New motherboard: ASUS ProArt B550-CREATOR

Ordered myself a new motherboard today, the ASUS ProArt B550-CREATOR. This new board will replace my ASUS PRIME B550M-A in my new/upgraded computer ‘lore‘ (which is replacing ‘longing‘).

This new board has 2x M.2 PCIe 4.0 (as with the old motherboard), 2x 2.5Gbps Ethernet (compared to 1x 1Gbps Ethernet in my old motherboard), and 3x PCIe 16x slots (compared to 1x PCIe 16x slot in my old motherboard).

I will put in 2x M.2 PCIe 4x adapters and 2x M.2 PCIe 1x adapters which will mean I am able to install 6x M.2 drives: 2x Kioxia 256GB, 2x Samsung 990 Pro 2TB, and 2x PNY 1TB.

I will also put in a quad 2.5Gbps PCIe Ethernet adapter which will give me six 2.5Gbps Ethernet ports in total (two onboard and four on PCIe 16x).

When I’m done all four RAM slots will be full (4x Corsair Vengeance 32GB 3200MHz DDR4), both the M.2 slots will be full, all three of the PCIe 16x slots will be full, all four SATA ports will be full (3x Western Digital WD Ultrastar DC HC550 16TB and 1x ASUS BW-16D1HT PRO 16X Blu-ray burner), and both PCIe 1x slots will be full too. Also there will be a bunch of high speed USB ports available on both the front and the back of the case. I feel like I have really squeezed a lot of juice out of this system, it’s operating very close to capacity.

I’m kinda dreading plugging in the USB attachments to the front panel, but I guess if I RTFM and apply some thought I will be able to figure that out.

Enabling TRIM in Debian fstab for ext4 file-system on Samsung SSD 960 EVO NVMe M.2

So I was trying to find why in my Debian 9 system my SATA drives are called SCSI devices, and I was reading Why my SATA drive is identified as a SCSI device in Device Manager where I read:

The Intel Rapid Storage driver version 12.6 (Released in March 2013) and newer versions classify all drives as SCSI devices for uniformity. This (and later) versions of the driver also allow for TRIM support (Allows for management of data blocks no longer in use) in SSD drives in RAID 0 arrays and other flexibility in operation of storage devices.

So I’d never heard of “TRIM” so I searched for that and found the Wikipedia Trim (computing) article, but Why SSD TRIM Support is So Important and How to Enable It caught my eye, because, “important” you say?

So that article about the importance of TRIM was for Windows, so I searched again and found How to properly activate TRIM for your SSD on Linux: fstrim, lvm and dm-crypt which suggested things were a bit complicated for LVM (and MD RAID?).

I ended up reading How to set up SSD raid and TRIM support? which sent me to Re: Best way (only?) to setup SSD’s for using TRIM which argued that perhaps TRIM configuration wasn’t necessary at all.

It was then I realised that I probably don’t care about TRIM on my MD RAID SSD drives, but I probably do on my M.2 SSD, which isn’t using MD RAID, but which gets massive tgz files written to it and deleted from it every day. So some more searching and I found Samsung SSD 960 EVO NVMe M.2 Review: Ultra Fast, Affordable Storage which said TRIM was supported:

Supporting features: TRIM (Required OS support), Garbage Collection, S.M.A.R.T

So then I found Enable TRIM On SSD (Solid-State Drives) In Ubuntu For Better Performance which showed me how to enable TRIM in /etc/fstab. So the relevant fstab line was:

# /data/fast was on /dev/nvme0n1p1 during configuration
UUID=87bcc5fa-9261-404b-8bc7-a214f4651b49 /data/fast      ext4    noatime,discard 0       2

Note the ‘discard’ option, that’s where the magic happens.

So I unmounted and remounted the partition,

root@tact:/home/jj5# umount /data/fast
root@tact:/home/jj5# mount /data/fast

And dmesg indicated the discard option had been applied:

[34783.251592] EXT4-fs (nvme0n1p1): mounted filesystem with ordered data mode. Opts: discard

Now I guess we wait and see if my performance issues improve…