as well as an HP Omen laptop, HP Pavillion-15 laptop, Lenovo M920t desktop, and Lenovo M910t desktop.  Add yet another HP laptop (I don't know the model). All of these are still at 1803.

 

I don't know how MS decides when/who to roll out 1809, but it's been available for a while and none of the above machines have seen it pushed to them despite nightly application of whatever Windows Updates arrive. 

SeniorGuru
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Views: 186
Message 30 of 46

Re: Help for RAM & SSD Lenovo M58

Just had one more thought.  I was thinking about why your benchmark performance numbers running in SAFE mode are better than running under Win10 itself.  Of course in SAFE mode many/all optional drivers are NOT LOADED, pretty much running in a minimal a Windows kernel as can survive. Graphics, audio, add-on devices, etc., are omitted from the normal boot load for drivers.  So what driver might be being loaded normally that could "slow down" SSD performance, which if actually omitted from the environment would allow the built-in vanilla generic hardware support from Win10 to provide BETTER performance numbers?  How can that be?

 

I would have expected that a Win10 installation would have created "aligned" partitions on your SSD.  Starting with Win7 any newly created partition whether it be on HDD spinner or SSD would automatically be "aligned".

 

But if somehow the partitions on your drives are NOT "aligned" this would have a significant impact on read/write performance.

 

Here's an informative article from MiniTool Partition Wizard (free) describing the subject of SSD partition alignment, and how to use the program to ascertain what if anything might be problematic on your SSD drive and what to do with the program to fix it for you.

 

Just a thought.

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