Hardware choice for TN - Scale

This is a long shot but i’m not sure where this question is best suited.

I have a Asus Z390 (9th gen) motherboard That I want to use as a truenas server.
In It, I would like to install 6x 1TB nvme drive (already on hand and they’re all the same drives). I would like to build a RaidZ1 (5 +1 raid)

This mother board already has 2x M.2 slots onboard and support
bifurcation on 2x of the 16x slots (one slot supports 3x nvme out of 4) and the other one supports 2x nmve… so) That would mean that I would be good in theory.

Anyone has this kind of motherboard and tried this setup ?
if so, do I really need the x16 hypercard from Asus or can i just use generic ones (a 4x nvme card + a 2x card)

Any info would be appreciated

Might want to take a read on (did a quick search) AMD Ryzen with ECC and 6x M.2 NVMe build | TrueNAS Community

This stuff is over my head, because of old age :slight_smile:

Contrary to AMD, Intel consumer chipsets cannot bifurcate x16 all the way to x4x4x4x4. So you can only hang 3 drives from the CPU. Further drives would hang from the PCH… and go through the DMI x4 link to the CPU.
Check your lanes. If you hadn’t the drives already, I’d suggest to reconsider your options. SATA SSDs would be less of a hassle for likly sufficient performance; NVMe-only is Xeon Scalable or EPYC territory.


i’m aware of not having 4x4x4x4 (like I said, supports 3x out of 4). But I would think that the second pcie (can also do 4x4x).
Just not sure I can use botth pcie slots in bifurcation mode at the same time.

had them to build a vSAN homelab but could no get a licence for it (unless I pay 210$US/year. So repurposing them to build a centralized server. (I already have 2x trueNAS servers but thos motherboard can’t handle bifurcation or not enough)

You have not indicated the exact board model. But the CPU has only 16 lanes; if there are two slots from the CPU, they work as x16/x0 or x8/x8 and your bifurcation option goes, at best, to x8/x4x4 and/or x4x4/x8—same as in a single x16 slot.

the board is a Asus Prime Z390-A

I did see the specs saying that it supports 3x nvme in the x16 (so should be a 16x/8x4x4x) and in the second x16 (x8 really),should be 8x/4x4x

but if its 16 lanes max, there is no way to run both slots in bifurcation. Has I see it.

You can get riser cards with a PCIe switches on them (PEX).

Some of them will supoort 12 m.2s in a 16x slot.

But PEX devices are expensive.