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Thread: Will keeping my BIOS set to RAID affect my new SSDs performance?

  1. #1
    Mr Davo is offline Junior Member
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    Default Will keeping my BIOS set to RAID affect my new SSDs performance?

    Hi Everyone,


    On my Windows 7 (x64) computer I have just migrated from a RAID0 array to a Solid State Drive. My computer is about 4 years old, and when I built it RAID0 was a good answer for increasing system performance. Of course SSDs have come down a great deal in price over the last couple of years so upgrading with an SSD now makes sense.


    The motherboard in my computer is a Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R and it is currently set to RAID within the BIOS. More specifically I have configured a single RAID0 array using two hard drives (to boost read / write times).


    It is my understanding that in order to get maximum performance from an SSD the correct BIOS mode is AHCI. However if I set my BIOS mode to AHCI I will no longer have access to the data on my RAID array.


    Will leaving the BIOS set as RAID (rather than setting it to AHCI) reduce the performance and / or longevity of my SSD?


    Any advice here will be greatly appreciated.


    Kind Regards,


    Davo

  2. #2
    parsec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will keeping my BIOS set to RAID affect my new SSDs performance?

    Short answer, no not at all.

    All the features of AHCI are a part of RAID, at least for Intel chipsets and drivers. Intel actually classifies AHCI as a "subset" of RAID.

    Any single drives that are not part of a RAID array, like your SSD, are treated by the Intel IRST driver in the same way in AHCI or RAID mode. So you still have TRIM, NCQ, hot-plugging, etc, with single drives. No need to change from RAID mode to AHCI for your SSD. I set my SATA mode to RAID whether or not I have any RAID volumes, and I'm a long time SSD user.

    My only question is, what version of the Intel RAID software are you using? Are you using Matrix Storage drivers, or the new IRST?

    Your board's ICH10R SATA chipset can use both, but the Matrix drivers were written before TRIM existed, and I'm not sure they work fine with TRIM. They really should not affect TRIM commands, but drivers written with an older SATA specification may discard instructions that are unknown to them, such as TRIM. The Intel RAID driver on your board's download page looks like a Matrix Storage driver. Your ICH10R will work with up to IRST version 11 drivers, per their specs.

    I have never migrated from the Matrix RAID driver to the IRST RAID driver, with RAID volumes created with the Matrix software. That may not be possible.
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  3. #3
    Mr Davo is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Will keeping my BIOS set to RAID affect my new SSDs performance?

    Hi parsec,

    Thanks for the great information here. I believe that my computer is running the Gigabyte Drivers. Following are the ones that I remember loading from a floppy disk back in the day -



    Out of curiosity I decided to have a look at the RAID volume under Device Manager, and I was surprised to see that this is an "unknown" -



    and...



    Furthermore when I attempt to update the driver using the "Search automatically" Windows functionality I am met with "Windows was unable to install your RAID Controller".

    I am going to download some drivers again from the motherboard homepage. However at this stage I think it is safe to assume that I do not have the Intel RAID installed.

    Kind Regards,

    Davo
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    Mr Davo is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Will keeping my BIOS set to RAID affect my new SSDs performance?

    Hi parsec,

    A quick update. I downloaded the Gigabyte SATA driver package (as illustrated in my last entry), from GIGABYTE - Motherboard - Socket 775 - GA-EP45-UD3R (rev. 1.1), and extracted it. I then went into Device Manager and "manually" updated the driver, with the end result being the screen capture below -



    As can be seen above this seems to have loaded both the Gigabyte and the Intel drivers, however I am almost 100% that Windows is using the Gigabyte drivers. Is there any way that I can check this before Windows loads?

    Any further help here will be greatly appreciated.

    Kind Regards,

    Davo

  5. #5
    Mr Davo is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Will keeping my BIOS set to RAID affect my new SSDs performance?

    Definitely using the Matrix Storage Manager!


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    Bill Gates's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will keeping my BIOS set to RAID affect my new SSDs performance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Davo View Post
    Definitely using the Matrix Storage Manager!

    The OROM can be different than the driver and it usually is. That screen does not tell you what driver you are using only what OROM is in your BIOS. If you want a newer OROM it should be available in a new BIOS or it can be injected into a BIOS file.
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    Jon Coulter Storage Editor TweakTown

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    Default Re: Will keeping my BIOS set to RAID affect my new SSDs performance?

    Check your EP45-UD3R mobo user manual and you'll see that it has Gsata2 ports that are different from the Intel sata2 ports. Your best performance will use the Intel sata2 ports. The Gigabyte sata2 drivers are only for the Gsata2 ports.

    From page 10 in the user manual:
    Code:
    Storage Interface 
    South Bridge:
    
    • - 6 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (SATA2_0, SATA2_1, SATA2_2, SATA2_3, SATA2_4, SATA2_5) supporting up to 6 SATA 3Gb/s devices
    • - Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10
    GIGABYTE SATA2 chip:
    • - 1 x IDE connector supporting ATA-133/100/66/33 and up to 2 IDE devices
    • - 2 x SATA 3Gb/s connectors (GSATA2_0, GSATA2_1) supporting up to 2 SATA 3Gb/s devices
    • - Support for SATA RAID 0, RAID 1 and JBOD
    iTE IT8718 chip:
    • - 1 x floppy disk drive connector supporting up to 1 floppy disk drive
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Will keeping my BIOS set to RAID affect my new SSDs performance?

    The Gigabyte ports are the two purple ports next to the old IDE port.

    You clearly are using the yellow Intel SATA ports for both your RAID 0 volume, and your SSD. You finally installed the full Intel RAID driver on your board, and given what I see on your board's download page, it seems to be an Intel Matrix RAID driver, given the version number (8.9.0.1023.)

    The good new is the Intel SATA ports are completely separate from the Gigabyte ports. Don't even consider changing your RAID drives to the GSATA ports, leave them where they are on the Intel ports.

    I forget if Intel recommends using the Matrix RAID/AHCI driver with SSDs. I also don't know if the Matrix RAID OROM will work with an Intel IRST driver. Any idea Bill?

    I killed my socket 775 board (with ICH10R) a while ago, so I can't check the OROM - driver compatibility. My only concern here is TRIM pass through with the Matrix RAID driver to the SSD.

    Do you feel confident enough to use a modified BIOS as Bill suggested?

  9. #9
    Bill Gates's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will keeping my BIOS set to RAID affect my new SSDs performance?

    Ive never tested RAID TRIM with matrix OROM but, from what I heard you need an 11+ series OROM to have TRIM with RAID. Intel, However does not say you need any particular OROM just the driver.
    Jon Coulter Storage Editor TweakTown

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    Bill Gates's Avatar
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    Default Re: Will keeping my BIOS set to RAID affect my new SSDs performance?

    read through this thread Raid0 and TRIM Support on Intel 11.5 OROM and Latest v11.5.0.1184 RST Drivers ? this is where it all began. all the info you need is there even a link to a guide that shows you exactly how to inject a new orom into your bios. OR you can ask stasio to mod a bios for you.
    Jon Coulter Storage Editor TweakTown

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