AHCI for Raptor?

I did quite a bit of research this weekend on my DS3 board and its bios settings. During my research I read that the SATA ports I plugged the drive and subsequently installed Win XP on does not support AHCI and stuff like NCQ. I also found out I needed to connect the HD to the purple connectors and somehow manually install the JMicron driver when installing windows. From what I gathered you cannot simply switch from IDE or whatever its called mode over to AHCI. In any case, is there enough performance difference to warrant reinstalling my OS? I finally got everthing over to my new PC and would prefer not to go though this long process again. But if its worth it, I will. Let me know.
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  1. The AHCI hdd function on your mobo would be the preferred setting. I currently have an ABIT AB9, and AHCI will allow the "Hot Swap" feature for your hdd's. This setting will also help to maximize your transfer speed as well. You will most likely have to utilize the JMICRON controller to do this. Your motherboard should have included an JMICRON Sata Raid/AHCI diskette.

    Before installing the OS to your system, make sure that you have the jmicron controller setting at AHCI, and your hdd is plugged into the "purple sata port", then begin installing your OS to the selected hdd. You will be prompted to hit F6 during the installation if you wish to install a raid/ahci driver - do so. Eventually you will be asked to insert the driver diskette and Windows will load these drivers along with the installation of the operating system. This should prompt a choice window where you can select raid or ahci drivers. Select the appropriate drivers. When you have finished the OS install this will allow the AHCI function with your hdd's.

    With most bios and operating systems, once you have selected between IDE/AHCI or RAID is not recommended that you switch between these settings after the fact. And yes, if you do not plan a raid config., an AHCI setup is better than an IDE setup. Hope this helps.
  2. I have read various posts but its always hard finding one that pertains to your unique situation. I have already installed Win XP using "ide" but like you have indicated and confirmed, AHCI would be a better option, however I am not thrilled at the idea of reinstalling Windows. I don't suppose it would be as simple as switching the SATA cable to the purple connection then enabling AHCI in the bios? I tried that last night, and it worked 8O but I was afraid that it might corrupt the HDD so I put the connection back on the orange connector. One odd thing I noticed when I using AHCI, an unknown PCI device appreared in the device manager. People say that its asking for the Intel driver, but ICH8 doesn't *offically* support AHCI. There is a hacked inf file that will enable it, but why do all that when JMicron supports all that. I just need a way to switch over without reinstalling or currupting my HDD.

    Possible? Or is life not that easy :)
  3. Sorry, but you if you do not have the proper drivers installed during the initial OS setup, you cannot "switch" between the various modes, i.e., AHCI/IDE/RAID.

    If you attempt to change the bios setting for hdd config., from say; IDE to AHCI without AHCI drivers installed, it will wreak havoc on your system, and potentially cause harm to your hdd's.

    Quite a dilemma, you want the optimal performance but you have too debate if it's worth it to reinstall your OS. If the current IDE setup (mobo) has a sata transfer rate of 3.0 and your hdd's support that transfer speed, maybe you should just leave well enough alone.
  4. First, the Intel ICH6, 7, and 8 south bridges all support AHCI. The Intel Storage Controller drivers use Intel's AHCI driver when the controller is in AHCI mode.

    If your Windows installation doesn't have the Intel Storage Controller drivers installed, and you switch the controller from IDE to AHCI mode (and that is your boot controller), you will get a STOP 0x0000007B error (INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE) blue screen on startup. But the data on the hard drive will not suffer any damage. If you put the controller back to IDE mode, all will be well.

    If you want to switch drivers for the storage controller from IDE to AHCI without reinstalling Windows, you can follow the procedure at the top of the forum, Switching Storage Controllers without Reinstalling Windows.

    Your motherboard has a JMicron controller which you probably already have drivers installed for, and your hard drive is SATA which will work on both controllers, so you don't need to use the portions of the procedure involved with using another hard drive or copying the partition. You'll just install the JMicron drivers if they're not installed already, move the HD to the JMicron controller, verify it starts up into Windows, change the ICH8 mode to AHCI, install Intel Storage Manager drivers, switch the hard drive over to the ICH8, and start up and verify it works.
  5. Well its interesting becuase I installed the JMicron drivers from Windows XP. So the drivers are there, thats why when I switched to the JMicron ports and changed in the bios to AHCI, I was able to boot up just fine. I am just worried about a looming crash since everything I read says you have to install the drivers before installing XP.

    Another point to note from various benchmarks I found indicate that for the average desktop single-user, switching to NCQ actually degrades performance. Some users indicate they see no performance difference. However, other users report the difference is like night and day. So I am really torn here. If it can be done without reinstalling the OS then I will, otherwise I'll probaly leave it alone. Although that unknown will always bug me.

    In any case, I have the question into Gigabyte's support system, hopefully they come back with something useful.
  6. The Intel drivers do not work on ICH8, you needed a couple of modded files to make it work.

    http://sniping.org/2007/03/09/ichicanery8/

    But the thing is, the JMicron ports support all that stuff already so why switch back to the ICH8, why not use the JMicron ports?
  7. Yes, as you've discovered, the plain ICH8 needs the modified files. The driver file (iastor.sys) is the same, its just that the new iaahci.inf and txtsetup.oem files have been slightly modified to recognize the different PCI Device/Vendor ID numbers from the ICH8 in addition to the ICH8R.

    However, the AHCI mode works the same, and the procedure given will allow you to switch properly. As long as the drivers are installed before you switch the drive to the ICH8 SATA port, then there should be no problem.

    One reason that you may want to use the ICH8 ports instead of the JMicron ports is that the ICH8 soutch bridge is directly connected to the north bridge chip with a high-bandwidth chip interconnection as opposed to the JMicron controller which is probably connected to the rest of the system via the PCI bus. Having the hard drive on the ICH8 will leave more PCI bandwidth available for other PCI peripherals, especially if you have some that are themselves high bandwidth (Video editing card, pro sound card, etc.)

    One problem that you may run into is that with the modified iaahci.inf file, you might have to use the iastor.sys and asosciated files that you can get on the floppy made for F6 installs as opposed to the Windows .exe installer. Since the Windows .exe installer is self-extracting, there is no opportunity to replace its standard iaahci.inf file with the modified one. I believe the page you referred to that is hosting the modified files has a procedure that you can follow to install the drivers.
  8. Yes, I have to agree with robucf4. Just use the JMICRON Controller. I am not sure what the consequence of installing the controller drivers from your desktop would be, so I can't in good conscience recommend that you use AHCI mode with this type of install.

    If you decide to do this, make sure that you have switched your hdd's connected to the Intel sata ports to the ports that are controlled by the JMICRON controller! Good Luck!
  9. Quote:
    I did quite a bit of research this weekend on my DS3 board and its bios settings. During my research I read that the SATA ports I plugged the drive and subsequently installed Win XP on does not support AHCI and stuff like NCQ. I also found out I needed to connect the HD to the purple connectors and somehow manually install the JMicron driver when installing windows. From what I gathered you cannot simply switch from IDE or whatever its called mode over to AHCI. In any case, is there enough performance difference to warrant reinstalling my OS? I finally got everthing over to my new PC and would prefer not to go though this long process again. But if its worth it, I will. Let me know.


    different hdd will make different performance when using ahci mode with ncq enabled.

    here's mine:

    hardware test setup:
    intel core 2 duo e6600
    asus p5b deluxe wifi-ap
    supertalent t667ub1gc 2x1gb
    leadtek winfast px8800 gts tdh 320mb
    seagate barracuda 7200.10 2x320gb

    hdd read suite test with IDE mode from everest ultimate edition v400:


    hdd read suite test with AHCI mode from everest ultimate edition v400:


    hdd suite test IDE vs AHCI from pcmark05 v120:


    hope this may help you out! :twisted:
  10. Corporate lan blocked your images, but I assume by your :twisted: that there was a big difference?

    Since this board has 2 controllers it should make it easy to install the AHCI drivers for ICH8. I will try it tonight. Worst case, I have to reinstall Windows.

    Thanks for all the replies guys, this is such a great forum for info.
  11. Before reading this thread, I thought I was running in ACHI mode, but perhaps not. I'm using an MSI P965 Platinum.

    I set the bios to ACHI mode, and I have all SATA devices (including DVD burner) so I didn't bother installing the JCMicron drivers for the IDE channel, nor did I do the F6 diskette nonsense. My three sata devices show up in bios, and appear to work just fine in Windows. Occationally I get this weird 20 second lockups that don't make sense, but I have little reason to blame that on a controller driver.

    So am I in ACHI mode or not?
  12. If you are using WinXP then your not, as it does not have AHCI drivers on the CD, thats why you have to do the F6 and manually install them. As you can see by this thread this is new to me as well so I might be way off. I am not sure how you were able to install Windows when it did not have the device drivers for the controller...
  13. I'm using Vista. What's the fun of computing without crashes, instability, and weird bugs? ;)
  14. Quote:
    Corporate lan blocked your images, but I assume by your :twisted: that there was a big difference?

    Since this board has 2 controllers it should make it easy to install the AHCI drivers for ICH8. I will try it tonight. Worst case, I have to reinstall Windows.

    Thanks for all the replies guys, this is such a great forum for info.


    with my hardware test setup and through pcmark05 hdd benchmark test, there's only 5.26% of total average gain by using ahci mode.

    ahci mode gain compared to ide mode:
    xp start up: 11.59%
    application loading: 11.46%
    general usage: 12.05%
    virus scan: -10.39%
    file write: 1.62%

    is 5% worth for you to do the hassle? :D

    oh yeah, i've noticed there's a huge system responsiveness gain in windows vista after running in ahci mode, but compared to xp, i can't tell the difference if i don't hdd benchmark.
  15. Quote:
    I'm using Vista. What's the fun of computing without crashes, instability, and weird bugs? ;)


    Then ur all good, Vista has the drivers, or so I have read.

    @chrone: meh, expermenting is fun unless u crash ur OS and have to reinstall :D
  16. Quote:
    I'm using Vista. What's the fun of computing without crashes, instability, and weird bugs? ;)


    Then ur all good, Vista has the drivers, or so I have read.

    @chrone: meh, expermenting is fun unless u crash ur OS and have to reinstall :D

    yes, you're right, vista has a generic ahci driver. but it is also possible to load the driver first from floppy, flash drive, or cd before the formatting.

    i also used the jmicron controller set to IDE and plug my current OS to it, set the ICH8R to AHCI, run the system, install intel matrix storage, restart, set back the OS back to ICH8R and voila.. i can run both ide and ahci mode now :D no need to reinstall thanks to both controllers.

    so good luck, eh? :)
  17. Quote:
    I'm using Vista. What's the fun of computing without crashes, instability, and weird bugs? ;)


    Then ur all good, Vista has the drivers, or so I have read.

    @chrone: meh, expermenting is fun unless u crash ur OS and have to reinstall :D

    yes, you're right, vista has a generic ahci driver. but it is also possible to load the driver first from floppy, flash drive, or cd before the formatting.

    i also used the jmicron controller set to IDE and plug my current OS to it, set the ICH8R to AHCI, run the system, install intel matrix storage, restart, set back the OS back to ICH8R and voila.. i can run both ide and ahci mode now :D no need to reinstall thanks to both controllers.

    so good luck, eh? :)

    I did the same thing last night, sucks that Intel will not release offical drivers for ICH8, but with hacked inf files I am in same boat, AHCI and IDE! :D I just did it to try it, but as others have reported I see no major improvements in performance, but it is the newest tech, so it have to be good for something <-- see how I justify things :)

    If anyone wants to know how, let me know or read the links I posted, trick is you have to have 2 controllers to make it easy, otherwise you have to do the F-6 preinstall.

    Cheers and thanks for all the responses.
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