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February 4th, 2024 22:36

Dell 5820 manual missing content on the Dell Ultraspeed PCIE M2 card? Can you help?

I purchased my 5820 with the Quad Ultraspeed PCIE NVME M2 card as it offered 8Gbs rather than 6Gbps data transfer.  All was well with an Hynix 500Gb M2 NVME drive as the boot drive - then I decided to a second M2 drive to the card.  The drive wasn’t shown in disk management.  The 5820 manual has nothing about these drives for the user to refer to.

A YouTube video on a larger Dell tower gave a solution to the problem, with changes in the bios enabling the second drive to be visible.  Later, I was able to add two more drives, which were also visible, and this fully populated the card and I have been very pleased with the performance.

I had installed the Dell Ultraspeed card in slot 4 originally.  With the arrival of my new graphics card, I now needed to move this card to slot 2 as the graphics card needed the extra space provided by slot 4 with the rear graphics card holder removed.

I was using an older Gigabyte GeForce 1060 6Gb graphics card as my Quadro RTX4000 had developed a fault.  I decided to switch the cards before the new card arrived.  

The 5820 didn’t like me switching the cards in the slots.  The system powered on, but just black screened.  After a considerable time, I finally got an invalid configuration error message, but pressing F2 didn’t work.  After numerous reboots and periods of waiting for something to happen, the system did finally reboot.

The next day, the new graphics card arrived and I had similar problems again.  The system did finally sort itself out, but I am left not really understanding what I should have done to avoid the stress this caused.

I hope someone can explain to me:

  • What steps I should have taken when adding more drives to the Dell Ultraspeed card?
  • What steps should I have followed once I needed to switch cards to different slots on the PCIE bus?
  • How could I have avoided an invalid configuration situation?

I think the issues are bios related.  I did try one solution I found online suggesting I remove the CMOS battery, restart to flush the CMOS settings.  Then shutdown, replace the battery and all should be well.  I think this did help, but I miss not having an entry in the 5820 manual to read.

Can you help?  I would really like to understand what was going on? All help much appreciated.

Thanks.

5 Practitioner

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5.5K Posts

February 4th, 2024 23:57

Some of your experiences with the system behaviors are normal.  Anytime you make a configuration change to devices connecting to PCIe slots, the system would cycling through 3 times (machine turns on then turns off) for reset and adjusting to new settings.

Besides the BIOS settings, the bifurcation availability of PCIe slots also played a role to recognize multi drives adapter.  To learn more information about Ultra-Speed drive as well as PCIe slots configurations, you can check out the storage configuration path and NVMe options in the towers Technical Guidebook.  It will be a good read to your upgrade process.

5 Practitioner

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5.5K Posts

February 5th, 2024 08:49

In a Precision 5820, NVMe SSD can be configured to use at the flexbay 1 (top front bay), and on PCIe slots.  Keep BIOS settings at default to enable PCIe 0, 1, and VMD.  Then you would have no issue whenever making change to storage configurations.  They will be operated as RAID in JBOD mode until you create desire volume(s).

Regarding max limit for Dell Ultra-Speed drive, there is no capacity limitation that I know of.  Any maximum capacity indicated in Dell specifications were tested capacity of OEM stocks drives Dell sold with system configurations.  You can install x4 of 2 TB or x4 of 4 TB if you wanted to.  Note that the number of drives will be affected by PCIe lanes.  A PCIe x16 will support 4 drives, whereas a PCIe x8 will support only 2 drives.

Since it's a passive adapter, the performance speed will depend on the generation of PCIe slots.  In Precision 5820, NVMe SSD in Ultra-Speed drive will perform at PCIe Gen 3.  Therefore, there is no need to spend more for those newer generation drives.

Dell Ultra-Speed drive can support RAID 0, 1, 10 or Boot + RAID 0, 1.  Video editing works can also take advantage of high speed for large files transfer when using as scratch drive.  If needed, some aftermarket adapter such as Asus Hyper can be used as alternative.  It's cheaper and having the same performance.

1 Rookie

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27 Posts

February 5th, 2024 07:18

@Chino de Oro​ 

I had not come across this before, so thanks.  I did notice that the Ultraspeed card was limited to 4 x 1Gb M2 drives, but I purchased one 2Gb drive after reading that firmware had updated this? Can you confirm this?  It is my boot drive and is working. Thanks.

1 Rookie

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27 Posts

February 5th, 2024 13:03

@Chino de Oro​ 

Thanks. That is good to know I can expand with 4Tb M2 drives if needed in the future.  Am I correct in saying the RAID options require VROC?  I thought that this option was being withdrawn or not supported?

I will double check I have the bios option selected that you mentioned. Thanks.

5 Practitioner

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5.5K Posts

February 5th, 2024 13:35

VROC key allows bootable volume and spanning across VMD controllers.  For a simple RAID volume, you can create soft RAID using Disk Management, or System Storage Disks & Volumes.

1 Message

February 6th, 2024 16:15

Utilizing NVMe SSDs in both the flexbay and PCIe slots of the Precision 5820 ensures versatility in storage configurations, especially with RAID setup for increased performance.

Considering the capacity and performance options for Dell Ultra-Speed drives, leveraging RAID configurations and aftermarket adapters like Asus Hyper can optimize storage for tasks like video editing, offering high-speed transfers without breaking the bank 🙂.

1 Rookie

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27 Posts

February 8th, 2024 07:45

@Leojack8​ 

Thanks for your comments and suggestions.

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