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New SSD user questions

Discussion in 'Storage' started by Heldelance, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. Heldelance

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    So I decided to finally cave and get myself an SSD to replace my OS drive (the HDD was about 6-7 years old).

    I've already bought the drive since most of what I've seen says it's good. I got the Samsung 840 Pro 128GB.

    Being new to SSDs, I have absolutely no idea if they need any special setups, I assume it'd be like plugging in a normal HDD.

    In a thread about SSDs (while I was hunting for which one to get), it said to enable something called the AHAICP (not sure if that's the right spelling). I assume from what they said that this is either on the mobo or when you install Windows, how do I go about turning it on and will it allow me to use normal HDDs alongside it?

    Also, I've noticed that SSDs have firmware drivers, is this something I need to install before installing my OS or can I do it without problems after?

    I won't be using that drive for anything but the OS (my games go to my 2TB drive) and most non-game programs (like Office, etc).
  2. silkstone

    silkstone

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    You need ACHI mode, this is set in the bios and you can flick the option between IDE and ACHI. Nothing else special is required (assuming you are using windows 7 or 8), i wouldn't worry about flashing the firmware if you don't encounter any problem, but if you do want to, you can do it after you have installed windows.
  3. HammerON

    HammerON The Watchful Moderator Staff Member

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  4. Jetster

    Jetster

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    Don't disable the page file. there are programs that need it. You can make it smaller. Windows 7 has been optimized for SSDs. So now so there is not much you need to do

    1. Update the firmware
    2. In the BIOS, hard drive section switch to AHCI mode
    3. Disable system restore for more space

    If you clean install it should shut off defrag, and turn on trim by defalt

    That's it
  5. n-ster

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    page file 1-2GB to SSD and the rest on HDD
  6. micropage7

    micropage7

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    you could read here :toast:
  7. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    Not that it makes a difference, but it has been quite a long time since I've encountered an application that explicitly wants swap space. Ever since I upgraded to my i7, I figured I had enough ram where disabling it would be fine and ever since my rig has run flawlessly. Back when I ran XP I had issues disabling the page file, but never in Windows 7 in a fairly modern application.

    I think it's important to note that disabling the page file in itself won't do much of anything either way. However what is important is the space that the file consumes. Having only 120Gb of space makes you decided what you do and do not want on it.

    So I would re-locate the swap file to another rotation media hard drive, because if you ever truly need it your performance will be crap anyways. I would also disable hibernation as it always keeps enough memory on the drive Windows is installed on to copy the entire contents of memory to the drive. Since you have 8Gb of ram, it sets aside that much.

    So between moving the page file and disabling hibernation you're saving yourself anywhere from 10-16Gb+ from your SSD that you wouldn't otherwise have, 8-13% of your SSD's space is significant.

    Also, make sure not to pack the SSD full. At work we just had a SSD fail pre-maturely. It was filled 95%. :banghead: Try to give yourself no less than 20% free at any given time to let the SSD do wear balancing.
  8. silkstone

    silkstone

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    The only other thing I have done is to move the temp directory to a USB 3.0 drive. There really is no need to turn of indexing, or system restore. You need the pagefile and windows will not write to it (much) unless it needs to.

    I disable hibernation, but only because I keep my computer on 24/7 and it's really not needed with the boot speeds on a SSD.

    What Aquinus says about keeping 20% free space is valid, if you want best performance out of it, do not fill it to the brim.
  9. Heldelance

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    Thanks for the guide all! Gonna try setting this baby up over the weekend.
  10. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    Not just performance, you'll kill the drive a lot faster if you fill it to the brim.
  11. n-ster

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    I like to not format the whole SSD and leave 10~20% as unallocated space that the SSD can use for garbage collection or wtv
  12. silkstone

    silkstone

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    I would assume wear leveling still works as it is done by the ssd controller. But is this effective for TRIM as it is an OS dependent feature?
  13. n-ster

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    google SSD over provisioning... Main reason is to keep the SSD speeds as if they were new all the time, and I believe it somehow helps with longevity too
    manofthem says thanks.
  14. Heldelance

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    I'll keep the overfilling thing in mind. I generally don't get anywhere near that since I tend to clean out stuff when it hits about 60%.
  15. silkstone

    silkstone

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    Is that clearly defined system space or is it taken from anywhere on the SSD?

    I understand how keeping unallocated space could help with wear leveling. But, does TRIM work like this? I mean would you be better keeping 20% of the disk space free over having unallocated space?

    I would assume that the wear leveling feature is a low-level function, so it would be able to shift data to any space on the disk. But if TRIM is not a low-level function, what you are doing could be detrimental to performance.

    I don't know how it works clearly, that's why i ask.
  16. n-ster

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    idk, but from what I've read, if you format that space even once, the effectiveness of the OverP is reduced by a lot, so I guess it is a clearly defined space... Besides, the ssd can't switch between unformatted space and formatted space
  17. Jetster

    Jetster

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    can you link to something that suggests this? I don't see how that could help anything

    I just set up my first RAID0. And an SSD RAID at that
  18. n-ster

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    ^
  19. silkstone

    silkstone

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    If it is clearly defined space then that would suggest that it would not be possible to use that space for wear-leveling thus decreasing the overall lifetime.

    I've just read the wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Write_amplification#Over-provisioning

    It's slightly confusing as the blurb mentions un-partitioned space while the bar chart mentions free space and TRIM. (relating the level 3 OP)

    ...after readin a little more i came to this:

    "Free user space

    The SSD controller will use any free blocks on the SSD for garbage collection and wear leveling. The portion of the user capacity which is free from user data (either already TRIMed or never written in the first place) will look the same as over-provisioning space (until the user saves new data to the SSD). If the user only saves data consuming 1/2 of the total user capacity of the drive, the other half of the user capacity will look like additional over-provisioning (as long as the TRIM command is supported in the system).[28][31]"

    so it seems that if the Unallocated space has been TRIMed or never written to, it can be used. So then if you were to partition off a few gb of extra space, if it contained any data it would eventually be TRIMed and contribute towards OP.

    Deos anyone know about this more clearly?


    Edit - Found a link to a discussion about the topic. http://www.overclock.net/t/775483/d...-you-need-to-leave-unallocated-space-question

    One person says definitively 'no,' but it seems it's up for debate. Almost all SSDs come with 7% level 1 OP

    Further Edit: http://www.smartstoragesys.com/pdfs/WP004_OverProvisioning_WhyHow.pdf

    The OP determines the maximum logical capacity of the drive, but the drive’s consumed logical capacity can change the amount of OP that is effectively reserved.

    Not exactly sure what this means, but it could mean that the allocated free space could be used towards OP?

    What i get from this is that OP increases the likelyhood of the controller finding a free block to write to, thus increasing performance. Trim renders this function somewhat obsolete as TRIM will erase blocks in the background. Thus having any amount of unallocated free space with TRIM enabled would function very similarly to OP. Another Thing I get from this is that if you use raid, which doesn't support TRIM, then arbitrarily increasing the OP space by setting free unpartitioned space will increase performance of the drive.

    Edit (again) - after reading around, it definitely seems that manually OP the disk is a waste of time on newer drives and only relevant for RAID and drives using older controllers.

    Edit - Another Source - http://www.edn.com/design/systems-design/4404566/1/Understanding-SSD-over-provisioning

    It seems that when using TRIM that you get dynamic OP and so unless you are at 100% capacity of your SSD then having manually set unallocated free space is worthless. This would only be true for newer drives with a decent system of garbage collection though.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
    n-ster says thanks.
  20. n-ster

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    idk, I still did the OP on my SSD and my performance numbers dont really change. I'm at 40~67% used all the time anyways, so I never notice the missing gigs.

    Might be useless but sok :p
  21. silkstone

    silkstone

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    Edit - Here is a PPP demonstrating sandforce's tech that makes OP less relevant - http://www.lsi.com/downloads/Public/Flash-Storage-Processors/LSI_PRS_FMS2012_TE21_Smith.pdf

    Edit - My Vertex 4 has actually gotten a little bit faster over the space of 4 months.

    New
    [​IMG]

    Today
    [​IMG]

    I have a further question, not sure if i should start a separate thread.

    I'd like to encrypt the contents of my laptop, but i am using a Corsair Force 3 and i believe it uses a sandforce 2281 controller. I am not sure about this though, as it appears they released drives with different controllers. How could i check which controller I have?

    I read that the 2281 does not support AES-256, does that mean that I will be able to Encrypt using a 128-bit algorithm?
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
  22. EiSFX

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  23. silkstone

    silkstone

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  24. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    Only enterprise grade SSDs typically have over-provisioning built into the SSD. On consumer drives you have to make sure that space is free yourself and at that point it's not called over-provisioning because you're provisioning the space you have available. Over-provisioned memory is typically invisible to the OS but not the SSD controller.

    For example, Intel Lyndonville SSDs typically have 20% over provisioning. (Meaning a 100Gb drive has 20Gb for over-provisioning that you can't touch.
  25. silkstone

    silkstone

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    Incorrect. All SSDs have level 1 OP which comes in at around 7.3%

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