Does anyone know which SATA configuration I should use on my ASUS P5QC motherboard to obtain the data transfer rate my WD Velociraptor is praised for?  My choices are: IDE, RAID, and ACHI.  I know that IDE is the older standard technology and that these are SATA configuration choices my BIOS gives me.  It is a SATA drive and works fine, just Windows 7 rates my data transfer rate as experience factor = 5.1 (lowest of my factors) with a transfer rate of 100kb/sec.  The box says Velociraptor box says I should have much faster transfer rates.  The current configuration is IDE and the enhanced toggle and 32-bit toggle are both activated.

Think of the three choice in this way:

IDE – More compatible, though a little slower.

AHCI – Good performance. Need to manually load the driver during Windows setup if you are using this drive as your boot drive.

RAID – Depending on implementation, you may need to manually load the driver during Windows Setup. Fastest.

Ultimately, the choice is up to you as to which one to use.

I use Matrix RAID on one of my systems, and I like it. I get near-SSD performance from normal drives, and my speeds are faster than VRs.

Now that Windows 7 is already installed via IDE configuration, can I change to a faster configuration without re-installing Windows?  What would I look for in Windows 7 to specify my hard drive configuration?


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FAQ: Switching Storage Controllers w/o Reinstalling Windows:

Clint, I’m wondering if your reply has anything to do with what I’m seeing. I just upgraded to a new Gigabyte mobo and 500Gb SATA-3 Caviar Black that, for some reason, I can’t get to work as AHCI in the BIOS. It hangs on boot. I need to drop back to Native IDE to get it to work, which means I’m not getting the speed from the drive I should.

System is Win Xp Pro. What’s the driver I need, is it an Xp driver, and where can I get it? Any help would be appreciated.

I just read that I should have used ACHI for my w7 64 bit install. check this article out:

I believe it is AHCI and not ACHI. RAID is only possible if you have more than one physical disk drive. Anyway, follow the instructions here to enable AHCI mode after OS setup.

Windows 7

Windows XP

For Intel chipset – download and install Intel Matrix Storage Manager. For other chipsets, look for relevant download sites.