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Windows 7: Change IDE to AHCI in BIOS - Much better performance

22 Oct 2011   #31
Corazon

Windows 7 Professional SP1 32-bit
 
 

The controller and drives still communicate with each other via SATA and the speed is the same.

However, the BIOS controls how the SATA controller presents itself to the OS - as a native SATA controller (AHCI mode) or as an IDE controller. What some BIOSes call "IDE mode" is referred to as simply "compatibility mode" in others.

The main difference is that in IDE mode, the OS can't take advantage of native command queueing (NCQ) or hotplugging drives, since these are not features that a real IDE controller would know about. The SATA controller and the drives still understand these features of course, they simply aren't used in IDE mode.

I tried running my system in AHCI mode and also saw no noticeable improvement from it - but the biggest annoyance for me personally was that I was now stuck with the Safely remove hardware icon (because of hotplugging capability). To me that says "I left an USB stick/external HD plugged in" so it really irritated me...well, back to IDE I went


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22 Oct 2011   #32
Scoop

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Corazon View Post
The controller and drives still communicate with each other via SATA and the speed is the same.

However, the BIOS controls how the SATA controller presents itself to the OS - as a native SATA controller (AHCI mode) or as an IDE controller. What some BIOSes call "IDE mode" is referred to as simply "compatibility mode" in others.

The main difference is that in IDE mode, the OS can't take advantage of native command queueing (NCQ) or hotplugging drives, since these are not features that a real IDE controller would know about. The SATA controller and the drives still understand these features of course, they simply aren't used in IDE mode.

I tried running my system in AHCI mode and also saw no noticeable improvement from it - but the biggest annoyance for me personally was that I was now stuck with the Safely remove hardware icon (because of hotplugging capability). To me that says "I left an USB stick/external HD plugged in" so it really irritated me...well, back to IDE I went
Thanks for the info

I've been reading some other forum posts around the 'net and that seems to be what some others have seen, AHCI in their situations, wasn't worth switching from IDE in BIOS.

I looked into the HD hot-swapping stuff and downloaded a free utility "Hotswap!" to see how it looked in the tray. I guess for my PC needs, I'm not that interested in hot-swapping my HD's. I installed those hot-swap racks mainly for cloning ease and to have fast swap-out capability for troubleshooting purposes.
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 Change IDE to AHCI in BIOS - Much better performance




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