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Does Your Computer Support SATA AHCI

SATA(Serial ATA) is a computer bus interface between host bus adapters and mass storage drives. SATA has so many advantages, more faster and more convenience. SATA connecting cables have only 7 lines. Commonly, SATA controller may offer these selectable mode:ATA, AHCI, and RAID, Enhanced, DISABLE, Compatible. these selectable modes may be surported partially and some selections may have the same definitions in different computers. You can look for details in the BIOS or the manual books.

Introduction of AHCI

AHCI, also called Serial ATA Advanced Host Controller Interface, is a application programming interface defined by Intel, AMD, DELL, MARVELL, MAXTOR, Microsoft, Red Hat, etc. AHCI discribes a type of PCI device, In AHCI specifications, Intel define NCQ(Native Command Queue) function and hot-plugging. NCQ has faster reading speed for random block reading.

AHCI needs both attached storages and mainboard surport. So AHCI is  only for Serial ATA device, but none of the older parallel ATA(IDE). but how can I know if my mainboard support AHCI? there are sereral methods to disktiguish it.

How can I know if my computer support AHCI?

First of all ,your attached storage must be SATA drives and have connected with the SATA connecter in the motherboard properly.

Second, you can check the BIOS settings about SATA mode or the manual books of the computer. but we can get some informations from the chipset of the motherboard.

ICH5、 ICH5R、ICH6、ICH7 and ICH8 can not support AHCI directly. it depends on the chip on board.

Intel chipsets:

Intel chipsets have intergrated SATA II controller from ICH6, but not all the south-bridge support AHCI, some list here:

ICH6M------ only AHCI

ICH6R------ RAID and AHCI

ICH7M------ only AHCI




AMD chipsets:



Somthing about SATA drivers in operating systems

the current version of AHCI is ver 1.3(2008). AHCI is fully surported by the current Windows and Linux systems. but the older systems may do not support it. Fox example, Windows XP cannot be installed to the SATA drive without SATA drivers. the installation may suffering blue screens.  But we have some good methods to solve this problem in th coming chapters.

Windows Vista/Windows Server 2008/Windows 7 support AHCI very well. Linux/Unix family support it, too, for example, Ubuntu 9, OpenBSD and Solaris. we need no worry about these current systems but for the older systems.

More reading:


Posted by: eyalsol| /04/08/11 | 01:32 am |
which type of motherboard do i need for ahci support?

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