The following are my views based on my own research. Sensible comments and discussion are welcomed.
The truth about SSDs Pros
•Increased start up speed
•Increased application/game launching
•File fragmentation is negligible
•Consistent read rates
•Lower power consumption and heat
•Small size and weight
•Less prone to failures (due to lack of moving parts) Cons
•Expensive dollar per gigabyte
•Lower storage capacity (for now at least) Random Read Rates:
SSDs outperform HDDs in this area by a wide margin (up to 100x faster than a typical HDD) Sequential Read Rates:
SSDs can read sequentially at an average of around 200MB/s (almost twice as fast as most HDDs) Random Writes & Flushes:
These rates, although generally much slower than read rates, are hardly noticeable in real world performance. (I recommend this article
for more info) Performance Degradation:
In Windows 7, if an SSD reports it supports TRIM, the file system can erase the relevant blocks without having to mix data that are subsequently written to that block which, in turn, reduces wear. Trim is also integrated with partition- and volume-level commands, truncating and compression, and with System Restore.
FAQs “Which SSD should I buy?”
This really depends on your budget. You should get the SSD with the largest capacity you can afford. Manufacturers like to advertise the SSDs sequential read speed as this will produce the best case scenario (like when copying a file from one drive to another). The most important factor however, is the random 4k read speeds (booting the OS, program and game loading etc)
“I have a new SSD. What tweaks should I run to get the best performance?”
Contrary to the myriad of guides available on the internet, there is little to gain by any of these so called tweaks. There are however a few steps you should follow: 1.
Make sure you have the latest firmware. Because firmware updates wipe out all data on the drive, you must do this operation as the first step; make sure to back up all existing data first. You’ll need to check with the drive manufacturer or the OEM, depending on whether you purchased the drive as a retail upgrade or as part of an OEM PC. Follow the instructions to complete the firmware update; this typically requires booting from removable media such as a USB flash drive. 2.
Set the disk controller to AHCI mode. In the system BIOS, set the SATA controller for Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) operation before installing Windows. This step is crucial. Using the legacy IDE or ATA mode prevents you from installing the proper disk controller driver
later and will result in reduced performance. 3.
For a used drive, you should consider performing a secure erase to restore the SSD to its original condition. HDDErase tool also works with many drives; see this tutorial
for download links and instructions. 4.
Unplug all other drives including external drives. 5.
Boot from the Windows media and begin the clean install. Use the Windows Setup utility to create the partition. If you have a partition created using any other tool, delete it and use the Windows 7 disk tools to create a new one. This ensures that the partition is properly aligned. 6.
Install the latest storage driver. If your system includes an Intel SATA controller, you should use the most recent version of the Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver, which is located here
. AMD users will find the driver here
After completing setup, check the Windows Experience Index. Click Start, click Computer, then click System Properties. On the System page, click Windows Experience Index, which takes you to the Performance Information and Tools page. The Primary hard disk score for a properly configured SSD should be over 7.0. If necessary, click Re-run the Assessment to refresh the numbers. To verify that all the features of the SSD are working properly, install the free CrystalDiskInfo
When Windows 7 detects that you have a properly configured, fast SSD drive, it disables several unnecessary features, including Superfetch, Prefetch, and ReadyBoot. It also disables scheduled defragmentation operations for the SSD, which isn’t necessary, and can reduce the usable life of the drive. To check performance, download and run AS SSD “If I use my SSD too much won’t it wear out?”
Most people will upgrade their SSD long before it reaches the end of its life cycle. Today SSDs have a life span of over 5 years or roughly 20GB of data written per day. How often will you fill it to capacity, erase it and start over again? Probably never. Oh! And the page file should be left on the SSD. Either leave it alone or shrink it but leave it on the SSD. There is no benefit what-so-ever for disabling it but there are consequences for not having one (eg: some programs/games won’t run without it and you will not get memory dumps if you don’t have a page file)