SATA Controller Modes Explained

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Depending on your system, multiple SATA controller modes may be available in your BIOS or UEFI to manage how an SSD operates with the rest of your system.


AHCI (Advance Host Controller Interface): The modern standard for SATA controller operation, this provides the best performance possible with a SATA storage device, combined with the best support for features to optimize an SSD's performance, such as TRIM. We recommend this mode for a majority of our users, and only deviating from this if needed for addressing compatibility and software problems.


IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics): A legacy standard dating back to the 1990s. Due to slower performance and worse support for modern hardware, we don't suggest using this mode over AHCI. An exception to this is if you are using an older system missing AHCI support, or are experiencing system instability using an SSD in another mode and need to use this mode for compatibility/testing purposes.


Note that the above modes may be reference differently by some motherboards, such as AHCI being called "Serial ATA" or IDE being labelled "Legacy" or just "ATA." If your SATA modes are not described in an obvious way, please refer to your system or motherboard documentation for clarification.


RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks): A configuration in which multiple drives are effectively merged into one for stability and performance benefits. There are multiple variations of this, and support varies greatly from system to system for this. We are unable to support a RAID array directly, but for disks in an array suspected to have failed, if your RAID does not provide detailed information on failures another method for testing is disabling RAID configurations and testing individual drives outside the array. If independent drives are confirmed to be malfunctioning, please contact us for further support.


With all of these modes, if you have one mode set prior to installing your operating system, changing these after the fact may require advanced drive configuration or reinstallation of your OS. Please refer to support for your OS for more details and guidelines for making changes to these settings without reinstallation, if possible.