12 Replies Latest reply on Sep 25, 2011 3:35 PM by oldsow

    AHCI Drivers for Intel 510 120 GB SSD?

    incurablegeek

      Background:

       

      1) ASUS Crosshair V Formula motherboard

      2) AMD 6-Core CPU

      3) Intel 510 120 GB SSD set up on SATA Port #1, all SATA Ports on AHCI

       

      The ASUS AHCI drivers that come with the motherboard result in my being told that my Intel SSD is RAID Configured. It is not RAID Configured.

       

      (Note: It must be the ASUS SATA drivers for the Crosshair V, as I do not have this problem on my Crosshair IV.)

       

      It is a single SSD for Win 7 64 bit and Programs.

       

      What AHCI drivers are best, then, for a single 510 SSD?

       

      Intel, MIcrosoft, ASUS - and which specifically?

       

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: AHCI Drivers for Intel 510 120 GB SSD?
          DuckieHo

          First, it's not really the ASUS AHCI driver... it's AMD's.  Intel's storage drivers will not work on that controller.

           

          In the BIOS, what SATA mode options are there?  I'm not sure but AMD may consider AHCI and RAID to be the same since AMD single storage driver supports both.  In any case, being in RAID configured should not affect performance.

           

          Generally, you want to use the specific controller's driver (AMD in this case).  I believe AMD drivers also support TRIM now as well.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: AHCI Drivers for Intel 510 120 GB SSD?
            incurablegeek

            "First, it's not really the ASUS AHCI driver... it's AMD's.  Intel's storage drivers will not work on that controller."

             

            Whoa!  This world of controllers is like a shell game:

             

            1) First, on the ASUS Crosshair IV Formula I was dealing with the dysfunctional JMicron Controller - which at Overclock.net we all decided to disable and not use that one extra SATA port.

             

            2) Then, on the ASUS Crosshair V Formula (next iteration of the Formula) we had the AsMedia controller in lieu of the JMicron. Some thought and stated rather empahatically that AsMedia was a subsidiary of ASUS, which I know it is not.

             

            One fellow said that he was using this AsMedia SATA Port (#7) for his single SSD to avoid having it labeled as a RAID Configured SSD. Such Idiocy!

             

            3) Then to avoid the RAID Configuration, which does disable some of the Intel Toolbox, I was told to use the Microsoft AHCI drivers.

             

            4) Now you are saying that AMD Drivers are the "only game in town".  Question: Why in Heaven's Name would AMD be calling the shots on an ASUS board when ASUS also makes Intel CPU motherboards as well?

             

            5) While a simple check of the Win 7 Registry and via Command Line can confirm that TRIM is enable, prefetch and superfetch disabled, etc., how the heck is anyone really to know if TRIM is actually being carried out?  I discipline myself to do things manually with the Intel Toolbox, for the same reasons that I look both ways when I cross a one-way street.

             

            I am legitimately confused!

            • 3. Re: AHCI Drivers for Intel 510 120 GB SSD?
              parsec

              It's very simple, you have an AMD CPU mother board, and that board will have an AMD chipset that supports that CPU.   On your board, that is the 990FX chipset.  On Intel CPU boards, there will be Intel chipsets.  Intel chipset drivers will not work on AMD chipsets, and vice versa.  Microsoft's msahci driver is capable of working on both chipsets, but the installation program of an AMD or Intel chipset driver will fail and stop when it does not find a compatible chipset.  ASUS has no control over that.  The drivers they "provide" are sourced from AMD or Intel, etc, ASUS does not write driver software.

               

              If you can get the Intel SSD Toolbox to run on an AMD chipset mother board, you are very lucky.  Using the msahci driver is not bad advice in general, but whether or not it performs as well as the AMD driver I do not know.

               

              This thing with the AMD driver seeing your 510 as being a RAID configured SSD is strange.  There are a few SSDs that actually are two SSDs in RAID 0 in one box, but not the Intel 510, or any Intel SSD.  That sounds like a bug in the AMD SATA driver or BIOS.  Is this something new with the 990FX chipset, or have users seen this happen with other AMD boards/chipsets?  Did you check the AMD forums for any info on this?

               

              Your question about knowing if TRIM is actually occurring is a good one.  I have never heard of a method of monitoring that, and if there was one it would be common knowledge in forums, etc.

              • 4. Re: AHCI Drivers for Intel 510 120 GB SSD?
                incurablegeek

                parsec, I just checked the bio that you posted and you certainly have reason to "know your stuff". However, your ability to explain it so clearly is exceptional.

                 

                Your advice makes perfectly good sense, in that ASUS and the other board manufacturers "ASUS does not write driver software." I am very active on Overclock.net where I had a fellow said that his "SATA Controller drivers are AMD 1.2.1.292" on his ASUS Crosshair V Board. Until I hear otherwise, I will use those then.

                 

                I really do appreciate your lucidity of thought and clear "here's why" way of communicating. I'm a bit obsessive in that I will not take someone's advice if I think they are just throwing poop up against the wall to see what will stick. I like to know why.

                 

                If you don't mind, I will post your response (with a credit of course) on OCN for others to understand what SATA drivers to use and why.

                 

                Thank you so very much!

                • 5. Re: AHCI Drivers for Intel 510 120 GB SSD?
                  parsec

                  Well thank you, I appreciate your comments and am glad I could help you.  Be my guest regarding posting my response on the OCN forum, drivers and chipsets can be confusing but it's really not very technical.

                   

                  Using the AMD drivers is likely the best choice, if not the only choice.  Intel provides driver downloads for all their chipsets, which is what I use and have never had a problem.  I'm not sure about AMD, but it's worth checking since mother board manufactures can be slow about posting the latest drivers on the download pages of their boards.  Just know which chipset the board has, and the OS being used to get the correct driver.  AMD's SATA chipsets had the 6Gb/s capability long before Intel did, and from the tests of it I've seen, they perform great.

                   

                  In case you don't know, when SSDs are part of a RAID array/set, the TRIM command will not get to the SSD.  But, if the SATA mode is set to RAID, and a SSD is not part of a RAID array, TRIM will be passed to the SSD.  With the Intel RAID driver, the SATA mode can be either AHCI or RAID, but you cannot create a RAID array when in AHCI mode.  I am not aware of the "rules" about this with the AMD driver, but it is known that TRIM does not work with a SSD in a RAID array/set.

                   

                  Whether or not the 510 SSD being seen as a RAID device by the AMD driver is an issue is unknown to me, and is why you asked about verifying TRIM, I imagine, and is an important point.  AMD would be the best one to answer that question.  I've never heard of that before, interesting, thanks for that info.

                  • 6. Re: AHCI Drivers for Intel 510 120 GB SSD?
                    incurablegeek

                    Geez, Sure hoping I don't wear out my welcome here but one final (I sure hope so! ) question:

                     

                    Amongst the available AMD SATA (AHCI and RAID) drivers, which would be better for "the long run"? Now I am well aware that there is no such thing as a long run in computer technology, I do plan to replace my AMD 6-core with an 8-core AMD Bulldozer (if it ever makes the scene).

                     

                    As of now I see two choices for AMD drivers:

                     

                    AMD 1.2.1.292 VERSUS what I found at http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownloa...d_windows.aspx

                    AMD SATA Drivers.PNG

                     

                    If you don't mind, then, kindly give me your opinion as to how I can be sure to load the appropriate AMD drivers in my Crosshair IV and Crosshair V installations. And thanks for going the extra mile (or two) for me.

                    • 7. Re: AHCI Drivers for Intel 510 120 GB SSD?
                      parsec

                      Not to worry, although we don't get many visits from AMD devotee's, you are more than welcome of course.

                       

                      I certainly am not an expert on AMD drivers, but I can offer a few thoughts:

                       

                      If you have any plans on creating RAID arrays composed of any type of drives, you must use the RAID driver, or change to it from an AHCI driver, which is not difficult.  The problem with using SSDs in RAID arrays (if you do so) is the TRIM command from the OS will not reach them, so they cannot take advantage of that.

                       

                      The other potential problem is this:  Given a SATA interface in RAID mode (all the SATA ports provided by an interface/chipset are in the same mode) with a SSD connected to that interface that is not part of a RAID array, will that single SSD receive the TRIM command?  The Intel RAID/AHCI driver (one driver serves both purposes) when in RAID mode will pass the TRIM command to a SSD that is not part of a RAID array.  Will the AMD RAID driver do that?  I don't know, you will need to get that information from AMD or a dependable source.  This would be the downside in using the RAID driver with a SSD that is not part of a RAID array.  OTOH, a SSD's built-in "garbage collection" function may be enough to make the absence of the TRIM command insignificant.  Newer SSDs like the 510 have good garbage collection routines.

                       

                      If you don't plan on creating any RAID arrays, then just use the AHCI driver.  The RAID driver provides nothing more than the AHCI driver does, except the creation of RAID arrays.

                       

                      I see that AMD does not have any drivers yet that are specifically for the 990 chipset you have, and it uses the 800 series chipset drivers.  I read that the 990 chipset is basically the same as the best 800 series chipset (850?) but is updated to support the Bulldozer CPUs, which the 800 series does not do.  My point here is simply to watch for 900 series chipset drivers that may perform better than the current drivers.

                       

                      Updating/changing AHCI drivers is easily done and does not disrupt anything, so you should be able to try both of the AHCI drivers you are considering.  You won't lose data or need to reload your OS, just run the installation program.  You don't need to commit to one AHCI driver.  As long as the driver is compatible with your chipset, as the ones you are considering are, you'll be fine.  Usually the driver installation programs check what chipset they are dealing with and stop if it is not compatible.  You saw how AMD offers choices of their chipsets in the drop down list on the download page.  Just choose the correct chipset and you'll get the correct driver.

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: AHCI Drivers for Intel 510 120 GB SSD?
                        Hardlign

                        I have had nothing but headache after headache until I used this:

                         

                        To Enable AHCI In Windows

                        1) Run the Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
                        2) Navigate to Registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci
                        3) Set the "Start" value to 0 (zero)
                        4) Navigate to Registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Pciide
                        5) Set the "Start" value to 0 (zero)
                        6) Shut down
                        7) Start up again, but before Windows boots go into the BIOS configuration screens and change the disk mode to "AHCI". Save the new BIOS configuration and restart so that Windows boots.
                        When Windows starts, it will detect the change, load the AHCI disk drivers, and do one more reboot to start up with them

                        To Enable Raid In Windows

                        1) Run the Registry Editor (regedit.exe)
                        2) Navigate To Registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStorV
                        3) Set the "Start" value to 0 (zero)
                        4) Navigate to Registry Key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Pciide
                        5) Set the "Start" value to 0 (zero)
                        6) Shut down
                        7) Start up again, but before Windows boots go into the BIOS configuration screens and change the disk mode to "RAID". Save the new BIOS configuration and restart so that Windows boots.
                        When Windows starts, it will detect the change, load the RAID disk drivers, and do one more reboot to start up with them

                        How to enable TRIM Command in Windows 7 with a Solid State Drive
                        To enable or disable TRIM Command, you will need to open an Elevated Command Prompt window.
                        How To Open an Elevated Command Prompt window: Click on Start Orb > Type "CMD.exe" in Search box > Right click on "CMD" and select "Run as Administrator" (If you receive a prompt confirmation, click YES)
                        How to Enable TRIM Command
                        In the Elevated command Prompt windows, type the following:
                        fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 0
                        How to Disable TRIM Command
                        In the Elevated command Prompt windows, type the following:
                        fsutil behavior set disabledeletenotify 1
                        How do I know if TRIM is working in Windows 7?
                        In the Elevated command Prompt windows, type the following:
                        fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify
                        Results explained below:
                        DisableDeleteNotify = 1 (Windows TRIM commands are disabled)
                        DisableDeleteNotify = 0 (Windows TRIM commands are enabled)

                         

                        Just had to reboot several times to get bios in-line with hardware. Windows score now 7.3!

                         

                        ASUS M4N98TD EVO, AMD 955 BLACK EDITION @ 3.2ghz, 8gb Corsair RAM, Dual EVGA GeForce GTX 465 SLI, WD 1TB Black, WD 500GB Black, WD 320GB Blue, Intel 320 series 160GB SSD, Lightscribe BD burner, Pioneer DVD burner, Antec 900 case, Windows 7 Home Premium.

                        • 9. Re: AHCI Drivers for Intel 510 120 GB SSD?
                          ianpugh

                          Hi,

                           

                          Sorry if this is off-topic but as you appear to be the most knowledgeable person I've come across in this area I was wondering if you could clarify something I was told by someone else somewhere in this community.

                           

                          The Intel SSDs cannot use the TRIM command when in RAID but I was told that they could use/still use something called Garbage Collection which in itself was a very efficient means of keeping things tidy and optimal. Is this true? What is the difference between the two and am I at a disadvantage through choosing to use RAID in this repect?

                           

                          Many thanks in advance.

                          • 10. Re: AHCI Drivers for Intel 510 120 GB SSD?
                            Hardlign

                            I wish I could answer your question, the solutions that I posted were from others. THEY are the ones with the knowledge! Your question is a good one, and I will have to research for an answer. If I find the solution, I will post it here!

                            • 11. Re: AHCI Drivers for Intel 510 120 GB SSD?
                              parsec

                              Thanks Ian, but I'm not a super-expert.  First, it's not the SSD's fault that TRIM does not reach it when it is used in a RAID array.  It's the difference in the way the data is stored in drives in a RAID array versus the standard, single drive, file system method.  The file information a TRIM command has does not apply to the way the file is stored in the RAID array, and apparently translating or applying it is difficult or impossible.  Since the TRIM command in this case is useless, it is blocked or discarded.  Since this is independent of an SSDs function, it happens with all SSDs.

                               

                              Garbage collection (GC) is a part of an SSD's controller software (firmware) and performs the same type of function as the TRIM command, and others.  It usually operates when the SSD is idle, when it has a chance to perform it's work.  It's not a given that a SSD's firmware has a GC function, but many do although that may not be stated in a SSD's specs.

                               

                              Does a SSD using only GC maintain it's performance as well as when it receives TRIM commands?  Very difficult to say, since the GC used by each SSD manufacture will be different, along with many other details of a SSD's operation.  Given all the variables in the RAID/SSD/SSD Firmware equation, we can see how very general, high level questions like yours, although important, are impossible to answer, without actually seeing how such a system functions over an appropriate period of time.  How often do we see in forums statements like, "... my ABC123 is not working with the ZYX987, it's junk... ", while you have the same components, and they work fine.

                               

                              Another question is does a SSD's GC function work fine with data stored on it in RAID format, in contrast to the standard format?  What about different RAID types, 0, 1, 5, etc?

                               

                              Having GC on a SSD is better than not, and it can keep it working better in the absence of TRIM.  The difference between GC and TRIM is something I don't fell competent enough to comment on.  It is not a given that it will be a disadvantage not having TRIM with SSDs in a RAID array.  People use SSDs in RAID arrays and get great performance, but do we know whether or not they need to perform maintenance on them all the time to sustain that performance?  What about the details, which SSDs are used, which RAID type, OS or data on the drives, type of system usage, etc.

                               

                              The best I can tell you is while I have not seen many complaints about SSDs in RAID arrays deteriorating in performance immediately and absolutely.  You'll need to see how it goes for you, work with it if necessary, and discover what works for you and others.

                              • 12. Re: AHCI Drivers for Intel 510 120 GB SSD?
                                oldsow

                                It is really simple, if you don't already have AHCI enabled, do exactly what Hardlign said .  If in the Crosshair IV  bios it is set to SATA IDE mode and want to switch to AHCI. He is correct. I found that the AMD drivers did not perform as well as the win 7 built in one's from microsoft, which will auto install after the regedit and bios change is done.  Actually they are already installed on yoru hard drive but not in use, unless you had AHCI enabled when Win 7 was loaded on the drive. You must do what he posted in the first part if it was not.

                                You should put your hard drives on sata ports 1-4.  And any cd-dvd rom drives on sata 5-6. There is no need for raid unless you just want to do it.

                                Once the Intel SSD 510 is installed, you can go to Intel and download their Intel SSD tool box.  this tool will optimize the ssd and do the trim for you,even though it should already be enabled in win 7.  run this tool about once a week.  I have 450 gig Raptors running  and used the Intel Data Migration Software Tool, to clone my raptor over to the Intel SSD 510 120 gig, which is also Free and it in all context is the Acronis Migrate Easy tool.  Works very well.

                                 

                                This Intel 510, seemed to get faster after i ran the ToolBox on it a couple of times.  Remember to use it , do not use another defrag tool on it.

                                Mine runs great and very reliable.  Hope this helped.