1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Intel rapid storage technology and management engine interface question

Discussion in 'SSD and HDD storage' started by alexander1986, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. alexander1986

    alexander1986 Member Guru

    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    9
    GPU:
    GTX 1060 6gb
    wondering what the benefits are of installing MEI and / or RST drivers from intel on a new high-ish end system like a z390 board with an nvme drive, if any?

    MEI seems to have some virtualization / remote desktop features from what I can tell, but also supposedly improves chipset performance/system performance on intel systems, true or false?

    also interested in RST and what its good for if good at all, for a newer motherboard with a nvme drive for example, havent really looked into either of these until now,

    thanks for any help :)
     
  2. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    6,877
    Likes Received:
    3,298
    GPU:
    GeForce GTX 1070
    I saw that MEI can hinder performance when it glitches (in FW). I have never seen reports of improved performance just by installing drivers.
     
    alexander1986 likes this.
  3. alexander1986

    alexander1986 Member Guru

    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    9
    GPU:
    GTX 1060 6gb
    yeah I went deep into the rabbit hole at https://www.win-raid.com/f39-Special-Intel-Management-Engine.html and other sections of that forum for some digging, can atleast confirm RST is useless for me with single nvme disk and no RAID,


    and from the looks of it MEI does not seem to improve any real world performance atleast in terms of fps in games or anything measurable, from what I can see atleast?
    it even seems a bit scary as one user wrote:

    "Wow, is there a doubt in anyone's mind as to what IME is for? Let's see:

    - IME has been installed on all Intel chipsets since 2008;
    - user has no control over it;
    - it's a standalone Minix-based system that can take control of the system at the lowest level;
    - it cannot be turned off by user;
    - tech specs are not publicly available.

    Also have a look here: "[IME] is a parallel operating system running on an isolated chip, but with access to your PCs hardware. It runs when your computer is asleep, while its booting up, and while your operating system is running. It has full access to your system hardware, including your system memory, the contents of your display, keyboard input, and even the network... Its a little black box, and only Intel knows exactly whats inside."

    Well, if it's not a backdoor then I would say that it's a kill-switch for users who... don't behave."


    :D


    Personally I never installed the software/driver for it and even disabled in device manager couple months ago but doubt it matters either way for things as gaming, might be wrong though, for me no difference at all..its probably always running on some level no matter what, as long as its not corrupted or something, IDK

    Still interesting topic for me with MEI, what the f**k is the purpose of installing it for regular consumers/gamers , if any :D


     
  4. alexander1986

    alexander1986 Member Guru

    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    9
    GPU:
    GTX 1060 6gb

    btw if you know this, for example lets say I have xxx motherboard z390 from asus, go to asus website to see what drivers I can download for audio/lan/etc,

    under "chipset" there is both a chipset win10 driver and intel management engine, what exactly is the chipset win10 driver for z390, is this a intel generic driver and since it is different from MEI, what does this do if you know? this seems more realistic to have impact on performance atleast in my eyes, I tried to find intel z390 chipset drivers on intel website but couldnt really find it,

    if you have any clue here would be appreciated :D
     

  5. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    6,877
    Likes Received:
    3,298
    GPU:
    GeForce GTX 1070
    Intel chipset driver is just a bunch of inf-files to give a proper names for some chipset devices. In Win7 some of those chipset devices would have generic names since OS came without inf-files for these devices. In Win8 such unrecognised chipset devices are of lower quantity, And in Win10 such unrecognised chipset devices are almost gone.
    Intel ME device driver is a driver for the specific ME controller installed on your motherboard. I installed some version of ME drivers just to check whether ME FW has any glitches. I can disable the ME as a device in Device manager if I would suspect it causes some troubles.

    From Wikipedia:

    The Intel Management Engine (ME), also known as the Manageability Engine is an autonomous subsystem that has been incorporated in virtually all of Intel's processor chipsets since 2008. It is located in the Platform Controller Hub of modern Intel motherboards. It is a part of Intel Active Management Technology, which allows system administrators to perform tasks on the machine remotely. If a company buys Intel Active Management Technology software and configures its machines to use it, system administrators can turn the computer on and off, and they can remote into the computer regardless of whether or not an operating system is installed.
     
    alexander1986 likes this.
  6. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    3,448
    Likes Received:
    371
    GPU:
    XFX RX480 GTR 8GB
    Intel Management Engine is the "official"backdoor built-in.
    Intel seears by it and innIT world Intel AMT has serious advantage for remote administration.
    But for end users, there is none.
    Just plain Invasion into your computer.
    I bought specifically an ThinkPad X200 and one X220 for the purpose of flashing Libreboot and disable forever Intel's Management Engine.
    Will share how it will work out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
    alexander1986 likes this.
  7. alexander1986

    alexander1986 Member Guru

    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    9
    GPU:
    GTX 1060 6gb

    But ! what is strange to me, is for example why are motherboard manufacturers releasing newer versions of these chipset drivers for the same motherboard ? they have separate chipset driver and MEI driver so its not just a newer MEI version,

    If you have windows 10 with z390 chipset and download z390 chipset driver from asus for example one time, why would you *ever* need a newer version of that chipset driver, if all it does is properly name the chipset in device manager/etc ?

    It seems super pointless to even do this, so logically (atleast from my POV) there should be *something* else than just the name in devicemgr to all of this...

    If I go to my motherboards support page on asus there are older/newer versions for win10 of the same chipset driver, z390 in this case, is it perhaps because of new bios versions in combination or something?


    as for MEI it just seems like a intel backdoor tbh, more or less lol
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019
  8. alexander1986

    alexander1986 Member Guru

    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    9
    GPU:
    GTX 1060 6gb
    Nice, i've heard/read stuff about some manufacturers looking for ways to let user disable MEI completely, if you research me_cleaner (i'm sure you already have judging by your post :) ) its interesting stuff, I would also like MEI to not be a thing at all
     
  9. chinobino

    chinobino Maha Guru

    Messages:
    1,020
    Likes Received:
    13
    GPU:
    GTX980Ti Lightning
    There are consumer and corporate versions of IME, the consumer version on your Z390 would have a lot of functionality disabled, such as AMT.

    If you are really that terrified of having your ME hijacked by malware you can delete the driver and disable ME in device manager.
     
  10. alexander1986

    alexander1986 Member Guru

    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    9
    GPU:
    GTX 1060 6gb
    well my question in the OP was more about if there is any real world performance increase or benefits to even installing the driver at all, answer seems to be none at all, doesnt do anything for benchmarks or game performance, just unnecessary in this perspective to have IME from what I can tell, and not really terrified from malware either but it IS an intel backdoor that never sleeps no matter if you disable it in devmgr :p for me as a regular consumer/gamer with nothing to hide, it ofc doesnt really matter lol,


    I know it has it uses for remote management and what not, anyway 2 interesting links on the topic imo:

    https://hackaday.com/2017/12/11/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-intel-management-engine/

    http://blog.ptsecurity.com/2017/08/disabling-intel-me.html
     

  11. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    6,877
    Likes Received:
    3,298
    GPU:
    GeForce GTX 1070
    No. Users just dig for newer versions of any drivers, even for chipset ones. Newer versions of chipset drivers just include more devices.
    ME works with almost any drivers. So updating drivers for ME is just that - updating drivers in hope some potential bugs are fixed and some performance is gained.


    Internet network environment quite differs from enterprise one.

    PS Also, can you give me a list of reasons for Intel to gain access to home users`s rigs?
     
    alexander1986 likes this.
  12. alexander1986

    alexander1986 Member Guru

    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    9
    GPU:
    GTX 1060 6gb
    I see, just was bit weird to me, that chipset drivers (not ME) are supposedly meant to be updated for "crucial issues and system perf/communication between devices like cpu/gpu/disk/pci/ram" according to most stuff you can read about them, but might aswell not bother at all and just use whatever default drivers come with a fresh win10 install then more or less?

    if a new chipset is released the situation changes maybe? or if you are on older win10 build etc? anyway in case of chipset drivers I guess its "best" to just get the latest ones the newer the hardware is atleast..


    as for your question ( :D ) well in my post above your latest reply I wrote already to other user on this topic:


    "and not really terrified from malware either but it IS an intel backdoor that never sleeps no matter if you disable it in devmgr :p for me as a regular consumer/gamer with nothing to hide, it ofc doesnt really matter lol,


    I know it has it uses for remote management and what not, anyway 2 interesting links on the topic imo:

    https://hackaday.com/2017/12/11/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-intel-management-engine/

    http://blog.ptsecurity.com/2017/08/disabling-intel-me.html"


    the last link is interesting with us government high assurance platform thing at end of article, but like I said for me, as a regular consumer/gamer/home user with nothing to hide, it ofc doesnt really matter :p
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019
  13. SamuelL421

    SamuelL421 Active Member

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    45
    GPU:
    1080ti / 11gb
    RST is useless for most people, but I have found that some OEMs bundle their required drivers into installers with RST and others require it due to the SATA implementation on some business / workstation computers. Good example: I have a few HP elitebooks that require HP RST install for SATA drives to detect properly. Default / basic Windows 10 (or 7) drivers in OS won't cut it and only the first SATA drive will detect in some cases.
     
    alexander1986 likes this.
  14. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    3,448
    Likes Received:
    371
    GPU:
    XFX RX480 GTR 8GB
    Oh, sweet summer child, how innocent you are!
    Intel ME is THE malware here, it's hardware embedded and you can't disable it.
     
  15. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    6,877
    Likes Received:
    3,298
    GPU:
    GeForce GTX 1070
    I guess people who are good at network things can block network activity issued by ME. I mean, to be used from outside (as a backdoor) ME should be active somewhere in network stack, right?
     
    alexander1986 likes this.

  16. chinobino

    chinobino Maha Guru

    Messages:
    1,020
    Likes Received:
    13
    GPU:
    GTX980Ti Lightning
    I agree that ME has the potential to be abused on corporate systems but its remote abilities are disabled on the consumer platform.
     
  17. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    3,448
    Likes Received:
    371
    GPU:
    XFX RX480 GTR 8GB
    In theory, it's doable, but one needs enterprise level firewall. Even so, one has to have high networking skills to get it done.

    No, ME it's not a simple feature with on and off option. It's active always and you just can't avoid it and you can't disable it. It's a hardware"feature"bug/backdoor.
    The only way is to flash a libre BIOS without Intel's ME. But this is a special nightmare on its own.
     
    alexander1986 likes this.

Share This Page