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Thread: Hard Disk Driver vs Solid State Drive?




  1. #1
    Ken429 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Hard Disk Driver vs Solid State Drive?

    Just noticed a setting in the BIOS under Advanced>Storage Configuration>SATA3_0 and SATA3_1>SATA Device Type that has two choices "Hard Disk Driver" and "Solid State Drive". The BIOS sets up automatically as Hard Disk Driver. But since I have an SSD connected to SATA3_0 should I change the setting to Solid State Drive? Does it make any difference?! The system has been running with no issues for many months with the "Default" setting.

  2. #2
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    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Hard Disk Driver vs Solid State Drive?

    I've used the Solid State Drive setting with SSDs on several ASRock boards for quite a while, and have never had a problem with it. My ASRock Z77 board has that setting only on two Intel SATA ports too, but my Z97 board has it on all six Intel SATA ports.

    What that setting does is a mystery, there is no explanation about it and I've never seen any other BIOS options become available or disappear when it is used. The SATA mode is a separate option, and I'm not aware of any SSD optimization that can be done in a BIOS.

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    Default Re: Hard Disk Driver vs Solid State Drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    What that setting does is a mystery, there is no explanation about it and I've never seen any other BIOS options become available or disappear when it is used. The SATA mode is a separate option, and I'm not aware of any SSD optimization that can be done in a BIOS.
    @ parsec - Curious. does setting SSD "force' AHCI in the BIOS?
    #1 - Please, when seeking help, enter the make and model of ALL parts that your system is comprised of in your Signature, or at least the model #'s in your System Specs, then "Save' it.
    ____If you are overclocking, underclocking, or undervolting any parts, informing us of this and their values would prove beneficial in helping you.


    #2 - Consider your PSU to be the foundation from which all else is built upon. Anything built upon a weak foundation is poorly built.

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    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Hard Disk Driver vs Solid State Drive?

    Good idea and question.

    I just checked that and on my Z97 Board, which is set to RAID mode normally, and got this:

    With the SSDs set to Solid State Drive, I could change SATA mode to IDE, that option was available. One option disappeared (Dynamic Storage Accelerator, an Intel feature on 8 and 9 series chipsets), and SMART monitoring was set to Disabled. I set the SSDs to "Hard Disk Drive" (the typo "Driver" is fixed in this board's BIOS) and back to SSD again, it made no difference.

    I could describe all the settings I tried, but they did not force AHCI mode. Still a mystery IMO.

    AHCI was originally designed for HDDs, the main feature it added was the ability of the file system to send a drive up to 32 IO requests together in one IO request. That's called Native Command Queuing (NCQ). Given multiple IO requests, a HDD could sort them for optimal retrieval, to minimize head movement, a major cause of latency in a HDD. Or write requests could be delayed until read requests were completed.

    NCQ is a great idea, it reduces the overhead of the file system going through the protocol steps to send one IO request to a drive, and the same for the drive. Imagine I sent you ten documents in one envelope, or the same ten documents in ten envelopes. The time wasted opening ten envelopes instead of one is an example of the advantage of NCQ. The basic idea of NCQ makes so much sense, it's obviously better and IMO a no brainer.

    SSDs are able to use NCQ because it exists, although they have no need to sort IO requests. AHCI and NCQ do not actually make SSDs or HDDs faster, they simply remove the unnecessary overhead.

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