Taking Advantage of NCQ

Remember that to take advantage of NCQ on the MaXLine III, a controller and drivers with NCQ support must be used. Currently, only Intel's ICH6 features support for NCQ when used with the Intel Application Accelerator 4.0 drivers.

The IAA 4.0 drivers will only work if ICH6's SATA controller is configured for use as an Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) device. So, the first step to enabling NCQ is to enable AHCI within the BIOS. If the ICH6R RAID functionality is enabled, then the device is already set to be an AHCI device.

Be warned; in order to use the ICH6 controller as an AHCI device, you must have the IAA 4.0 drivers installed. Unfortunately, IAA 4.0 will not install if the controller is not configured as an AHCI first. What does this mean? If you don't have AHCI enabled initially and install Windows to a SATA drive, you will have to reinstall Windows to enable AHCI and provide a disk with the IAA 4.0 drivers during the Windows setup process when the F6 prompt appears. If you have AHCI already enabled and Windows installed, or if Windows is installed on a PATA drive, or if you have yet to install Windows, then there's nothing more to worry about.

Once in Windows, you'll want to install the IAA 4.0 application itself. Doing so will let you make sure that NCQ is enabled if the drive supports it. Also, the IAA 4.0 application will let you create RAID 0 and RAID 1 arrays if you have multiple drives.

Maxtor's MaXLine III: NCQ Enabled The Test
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  • araczynski - Friday, June 25, 2004 - link


    if ncqprice <= raptorprice then
    ncqproduct = possiblesuccess
    whocares = 1

    I would say forget the spinning crap alltogether, why aren't we advnacing the solid state field storage? like that HyperDrive3 thing mentioned on the forums, THAT'S something to drool about.
  • Da3dalus - Friday, June 25, 2004 - link

    I wanna see a Raptor with that 16MB buffer ;)
    I'm not gonna put a Maxtor drive in my comp again no matter what they come up with, bad previous experiences...
  • Demon - Friday, June 25, 2004 - link

    The Seagate 7200.7 does support NCQ.

    "The Barracuda 7200.7 is the industry's first hard drive family capable of supporting SATA Native Command Queuing (NCQ)"

  • apriest - Friday, June 25, 2004 - link

    #4, I believe the drive has to support NCQ as well. Doesn't the Raptor support NCQ though?
  • Zar0n - Friday, June 25, 2004 - link

    Why did u not benchmark Seagate 7200.7 with NCQ enabled?

    1GB of ram? Most users have 256mb or 512mb.

    What is the technical explanation for some many tests being slower with NCQ?
  • AnnoyedGrunt - Friday, June 25, 2004 - link

    Hmmm, I thought the conclusion in this article gave too much credit to NCQ as far as boosting performance. It helped in one test which has significant multi-tasking, and that is by no means a bad thing, but I do wonder how often that scenario would arise. It seems to me that the human operating the computer would have a hard time keeping that many activities occuring @ the same time. Also, the Hitachi drive (as well as the other 7200 RPM drives) were all usually quite close in performance to the new Maxtor. Finally, in the game loading tests, the Raptor still had a significant lead, which is somewhat dissapointing for me since that is my main concern and I was hoping the Maxtor would do better in that arena.

    Well, I'll check out the storagereview article to see how that turned out.

  • Sivar - Friday, June 25, 2004 - link

    Hmm. The results using a Promise TCQ controller were quite different (See StorageReview.com's latest review).
  • Jeff7181 - Friday, June 25, 2004 - link

    Well it had to happen sometime... competition for the Raptor.

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