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Community Manager

New Intel 320 SSD with AMD CPU, Windows XP

Hi Everyone,

Very new here, have a situation I haven't been able to quite get any clear answers on so I wanted to stop in and try to straighten things out before get too far down the rabbit hole.

So my situation is this... My harddrive crashed on me, first time it's happened after many years of building computers. I spoke to my brother about it, and due it this happening the day after my birthday, he decided to buy me a new drive. At my door comes a sweet new Intel 320 SSD. I unfortunately know nothing about solid state drives, so I've been struggling a bit to understand how exactly to approach my installation.

I have Windows XP Pro and my brother pointed me to this thread here on these forums:

I was initially ignoranly getting through these instructions, but I didn't realize that the driver in question was really for the CPU. So...

I'm struggling a bit with how to move forward. I feel like I could just run my installation, but I'm gathering I'm not going to be able to reap any benefits of the drive and I'm rather worried the install may not even go correctly.

Any advice on how to proceed? Sorry to bring a 1/2 intell 1/2 amd question here, but I felt this was probably the best place to start.

Thanks in advance,


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Community Manager

I know you've got someone else replying to you from the thread in the link. I'll give my responses anyway as a 2+ year X25-M first generation user.

You really do not need to treat the SSD as more than a regular, platter SSD. Most SSD manufacturers, especially Intel, try to make the SSD as close to the HDD as possible in terms of transparency, so the user doesn't have to do much. All this thing about formatting and alignment might or might not be important, personally I never cared and it worked perfectly fine.

One of the benefits of an SSD is after installing it, you can forget about it. By worrying about this you are not taking advantage of the benefit.

Some things the guy in the thread mentioned about AHCI, alignment, and Intel RST drivers.

AHCI: No different than from a regular drive. It'll be better for performance if you can enable it, but if you can, you won't lose so much that its useless. SSD without AHCI will be many times faster than a velociraptor with AHCI.

Alignment: Don't worry about this. I've seen benchmarks on this. It varies on size and usage. You can't exactly know what's the best all the time. Leave it alone on default. Is the 1-2% gain you might or might not get worth the hassle of trying to get it to work?

RST drivers: Same suggestion as AHCI. Good if you install it, but that's just like with a regular platter HDD. Your computing world won't collapse not installing it.

I try to get AHCI and RST enabled/installed on both SSD and HDD setups. But Alignment? What is alignment? Is it a name of a star?

Community Manager

Thanks very much for this... for some reason I can't get back logged into the forum, but this was very helpful. I'm on my new rig and everything is flying along.


Community Manager

Until then, keep your data backed up and OS install disks handy. There is a bug in the 320 series firmware that wipes the drive and sets it as 8.4meg capacity that has been hitting quite a few users. Check the "Is 320 firmware buggy" thread.