If the user doesn't get any performance benefit by enabling the AHCI mode with Intel ICH8 chipset mainboards, why do you suggest nevertheless to do it and to load the modified AHCI drivers?
As a side note, I have done performance testing and AHCI has no performance benefit seen in HD Tach. This is compared to vista in IDE, XP in IDE, and XP in AHCI
Actually, from everything I know and read, ACHI does not improve performance for anyone in lots of situations. At the same time, HD Tach is an old program that isn't even supported anymore. My testing was pretty informal and more software designed to really test the benefit of ACHI v IDE would be needed.
Here are a few reasons why you'd want ACHI, hot-plugging and native command queuing. http://en.wikipedia....Command_Queuing
Here is a reason why you wouldn't want NCQ:
"However, the current (as of 2004) technology actually slows down HD access in certain applications, like games and sequential reads & writes, because of the added latency induced by NCQ logic."
From my understanding, NCQ is a nice feature for someone who doesn't want to worry about a fragmented hard drive or doesn't do that much sequential read/writing, especially on servers. At this stage in time, I believe NCQ does not really have much of a performance hit anymore (I currently sport a 7200.10 that is 3 generations later).
Additionally, in another 4 years I see XP as going the way of 98, most people will be running Vista with the remnants still running it. Vista natively supports ACHI, which means there would be very little reason to not use it.