M500 960 GB "compatibility" with Dell Inspiron 9400

Kilobyte Kid

M500 960 GB "compatibility" with Dell Inspiron 9400

I have recently purchased a M500 SSD of 960 GB for my Dell Inspiron 9400.  I cloned the old HDD to it, updated the BIOS on the Inspiron board to the latest version A10, I upgraded the SATA driver on Win XP to the latest version, I upgraded the firmware on the SSD to the latest FU05 version, I checked the alignment of the partitions, it checks OK, all offsets are multiple of 4096. I disabled defrag, indexing and advance reads. Still the SSD drive I spent a small fortune on it did not bring any surplus of performance compared to the old HDD drive I had before. Turns out Dell Inspiron 9400 BIOS does not accept AHCI mode, although the Intel SATA controller accepts it. Moreso, support for Inspiron 9400 has been phased out, as we can find it here:

http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3518/p/18432094/19068781.aspx

The problem with your product is that Inspiron 9400 is marked as compatible in your compatibility check tool. If compatibility means running an expensive unit as slow as the previous HDD, then yes, it is correct, but anyone purchasing a SSD drive for that notebook will accumulate lots of frustration, as I did. Nowhere on the site is it apparent that AHCI mode is paramount for getting any sort of performance increase when using a SSD. 

2 Replies
JEDEC Jedi

Re: M500 960 GB "compatibility" with Dell Inspiron 9400

AHCI is certainly faster than non-AHCI but it should still be loads faster than a HDD.  Do you have RAID as an option?  My Dell also has an AHCI supporting chipset but lacks the AHCI BIOS option.  RAID provides the same performance boost though - but you're unlikely to have that in a laptop I guess?

 

Any any case, check these out to boost laptop storage performance:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/solid-state-drives-ssds-flash-storage/517916-how-improve-ssd-perform...

http://forum.notebookreview.com/solid-state-drives-ssds-flash-storage/517917-how-improve-ssd-perform...

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JEDEC Jedi

Re: M500 960 GB "compatibility" with Dell Inspiron 9400

Could you please post AS SSD Benchmark screenshot of your M500 XP installation?

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