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AHCI: should I or shouldn't I?

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  • Asus
  • Motherboards
Last response: in Motherboards
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December 12, 2010 3:58:29 PM

I haven't installed my OS yet, and am now falling to the temptation to Turn On Cool Stuff in the bios on my asus p6x58d-e.

A buddy recommended looking into AHCI (although I am not using SSD, nor doing a RAID setup).

Reading about AHCI, I keep hearing horror stories (mainly, it seems, to enabling it after installing windows instead of before), and mobo compatibility issues. So, that is giving me teh fears: I always get tempted by Shiney Stuff, and end up enmired ina morass.

Given that I'm just a dude with a few harddrives, and am not a speed junkie, should I not even go down this path? Advice definitely welcome.

More about : ahci

December 12, 2010 4:31:58 PM

Heck, I kinda answered my own question. Reading around, I've become convinced that for joe billy bob like me at home, doing no raid, and no ssd, the gains from ahci are more theoretical than "hot damn, lookit that thing go!". So, no ahci for me.
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December 13, 2010 1:08:10 AM

I just installed win7 on a P7P55 ASUS.

I to am looking into this as i want a fast interface to my hard drives.

If you don't use AHCI or RAID you end up with IDE.
IDE is the slowest of the three. AHCI is not RIAD and will not support Arrays like RAID.
RAID arrays are the fastest setup by far. I am looking for some real world numbers for these.

On your Mobo CD you will find the AHCI and RAID drivers that are required during OS install. You must make a Floppy or a USB drive for the Driver you are going to use. Only one set of drivers will be loaded to the root of the USB stick as all files names are the same.
I do not know if the OS install will let you browse the stick for directory's, but i think not.

If you loaded the OS with the hard drives set to IDE or ACHI but did not use the driver disk during the OS install, then you will have the default windows HDD interface driver and you can not install the RAID drivers at this point. You can force the AHCI driver by installing them and then deleting the standard driver out device manager and rebooting. After installing them my system did not start using them without the work around above.

I am looking into changing to a RAID array so if anyone knows how to install the RAID driver and enable them after the OS is loaded please let me know. As i am not sure how i am going to do that at this time.

Rainey
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December 13, 2010 5:42:11 AM

If you are installing Win XP, AHCI may be troublesome. You have to install drivers from a floppy diskette. If you are installing Vista or Win 7, AHCI is a breeze. Vista and Win 7 come with AHCI drivers built-in. You install Windows normally. AHCI should be your choice.

If you are installing other than Windows, I have no idea.
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December 13, 2010 2:41:21 PM

AHCI benefit for personal use is mainly with eSATA hotswappable external drive. Otherwise, it won't really matter at the end of the day...
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