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Ahci And Old Rigs


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#1 paul skingley

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Posted Jun 21 2022 - 07:39 AM

This may be interesting for people with older rigs like me.
Not being a computer nerd AHCI is something I recently stumbled across after installing an SSD drive to replace my HDD.

AHCI is a newer and faster way of read/write than IDE.
By default win7 and vista use IDE mode because it always works with old components.

I was curious if my old rig would see an improvement if I activated AHCI mode.

Before I made the change I checked my windows performance score with the new SSD drive installed = 7.1
After the change to AHCI mode my windows performance score = 7.4

Windows calculates the score from the weakest component. Previously my weakest component was disk data transfer rate = 7.1 that gave me the low score.

After AHCI my disk data transfer rate has climbed from 7.1 to 7.6.


Now the weakest component is my CPU = 7.4 giving me the overall score.


So for me it is an improvement in overall score. The game loads faster although I doubt it will affect frame rate in GPL which is down to my CPU.

AMD Phenom x4 965 BE @ 3.8ghz
Gigabyte ga-ma790xt-ud4p mobo
Corsair 16gb DDR3 1600 ram
Nvidia GTX 1050ti
Samsung 870 SSD

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#2 paul skingley

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Posted Jun 21 2022 - 07:47 AM

NOTE

If you try this yourself, you should first read up on the correct procedure for your machine.

Windows needs to know in advance that you are switching from IDE to AHCI mode.
I had to make a small change in the windows registry before I restarted and entered the BIOS to change from IDE to AHCI mode.

Not following the correct procedure means your machine will not boot.

#3 Cookie

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Posted Jun 21 2022 - 09:51 AM

For an SSD AHCI mode is a must.
Make shure you have activated TRIM in W7 to keep the SSD alive.

As you have this great Phenom CPU you should use the phenommsrtweaker to have the same efect as "disable intel speed step" does, to forget about fps...

#4 paul skingley

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Posted Jun 21 2022 - 10:29 AM

Thanks Cookie.

I have always disabled cool and quiet in the BIOS but never tried the phenommsrtweaker.
My Gigabyte mobo is 12 years old now but it came with Easytune6 that I use to overclock by changing the multiplier from 17 to 19  ( 3.4 to 3.8ghz )
Easytune also has custom fan settings that I use to control temps.

I guess the mobo is probably a bottleneck now.

#5 Cookie

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Posted Jun 21 2022 - 11:39 AM

Paul your pc is fine as long you use it dedicated to GPL.

The only "bottleneck" I see is the lower bandwidth of your GA mobo's pci-e slot wich is gen2 and your GPU is gen3...
but that is not relevant for GPL!

I found on my phenoms that it helps a lot to lower the core voltage of the CPU to run it cooler.
Each CPU even has a sweet spot where it runs better than with the mostly too high default voltage.

#6 paul skingley

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Posted Jun 22 2022 - 12:32 PM

I noticed that the PC is taking longer to boot since changing to ahci mode.

During the loading screens I now get an extra one saying ahci module is being activated.
After that I get the windows loading screen which is the one that is taking longer to boot that it did before...........Any ideas ?

However, once booted file access is faster, especially loading games.

#7 Cookie

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Posted Jun 23 2022 - 07:18 AM

How did you move your old system to the SSD?

By cloning? or with a saved mirror?

IMO it would have been the best to make a fresh W7 install, so the W7 configs itself for the SSD and AHCI.

#8 paul skingley

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Posted Jun 23 2022 - 07:26 AM

I cloned the drive.

Once the machine has booted all is fine.
But if the load time starts to annoy me I will try a fresh install of win7.
Is it worth trying to repair windows with the install disk ?

I might try switching back to IDE just to see if the load time returns to normal. Then I would have more idea what is causing it ?

#9 Cookie

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Posted Jun 23 2022 - 08:44 AM

You can't switch back to IDE with an SSD...

Trying to repair the windows start with the install disk is a good idea.

As long as you have the HDD as a working backup you can try everything.

My way with W7 and W10 is to make a saving mirror to an external HDD and restore it from there.

(sorry my sytem is in german, so maybe I use other words as W uses for e.g. the "mirror")

Edited by Cookie, Jun 23 2022 - 08:52 AM.


#10 paul skingley

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Posted Jun 23 2022 - 01:02 PM

Do you mean make a system image as in windows backup and restore from there ?

I have a system image backup from before I switched to Ahci mode.

#11 Cookie

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Posted Jun 23 2022 - 03:31 PM

Yeah, but you wrote it did not work with the old W7 settings -> black screen.
Maybe try to make a fresh system image with AHCI and restore from it to SSD...

IMO still best to make a fresh W7 install

Edited by Cookie, Jun 23 2022 - 03:32 PM.


#12 paul skingley

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Posted Jun 24 2022 - 03:58 AM

Thanks for the suggestions.

#13 paul skingley

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Posted Jun 24 2022 - 09:10 AM

Some more background because I may have confused you ( I know I am  :confused: )  - I first noticed that AHCI was disabled when I installed the 870 Evo SSD to keep my games on for faster loading. Samsung Magician reported it disabled and I started investigating what AHCI was.
Prior to all that I already had an Intel SSD installed and running my o/s and installed programs. That SSD had been running in IDE mode for some time.
So the data I cloned from the HDD to the 870 Evo SSD was not the o/s.


I am not sure if I have set up the BIOS correctly. Is it possible to take a screenshot of the BIOS screens ?

The reason I ask is that there is a good chance of user error here :)

There are two SATA controllers.
The second controller is called GSATA11
I have set both to AHCI mode.


I mentioned the extra loading screen that now appears during BIOS loading. It is a Gigabyte AHCI utilty
I found I could enter that page by pressing ctrl+A.
When I do I can see all 4 drives are attached to it. My two SSD and the CDROM and 1TB HDD. I thought devices like the CDROM and HDD should be IDE ?

Loading the BIOS seems as fast as it was before. The hang happens on the "Starting Windows" screen. There is no disk activity while the screen hangs, then after about 30 seconds there is a 2 second burst of disk activity and the welcome screen and desktop load as normal.

The 2 second burst of disk activity is about what the "Starting Windows" screen used to take before I changed to AHCI.

It seems to that the machine can't decide what to use ?


Sorry for going on about this but I want to make sure it is not a simple setting error before I re-install windows :)

#14 Cookie

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Posted Jun 24 2022 - 10:47 AM

Just download the manual and look into p47+48, here you find the info about AHCI +++
https://www.gigabyte...#support-manual

Use a smartphone to take a snapshot of the bios ;)
I conect it to my pc via USB and copy the .jpeg on my desktop...

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#15 paul skingley

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Posted Jun 25 2022 - 04:00 AM

Thanks Cookie




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