Gotta give respect when respect is due, Dr. cha!!!
I did notice a performance boost when I switched to AHCI instead of IDE but two things happened. BIOS only listed 4 SATA ports and not 5 and when I booted to the Win 7 on the other hard drive, it hung up and restarted. Wouldn't work until I put it back to IDE.
Anyway, I hit my system with 5 firmware updaters. They all showed progress bars, sectors being loaded but they all showed the same, old 2.15 version when finished. One of them must have finally took cause it is running just like it used to. Running HD on big tv while surfing high speed and downloading big files. Without the update, my big download files would be corrupted when I unzipped them, like all the stuff I was doing on the pc interfered with the download. Now no problem at all.
Windows is funny like that... once you install it under IDE mode, it won't work in AHCI mode & vice-versa.
You would need to be in AHCI mode for the firmware to update and for SSD to opperate at maximum potential. IDE was designed for the Parallel ATA interface, while AHCI was designed to take full advantage of the Serial ATA interface. Controller inside your SSD is designed to work through AHCI mode, and while you can use SSD's in IDE mode, they need to be under AHCI mode in order to update the firmware.
Although I haven't heard of anyone running into your issues while running their SSD under IDE mode, the combination of old drivers, old firmware, & IDE mode may have been working in harmony to give your system it's headaches of late.
Glad things seem to be 'back to normal' for ya!