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AHCI vs IDE – What is the difference?

By | March 17, 2017

AHCI and IDE are the two different modes wherein a hard drive corresponds with computer system via SATA storage controller. AHCI is the Advanced Host Controller Interface and in comparison to IDE, it’s faster, while IDE is Integrated Drive Electronics which has been the standard interface used in storage media.

IDE as stated has been the most commonly storage interface. However, at first; the interface did have certain problems. But eventually, it was made perfect so that it could be used for different drives from dissimilar manufacturers. IDE came outmoded by SATA as it brought it various other benefits.

On the other hand, it’s the AHCI Advanced Host Controller Interface, which is app programming interface which is based on SATA’s one of the many modes of operations. AHCI causes no influence the speed with which the SATA drives functions; however, it exposes the superior features which one gets with SATA.

SATA controllers offer choice of both modes inclusive of AHCI and IDE. To understand which of the two make for the perfect choice; it’s important to understand few differences between the two. AHCI vs IDE, manages to bring out the real time advantages and difference between AHCI and IDE.

Understanding the difference between AHCI and IDE will make it clear which one of the two interfaces will be of more use.

Advanced host controller interface extends support to all new storage technologies which include the native command queuing.The integrated drive electronics which has been in use since long. One of the major benefits of IDE is that is gives you the maximum compatibility.
It supports hot plugging, which means you can add or remove components even when the PC is in use. This apparently makes the AHCI more user friendly and likeable.While with AHCI you get the hot plugging advantage, the same is missing in case of IDE. Adding or removing components while your computer stays connected isn’t a feasible option with IDE.
One drawback about AHCI is that it’s not always compatible.As you have seen in AHCI, it offers compatibility to all the latest of technologies. But with IDE, it’s completely missing. Native command queuing or hot plugging are the latest of features but with IDE both are missing.
It is backed by Intel and calls for Operation of Serial ATA host bus adapters.IDE comes backed by Western Digital.
It includes operating modes by Legacy Parallel ATA emulation, standard AHCI or the vendor particular RAID; these are the common operation modes.It calls for operation of parallel ATA drive.
AHCI can be used for Windows 7 & 8, as well as OpenBSD, eComStation and Solaris 10.Unlike AHCI, IDE uses its customized operating mode only, and it supports all the different computer systems.

AHCI vs IDE: Other Key Differences

Among the differences as discussed above, AHCI and IDE share some other differences too. Let us have a look at some other differences too:

First it is the storage space, hard drives plus optical drives are commonly used for a considerable length of time. Initially, there existed some problems in terms of wide ranging storage devices which were made by distinct manufacturers. There was a need of one common interface experienced. IDE was out of date by SATA as it brought in many advantages. On the other hand, AHCI happens to be an application programming which calls for single SATA mode. Unlike, IDE, AHCI has no impact on the speed.

To maintain outmoded compatibility with older hardware, most of the time SATA controllers give you the option of choosing between AHCI and IDE. The consultants often consider IDE as the native storage interface which is highly compatible, and you get the benefit of having a heritage interface. IDE gives you a consistent interface. While IDE is the traditional one, AHCI comes with many added benefits and features which lack in the former.

Moving on, IDE is stated to be perfect for the average computer user, and is highly compatible with other forms of technology, predominantly older devices. But it has no support for newer technologies.

AHCI vs IDE: Conclusion

Both AHCI and IDE are highly useful storage interfaces, and have excellent usability. However, the AHCI has little more advantages over IDE. Majorly because it supports new technologies, like hot plugging and native command queuing.

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