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Community Manager

Intel 330 SSD on old PC

Here is the specifications of my current old PC:

CPU: P4 3.8 GHz (x64 capable)


GPU: 256 MB

MB: Intel D915PGN. SATA1. Southbridge ICH6. Doesn't support AHCI.

I will run windows XP and connect my SSD to SATA1. SSD will operate on IDE mode, because AHCI isn't supported by my motherboard. I know that my SSD will be limited by the speed of SATA1 bottleneck.

Since SATA1 doesn't support AHCI, NCQ, TRIM will I be able to run Intel 330 SSD without problems and premature slowing down/aging of SSD?

I know that Intel toolbox allows users to manually run TRIM command.

Will I be able to trim my SSD manually despite the fact that SSD will be operating on IDE mode without AHCI?

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Community Manager

The main source of TRIM support is provided by the OS, Windows 7 for example, XP does not provide TRIM.

Whether or not the Toolbox can manually TRIM your SSD on your system is difficult to predict, the best I can tell you is try it. The Toolbox user manual mentions that in XP, disk defragment cannot be disabled by the Toolbox's OS optimization option. You should check if you can set defragment to all manual operation, so SSDs are not defraged.

Without TRIM, the SSD's cleanup function will have a more difficult time. To help with this, as much free, empty space as possible should be left on the SSD, as well as some idle, logged off time to allow the SSD to perform cleanup.


As parsec comments, the Intel® SSD Toolbox should run the TRIM command in Windows* XP. However, we also have to consider the possibility that TRIM may not run in your system or other compatibility issues may arise since you are connecting the SSD to a legacy SATA controller.

Community Manager

According to the linked article, TRIM does not depend on the controller itself but only on the drive as a receiver of the command and the OS/application (in this case SSD toolbox) as the sender of the command. If that is true then the controller should just act as a transport channel for the command.

I would say you are lucky because there are many reports of these drives freezing in ahci mode! IDE, SATA, AHCI, SSDs and TRIM: all you need to know | MSI HQ User-to-User FAQ

Community Manager

Wow, that MSI article has serious mistakes about using AHCI mode with SSDs. The article sounds like an excuse for not providing AHCI support on mother boards.

It is true that AHCI is not needed for the TRIM command to work with SSDs, Intel has stated that TRIM works fine in IDE mode.

The article claims that AHCI mode, or really the NCQ feature of AHCI, can reduce SSD performance and reduce SSD lifetime. No explanations for that are provided. Every SSD manufacture recommends AHCI mode, and anyone that has ever benchmark tested a SSD in IDE and AHCI mode, knows AHCI provides better performance.

SSDs use the main enhancement of AHCI, sending up to 32 I/O requests at one time to a drive, instead of one at a time as done in IDE mode. Rather than sorting the requests for optimal retrieval as HDDs do, SSDs can perform multiple requests in parallel and due to their speed, would be doing nothing while waiting for single I/O commands to be processed by the file system.

All the features of AHCI are also included in RAID mode, but the article does not suggest avoiding RAID.

A SATA controller is a transport mechanism, but it's not as simple as a wire connecting two points. What controls it and provides its interface to a file system? Software, its driver program. The SATA standard has a precisely defined set of commands, which the driver must recognize and respond to correctly. The SATA standard has changed over the years, and the controller hardware may be unable to support new features. The driver program may not recognize new commands or protocols (TRIM, SATA 6Gb/s), and may ignore them or cause errors. An example of this are the Nvidia SATA controllers and their drivers. Obsolete and no longer supported, they can't support SATA 6Gb/s, cannot provide AHCI functionality, and don't support the newer SATA standards that include TRIM.