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Windows 7: SSD: switching from IDE to AHCI...real world differences?

25 Jan 2018   #1
Ballyshannon

Win 7 Pro SP1 64 bit
 
 
SSD: switching from IDE to AHCI...real world differences?

Hi. New to the forum.

For SSDs, I've read up on 'how much better' it is to switch from IDE to AHCI by editing the registry, etc and I understand the process and am very familiar with registry editing. I've also seen several benchmark results showing better numbers with AHCI. Numbers and benchmarks are one thing, but what counts is real world, daily use. My question is, will switching to AHCI be a noticeable improvement in everyday real world use?

Some background: My system is a custom build with an ASUS P5Q Pro MB (SATA II), so throughput is inherently restricting the SATA III SSDs I have....Samsung 850 EVO 500GB, and Crucial MX300 525 GB. Both were cloned from my original WD 500GB HDD and running in IDE mode. Currently, I'm using the Samsung as my main drive including OS, and the Crucial as backup. I've run Crystal Disk and AS SSD benchmarks on both, and the results are close, with the Samsung producing slightly better results, particularly on the Read results. I do graphic design, and both SSDs are extremely fast in everyday use and I can see nor 'feel' any performance differences between the two and can't imagine them being significantly faster in AHCI mode. Boot times for both are about the same, and very quick.

So, before I go through the process of trying AHCI, I just wanted to get some input from those of you using SSDs who have done the IDE-to-AHCI switch after Win 7 is already installed, and if you feel there is any real world improvement....especially running SATA II.

Appreciate it!
DC


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25 Jan 2018   #2
mrjimphelps

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)
 
 

Here is some helpful information I found on the subject:
http://forums.crucial.com/t5/Crucial...-vs/td-p/57078
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25 Jan 2018   #3
Ballyshannon

Win 7 Pro SP1 64 bit
 
 

Thanks. I read that previously, along with many other articles over the past several days, but again it just shows benchmark results with nothing said about whether or not the user personally experienced any noticeable everyday computing performance improvement with AHCI. I'm wanting to hear from users who have made the switch (particularly running SATA II) to see if AHCI actually helps in everyday use, or if IDE is good for now until I can upgrade my system. Actually my system is running great....and very fast. Programs like Quickbooks that took nearly a minute to open on the HDD now takes about six seconds to fully load. Photoshop takes four seconds. A 96" 300dpi multi-layered layered PSD banner file opens in three seconds. And this is with SATA II/IDE. This is why I'm interested if AHCI would really make any significant difference in everyday use.

Out of curiosity, I'd really like to see an SSD test running SATA II in IDE mode vs SATA III in AHCI mode...and get the user's input on any perceived improvement in everyday read/write tasks....and not gaming. I'm not a gamer.
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26 Jan 2018   #4
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

As you cloned the HDD to a SSD, trim must be enabled:

Type this cmd
fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify

It will give you one of two results, either a 0 or a 1. A zero indicates that TRIM is enabled correctly, a one means that it is not. If you have a TRIM-compatible SSD, but find that Windows 7 hasn't enabled the command, you can easily do so by running this command:

fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 0

IDE and AHCI are BIOS settings and register has also to be changed.
Backup your data on an external disk before you try anything.
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26 Jan 2018   #5
Ballyshannon

Win 7 Pro SP1 64 bit
 
 

Megahertz07..... I verified Trim is enabled using the command prompt prior to posting this thread. So, that's set. As I mentioned, I know the process to switch from IDE to AHCI by changing msahci=0 in the registry, reboot, allow Win 7 to load the appropriate drivers, reboot, etc. And as I mentioned, my Crucial MX300 SSD is an exact backup of the new Samsung SSD I'm currently running (since I just recently cloned the Crucial to the Samsung) as my main drive, so I'm not worried about losing any data on the Samsung, which can be re-cloned if necessary...but would prefer not to have to do it again. In that light, before actually switching to AHCI, all I'm asking is for input from those who have done the switch from IDE to AHCI to see if they have personally experienced any noticeable performance in everyday computing, and not just looking at the benchmark numbers. At this point, my system is so fast overall for my needs with the SSD in IDE mode, if I gain a fraction of a second in read/write going to AHCI, I may as well stay with IDE and not take a chance of messing anything up.

Thanks
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26 Jan 2018   #6
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

As you have two equal drives (same configurations), detach the Samsung and try AHCI on the Crucial and then compare the AHCI with the IDE you had. Then you can decide.
I would go with AHCI as it is the latest tech to use all benefits of the SSD.
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26 Jan 2018   #7
BogdanH

Windows 7 HomePremium 64bit
 
 

No expert on this, but from what I remember reading somewhere in the past...

SSD attached via SATA should be run in AHCI mode, otherwise there can be troubles when booting OS (Windows).
Anyway, on my motherboard (Asus H170PRO), if SATA controller is enabled in BIOS, controller can only be set to AHCI or RAID. According to Asus manual: "AHCI.. ..enables SATA features that increases storage performance on random workloads by allowing the drive to internally optimize the order of commands."
-IMO, it's not (only) about benchmarked speed.. it's about using SSD's full potential.
As far I remember, I never needed to set SSD to AHCI mode after installing Windows7. I assume Win7 recognizes it's in AHCI mode.. hopefully :)
Just my 2c
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2018   #8
Ballyshannon

Win 7 Pro SP1 64 bit
 
 

Megahertz07... Thanks, I've been considering that and may give it a try when I have time since I can always re-clone the Crucial from the Samsung if for some reason things go awry with the IDE-AHCI change. If/when I decide to try it, I'll let you know how it turns out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2018   #9
Ballyshannon

Win 7 Pro SP1 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by BogdanH View Post
No expert on this, but from what I remember reading somewhere in the past...

SSD attached via SATA should be run in AHCI mode, otherwise there can be troubles when booting OS (Windows).
Anyway, on my motherboard (Asus H170PRO), if SATA controller is enabled in BIOS, controller can only be set to AHCI or RAID. According to Asus manual: "AHCI.. ..enables SATA features that increases storage performance on random workloads by allowing the drive to internally optimize the order of commands."
-IMO, it's not (only) about benchmarked speed.. it's about using SSD's full potential.
As far I remember, I never needed to set SSD to AHCI mode after installing Windows7. I assume Win7 recognizes it's in AHCI mode.. hopefully :)
Just my 2c
Until just recently purchasing the Samsung and cloning it from the Crucial in order to have a complete mirrored backup, I've used the Crucial daily in my graphic design business for the past year running SATA II in IDE, without any issues on bootup, which is extremely quick. It's been very reliable and as I said, my system is running extremely fast in everyday use on all levels with either SSD. However, as I told Megahertz07, since I now have two equal drives with the same config, when I have time, I may try switching one of the two SSDs to AHCI and compare just to satisfy my own curiosity.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Jan 2018   #10
Ballyshannon

Win 7 Pro SP1 64 bit
 
 

BTW, I want to thank everyone for your input.
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 SSD: switching from IDE to AHCI...real world differences?




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