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Windows 7: Sata Mode AHCI / IDE


03 Mar 2011   #11

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dave76 View Post
@unifex, I switched from IDE to RAID on my Dell Inspiron 530, before the reg edit trick was known. Loaded the RAID drivers and when it asked to re-boot I went to the BIOS and switched it to RAID, after the OS loaded it asked for another re-boot and I was in AHCI mode.

If this doesn't work for you, use the above tutorial.

As long as you have the RAID drivers loaded in the OS it will run in AHCI mode.
When it re-boots by itself does it run fine afterwards?
Well, that's the thing, it does not, it simply keeps re-booting. And the tutorial is what I followed. I downloaded the latest drivers from Intel, installed, and it did not even ask me to re-boot. So I went ahead and re-booted and changed the settings in BIOS and now I have what I have.

Out of curiosity, which drivers did you install exactly?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dave76 View Post
If your SSD is not noticeably faster, there might be something that is holding the performance back. Bad alignment, old drivers, there are several things that could be doing it.
Well, it's clearly faster. It's just that when I run the OS off the SSD I don't get the "wow" factor. Maybe this is because I moved all temporary files, user files profiles and other places where Windows writes a lot off the SSD in an attempt to reduce the write cycles.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Mar 2011   #12

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dave76 View Post
I would recommend AHCI, you might not notice a performance improvement, but NCQ can reduce the HDD activity and disk thrashing.
If you're using eSATA it's nice to be able to remove the external when you want to.
We should clear up a few things here. You are correct about the eSATA functionality, but NCQ is a server-related technology, handling multiple requests for disk access at once. It is a largerly useless technology on a single user workstation, and you won't see any difference in disk usage between AHCI and IDE.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Dave76 View Post
As long as you have the RAID drivers loaded in the OS it will run in AHCI mode.
You do not want RAID drivers loaded, unless you are referring to a chipset that I'm not familiar with. IDE, AHCI, and RAID are completely separate and independent...and all have separate drivers. For example, with Intel chipset boards, AHCI is picked up by Windows 7, and the chipset drivers install the official drivers from Intel. RAID requires an entirely different BIOS settings and driver package form Intel. They are not one in the same.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2011   #13

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

Don't know what your motherboard allows, but I have a Gigabyte board and did the EDI-to-AHCI switch as follows:
1) BIOS supports setting SATA mode differently for different ports
2) Set AHCI mode for some ports, IDE mode for other (originally, had all ports set to IDE)
3) Changed the SATA cable to connect to the IDE port
4) Booted Windows 7 -- it automatically installed the AHCI drivers
5) Had to reboot a second time
6) Switched the SATA cable to the AHCI port
7) Rebooted -- works fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Mar 2011   #14

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
You do not want RAID drivers loaded, unless you are referring to a chipset that I'm not familiar with. IDE, AHCI, and RAID are completely separate and independent...and all have separate drivers. For example, with Intel chipset boards, AHCI is picked up by Windows 7, and the chipset drivers install the official drivers from Intel. RAID requires an entirely different BIOS settings and driver package form Intel. They are not one in the same.
Well, that's the thing for Dell Inspiron - there is no separate setting in the BIOS for AHCI. Only IDE and RAID. But, RAID actually corresponds to AHCI, so by choosing RAID I actually get the AHCI BIOS screen and so on.

As far as the performance, take a look at the screenshots. I used HDTune to measure the read performance of my SSD and the HDD when I run the OS from HDD in IDE mode and also when I run from SSD in AHCI mode. The latter shows slightly better performance. The caveat is that in IDE mode the computer was also doing something else at the time.


Attached Images
    
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03 Mar 2011   #15

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Your caveat pretty much throws the comparisons out the window. I can't speak for SSDs, but for HDDs, the differences between IDE and AHCI aren't performance related.
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03 Mar 2011   #16

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 

Here's the data for IDE setting without anything running. Clearly, for the HDD the load is important, while AHCI vs IDE not so much. For the SSD AHCI provides a bit of a benefit. Also, in the IDE mode the SSD is not used in any way, that's how the PC is setup.


Attached Images
  
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03 Mar 2011   #17

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

I have very little experience with SSDs, as I had one for a week and then sold it, but I was under the impression that some of them required the ports to be set as AHCI. I can certainly believe that AHCI would lend a benefit to those drives, and it is good to see that AHCI is offering something for SSDs, as I'm in the market for a 120-160 GB model.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2011   #18

Windows 7 64 bit SP1
 
 

I don't think any SSD driver requires AHCI. But I believe it is true, though there still may be some question, that in order to get TRIM support you need AHCI and not IDE. Maybe that is what you are thinking of.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2011   #19

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
 
 

I have a Dell 580S. In BIOS under advanced chipset settings There is a listing for SATA controller. I can set that to AHCI.
I have 2 SSDs and it is not necessary to run them in AHCI, But you will get better performance and Trim with ahci. That is for most SSDs. I have heard that there are some SSDs that will run better in IDE mode.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Mar 2011   #20

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by GeneO View Post
Maybe that is what you are thinking of.
That very well may be what I'm thinking of.
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