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Should I enable AHCI on my new build? It is set as IDE.

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June 23, 2012 9:24:00 PM

I have more questions about my new build which was completed this last Thursday. Anyhow, every time I start the system, the BIOS is reminding me something about AHCI. I looked it up on the Net, and I see that it is a new controller interface or AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface). Anyhow, my system is working just fine, but I wonder if I should change the BIOS settings to AHCI instead of IDE for Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. By the way, this is my PC specs:

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K
HEAT-SINK: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 LGA 1155
RAM: Corsair 16 GB Vengeance Blue
Low Profile 1600mhz PC3-12800 240-pin
DVD Burner: Sony Optiarc 24X DVD Burner
GPU: XFX Double D HD-687A-ZDFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
CASE: Corsair Obsidian 650D
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200 1 TB 7200RPM SATA 6 Gb/s (Model ST1000DM003)
SSD: Crucial 128 GB m4 2.5-Inch SSD SATA 6Gb/s CT128M4SSD2
MONITOR: ViewSonic VX2250WM-LED 22-Inch
OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit [system build]

Note that this is my first PC build ever. Please, let me know if you need pictures of my BIOS and if I can make this change without affecting Windows 7 or my SSD or HDD. Thanks.

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a b B Homebuilt system
June 23, 2012 9:32:53 PM

Yes, you should always set it to AHCI or RAID (which also enables AHCI) unless you are running Windows XP or earlier.

Just a note: if Windows was installed in IDE mode you will have to reinstall the operating system. There are a couple of registry and driver workarounds which can switch it into AHCI mode without reinstalling but they are hit and miss
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 23, 2012 10:34:19 PM

Unless you have a SSD switching to AHCI mode from IDE mode makes not much difference in practice, even though AHCI has NCQ I was disappointed in the improvement it made on my computer when I switched over. Of course as this is a new build you should make the effort and install Windows in AHCI mode only don't expect it to make much difference, but every little helps.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2012 12:54:43 AM

AHCI isn't so much about speed as power and security. It is actually quite important and should never be set to IDE mode unless some compatibility issue forces your hand:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Host_Controller_I...

Some people have issues if not set to AHCI mode at the time Windows Vista/7 is installed. The above Wikipedia site discusses this, though if you have the issue you may need to Google for more specifics.

*Short answer:
Switch to AHCI mode. If no issues arise you are done.
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June 24, 2012 1:02:38 AM

Pinhedd said:
Yes, you should always set it to AHCI or RAID (which also enables AHCI) unless you are running Windows XP or earlier.

Just a note: if Windows was installed in IDE mode you will have to reinstall the operating system. There are a couple of registry and driver workarounds which can switch it into AHCI mode without reinstalling but they are hit and miss


This is exactly what I did after looking aroud on the Net. By the way, I did look at my laptop BIOS, a toshiba, which is only about 8 months old, and the hybrid ssd/hdd is set to AHCI from the factory. It took me awhile to reinstall Windows again and have it working before I found out about this AHCI thing. Anyhow, I hope I don't find any other issues where I have to reinstall the whole Windows again. Thanks.
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June 24, 2012 1:03:24 AM

Best answer selected by orestesdd.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 24, 2012 2:02:47 AM

orestesdd said:
This is exactly what I did after looking aroud on the Net. By the way, I did look at my laptop BIOS, a toshiba, which is only about 8 months old, and the hybrid ssd/hdd is set to AHCI from the factory. It took me awhile to reinstall Windows again and have it working before I found out about this AHCI thing. Anyhow, I hope I don't find any other issues where I have to reinstall the whole Windows again. Thanks.


That can happen when a machine has multiple storage controllers (such as the chipset RAID and an add in JMicron or ASMedia storage controller). Each one can be set to a different interface but all should be set to AHCI when possible. The most important one to have set to AHCI is the onboard Intel controller to which any software controlled SSD should be attached. Some machines have hardware controlled SSDs which act as disk caches. This makes AHCI not strictly necessary but still recommended.
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June 24, 2012 4:25:28 PM

Pinhedd said:
That can happen when a machine has multiple storage controllers (such as the chipset RAID and an add in JMicron or ASMedia storage controller). Each one can be set to a different interface but all should be set to AHCI when possible. The most important one to have set to AHCI is the onboard Intel controller to which any software controlled SSD should be attached. Some machines have hardware controlled SSDs which act as disk caches. This makes AHCI not strictly necessary but still recommended.


Thank you for your inside. I see I have much to learn.
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