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Old July 28, 2007, 06:49 PM
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Default Drivers for full SATA under XP?

I've always run my Sata drives on the default "emulate IDE" setting, but have come to understand that full use of features such as NCQ don't come into play unless the drive is installed as a native SATA device.

Anybody know for sure if this is true?

If it is, I'm also being led to believe that XP will not recognise SATA drives in native mode without some dreaded "F6 drivers" during the install.

Anybody have experience with installing XP on systems with native SATA enabled who can confirm / deny this?
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Old July 28, 2007, 07:19 PM
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Well, I don't know the answer for sure since I run RAID 0 and load the F6 drivers for that, but I also believe that is what the ACPI drivers you can also load F6. I'm definitely not sure and I am gonna google it and see what I can find.
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Old August 8, 2007, 01:22 PM
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In most cases, you will need to create a boot diskette to install the SATA and RAID controllers prior to the Windows XP installation. I don't know about newer motherboards or those using the nForce northbridge, but older and cheaper motherboards require this step.

Native command queuing is a serial-only feature, I believe.
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Old August 8, 2007, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amon View Post
In most cases, you will need to create a boot diskette to install the SATA and RAID controllers prior to the Windows XP installation. I don't know about newer motherboards or those using the nForce northbridge, but older and cheaper motherboards require this step.

Native command queuing is a serial-only feature, I believe.
That's what's got me wondering.... I don't recall ever getting a floppy for Raid & SATA F6 drivers.... it's always been listed as being for raid alone.

OTOH, the P965 & P35 are the first non-Nvidia chipsets I've run since I started buying SATA drives, so maybe there is something in that......
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Old August 29, 2007, 07:45 PM
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Still haven't had a chance to fully explore this.

Hopefully I'll get my hands on a spare .10 SATA drive sometime soon and I'll run some benches with and without the F6 drivers.
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Old August 29, 2007, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
Still haven't had a chance to fully explore this.

Hopefully I'll get my hands on a spare .10 SATA drive sometime soon and I'll run some benches with and without the F6 drivers.
As far as my knowledge goes XP doesn't recognize the drives as a standard sata if set it up as "native" and you will need to install the drivers off the mobo cd for it to work properly.
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Old August 30, 2007, 08:12 AM
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As far as my knowledge goes XP doesn't recognize the drives as a standard sata if set it up as "native" and you will need to install the drivers off the mobo cd for it to work properly.
That's what I suspect, and I know that at least on the intel chipsets, you cannot change the drive to "native mode" after the OS has been installed.

What I'm curious about though is what affect running in IDE mode vice native mode has on HD performance.

Like I said... once I get my hands on another SATA drive I'll slap a quick OS install on both with and without native mode/F6 drivers and see what we get for benchmarks.
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Old August 30, 2007, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
That's what I suspect, and I know that at least on the intel chipsets, you cannot change the drive to "native mode" after the OS has been installed.

What I'm curious about though is what affect running in IDE mode vice native mode has on HD performance.

Like I said... once I get my hands on another SATA drive I'll slap a quick OS install on both with and without native mode/F6 drivers and see what we get for benchmarks.
Well if the drive has NCQ and the board supports it theoretically you should see faster transfer speeds.
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Old October 2, 2007, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
That's what I suspect, and I know that at least on the intel chipsets, you cannot change the drive to "native mode" after the OS has been installed.

What I'm curious about though is what affect running in IDE mode vice native mode has on HD performance.

Like I said... once I get my hands on another SATA drive I'll slap a quick OS install on both with and without native mode/F6 drivers and see what we get for benchmarks.
In Vista, you can change the drives to use AHCI drivers (with NCQ support) after the OS has been installed... this is probably true too in XP. By default most motherboards set the SATA drives to use "Compatibility" unless you use the F6 option to install AHCI or RAID drivers during the OS setup process. However, I followed the steps outlined in the link below to enable AHCI drivers after I have installed the OS...

Check out the comments by old_stuff towards the end of the discussion: Intel D975XBX2 Issues
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Old October 8, 2007, 08:24 AM
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I was reading about this a while ago and the consensus was that NQC will actually slow you down if you are using the system in a typical desktop roll. The quick explanation is the the controller spends too much time thinking about what to do instead of just doing it.

Most of the "server" stuff has been done to death in real server systems; NCQ has been around for years in the SCSI arena. It is just a matter of copy and pasting the code into user level stuff and, boom, instant PR gimmick.

Going for faster spindle speeds is about all you can do these days. I love my 2x10K RAID 0. I get 100M/sec sustained transfers off it according to HDTach.
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