Do you still need to change bios settings (e.g., AHCI) when installing ssd?


Jul 25, 2005
Okay, here is a fun project. In the next few weeks I will Skyping a family member in order to install an SSD in a Windows 7 system. It is an Acer desktop running a Intel Core i5 650. The mechanical hard drive is 256 gb and will be replaced with an Adata sp610 256 gb SATA ssd. This person is not tech savvy, I will be telling them every single step and hopefully we will be successful.

Any bios settings to change for the ssd? Used to be you have to change to AHCI from IDE or something. Maybe on Windows 10 or newer machines the system can automatically recognize the ssd. Obviously this is an older system, so the expectation is that one or more bios settings would require changes.
IDE can still work worst case, but older machines still need to be set I've found. Anything past Ivy Bridge has been auto-set to AHCI, but I remember my old sandy build I think I may have had to set AHCI manually initially. Meaning an older still Lynnfield(I think? Right gen?) would almost certainly need it? Unless it was already set on original install.
If you use IDE mode you lose some performance aspects of what SATA offers like native command queuing aka NCQ and other aspects that work under AHCI mode drive controllers so, there's really no rational reason to purposely choose IDE or ATA mode operation over true SATA.

So, absolutely keep the AHCI support mode enabled for the drive controller. Yes the SSD will be a big leap over any mechanical hard drive ever made but even so, ACHI works in conjunction with the ACPI power control subsystems as well and if any part of the entire system doesn't get that support the power and energy usage will be higher. And no I'm not mixing up the acronyms, each one of those (AHCI, ACPI, SATA, ATA, etc) are individual discrete things. :D