SSD install for Precision T7910

Hi.  I'm new to GreenPCGamers and really appreciated the list of upgrades you supply us.  A lot of great content.   I'm not well versed on the computer skills, so please forgive me if i don't know some terminology/functionality.

Background:   I was gifted a Precision 7910 with a single E5-2620 v4 2.10ghz processor, 16gb mem.  I want to use it for gaming (not high end stuff...just some light-med gaming.  I installed a decent Nvidia Geforce card).  It had 3 drives in Raid5, each 3tb, running off what seems to be a higher end dedicated Raid card.  My goal is to install an SSD just for my win10pro OS and a 2nd SSD for programs and such.  For the life of me I couldn't find a power cable to plug my SSD into...just the Raid ports using the slide trays, so that's what I did.  I removed the existing three 3tb HD's, used a tray to hook up an SSD, and slid it into bay 0.  I did the same thing with the 2nd SSD into bay 1.  In bay 2, I put in one of the 3tb HDs.  Bay 4 is blank.  The 3tb would just be for storage if i wanted.  I booted up, went into bios, changed ASA to AHCI (i think that's how the SSD can be seen), kept UEFI instead of Legacy, Boot order DVD drive then Raid card.  Afterwards, I went into the Raid card.  The Raid card sees only 2 drives...the one in bay 0 as Non-Raid (my OS), and the 3tb in bay 2 as Needed Configuration.   I erased the data on 3tb drive and made it into a Non-Raid device....so both the SSD and the 3tb are now in Non-Raid format.  

Booted up into windows and i see the SSD in bay 0 and the 3tb HD in bay 2.  

Here are my questions.  Am I an idiot for doing this or am I on the right track? (have mercy on me please).  I basically want to run this machine using SSD with no Raid config, but I can't find power to the SSD outside of the Raid card slots.  And...windows isn't showing my SSD in bay 1 at all (not even in creating partition screen).  So...  

Is there a way to run SSD without using the Raid ports?

Am I still running the SSD efficiently using the Raid ports or did i seriously downgrade it and reduce its life? 

Is there a way to make this beast see the 2nd SSD in bay 1?

I really appreciate any help given.

(ps...I don't want to do the original 3 Raid5 hookup because my past experience with Raid is that they fail in time and I don't have back up drives to replace them...and i don't want to purchase new replacement drives.  Did that too often on my other machine and i'm kinda over that now).

Thanks again.

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  • Hi there,

    There is no need for the "idiot" thing. We all had our beginnings here. :)

     

    As for your machine, adding a SSD was the wise choice. Depending on which raid card you have, having it in there is a plus compared to using straight sata. Some raid cards can work as a regular controller card with the added benefit of having a onboard CPU and ram to speed things along. If your drives are showing and working, then there is nothing else you need to do or remove. The power cables for that machine's drive bays is supplied by the rails that you slide the drives into. Keeps from having to fumble with cables. That was the design of the machine. 

    Like 1
  • As for not seeing the second Ssd try moving it to a different slot location. It's possible that the slot connection you plugged into may have loosen over time (a common thing for the 76/79xx series)

    Like 1
      • Steve G.
      • Steve_G
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      stormson weathers 

      Hi Stormson.  Thanks so much for replying and your encouragement.  I worked on it till 5am this morning and feel like i made more headway.  The 2nd SSD i put in wasn't being seen for whatever reason.  I took it back out and reseated it.  I then went into the Raid controller and there it was...waiting to be configured, which i configured to Non-Raid disk to match the other 2 drives.   I see all 3 drives in Windows.  

      The Raid controller in my PCI slot uses SAS cabling.  I took that cable off and plugged it into the board, thinking i can power the SSD via board without using Raid.  Turned out i was just plugging it into the integrated Raid controller.  LOL.  So, i went back to the PCI controller.  IT looks like a really good controller, so i went with that for the time being.  I still have no clue how to just run Sata SSD drives straight without going through a Raid controller in this beast.  The card is ideal if one has SAS SSD drives which are 2 times faster than normal SSD drives, but that a bit over my budget. 

      I guess my new concern is reducing the life of my SSD drives since the Trim feature seems to be gone now.  Any thoughts on getting Trim to work on SSD drives in non-raid config running through a Raid controller?  

      Like
    • Steve G. You're fine with that card. Yes with SAS ssds you can get double or more speed but SAS is backwards compatible with SATA and will not harm your drives. In fact the controller can make better use of those drives then the actual SATA itself since it's not relying on the cheap SATA controller that's on the motherboard.

      Like 1
    • Steve G. Oh I forgot to add that trim is handled by the operating system so it's not really dependent on the controller itself even if it was in RAID mode. And newer SSDs handle trim internally so regardless if you have an order SSD or newer SSD you're covered either way by either the operating system or the firmware on the SSD.

      Like 1
      • Steve G.
      • Steve_G
      • 9 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      stormson weathers 

      Thanks so much Stormson for your feedback and answers.  Super helpful!  My next task is to plop another CPU (E5-2620 v4 2.10ghz) in the 2nd spot and add ram at that time.  I hate seeing it sit there going to waste.  lol.  Thanks for making my first experience with GPCG a great one.

      Like
  • Hi.  Was wondering if I may ask your expertise again.  My system information is above and attached some pics of specs.  Previously, I had 1 cpu running with 16gb ram just on that cpu side (4x4gb ram sticks).  I recently added a 2nd cpu (identical to the first) and added 16gb more ram (identical to the other ram 4x4gb ram sticks).  All the "white" memory slot holders are filled with ram now, so each cpu side has 16gb ram equally.  Machine is running fine, but I feel the system is running about the same.  I use it for light work and some gaming.  I guess I expected a significant increase in speed after installing the additional cpu and ram.  If it matters, hyperthreading is on I believe.  The bios is running in legacy mode.  Windows 10 is current.  No real background memory hogs installed.  No hardware conflicts in device manager.  Is there something I missed that I need to do to make this pc run at its full potential (with the hardware I currently have installed)?   I remember reading that some users have dedicated some of their ram for running cache only.  Is that an option to significantly increase speed?  If so, how and how much ram should be reserved...5gb?, 10gb?  Any help is greatly appreciated!  Thanks in advance!   

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  • Hello.  Was just following up with a request for some insight regarding my previous post about optimizing speed on my rig (see post above on July 20, 2022 with picts).   Thanks in advance! 

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    • Steve G. Hi Steve, nice system! I have a similar setup on my T7810.

      I have x2 e5 2696v3 (36 core, 72 thread) 32gb ram. My radius card I have x3 6tb drives in raid 5, but my boot/windows ssd is a 1tb WD black nvme drive that I have plugged into one of the pcie 16 slots. When I first got the system it had a slower cpu, and when I added the 2 new CPUs, like you,  the performance gain wasn't as much as I expected either.

      I have another pc with a faster nvme drive,  so I'm going to try a new faster one in my t7810 and see how that goes. 

      The 36 cores definately does make a difference though when I'm running multiple virtual machines. 

      Hopefully I'll have a new drive in the next few days and I can report if it makes a difference. 

      So possibly changing your boot ssd to nvme could be an option

      Like 1
      • Steve G.
      • Steve_G
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Paul Chapman Hi Paul!  Thanks so much for taking the time to reply.  Your info is helpful.  Nice rig yourself.  Especially all the headspace you have with those drives!  Nice.  Definitely keep me posted if the faster nvme install your doing works better for speed.

      Yeah, installing an nvme drive may very well be the next best thing to give my machine more speed.  I was reluctant at first to get it because most of the slots were taken up when I had just one CPU.  Now that I installed the 2nd one,  have use of the other slots that sit above the 2nd CPU, so I'll probably put the nvme card and drive there.  My budget though would probably get me up to a 512gb.  I'd probably do the WD black as you did...seems one of the best.  Do you have any suggestions on a good pcie card to hold the nvme drive? 

      Sadly, I've never been able to get to my bios screen with this rig yet.  Tried everything...i must be missing something.  That kinda scares me most...esp when I put the 2nd CPU in.  I was crossing fingers that the rig would recognize it without the need for me to go into Bios and tinker, because I can't.  Lol.  Kinda the same feeling I'll have if I install the nvme.  If you have any suggestions/tricks on getting into the Bios with these rigs, let me know too.  Thanks in advance!!

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    • Steve G. hoping to install the new drive this evening!

      Re Bios, if the F2 on start-up isn't working,  try going through Windows. 

      I tested it this morning. Load into windows,  settings,  recovery,  then advanced start-up. Botts to the Windows blue screen as if you want to perform a recovery,  then went to advanced options,  then they'd an option to change uefi settings. It'll reboot straight to bios

      Hope that helps! 

      Like 1
      • Steve G.
      • Steve_G
      • 3 wk ago
      • Reported - view

      Paul Chapman Hi Paul.  Thanks for the instructions.  Yeah...i went I to Advanced options through start-up but nothing there for changing uefi settings.  I clicked the advanced button anyway to restart and no bios window.  In fact, nothing happened.  It restarted the rig but black screen for more than 15 min.  Weird.  Rig is on but no one is home.  Lol.  My system is configured in Legacy HD set up...i wonder if that has something to do with it.  How did your install go with the faster nvme drive?

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      • Rob Frank
      • Rob_Frank
      • 3 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Steve G. 

      For initial nvme install. Remove all drives except for the nvme. Start the computer and start spamming F12 on your keyboard. That will put you into the boot menu to access the bios. From there make sure to change it from legacy to uefi. Really shouldn't have to make any other changes after that. Install a flash drive with your OS install media, save the bios and exit and spam F12 again. Select the flash drive for your boot option and get going with a new OS install on the nvme. I don't know how you installed the nvme drive in your system just know that it supports bitfurication (spelling?) Meaning you can take a quad nvme adapter like an Asus hyper and run 4 nvme drives off of 1 pcie x16 slot. After your OS is installed you can install any other drives. Make sure if you install an old boot drive that you spam F12 again to make sure your booting to your nvme. Once your in the OS you can do what you want with the files from your old drive before you format it for storage. 

      Like 1
  • Hi Frank!  Ty for taking the time to give that install info.  I'll try the F12 to get into bios, but i think i tried it before and nothing.  Will try again and post back with results.  Currently, I don't have an nvme installed, was looking to do that though in near future.  I'll be getting an nvme adapter that is just for 1 nvme stick, so no worries there.   Your steps will help me during the install process, if i can access this bios screen that seems to elude me time and time again.  lol.

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      • Rob Frank
      • Rob_Frank
      • 2 wk ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      Steve G. all else fails remove all drives and turn the PC on. With no boot media anywhere you are left with the boot menu where you can get into the bios. Also don't be afraid of the F12 key. Turn the PC on and hit it rapidly until your at the boot menu.  Some pcs take awhile to get there. Every time I try and time when to hit it I'm usually too late. 

      Like 1
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