ATA, AHCI, or RAID?

Discussion in 'Alienware 18 and M18x' started by napawino, Jul 23, 2011.

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  1. napawino

    napawino Notebook Guru

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    I have the latest BIOS, and I am wondering if it's configured correctly.

    I have one HDD and its a non SSD, 7200 RPM drive.

    In the BIOS, it is set up under RAID.

    The other choices are ATA and AHCI.

    What is the proper setting?

    I thought RAID was only if you had more than one HDD.

    What will happen if I change the setting to ATA or AHCI?

    Thanks
     
  2. Nicholaus.rossi

    Nicholaus.rossi Notebook Evangelist

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    If you switch to the other modes you shouldn't experience any problems. AHCI is generally the best performance for a single drive. The only difference you'll notice is that you don't have to look at the RAID configuration page during boot up.
     
  3. Scrawl

    Scrawl Notebook Enthusiast

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    If you have it set to RAID but have no RAID drives configured, it'll fall back to AHCI automatically.

    One benefit in manually selecting AHCI is you save a few seconds in a cold boot as it skips the RAID setup screen.

    Back before SATA, we all used ATA. It's in the bios primarily for legacy support. Useful for boot disks and firmware upgrade software which are not AHCI compatible.
     
  4. Invectus

    Invectus Newbie

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    My m18x is currently having one SSD and i'm thinking about installing another 720GB HDD for the second hard drive bay (which I have never done before).
    Basically SSD for OS and the HDD i'm about to install is mainly for storage.

    Just wondering should I set bios to RAID, ATA or AHCI after the installation?
     
  5. Da_G

    Da_G Notebook Consultant

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    AHCI is slightly faster/better than ATA due to support for more features such as Native Command Queueing. Note that you will have to re-install windows if changing from ATA to AHCI on an already-installed system, or do some hackery such as this to enable AHCI after installing windows.

    Only use RAID if you intend to actually use RAID (if you don't know what RAID is, you don't need it)
     
  6. Invectus

    Invectus Newbie

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    Thank you for the answer Da G!

    Just another thing, my current single SSD is already set to RAID (I looked it up on BIOS), what if I install the second HDD, should I just leave it as the way it is? Or is there something that I should change in the BIOS?
     
  7. Alienwhere

    Alienwhere Notebook Consultant

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