AHCI or IDE - what is better and what is the difference?
Modern DVD and Blue-Ray drives are connected to the motherboard mainly through the interface. Maximum performance is achieved using the AHCI mechanism. Therefore, all new PCs that are running the operating system Windows 7 or older versions of the operating system from Microsoft, use this option. If we are talking about old systems, then you need to think more about using AHCI or IDE. What's better? The answer to this question depends on many factors.
AHCI or IDE - which is better? How to choose the desired mode?
Despite the popularity of the operating systems Windows 7, 8, 10, many owners of personal computers and laptops continue to use Win XP. OS is stable. People feel comfortable working with her. However, Windows XP has a number of significant drawbacks:
- official support for Microsoft of this OS is completely discontinued;
- technologically outdated operating system;
- does not support new versions of DirectX (version 10-12);
- safety problems;
- no support for the most current technologies;
- on XP it is impossible to install many modern programs;
- there are no drivers for new hardware.
The list could be continued for a long time. If we consider the question of which is the best mode of operation - AHCI or IDE - then it is worth taking into account the fact that Windows XP simply does not support the first option. This, of course, applies to older versions of the OS from Microsoft. Therefore, the choice is obvious here - only IDE. But if a person belongs to the category of advanced users, he can download special drivers to the system that allow the use of the AHCI mechanism. By default, this mode is not supported.
How the IDE mode works
Components that need an ATA interface to connect, use the IDE mechanism to work. This technology is outdated, but it was widely used in the nineties of the last century and at the beginning of the 2000s. The standard was introduced in the IBM PC - the first mass popular computers.
The IDE (Parallel Drive Connection Interface) mechanism provided data transfer at a speed of 150 Mbps. He did not allow the use of some current technological solutions. Thus, it was impossible to make a hot eject from the system of a hard disk or a CD drive without shutting down or rebooting the system.Some time later, similar capabilities were added by engineers, but only a part of computers received their support. Knowing the background to the development of interfaces, you can easily answer a number of questions: AHCI or IDE - which is better for a specific operating system, which scheme provides faster performance?
The active use of Parallel ATA interfaces ended around 2006, when the main role was played by the new SATA standard. However, even after 10 years, the IDE is still in service, although it is used much less frequently. The mechanism is used in almost all old computers and laptops, is active even in systems that support the work with AHCI.
Features of AHCI mode
The emergence of a new SATA interface, which had more powerful capabilities compared to the previous PATA technology, created the need for a new mechanism for working with the system. So the AHCI mode appeared. He allowed to use the resources of the recently appeared interface at full capacity. Today, this mechanism is supported by all modern motherboards.
Using the AHCI mode allows you to ensure the transfer of information at the highest possible speed and use any relevant technological solutions.All current operating systems currently have device drivers that exploit this protocol. So what to choose now, IDE or AHCI? What is better for a modern computer? In most cases, the choice should be made in favor of the second option.
Advantages of the AHCI mechanism
Modern SATA drives are fully compatible with the new mode. What are the advantages of this mechanism? Still, choose IDE or AHCI - which is better? Windows 7 and newer versions of the operating system from Microsoft are able to work with the above two protocols. But the second of them is better to use for new systems.
Benefits that the user receives when using AHCI:
- high data transfer rate;
- excellent performance;
- full compatibility with modern operating systems;
- the ability to carry out "hot" replacement of hard drives;
- NCQ technology support (improves HDD performance).
Knowing all the pros and cons of the solution, it is easy to make a choice, set in the AHCI or IDE settings. What would be better for a modern computer? If it is not equipped with PATA drives, it is better to install a new mode.
What mode to set in the BIOS settings
Despite the fact that the IDE mode has long been outdated, it is still supported by motherboard manufacturers. Even the newest models have the ability to use this interface. In the BIOS settings in the appropriate section, you can change one mode to another. The default mechanism is usually set to AHCI. You can run into an exception, but this is extremely rare.
If you take a typical situation when a user tries to install a Windows 7 operating system on a computer, he will not even have to make any changes to the BIOS in order to use the new scheme. Perhaps someone will seem familiar to work with the old interface. So nevertheless, IDE or AHCI - which is better? Windows 7, after all, allows you to use both modes.
If a hard disk or other drive is connected to the motherboard via the SATA interface, then the default AHCI mode should be left. Full support for this mechanism is provided in the operating systems Windows 7, 8, 10, Ubuntu 16.04 and others. Only with the new mode stable operation of these OS is possible.
What to do if after switching on AHCI mode the system stops loading
This situation may occur if the user has Windows XP or an old version of Linux. There is no question, prefer AHCI or IDE.What would be better for the old OS? Perhaps it is preferable to set the IDE mode. You can try to install additional drivers in the system that support the new standard. However, there is no guarantee that after this procedure, the OS will work correctly.
In some cases, a computer that has successfully worked for a long time under the control of the Windows XP system once stops loading. At the same time, the user did not change the drive mode in the BIOS. This situation may arise due to errors in the operation of the basic input-output system. In this case, the settings are reset, the AHCI mode is activated.User mustself-install in the BIOS settings support for the IDE mechanism.