SSD7140/SSD7540: Slow transfer performance or system freeze during file transfer
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If the system or application freezes, or suddenly powers off during file transfer to or from an SSD7140/SSD7540 controller, the problem is most likely related to a thermal issue or insufficient power supply.
Maintaining Recommended Temperature Thresholds
When working with NVMe based storage, maintaining an ambient temperature below or equal to the specified threshold(s) is of critical importance. Overheating can result in a serious loss of performance and stability, and can jeopardize the long-term viability of the storage configuration. NVMe SSD’s that have exceeded the threshold may become unresponsive, or even drop offline, which can cripple RAID configurations and result in the loss of data. Make sure to pair the SD7140/SSD7540 with SSD’s that have been tested and certified for compatibility with HighPoint RAID products. Compatibility lists are routinely updated, and are available for download from the Resources page of each product series.
The controller can perform normally when installed into a system that is able to maintain an ambient temperature equal to or below 55 degrees Celsius. Please consult the manufacturer provided specifications for each NVMe SSD’s temperature thresholds.
Please make sure the SSD7000 cooling system (heat sink and fans) are securely fastened to the controller PCB after installing the NVMe media. Misalignments or blockage will prevent the system from properly cooling the M.2 SSD’s and controller componentry. Additionally, make sure internal chassis cabling or components are not making contact with the SSD7000 controller’s heat sink, or blocking airflow to the fans.
We highly recommend customers install the WebGUI management software. WebGUI interface is capable of monitoring the temperature of each individual NVMe SSDs via the SHI tab (Storage Health Inspector). The SMART data reported by each SSD’s enables the WebGUI to display temperature in real-time.
Maintaining Sufficient Power Supply
When using an 8-port M.2 NVMe RAID controller, such as the SSD7140, or SSD7540, it is important to remember that the external power connector much be attached to the card to avoid stability and performance issues. The PCIe bus cannot supply enough power for 8 SSD’s – an external power source is required.
If the controller is not connected to an external power supply, NVMe SSD’s may become unresponsive, or drop offline.
Resolving or Avoiding Slow File Transfer
When attempting to maximize the transfer performance of an NVMe configuration, the following items must be considered:
1. Source and Destination – The source and destination (target) devices must be of the same NVMe generation to ensure maximum transfer speeds. For example, a PCIe 3.0 source SSD would limit the performance of a PCIe 4.0 target SSD to PCIe 3.0 levels. Likewise, a PCIe 4.0 SSD source drive would only be able to transfer at 3.0 levels if the target SSD is PCIe 3.0.
This also applies to transfers from other types of devices, such as a PCIe SAS/SATA controller or USB drive. These devices could potentially limit the performance of the NVMe storage.
2. Hardware Platform – the motherboard must be able to support the target SSD7000 series controller’s host interface. A motherboard that only supports Gen3 (PCIe 3.0) would limit the performance capability of a Gen4 (PCIe 4.0) NVMe RAID controller, such as the SSD7505.
In addition, the PCIe slot must be capable of providing the required lane speed (electrical). For more information, please check the following article.
3. Application – The majority of software applications designed for high-performance workflows (such as media editing for example) can take advantage of NVMe storage. However, a general use file server or office workstation may not see immediate benefits from NVMe storage, outside of sustained, prolonged file transfer or a bootable NVMe configuration, which can improve the responsiveness of the host operating system. A user simply moving files to an NVMe SSD or array may not actually exercise the NVMe storage device – the entire operation may be handled directly by the operating system’s software caching. This leads to item #4.
4. Performance Testing/Benchmarking – the testing suite or benchmark utility must provide parameters that allow a user to simulate an application’s actual work flow. Using the default settings for most common benchmark utilities will not exercise NVMe media. The following applications are recommended for testing NVMe configurations.
ATTO Disk Benchmark
Each utility provides a range of settings has can be configured to properly test NVMe SSD’s and arrays. In addition, pre-configured test scripts are available from hardware review sites, manufacturers and user communities.
We have published a series of performance guides, based on OS platform: