I installed my X25-M 80GB SSD on an older system with an EVGA 680i SLI motherboard for my Windows 7 installation. I recently found out that the 680i doesn't support AHCI, so I'm considering replacing it with a board using an Intel P45 chipset (Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P). Can TRIM function on a motherboard that doesn't have AHCI, or would I need to run the SSD toolbox? Can I even run the toolbox without AHCI? Is it worth upgrading to the P45 chipset to add AHCI functionality? What kind of lifespan can I expect from the SSD without TRIM? The system runs solidly right now, so I'm hesitant to go through the potential headache of basically rebuilding the system with a new motherboard.
Windows 7 Trim commands work in IDE and AHCI mode (even if some guys say on this forum that it only works in AHCI mode, that is totally false....).But you have to install Windows 7 Sata IDE/AHCI drivers (they are installed by default duing Windows installation), and not Intel or Nvidia ones (until they officially support trim in the near future)
Windows 7 will not install AHCI driver unless BIOS is set to AHCI, and he should not try to install AHCI driver if his board does not support AHCI.
To the OP, you can use non-AHCI mode but probably will not have NCQ, nor will it be as fast as in AHCI mode. How old is your MB?
If sticking with your present MB, you could use the Optimizer in Toolbox that runs the TRIM automatically by scheduling or you can run it manually to keep your drive to specs, or at least close to specs and no need to worry about longetivity. After installing Windows 7, just make sure Defrag is turned off.
The 680i board came out in late 2006 and I built the sytem in January 2007.
If the Toolbox can take care of TRIM for me with the SSD hooked up in IDE mode and I can schedule it to run, I'm more inclined to stick with the existing board since it serves my needs already and I don't plan to upgrade the rest of the system anytime soon; the new MB would just be to get AHCI for automatic TRIM.
Windows 7 disabled Defrag when it installed, so it was still able to detect that the drive is an SSD. I downloaded the firmware update, which trashed my original install, but I was able to reinstall Win7 anyway and it has been running well for the last 3+ weeks. I'll have to keep an eye out for the Toolbox since it isn't available right now.
HD Tune does detect some damaged blocks after the failure after the firmware update, should I be worried about them and RMA the drive?
Thanks for the replies.