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AHCI vs IDE - I Need to Decide Now

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Old 05-13-08, 11:50 AM Thread Starter   #1
RhoXS
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AHCI vs IDE - I Need to Decide Now


Later today I am going to to do a clean install of Windows XP.

I do not know if I should use an AHCI interface or stay with IDE. I have seen pros and cons for both and many of the articles I read contradict one another. I already made up the AHCI install floppy so it is just a matter of a decision which way to go.

At this time I am leaning toward IDE because I perceive that there will be no noticeable speed difference but I am not sure this is the right decision. I would certainly appreciate some additional thoughts about the best choice to make.

My system consists of a 750 GB 'C' drive, a 160 GB drive for miscellaneous data, two DVD optical drives, and a third hard drive in a removable tray that is normally only installed when I am making a GHOST clone for backup purposes. All are SATA drives. I have no PATA devices.

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Old 05-13-08, 12:26 PM   #2
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Since you 're going with XP, I would suggest the IDE route.

From the benchmarks I've seen, AHCI doesn't make any noticeable difference. Actually some benchmark scores are slightly lower with AHCI, probably because XP doesnt support it natively.

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Old 05-13-08, 12:56 PM   #3
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If you run ide mode you'll lose ncq, and potentially have your burst limited to 100 or 133 because of that being the dma100 or 133 limit. The limit depends on the chipset though, not all boards will do that.

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Old 05-13-08, 02:49 PM   #4
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I still get ~190MB/s burst with my drives in IDE mode (Darn XP won't accept ANY of the SATA drivers from floppy, AHCI, SATA, RAID, or otherwise) but obviously my board is a different chipset that OP's...

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Old 05-13-08, 06:19 PM   #5
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You would also lose hot-swap capability in IDE mode, if that is important to you. Biggest drawback to AHCI mode, in my opinion, is that it can make it difficult to move the install to a new motherboard without having to reinstall windows.

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Old 05-13-08, 06:30 PM   #6
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There won't be any significant difference between ahci or ide in terms of performance. For xp, ide mode equals easy install.

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Old 05-14-08, 08:16 AM Thread Starter   #7
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Thanks for all the responses.

Hot swapping is of no importance to me. My primary motivation for considering AHCI was for a possible performance gain. Since the overwhelming opinion appears to be that there would be no significant performance gain, I installed using IDE.

Thanks again for all the advice.

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