8 Replies Latest reply on Feb 28, 2012 11:42 PM by parsec

    For SSD 520 and DX79TO, Should I use RAID or AHCI?

    tae808

      I am very excited to get my new computer.

      I bought:

      Intel Core i7-2600 Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I72600
      Intel 520 Series Cherryville SSDSC2CW120A3K5 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
      Intel BOXDX79TO LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
      Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
      CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B

       

      I am going to use graphicard (GeForce GT 430), Power Supply Unit (Corsair 750 Watts), HDD, and CD-ROM Drive from my old computer.

       

      Since I cannot afford to buy 1TB of SSD, just like most of people, I am going to use my old HDD and SSD together.

       

      Obviously, I will install my OS and other frequently used programs on SSD and store musics, movies, and pictures on the HDD.

       

      I have no intention of migrating my files so I will be formatting the HDD and delete everything on there.

       

      I did some research and I found out that before you install your new Windows 7 on SSD, you have to select either RAID or AHCI.

       

      Questoin is, for my settings, which one should I use?

       

      I watched several you tube video but I really didn't understand. I seems like AHCI was invented by intel and it automatically transfers data back and forth???

       

      I'm kinda lost here so can someone explain what is better for me? Also, what is BIOS ? and should I disable or enable superfetch thing?

        • 1. Re: For SSD 520 and DX79TO, Should I use RAID or AHCI?
          DooRules

          Put the bios in ACHI mode. After you install OS install the Intel Toolbox. This will take care of your ssd for you,

          • 2. Re: For SSD 520 and DX79TO, Should I use RAID or AHCI?
            tae808

            Thank you very much for your support.

             

            Will you give me little bit more explanation to this?

             

            Like why AHCI over RAID and why is it that I have to do it after I install my OS.

             

            THANK YOU.

            • 3. Re: For SSD 520 and DX79TO, Should I use RAID or AHCI?
              tae808

              Also, Do i need to donwload

               

              "Intel® Rapid Storage Technology F6 Driver Diskettes"

               

              and use it during installation of OS ?

              • 4. Re: For SSD 520 and DX79TO, Should I use RAID or AHCI?
                parsec

                Your board's SATA mode should be set by default to AHCI in it's UEFI/BIOS, but it's worth checking before you install Windows. Don't forget you can start your PC and go into the UEFI/BIOS without having Windows or other OS installed on the PC, it simply won't be able to do anything beyond running the UEFI, which is Ok, it hurts nothing.

                 

                Intel uses one driver for AHCI and RAID, their IRST driver. The only difference is RAID allows you to create arrays of disks. One is not superior to the other when using a single drive (not in an array.)

                 

                Intel actually recommends using RAID mode even if you don't intend to immediately create RAID arrays, or ever, but only because it's a little tricky to change from AHCI to RAID mode. IMO, it's not difficult to change from AHCI to RAID mode, but it requires a Registry edit.

                 

                If you know you won't be using RAID, Windows 7 has it's own AHCI driver, msahci, which will load by default when you install an OS with the SATA mode set to AHCI. Once you're done installing Windows, you can load the IRST driver, which performs better.

                 

                If you want to use RAID for your OS drive (or have RAID disks later), you must be in RAID mode before the OS installation, and must load the IRST driver during the installation when the Load Driver option is offered. You can load IRST during the installation when just in AHCI mode, but it's not required as I mentioned above.

                 

                I think you're confused about changing modes after you install the OS, or what do you mean by that question?

                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • 5. Re: For SSD 520 and DX79TO, Should I use RAID or AHCI?
                  tae808

                  Thanks for your answer.

                   

                  My 2nd question (about downloading IRST) is if I need to download IRST when installing Windows 7 on a brand new SSD.

                   

                  Also,I really don't know what exactly RAID mode is...

                   

                  All I will do with my PC is just some gaming and web browsing.

                   

                  I don't know if using SSD and HDD together is called RAID.

                   

                  Can you explain what RAID mode would be?

                   

                  Also, if I use AHCI mode, will TRIM work by it self with Windows 7 and the firmware ?

                   

                  Thanks

                  • 6. Re: For SSD 520 and DX79TO, Should I use RAID or AHCI?
                    parsec

                    My 2nd question (about downloading IRST) is if I need to download IRST when installing Windows 7 on a brand new SSD.

                     

                    As I said earlier, you don't need to install (is that what you mean by download?) IRST during the Win 7 installation. Windows will use it's own msahci driver when you install it. Once that is all done, then you can download and install IRST, which will replace msahci.

                     

                    If you're talking about the F6 driver installation, as I said above, no you don't when using AHCI mode. Actually, the IRST manual states you don't need to do the F6 driver installation for AHCI or RAID mode, you just set the SATA mode, install Windows, and install IRST later, a RAID driver is included with Win 7.

                     

                    Windows 7 TRIM will work fine by itself in AHCI mode on any SSD that supports TRIM, like yours does.

                     

                    If you don't know what RAID is, don't bother with it. The IRST manual can be found here:

                     

                    http://download.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/irst_user_guide.pdf

                     

                    Reading at least some of it will answer many of your questions.

                     

                    Combining a SSD and a HDD is called SSD Caching, and is a new feature that not all boards have. It uses an extention of RAID to accomplish that, but is not the original purpose and use of RAID. You have a larger sized SSD, you don't need SSD caching.


                     

                    • 7. Re: For SSD 520 and DX79TO, Should I use RAID or AHCI?
                      tae808

                      Thank you soooo much for your answer...

                       

                      So... one last question...

                       

                      AHCI is the right setting for me right ?

                      • 8. Re: For SSD 520 and DX79TO, Should I use RAID or AHCI?
                        parsec

                        Yes, AHCI mode is what you should use, and really must use to get the best performance from a SSD.

                         

                        RAID mode provides the same features that makes AHCI the best for SSDs, but most people don't need the extra features RAID provides.

                         

                        For you, and with any SSD (or HDD too) use AHCI mode.

                         

                        I just noticed this from your first post in this thread:

                         

                        I am very excited to get my new computer.

                        I bought:

                        Intel  Core i7-2600 Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W  Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I72600

                        Intel 520 Series Cherryville SSDSC2CW120A3K5 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

                        Intel BOXDX79TO LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

                         

                        If all that is correct, the CPU will not work with that mother board. Notice I underlined LGA 1155 in the i7-2600 CPU line, that is the only type of CPU socket and type of mother board the i7-2600 CPU will fit and work in.

                         

                        The mother board you listed, is a LGA 2011 socket board, for the new i7-3000 series CPUs. An i7-2600 CPU will not fit or work in that board, or any LGA 2011 board!

                         

                        If someone suggested that board to you for use with an i7-2600 CPU, they were very wrong, it will not work with that board.