Benefits of Solid State Drives (SSD) Optimization (Tweaking)

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thessdreview

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Hello Chris,

By opposite, I mean that the X25m may work better with Write Cache Buffer flushing one way where most others do not. The only way to determine whats best is to test with Write Caching enabled/disabled and then Buffer flushing enabled disabled. In todays environment the best setting is the default 99.9% of the time.

This is why I was taken back as to why you would use the X25m, the same that I tested with years ago rather than say, a modern day SandForce or Samsung drive or even a Intel with a Marvell controller.

Now to all, I'de like to possibly clarify a few things with respect to Prefetch/Superfetch/Indexing and so on. There is absolutely no reason to turn these off given exception to the fact that they offer absolutely no performance increase with todays SSD. Its kind of like driving a car with 5 wheels ehere, in the end, the only result is another thing that can affect your system or break down the machine.

Things such as Pagefile/Superfetch and Prefetch were created in a time that hard drives benefited from them, however, they show absolutely no performance benefit in use with SSDs. XP only survived as a result of Pagefile and the same can probably be said of Vista with Pre/Superfetch.

System Restore, to this Day, wreaks havoc on SSDs and slows them significantly because the allocation points of restore just don't mix well with the background activity of the SSD.

My advise to all SSD users has always been to shut down Restore/Pagefile/Prefetch/Superfetch/Indexing and even hibernation as this combination works extremely well with SSDs. I formed the beliefe long ago that Restore itself was responsible for SSD performance degradation over time and the majority of things I have assisted in point to this.

With respect to Pagefile, the mechanics alone make me wonder why anyone would use it. The pagefile creates a virtual disk on your hard drive (or SSD as it may be) to make up for a lack of ram. With RAM being so cheap, why do we even want it on. Most do not realize but the ONLY way to force your system to use the valuable RAM you paid for is to shut down Pagefile completely. By leaving it on, you are actually telling your system to place your information/programs in a slower area than the RAM itself. Does this make sense to anyone?

Love speaking regarding this and have enjoyed watching the industry move in the direction that I have been suggesting for some 3 years now. There was a time when many wanted to condemn our views and there still are some that will jump up and down, but at the end of the day, we simply want to assist those that want to fine tune their SSD to the best it can be.

This is something that you and I share Chris and thanks for the article. If anything, it encourages this discussion.
 

thessdreview

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Sorry, I can't edit but wanted to apologize for the spelling mistakes and clarify my view on Pagefile a bit more. With an SSD, the ONLY thing that Pagefile does is maintain a dump record if your system should ever crash. Personally, my system hasnt crashed since Vista and, if it does Crash, I can figure out the problem myself. Most would not ever know how to find the boot log (as it may be).

Thanks again!

Les
http://thessdreview.com
 

tecmo34

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Les,

Thanks for your responses and feedback...

I can address why the Intel X25-M drive was utilized. This process of the article started back in mid January with discussions between Chris and I. I discussed creating this article using my own personal equipment (not a full-time BoM employee), which was the Intel X25-M G2 80 GB. Through the process, we felt it would be more beneficial to add in another drive for comparison. I was able to obtain the Vertex 2 (25 nm) drive to conduct the testing with for comparison. At the time I began my testing, the SATA III drives (outside of the C300) really weren't readily available for testing and having only a SATA II board wasn't considered. Through the process of review and editing (being my first story), it took a little while to get the story where it was at the point of being released.

I highlighted the Intel drive specifically in the article (as you know), it showed a major impact in performance when WCBF was disabled. I didn't see a performance drop or improvement with the OCZ Vertex 2 when disabled.

Best Regards,

Doug
 

travish82

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What a terrific article. I just ordered a Crucial M4, and am drooling as I watch for the delivery guy. Now I know for certain that tweaking these settings is a total waste and a risk as well.

Thanks Tom's!
 

snemarch

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RE disabling pre/superfetch, indexing service, LargeSystemCache, etc.

You may argue these aren't necessary for SSDs (and I'd disagree - RAM has gigabyte/sec transfer rates and nanosec access times, this is still a *lot* better than what SSDs offer; combine this with knowledge of how the windows memory and cache manager works before yelling about "wasted ram"), but suggesting turning the features off entirely totally ignores systems with both SSDs and mechanical drives.

Besides, Win7 by default disables superfetch for SSDs - a decision I'm definitely not agreeing with Microsoft on, but also means that there's no reason to disable the service.

This is not a "ZOMG VERY GOOD ARTICLE!", it's the same regurgitated whatever by people who know enough to be dangerous, but not enough to know exactly what they're doing.
 

rdevita

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Did I miss something with "Disable the Page File"? Why not just move it to the storage drive? It won't be used unless resources are needed, and you risk nothing in the way of OS crash or app compatibility... why were they hung up on "disable" ?
 

thessdreview

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What is the purpose of using Page file if you have sufficient RAM? If you check your services, you may be surprised to note that it is used. With respect to moving it to the storage drive, you are, in turn, slowing from the speed of RAM to the speed of a hard drive.

Many people still seem to overlook that, if you elect to move your pagefile to a hard drive, the pagefile can only be used at the speed of the hard drive and, as we saw with XP,, disk activity increases significantly.

In the end, I think we need to ask what the purpose of Pagefile is and, if there is no purpose, why would you want it running in the background? Pagefile was created to make up for the lack of RAM as its cost was a premium in times of XP and when the OS restricted the total amount of useable RAM which we don't have today.

Les
http://thessdreview.com
 

rdevita

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@ Les, I agree - with 64 Bit OS and lots of RAM (defined as 8GB or more?) the page file would not see much use on a "home" machine. But I disagree on the supposition that the file is in use even if memory resources are not constrained. If you have enough RAM, the file should be static. Yes, some older applications require the presence of a pagefile to start/run/behave properly, but these are rare in these "modern" times. So discounting that... what is it for... well, for a home gaming rig with tons of RAM... maybe unnecessary -but in the enterprise...(well you already covered the memory dump) - Anyway, here's a good MS KB article on pagefile use, monitoring, calculating appropriate size etc. Supports the idea of disabling, (given enough RAM)but also informational as to why it might be a good idea (or even required) to enable. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/889654
 

snemarch

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[citation][nom]rdevita[/nom]Did I miss something with "Disable the Page File"? Why not just move it to the storage drive? It won't be used unless resources are needed, and you risk nothing in the way of OS crash or app compatibility... why were they hung up on "disable" ?[/citation]Perfectly doable :)

I personally prefer getting enough RAM for my systems that the pagefile won't be necessary, though. Also keep in mind that Windows (especially pre-Vista) can be a bit swap-happy even when not "strictly necessary" (there's a lot of reasoning why the memory manager behaves as it does, but one size doesn't fit all) - leading to pagefile activity even though you have free ram.

[citation][nom]JamesAbel[/nom]Turn on Windows 'compress drive to save space'. I got a 25% back (98 GB of data in 74 GB of disk space).[/citation]Be careful when doing this on an SSD - due to the way NTFS compression works, this can lead to a lot of extra writing. Short version: it's safe doing for mostly static files, but don't enable for often changing files. Also defeats SandForce controllers built-in compression.

 

Alm1ghty55

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I'm running 2 Corsair NOVA class 128 GB in Raid 0 SSD's and I ran your program to see if disabling System Restore had a huge impact. First I didn't know by turning off System Restore that wipes out all my previous restore points. Second: The increase in performance is negligible. In other words not even worth the bother.
 

thessdreview

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I cannot answer to any resemblance in the two articles but to say my guide has been built upon and published for a few years now. It was the consequence of my "Win 7 Optimization Guide" and Vista Tweak Guide before that which has been read by millions worldwide.

With respect to restore, you will see a difference using simply Crystal diskmark after a few weeks with restore active.
 
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My rig has the Asus P8Z68-V Pro motherboard and I have a 64GB Crucial M4 SSD currently being used for caching via Intel Smart Response (my HDD is a 1TB WD Caviar Black). In order to get that configuration working, I have to set the controller being used by the SSD to RAID rather than AHCI. Does this mean I cannot take advantage of the Windows 7 TRIM functionality? Someone earlier mentioned that garbage collection has to be handled by firmware if RAID is being used, but I don't quite understand what that means.
 

tecmo34

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A SSD will still support TRIM if it is a single drive in a RAID setup. TRIM is not supported when two SSD's are together in the RAID setup. In your case, TRIM will be supported by the SSD, as it isn't paired with another one.

What I referenced is two SSD's in a RAID setup. Garbage Collection is part of the SSD's firmware that actually deletes the blocks. TRIM is a Windows command that tells the GC what blocks to delete making the process more efficient basically.
 

ionz2

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The size of the page file can be changed (reduced) from the large default size. It can also be placed on a hard drive instead of the default SSD drive.
 

Shin-san

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I have disabled the page file before, having 8 gigs of RAM, and the occasional program will complain of being out of memory. That's the only reason why it's enabled on my system.

This is where an SSD would help, where I could put the page file on it. I split up the page file between my physical hard drives, and that helps.
 
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There was another article about setting up an SSD about a year or 2 ago or it might have been on the forums. On my intial 80 Gb Intel SSD I was filling it to capacity fast. I couldnt figure out why until I realized that at least 12Gb was hibernation. Since I have 12 Gb of ram it was taking up that much space on my SSD. Was huge. Also you would think that with that much RAM that you wouldn't need a page file but my Win 7 system was buggy with it turned off. So I just managed the size to a small fixed amount instead of letting Widows decide and everything worked good again and I got alot of extra space back on my SSD again.
 

cycle

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Useful article thank you.

Another way to obtain more space is to remove Windows 7 SP1 backup files - If you have installed Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and have been running it for a few weeks without problems, you may remove the files that were replaced by SP1. Doing this will remove the option to uninstall SP1.

Open an elevated command prompt (type cmd in your Start search box,
right-click the cmd.exe entry in your Start menu and select Run as
administrator) and type the following command:

dism /online /cleanup-image /spsuperseded /hidesp and press [Enter].

This freed over 2 Gb on my C drive.
 
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