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Will enabling AHCI boost performance?

Matt

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I was thinking of enabling ACHI in my BIOS instead of IDE for my SATA drives. Will this give a performance boost? I tried enabling it but got a BSOD because I don't have the drivers in Vista, I'll need to get them from Asus (I have a p5q-e). Here are my current HD Tune benchmarks, incase you want to see current performance.





On another note, how come the blue line is so different on the WD drive benchmark? Is it because my OS is running off that drive at the same time as HD Tune?
 
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enaberif

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No AHCI will not give you a speed boost.

Speed boost will come from possibly enabling write cache on the drive but they don't recommend that unless you have a UPS.
 

Matt

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Thanks for the help, I'll just leave it be. I'll leave write cache off as well since I don't have a UPS, although I should probably look into getting one someday.
 

donimo

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vista BSOD's because you have to install it from scratch with AHCI installed, cant switch after install.

I tried both, all it did was add 30 seconds to the bootup time...
 

1Tanker

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Matt said:
how come the blue line is so different on the WD drive benchmark? Is it because my OS is running off that drive at the same time as HD Tune?
OS running can give less perfect results in HDD tests, but it shouldn't be that ugly(also, notice that CPU usage is still low). I test my OS drives all the time, with little interference. Has the WD been defragged lately?
 

DarKStar

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Actually the answer to your question is YES and NO. AHCI mode is native SATA as opposed to IDE emulation. It also adds support for NCQ & Hot Swapping. In certain situations NCQ can speed things up and reduce head movements on random access and multitasking applications and simultanuous access - in other situations it may slow things down also it does add some lag (higher access) - So to be honest unless you need hot swapping capability and NCQ, stay in IDE mode sine you are using it right now - drives are getting faster as it is anyways, and for your use you probably won't notice any increase or the opposite.

Also whatever you do do not disable write caching you will take a hit in performance! I do not have an UPS, never used one and have write caching enabled, never had any issues. Just keep your drive backed up. That UPS might be a good idea - the reason I am not worried is because I have a 1:1 offline backup. :)
 

Chilly

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OS running can give less perfect results in HDD tests, but it shouldn't be that ugly(also, notice that CPU usage is still low). I test my OS drives all the time, with little interference. Has the WD been defragged lately?
Yes, it can be that ugly depending on background application usage, how full your drive is, and etc. Matt, I wouldn't worry about the spikes, and as for switching to AHCI, any performance gains are not worth the effort of reinstalling/repairing windows.

For more info on the "dips" and why you shouldn't worry about them, read my posts in this thread http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/storage/12014-hdtach-3-0-my-hdds.html Long story short, benchmarks can be misleadings. :thumb:
 

Matt

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OS running can give less perfect results in HDD tests, but it shouldn't be that ugly(also, notice that CPU usage is still low). I test my OS drives all the time, with little interference. Has the WD been defragged lately?
I actually had just cloned the Seagate over to the WD so I booted from the seagate and ran HD Tune on the WD and the spikes leveled out:

 

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