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Intel storage controller driver

Last response: in Storage
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February 9, 2012 3:46:30 PM

Hi

I have a question which I have been pondering about. I have an OCZ Vertex 3 SSD and using an Intel P67 based motherboard. Everything is working perfectly. My question is more for educational purposes.

When installing a new SSD into a system, I have read that the storage controller mode needs to be set to AHCI (NOT IDE/legacy or RAID) - correct me if I am wrong here?

Further to this, once one has installed the OS one would start with drivers as usual. This includes chipset driver's and so forth... Now on Vista & Windows 7, the OS uses the Microsoft generic AHCI driver (Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller) for the storage controller. This generic driver will be updated once Intel's latest chipset drivers are installed (e.g. Intel ICHXX/XX/XX X Port SATA AHCI Controller - XXXX, where "X" will be different depending on your storage controller).

One also has the option to install Intel's RST (Rapid Storage Technology) driver & application. This driver usually updates or replaces the generic windows driver (if any) or even the Intel chipset driver as mentioned above.

Now, this is where my actual question comes in.... whats the difference between Intel's AHCI driver loaded via the chipset driver setup and the one used by the Intel RST setup? Furthermore, which one should one use and why?
a c 542 G Storage
a b å Intel
February 9, 2012 4:17:36 PM

ctv said:
This generic driver will be updated once Intel's latest chipset drivers are installed (e.g. Intel ICHXX/XX/XX X Port SATA AHCI Controller - XXXX, where "X" will be different depending on your storage controller).


Sorry, but that's incorrect. No drivers are installed during Intel chipset software installation, just Windows .inf files.

This is a section I copied from the "Read Me" file:


************************************************************
* 1. OVERVIEW
************************************************************
The Intel(R) Chipset Device Software installs Windows*
INF files to the target system. These files outline to
the operating system how to configure the Intel(R) chipset
components in order to ensure that the following features
function properly:

- Core PCI and ISAPNP Services
- PCIe Support
- IDE/ATA33/ATA66/ATA100 Storage Support
- SATA Storage Support
- USB Support
- Identification of Intel(R) Chipset Components in
the Device Manager said:
************************************************************
* 1. OVERVIEW
************************************************************
The Intel(R) Chipset Device Software installs Windows*
INF files to the target system. These files outline to
the operating system how to configure the Intel(R) chipset
components in order to ensure that the following features
function properly:

- Core PCI and ISAPNP Services
- PCIe Support
- IDE/ATA33/ATA66/ATA100 Storage Support
- SATA Storage Support
- USB Support
- Identification of Intel(R) Chipset Components in
the Device Manager



Here’s the link to Intel’s chipset download page if you wish to read the entire "Read Me" file: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&...
February 10, 2012 3:52:14 AM

Dereck47 said:
Sorry, but that's incorrect. No drivers are installed during Intel chipset software installation, just Windows .inf files.

This is a section I copied from the "Read Me" file:





Here’s the link to Intel’s chipset download page if you wish to read the entire "Read Me" file: http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&...


If no AHCI controller are installed during the chipset installtion, then why does the storage controller driver change from "Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller" (from Microsoft), to "Intel ICHXX/XX/XX X Port SATA AHCI Controller - XXXX" (from Intel)?

I can confirm this as I have seen this on more than one system when loading chipset drivers.
Related resources
a c 542 G Storage
a b å Intel
February 10, 2012 7:47:11 AM

I stand corrected, you're right.

I downloaded the chipset .zip file from the link I provided and extracted it. One of the folders had Windows .inf files for AHCI devices. I guess this is what they are referring to in the Read Me file as "SATA Storage Support".

This is from the Read Me file of Intel's RST drivers:

************************************************************
* 1. OVERVIEW
************************************************************
Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology is designed to provide
functionality for the following Storage Controllers:
RAID Controllers:
- Intel(R) Desktop/Workstation/Server Express Chipset SATA RAID Controller
- Intel(R) Mobile Express Chipset SATA RAID Controller
- Intel(R) ICH7MDH SATA RAID Controller
- Intel(R) ICH7R/DH SATA RAID Controller

AHCI Controllers:
- Intel(R) Desktop/Workstation/Server Express Chipset SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) Mobile Express Chipset SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) 5 Series/3400 Series SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) 5 Series 4 Port SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) 5 Series 6 Port SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) ICH10D/DO SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) ICH10R SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) EP80579 SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) ICH9M-E/M SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) ICH9R/DO/DH SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) ICH7M/MDH SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) ICH7R/DH SATA AHCI Controller said:
************************************************************
* 1. OVERVIEW
************************************************************
Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology is designed to provide
functionality for the following Storage Controllers:
RAID Controllers:
- Intel(R) Desktop/Workstation/Server Express Chipset SATA RAID Controller
- Intel(R) Mobile Express Chipset SATA RAID Controller
- Intel(R) ICH7MDH SATA RAID Controller
- Intel(R) ICH7R/DH SATA RAID Controller

AHCI Controllers:
- Intel(R) Desktop/Workstation/Server Express Chipset SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) Mobile Express Chipset SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) 5 Series/3400 Series SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) 5 Series 4 Port SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) 5 Series 6 Port SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) ICH10D/DO SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) ICH10R SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) EP80579 SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) ICH9M-E/M SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) ICH9R/DO/DH SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) ICH7M/MDH SATA AHCI Controller
- Intel(R) ICH7R/DH SATA AHCI Controller



It appears from comparing the 2 Read Me files that the AHCI drivers installed during chipset installation are basic/generic, designed to work with all SATA AHCI controllers (similar to Microsoft's); and that the AHCI drivers installed from RST are specifically for Intel SATA AHCI Controllers, and most likely will provide enhanced performance.

So with your P67 motherboard you should install the Intel RST drivers after installing the chipset drivers.
March 5, 2013 12:11:23 PM

ctv said:
If no AHCI controller are installed during the chipset installtion, then why does the storage controller driver change from "Standard AHCI 1.0 Serial ATA Controller" (from Microsoft), to "Intel ICHXX/XX/XX X Port SATA AHCI Controller - XXXX" (from Intel)?

I can confirm this as I have seen this on more than one system when loading chipset drivers.


I actually noticed the same thing. However, if you go into "Driver details", you'll see that the actual driver files are the same as before.
!