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12 SSD tips to optimise your drive's performance

Discussion in 'Storage' started by micropage7, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. micropage7

    micropage7

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    [​IMG]

    1. Reduce write-heavy tasks
    One of the early concerns about solid state storage was that it wouldn't be able to handle the same intensity of read/write cycles that traditional hard disks manage. Many tips for extending the life of drives centered around reducing unnecessary writing to disk.
    Things have improved considerably since then and, while this concern is still broadly justified, you'd have to write intensively to disk for many years before you'd wear out a modern SSD.
    However, write times are still a little slower than read times for these drives, so in theory reducing the number of write operations to SSD should result in a performance boost. Moving temporary storage or working folders to RAM may help, but avoid merely transferring these to a slower drive, otherwise you won't see any improvement.

    2. Enable write caching
    [​IMG]

    This is generally enabled by default, but it's worth checking that data written to the drive is cached in its RAM before it's stored permanently. There's a slight risk that a power outage will wipe out the data stored temporarily in RAM, but this is only really a problem with external drives that don't have their own power source.
    You can check to see if write caching is enabled in Device Manager. To do this, right-click 'Computer' and choose 'Properties'. Select 'Device manager' from the left-hand pane and expand 'Disk drives'. Select the solid state drive, right-click it and choose 'Properties. Select the 'Properties' tab and tick the box marked 'Enable write caching'.

    3. Tweak paging files
    Using a portion of hard drive as virtual memory can lead to intensive writing to the disk for swap purposes, which can degrade SSD performance. You can achieve some speed boosts by moving the swap file to a different disk, or turning it off altogether if you have sufficient RAM installed.
    Virtual memory tweaks like these produce varied results depending on the kind of operations you need to carry out.
    To move the file, click 'Start', right-click 'Computer' and choose 'Properties'. Select 'Advanced system settings', choose the 'Advanced' tab and then click 'Settings' under 'Performance'. Choose the 'Advanced' tab and click 'Change' under 'Virtual memory'.
    Clear the box marked 'Automatically manage paging file size for all drives'. Select the SSD and choose the radio button next to 'No paging file'. Click 'Set', then click 'OK' in each of the open dialogs to clear them.

    4. Move temporary files
    If you have another drive available, try moving your temporary Windows files onto it. Again, this reduces the need to write to the SSD during routine Windows operations.
    Choose 'Start', then right-click 'Computer' and select 'Properties'. Choose 'Advanced system settings', pick the 'Advanced' tab and click 'Environment variables'.
    You should see values listed for 'temp' and 'tmp' for the current user and the system. Select one of these and choose 'Edit' to move it to a different folder. Make sure you select one that's on a different drive.

    5. Disable indexing
    [​IMG]

    Disabling indexing on your SSD may help reduce writing to the disk, but think carefully before you decide to do so. Indexing can have a negative impact on your drive's performance, but it can also massively improve your productivity if you have a lot of data on the drive and you need to find something quickly.
    The improvement in performance is likely to be negligible at best, but if you're keen to squeeze the most out of your system, it may be worth considering.
    If you decide to disable indexing, open 'Computer' on the Start menu, right-click the SSD and choose 'Properties'. Towards the bottom of the dialog, clear the box marked 'Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties'.

    6. Create a RAM disk
    It's not always practical to move temporary files and so on to a different drive - you might not have one available, or what you have might be of markedly lower performance than the SSD itself. One way to get around the issue of moving the various caches to a different disk is to create a RAM disk, which will run at lightning speeds compared to any physical drive.
    You need at least 3GB memory installed to use a RAM drive for caching, and the more you have available, the better its performance will be. You can install a RAM drive using the Dataram RAMdisk program, which is available from here.
    Download and install it. Once the program is launched, you need to open the 'Settings' tab and select the filesystem you want to use for the drive. Enter the disk size, bearing in mind how much memory you have available, and click 'Start RAMDisk'. The free version lets you set up drives up to 4GB in size.

    7. Move caches to RAM disk
    Now that you've set up a RAM disk, you can move Windows caches to it, thereby reducing the strain on your SSD and prolonging its life.
    In fact, even if you don't have an SSD but have enough RAM available to set up a drive, this is still a great way to improve system performance, because RAM is always faster than a physical drive. Just bear in mind that all its contents will be lost once the power is shut down.

    8. Temporary internet files
    You should consider moving your internet cache to the RAM drive too. To do this, go to 'Control Panel | Internet options', then select the 'General' tab and choose 'Move folder'. Browse to your RAM drive for the new folder.
    If you use Firefox, enter about:config in the address bar and search for 'browser.cache.disk.parent_director'. You can now double-click this value and enter the new location for your browser cache.

    9. Check TRIM functions
    [​IMG]

    The TRIM command lets operating systems inform SSDs which data blocks are no longer needed so they can be wiped internally. This helps to keep the disk in optimum condition, and therefore maintain its performance. Windows 7 supports TRIM, but it may not be enabled in your system.
    You can check the status of TRIM by launching the command prompt using administrator privileges. To do this, go to 'Start | All programs | Accessories' right-click 'Command prompt' and choose 'Run as administrator'. Now enter the following command:
    fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify
    Press [Enter]. If TRIM is working correctly, you'll get a response of 0 (zero). If the result is 1, then you'll need to enable TRIM by entering the following command:
    fsutil behavior query|set DisableDeleteNotify = 0

    10. Check disk TRIM support
    Not all solid state drives support TRIM, although you'll find that an increasing number do. It's a good idea to check through your drive's documentation or go to the manufacturer's website to see whether or not it's supported.
    There may well be a firmware upgrade available for your drive that enables TRIM, so this is worth investigating too. You should be able to get this from the support section of the manufacturer's site, along with instructions on how to apply it.

    11. Advanced Host Controller Interface
    Windows Vista and 7 natively support the AHCI SATA controller standard, which enables faster data throughput, but it's worth checking that your motherboard does too.
    Enter the BIOS by restarting your PC and hitting [Delete] as it starts up, or watching for the key combination displayed for you to enter the CMOS utility. The location varies, but it's often in chipset settings. If you find it's disabled, enable it.

    12. SSD Tweaker
    As an alternative to tweaking Windows settings manually to get the best configuration for your SSD, you can get a tweaking program such as SSD Tweaker to do the hard work.
    The free version lets you clear the paging file and disable indexing, system restore, NTFS 8.3 name creation and file date stamping. There's also a handy 'Auto tweak settings' button that sets the most common SSD tweaks in a single operation.
    The pro version includes more advanced settings, like querying the TRIM status and modifying hibernation settings. There's also a TRIM optimisation manager that enables you to optimise TRIM for your drive

    http://www.techradar.com/news/computing-components/storage/12-ssd-tips-to-optimise-your-drives-performance-943984

    or

    http://blog.ocztechnology.com/?p=178
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
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  2. pigulici

    pigulici

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    So why buy a ssd if you move all most accessed folders/files to a slower drive, the most important thing at a ssd it is the speed, half of your advise tell us to decrease/cancel this, and I not buying a hardware that need a lot of work to install(12 steps for that it is too much) I buy a ssd not only to speed the windows boot time, but also my browser speed, my photoshop work, my overall work with pc, so yes, my temp/cache folders are on ssd; also for optimize my ssd, I just align to 4096k(at first install of windows)+disable index on drives(I don't use search from windows) + I make page file only 2gb because I have a lot of ram(and from my experience a lot of programs don't like to have page files disabled, even it is free ram left, like photoshop...)+I disable hybernate because I don't use + I disable sleep for hdd from power management, and I check after first install if trim it is enabled, AHCI at modern motherboard it is enabled by default(at least for most UEFI bios), even so I think it is a lot of steps for year 2012 to use a piece of hardware...and we have warranty(2yrs in my country)...
     
  3. Phusius

    Phusius New Member

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    my samsung magician software took care of all this for me with a 1 click tune button. /flex
     
  4. pigulici

    pigulici

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    Yeah, same ssd like yours, I have too, but I prefer to do it manual...old school user here...
     
  5. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    Actually you can corrupt data if the machine crashes or if you lose power. That's not limited to external drives. I wouldn't recommend this unless your machine has some form of battery backup and unless your machine is stable (do not leave this on if you're testing a potentially unstable overclock. It causes enough issues to make either my RAID-5 to run degraded or RAID-0 to error out).

    Write caching is more beneficial for rotation media hard drives because it spends more time seeking to where the drive is going to write that data. SSDs really don't need it and if you want to save some ram, you can leave it disabled.
     
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  6. erixx

    erixx

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    I have 5 HDD and would like to know which one is the fastest (write/read) to assist the SSD, what is the best windows HDD benchmark for multiple drives that runs the tests in one click?

    Then I would put the TEMP there, because TEMP is mostly one time leftovers from installs etc, not heavy use, but abundant regular write/read.

    Edit: my Aida64 can do tests but one drive after the other, and it is OR read OR write OR etc tests
     
  7. mediasorcerer New Member

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    Good list, i do most of that with my ssd,s, dont forget to turn of -DEFRAG

    Although the first and most important thing to do with a new ssd, is-UPDATE THE FIRMWARE-[in my humble opinion].
     
  8. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    most of these tips are useless / bad

    don't turn off your pagefile. setting it to a fixed size might be useful though

    if you move everything off your ssd then just dont buy an ssd and never switch off your system

    for example winrar/7zip use the windows temp folder. if you dont have that on ssd it will be SLOW

    trim is usually automagically enabled, and defrag disabled.

    disabling indexing is the worst idea for productivity. rather learn how to benefit from it in your tasks and save more time than any ssd can provide
     
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  9. mediasorcerer New Member

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    I disagree with the indexing thing, disabling it forces you to use your own memory, thus enhancing productivity!:laugh:

    Whats wrong with disabling 8.3 and last access for ntfs?
     
  10. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    you know that you can press ctrl+esc and type anything random to find whatever you are looking for?

    use your memory to remember what to type there for the quickest access to system settings
     
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  11. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    nothing wrong with it, 8.3 or not makes no significant difference. no atime will help a bit with writes but these are cached and combined by the OS anyway.

    i doubt you will ever get back the time it takes to change those settings
     
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  12. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    Def. with the pagefile. If I set it less than 4096 somewhere along the line I'll run into a program that complains about being out of memory regardless of how much ram you have unused.
     
  13. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    I used to have that issue, but anno 2012 software doesn't tend to require the page file. At least not with any software I've run since I built my SB-E rig. Some older software likes the page file to be there, but as I said before, I haven't encountered an issue having it disabled as of late.
     
  14. W1zzard

    W1zzard Administrator Staff Member

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    when you have a pagefile, windows can put pieces of code into it that are marked as "will never be used again" (PE segment flag DISCARDABLE), otherwise they will stay in your memory forever. many kernel drivers do this.

    also windows will page out memory pages that it thinks nothing actively uses. which gives you more memory = more memory for stuff like disk cache (which is about 100x faster than ssd) and other things that like memory. gpuz uses an api to give a hint to the memory manager to page out some of its code and data to reduce the resident memory footprint.

    microsoft has hundreds of people, that are smarter than all of us combined, working on figuring out things like this. they get it right most of the time
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  15. mediasorcerer New Member

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    hehe, good answer!!~:laugh::toast:

    I pretty much came to roughly the same conclusion a while ago, but, im glad over the years ive sought out all those tweaks and tried them out, not because they may be that necessary or effective, but they helped me learn a lot about how the os works etc. and different aspects of it.



    thanx for the reply, quite humourous-.:)
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  16. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    This a million times.
     

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