So, I am using an SSD as my OS drive. I am running Windows 7 and using the ACHI controller. My SSD is a new Kingston V+ series, which supposedly supports NCQ. However, when I run Crystal Disk Info, NCQ is greyed out on the 'Supported Features' area for the drive. I assume that means it is not working on the drive, but I'm not sure; the documentation for Crystal Disk Info is not very good.
Does anybody know of any way to verify whether NCQ is working on the drive? Or, can anybody suggest how to turn it on if this means it is not running? Thanks in advance.
Kingston V+series use Indilinx controller i think, but the Kingston V-series use Intel controller which is much better. The Intel controller uses NCQ as command buffering. Your SSD may not support that.
But, you should check first whether you are really using AHCI; as set in the BIOS. If set to IDE or SATA it would disable NCQ and thus SSDs wont be able to use it.
I am using ACHI in my BIOS. I figured out that the new Kingston V+ 325 series uses the Toshiba T6UG1XBG controller, but I have not been able to find any utilities for that one. Oh, well. I'll just keep looking for updates and not worry about it. Performance seems good now.
You can detect the succesful use of NCQ by benchmarking your SSD with a utility that employs multiple queue depth, such as the CrystalDiskMark utility (newer versions). The 4K Q32 scores should be (much) higher than the normal 4K scores. If they are about the same, NCQ is not working properly or your SSD doesn't use NCQ and is slow and old.
Another utility is AS SSD.
By the way, the "Toshiba" controller is a laser-etched JMicron controller. But as JMicron got such a bad name for their "stuttering" SSDs; they re-lasered the chips so it could get a different name and obfuscate the fact that it's actually a JMicron-powered SSD. That's how industry works.
If they are about the same, NCQ is not working properly or your SSD doesn't use NCQ and is slow and old.
Hey! Stop making fun of my SSD!
Regardless of whether it supports NCQ, it is much faster than my HDD. 'Instant-on' apps and fast game load times is what I bought it for and it has delivered. Still, I should benchmark it. It would be interesting to see if there is some way to squeeze a little more performance out of it.
Actually, i think even JMicron supports NCQ. If NCQ is greyed out on your system, perhaps you connected the SSD to a different controller on the motherboard. Do the SATA ports have any different colours? This may indicate you're running multiple controllers instead. Are you sure the Serial ATA controller is set to AHCI in the BIOS?
I thought it did too, and although I have seen a review that claimed it did, the Kingston marketing materials are suspicously silent about NCQ. I am positive the SSD is on the primary controller (I've disabled the others for a faster boot-up) and positive it is set to AHCI in the BIOS. I'll probably run the benchmarks this weekend to see what kind of performance I am getting. For all I know, the problem could be in Crystal Disk Info (though that is probably unlikely).
I have some news about the JMicron JMF-602 chip, found in a PDF on the OCZ site:
AHCI is not official supported on OCZ SSDs and may under some circumstances affect performance,
specifically during windows installation. Enabling AHCI can result in higher performance in synthetic
benchmarks for SSDs and HDDs alike, but can cause hang-ups and intermittent freezes in SSDs since it
allows multiple access requests to compete for a drive that is not made to address re-ordering of
commands in the queue. We recommend AHCI is set to disabled in both Windows and in the BIOS.
Native Command Queuing greatly increases the performance of standard rotational drives but it has no
bearing on SSDs.
So it doesn't do NCQ; it cannot process more than one I/O at a time; that makes it a quite bad SSD. The last statement of NCQ having no performance effect on SSD is also hilarious. Although NCQ certainly was made for another purpose, modern SSDs use the feature gracefully to allow much higher random I/O performance and fully saturate multiple flash channels. Without it, the SSD simply cannot receive I/O instructions fast enough and random I/O performance can be up to 10 times lower.
So is the consensus that ACHI (which will allow NCQ if supported by the motherboard) WILL indeed improve SSD performance although NCQ was originally for HDDs? I read on Kingston's site & confirmed w/ a tech support that their V+ Series 325 drives DO support NCQ. But, he said if the MOBO didn't you were screwed. I have an Alienware M15x Core i7 620m & have no idea what motherboard I have. There are so many posts about if my SSD even supports NCQ & if it does even if it will help. Help!