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Does the Minisforum MS-01 support bifurcation with the PCI-e slot?

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Brandon Lee
(@brandon-lee)
Posts: 418
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Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it does in the BIOS. There is no option for setting bifurcation on the slot. It seems there is only the option to enable or disable the slot. However, more testing is forthcoming on this.

2024 01 31 20 50 20

What is bifurcation?

Bifurcation in the context of PCI Express (PCI-e) refers to the process of splitting a single PCI-e connection into multiple pathways to allow more devices to be connected. This is particularly useful when a motherboard doesn't have enough PCI-e slots for all the desired devices, such as multiple graphics cards, NVMe SSDs, or network cards. Bifurcation is often used in high-performance computing, gaming, and data center applications where maximizing the number of connected devices is crucial. For example, a single x16 slot can be bifurcated into two x8 slots, allowing two graphics cards to be used simultaneously for increased processing power or for setting up a multi-display system. Bifurcation requires both a compatible motherboard that supports this feature and devices that can function with the reduced bandwidth.

 
Posted : 31/01/2024 8:56 pm
Brandon Lee
(@brandon-lee)
Posts: 418
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I was able to do some more testing to confirm or deny bifurcation. Even though I didn't see the option in the BIOS I threw in a Supermicro dual-NVMe card I had with (2) NVMe drives.

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One of the first non-optimal things I saw was I lost 32 GB of RAM in the process of adding the card with 2 NVMe drives 🙁

2024 02 01 11 48 47

When I booted into vSphere, I went over to the storage devices screen and it did recognize the first NVMe drive in the card, but not the other.

2024 02 01 11 50 38

Also, I scanned for new storage devices and none were found

2024 02 01 11 49 54

So, I just wanted to make sure that even though there wasn't any bifurcation showing the BIOS, there wasn't any magic happening behind the scenes and it would just work, but apparently there isn't.

After removing the card, booting the MS-01, I once again saw the full 64 GB of memory.

2024 02 01 11 55 16

It would be great if this might be a BIOS update from the Minisforum side of things, but there may be some hardware limitations underneath that prevents bifurcation in general, which I am wondering due to the loss of half of the system memory when adding the card.

I checked and the MS-01 does not currently have any BIOS downloads available.

2024 02 01 12 31 26

Please post here if you know of any tricks or hacks that you have found to make this work.

 
Posted : 01/02/2024 12:23 pm
(@jaxjiang)
Posts: 6
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Hi Brandon.

We found a bug for ram identify.

There have a smbus compatible issue between ram and pcie slot.

Please follow info from wike https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express.  

And use tape to shield smbus on smbus. To solve ram identify problem.

 
Posted : 17/02/2024 8:05 pm
(@bluechris)
Posts: 3
New Member
 

Posted by: @jaxjiang

Hi Brandon.

We found a bug for ram identify.

There have a smbus compatible issue between ram and pcie slot.

Please follow info from wike https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express.  

And use tape to shield smbus on smbus. To solve ram identify problem.

Can we have a photo of where we need to do this?

 

 
Posted : 20/02/2024 5:54 am
Brandon Lee reacted
Brandon Lee
(@brandon-lee)
Posts: 418
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Topic starter
 

@jaxjiang Can you please clarify with more details?

 
Posted : 20/02/2024 7:23 am
(@jaxjiang)
Posts: 6
Active Member
 

@brandon-lee @bluechris 

MS-01 previous version hardware, share smbus bettweenRAM and PCIE slot.

(RAM identify use SMBUS)

For PCIE card that have smbus. It may cause conflict bettween RAM and PCIE card, And further one less memory, or even both memory cannot identify and cannot boot up.

For solve this problem. For there have smbus PCIE card, just use Tape shield the SMBUS pins before insertion.

These are SMBUS function pins,

And there are example how to do it.

image

 

image
 
Posted : 20/02/2024 8:15 pm
Brandon Lee
(@brandon-lee)
Posts: 418
Member Admin
Topic starter
 

@jaxjiang That is great information. Do you work for Minisforum? You mentioned previous versionsof the MS-01 hardware. Is there a new version shipping now? Does it officially support bifurcation?

 
Posted : 20/02/2024 9:06 pm
(@jaxjiang)
Posts: 6
Active Member
 

Posted by: @brandon-lee

@jaxjiang That is great information. Do you work for Minisforum? You mentioned previous versionsof the MS-01 hardware. Is there a new version shipping now? Does it officially support bifurcation?

Because of Intel's CPU hardware limit, There is not possabile bifurcation on Alderlake-H platform CPU.(on that PCIE solot)

 

 
Posted : 20/02/2024 9:09 pm
Brandon Lee
(@brandon-lee)
Posts: 418
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Topic starter
 

@jaxjiang Great to know on that front. Do you work with Minisforum? Is there a new version that solves the issue with the PCI bus?

 
Posted : 20/02/2024 9:14 pm
(@jaxjiang)
Posts: 6
Active Member
 

Posted by: @brandon-lee

@jaxjiang Great to know on that front. Do you work with Minisforum? Is there a new version that solves the issue with the PCI bus?

Later batches of machines will improve the compatibility of PCIE part.

For the current machine, because this is not a fatal problem, if there are reports of such problems, we will guide users to "patch" to solve this problem.

 

 
Posted : 20/02/2024 9:40 pm
(@bluechris)
Posts: 3
New Member
 

Dear @jaxjiang how can we distinguish the revision of the MS-01 that we have? i mean which are the new batch models and where this info is shown on the motherboard?

Thx

Chris

 
Posted : 21/02/2024 2:55 am
(@jaxjiang)
Posts: 6
Active Member
 

Posted by: @bluechris

Dear @jaxjiang how can we distinguish the revision of the MS-01 that we have? i mean which are the new batch models and where this info is shown on the motherboard?

Thx

Chris

If there is a way to indetity it, and i still remember it, I will reply you.

 

 
Posted : 21/02/2024 3:48 am
bluechris reacted
Brandon Lee
(@brandon-lee)
Posts: 418
Member Admin
Topic starter
 

@jaxjiang Thank you for your help and information. It is conversations like this that are extremely valuable for the community. Also, I would be happy to review upcoming new models of Minisforum PCs, including variants for the MS-01 as part of my content creation workflow if you can put me in contact with the right contacts at Minisforum.

 
Posted : 21/02/2024 10:10 am
bluechris reacted
(@bluechris)
Posts: 3
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@jaxjiang   thank you also for the information and the good work you do.

 
Posted : 21/02/2024 12:00 pm
(@jaxjiang)
Posts: 6
Active Member
 

Posted by: @brandon-lee

@jaxjiang Thank you for your help and information. It is conversations like this that are extremely valuable for the community. Also, I would be happy to review upcoming new models of Minisforum PCs, including variants for the MS-01 as part of my content creation workflow if you can put me in contact with the right contacts at Minisforum.

Thanks for you interested in minisfourm's product.

If there are products in the same direction as your YouTube channel. minisforum will try to contact you to review it.

 

 
Posted : 21/02/2024 8:03 pm
malcolm.r reacted