Skylake i3/i5 NUC BIOS Version 44 to Unlock NVME SSDs

Intel has released BIOS version 0044 for Skylake i3 and i5 NUCs.

There are many changes mentioned in the release notes, but this seemingly innocent change is something many have been waiting for: Changed FITC setting, OPI Link Speed to GT4. I have not verified this myself yet, but this is supposed to unlock the NVME SSDs performance. Earlier they’be been restricted to 1600 MB/s level.

The full release notes are available here.

Anyone with first-hand experience regarding this BIOS?

EDIT: Seems that in order to change the OPI Link Speed to GT4, you will need to perform a BIOS recovery! Read more in a separate article here.

15 Responses

  1. Mark says:

    er, keen to hear anyone’s experience with this, sounds amazing

    • Mark says:

      Updated to BIOS 44
      Hardware: Samsung SSD 950 PRO 256GB
      Samsung Magician reports as follows:
      Sequential Read of 1686 (Up to 2200)
      Sequential Write of 973 (Up to 900)
      Random read (121445) and write (21607) appear to be way off their suggested maximum.
      Conclusion – can’t complain on the writes (it’s over the suggested maximum) but the reads are down.
      Overall I’m not sure if the bios update has had an effect as stupidly I didn’t run magician before the update. I’m quite happy the way it’s performing.

      • Gordon says:

        I have (before upgrading)

        Hardware: Samsung SSD 950 PRO 256GB
        Samsung Magician reports as follows:
        Sequential Read of 830 (Up to 2200)
        Sequential Write of 972 (Up to 900)
        Random read (108632) and write (77578)

        now to flash..

  2. Alex says:

    Well… I have updated BIOS today to 0044.. and no change to speed of my nvme SSD… :-s

  3. gordon says:

    Can anyone recommend a benchmarking tool? I can give it a try…

  4. dino says:

    Can this version 44 BIOS resolve the WHEA Errors?

    • nucblognet says:

      Previous BIOS version 42 already did. However, if you are already getting WHEA errors, there’s no BIOS that could prevent them. In that case your NUC is faulty already and you’ll need to replace your unit (under warranty of course) and update the BIOS as soon as you get a new one.

  5. Pawel says:

    Hi there Skylake owners.
    It seems you have to update bios using “jumpers thing” on the mobo itself and press F9 after to have new OPI Link Speed for M.2 Samsungs.

  6. Alex 2 says:

    Any idea about possible benefits of the “updated CPU microcode”?
    I just run a SATA M.2 anyway and am wondering if it’s worth to update from 42 which is running fine.

    • Paweł says:

      Version 44 will update OPI Link Speed only if performed in BIOS Recovery Mode. If you have SYK and SM-951 or 950 Pro I believe you would have to deal with heat issue. Just look what Akasa is giving us with PlatoX case (only one that supports 5i7RYH). A big piece of aluminium and thermal pads to put in between. All that of course is to help our M.2 drives stay alive longer.

      Let me tell you my story: due to m.2 socket compatibility I had to put SM-951 (non NVMe) in 5i3RYK. It locks drives @1600 MB/s. It is much much cooler than MX200 I, again, had to put in my 5i5MYHE – I use MYHE b/c it does support my 5K monitor AND does not have wifi!
      Having Crucial and Samsung in NUC it is like heaven and hell difference. Even when Intel locks them @1600MBs.

      To end this too long story: don’t update YET if you are OK with the drive’s speed. Maybe one of Skylake owners will make a video on youtube showing others how to deal with BIOS Recovery Mode.

      • Alex 2 says:

        Yes, thanks for confirming my thoughts. As said: Just running a Samsung Evo 850 M.2 in a NUC6i3SYK ann all is fine and (very) cool (34°C in idle). I was just wondering what the other changes (CPU microcode) are about.

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