Running SSD without AHCI?


First let me say that while I view myself as an advanced user when it comes to software, when it comes to hardware I'm just slightly above a beginner level, and thus I appreciate any advice you can offer. Anyway, on to the issue.

I recently decided to get an SSD to install Windows 8 on. After looking around a bit I decided to buy a Kingston HyperX 3K 120gb.

However when I started preparing myself for installing it, I noticed something I should have checked earlier - my motherboard (ASUS P5QPL-AM) has no support for AHCI, and doesn't see to have RAID support either. Thus I have a few questions:

1. Obviously I will not be able to get full speed out of it (my motherboard has SATA 2, not 3 and no AHCI/RAID), would you still say it's worth using a SSD, or will the improvement be too small?

2. Should I return this SSD and instead get a cheaper one with slower speeds, since I wont be able to use the higher ones anyway? (Though I'm planning to upgrade to a new computer in a year or so, and then it might be useful to be able to keep on using the SSD I'm buying now instead of having to buy a new one.)

3. If I decide to keep this SSD, how should I set it up for optimal performance considering my limits? Would it help if I activated software RAID support, or would that be wasted?

4. Is there anything else I can do? I think I got an unused PCI Express X1 slot, would it be worth getting a SATA 3 controller card for that?

I'm thankful for any help you can offer :)
ASUS P5QPL-AM motherboard
Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q8400 @2.66GHz
Nvidia Geforce 9800 GT
8gb Ram
3 answers Last reply
More about running ahci
  1. Hello... you can use a SSD in IDE/SATA2 mode... YOU WILL see/feel a wonderful new fast and instant data access with that SSD on older model boards... Once you try it, you will not want to return it... it is the next logical performance upgrade for your Rig.

    The only reason to return it, will be, to get a larger one, too enjoy with more programs loaded on it.
  2. Hi, first of all thanks for the quick reply.

    I'm leaning towards keeping it and running it in IDE/SATA2 mode, since from what I've seen, the PCI Express 1x1 slot only supports up to about 250MB/s data rates on my board, so getting a SATA3 card there would be a waste, unless it's purely for the TRIM and other functions.

    Just one last question then, any suggestions on how I should go about installing Win 8 on it, same as usual? And is there any settings I should modify when I got it up and running (ie: should I activate software RAID?)?

    Thanks again for you reply, and I hope you have a nice weekend :)
  3. Hello... I first plugged my INTEL into Windows7 64 and ran the Intel software tool to verify and upgrade the firmware... any later firmware update could cause all data to be lost... after that I just went through the typical DVD, new install, of Windows7 64 on mine... I also have mine connected IDE/sata2 and love the performance and instant file access.

    Because of our OLDER mother boards, all drive will have to have/use a ACHI/Raid driver... I prefered not to use that setup... as I have to work on other peoples computers/hardrives/IDE connections, etc, with that older computer motherboard... Your Windows experience number will be in the HIGH 7's, it's a RAM DRIVE !!! along time dream of computer builders.

    Windows will recognize it as an SSD, and shutoff pagefiles, temp storage, etc. on it... go though your install and report back any problems and/or questions/remarks.
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