scott_t3

Please advise re: necessity of AHCI mode in P35 Build

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First off, I am going to be using a Gigabyte P35 DS3L with a WD Raptor 150. I searched and couldn't find a definitive answer to the following question

This board sports the ICH9. Intel does not officially support AHCI on the ICH9 chipset, however through some research it has become apparent that this is indeed possible, through modifying the iastor file or something like that.

Now this is where my question comes in: is there any appreciable benefit, performance-wise to, using AHCI over the native "ide-mode"?? I know that NCQ/TCQ actually hurt single user performance and I don't need hot swapping function. I also understand AHCI offers staggered spinup... I will have a few other drives connected via sata. Is this feature just to reduce the impact of the increased power draw on the PSU during spinup? I have a solid PSU and this doesn't really worry me (corsair 620HX). However if this staggered spinup feature has other benefits please let me know. Will AHCI alone, increase performance? If not I don't want to bother with F6, and rather do it native. I just want to make sure that the "easy" way is also the best way, as from my experience this is not always the case.

Summary: I dont want/need NCQ. I don't want/need Hot swap. Staggered spinup may be useful, but don't know enough about it. I just want to know if AHCI will free any more performance up that I won't see if I use the native IDE mode.

Please let me know, HD experts =D I look forward to your replies and any further questions you guys may have to answer me!

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Intel does not officially support AHCI on the ICH9 chipset

I think that answers the question...

It's doubtful that runnign AHCI drivers vs native IDE drivers will bring any performance benefits, just additional features, which from what I understand you don't need...

As you mention staggered spin up, is only useful during startup... So wouldn't that be a function of the BIOS and not the OS?

But, if it were me, I'd just run the native IDE setup and know that my setup is a supported configuration... (Trust me, those data integrity issues caused by a non-standard/non-supported setup can be a royal PITA).

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Intel® I/O Controller Hub (Intel® ICH9/R/DH)

The Intel® ICH9 I/O controller hub of the Intel P35 Express Chipset integrates several capabilities to provide flexibility

for connecting I/O devices.

• Intel® Matrix Storage Technology3 (when configured with ICH9R I/O controller): Native support of external SATA*

ports (eSATA), combined with Intel® Matrix Storage Technology (Intel® MST), provides the flexibility to add an external drive for increased data storage with up to 6 times faster performance

than USB* 2.0 or Firewire* 400.4 Support for eSATA enables the full SATA interface speed of up to 3 Gb/s outside the chassis. The Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) provides easier expandability with support for eSATA devices and native hot plug, while boosting boot and multi-tasking performance with Native Command Queuing (NCQ). In addition, support for Command Based Port Multipliers, and RAID levels 0, 1, 5, and 10 enable greater reliability for personal data, or maximum storage performance for intensive applications.

This is a PDF directly from intel. http://download.intel.com/products/chipsets/P35/317304.pdf Here is the link to that PDF. I am using AHCI on my XP 64 Corp // P35 chipset and it seems to be working pretty well for me so far. Have a good read, and good luck!

Gary

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It does work if you manage to get the latest drivers etc.

I run a Raptor and several Samsungs on ICH9R on an ASUS motherboard. It wouldn't even boot in RAID or AHCI mode. I tried all workarounds I could find but in the end, the only thing that worked was to get the latest drivers from Intel. However, they wouldn't install unless the system was in AHCI mode, in which it wouldn't boot.

...

Luckily, my MB has a Jmicron chipset used for the e-SATA ports.

So, I got a e-SATA > SATA adapter cable, put the system in AHCI mode, booted from JMicron, updated Intel drivers and ... then it worked flawlessly. Now I boot from my single RAPTOR on ICH9R, the system is in RAID mode, I run both RAID0 and RAID1 in Matrix with my Samsungs and performance is good.

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I have the same motherboard and drive. I could not even get the thing to boot in AHCI. After fiddling for a bit I realized that just running the thing in native mode, getting it up and running and doing actual work with it was more important than spending time trying to deal with drivers and other issues.

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I have the DFI Bloodiron board. What I did was flash to the latest bios, then turn on AHCI mode in bios. Insert Win XP Corp 64 disk with the latest floppy drivers from intel in hand and away we went. No pain, no muss, fuss, or drama. It just works for me. Sorry to hear about all the problems.

Gary

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I have the DFI Bloodiron board.
I run a Raptor and several Samsungs on ICH9R on an ASUS motherboard.

Both of these boards feature the ICH9R controller. My board is a budget model with the plain ICH9. Some people mod the ICH9R drivers to fool the system b/c apparently AHCI can work with ICH9, but Intel wants to reserve this feature for the more expensive ICH9R. I think I am going to forgo this due to the points phoenix and chewy bring up.

Oh and the board arrived BROKEN. The NB heatsink was broken free and damaged the NB chip and bent some (solid) capacitors. I pushed one with my finger to test and found they are very resistant to bending, so they heatsink must have been flying around smashing things pretty badly. RMAed it and shipped the next day, and now they wont be getting it until the 24th, and earliest I could get it back is the 29 or 30. This sucks as I originally received it the 17th. I am trying to convicne them now to overnight or 2 day ship it back so I have it before the weekend of the 27th...wish me luck :blink:

Edited by scott_t3

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I have the DFI Bloodiron board.
I run a Raptor and several Samsungs on ICH9R on an ASUS motherboard.

Both of these boards feature the ICH9R controller. My board is a budget model with the plain ICH9. Some people mod the ICH9R drivers to fool the system b/c apparently AHCI can work with ICH9, but Intel wants to reserve this feature for the more expensive ICH9R. I think I am going to forgo this due to the points phoenix and chewy bring up.

Oh and the board arrived BROKEN. The NB heatsink was broken free and damaged the NB chip and bent some (solid) capacitors. I pushed one with my finger to test and found they are very resistant to bending, so they heatsink must have been flying around smashing things pretty badly. RMAed it and shipped the next day, and now they wont be getting it until the 24th, and earliest I could get it back is the 29 or 30. This sucks as I originally received it the 17th. I am trying to convicne them now to overnight or 2 day ship it back so I have it before the weekend of the 27th...wish me luck :blink:

I have 12 10,000 RPM drives on a 650 watt and another 8 drives on a 650 watt in another box, no staggered spinup, never had a problem with the PSU.

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I have the DFI Bloodiron board.
I run a Raptor and several Samsungs on ICH9R on an ASUS motherboard.

Both of these boards feature the ICH9R controller. My board is a budget model with the plain ICH9. Some people mod the ICH9R drivers to fool the system b/c apparently AHCI can work with ICH9, but Intel wants to reserve this feature for the more expensive ICH9R. I think I am going to forgo this due to the points phoenix and chewy bring up.

Oh and the board arrived BROKEN. The NB heatsink was broken free and damaged the NB chip and bent some (solid) capacitors. I pushed one with my finger to test and found they are very resistant to bending, so they heatsink must have been flying around smashing things pretty badly. RMAed it and shipped the next day, and now they wont be getting it until the 24th, and earliest I could get it back is the 29 or 30. This sucks as I originally received it the 17th. I am trying to convicne them now to overnight or 2 day ship it back so I have it before the weekend of the 27th...wish me luck :blink:

I have 12 10,000 RPM drives on a 650 watt and another 8 drives on a 650 watt in another box, no staggered spinup, never had a problem with the PSU.

Thanks for dropping info : )

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Summary: I dont want/need NCQ. I don't want/need Hot swap. Staggered spinup may be useful, but don't know enough about it. I just want to know if AHCI will free any more performance

no it will not

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Summary: I dont want/need NCQ. I don't want/need Hot swap. Staggered spinup may be useful, but don't know enough about it. I just want to know if AHCI will free any more performance

no it will not

For those who could not get AHCI enabled... are you saying that after booting a clean install, and pressing F6 to install the raid/AHCI drivers, you could NOT find any disks?

My experience is that there was always a "compatability mode" and a "AHCI" which probably doesn't have any speed benefit, just features... We could always turn the machine into compatability mode in the bios, and install an OS without any extra drivers, but if you wanted the AHCI support, you had to do a clean install with F6 + Floppy disk OEM.inf file... Is this an incorrect assumption?

This isn't talking about the ICH9 people, just the ICH9R people...

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