Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.



Windows 7: The Truth About SSDs

29 Mar 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64) SP1
 
 
The Truth About SSDs

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
•Silent
•Lower power consumption and heat
•Increased reliability
•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.

7. 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 utility.

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)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

29 Mar 2010   #2
whs

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Nice summary. I would add "less heat" to the pros. That is one reason I will put an SSD into one of my laptops that runs very hot. And here is an extract to support your last point (since this is always subject of lengthy debates):

Should the pagefile be placed on SSDs?
Yes. Most pagefile operations are small random reads or larger sequential writes, both of which are types of operations that SSDs handle well.

In looking at telemetry data from thousands of traces and focusing on pagefile reads and writes, we find that
  • Pagefile.sys reads outnumber pagefile.sys writes by about 40 to 1,
  • Pagefile.sys read sizes are typically quite small, with 67% less than or equal to 4 KB, and 88% less than 16 KB.
  • Pagefile.sys writes are relatively large, with 62% greater than or equal to 128 KB and 45% being exactly 1 MB in size.
In fact, given typical pagefile reference patterns and the favorable performance characteristics SSDs have on those patterns, there are few files better than the pagefile to place on an SSD.

Source: http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2009/05/05/support-and-q-a-for-solid-state-drives-and.aspx
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Mar 2010   #3

Win7 HP (x64)/Win7 Ultimate (x64)
 
 

Thanks for the info tw33k
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


29 Mar 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate (x64) SP1
 
 

Thanks WHS. I thought I put heat in there..(it is now)

Thanks Lomai and welcome to SevenForums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Apr 2010   #5

Win 7 SP1
 
 

I wonder if system memory makes a difference concerning SSDs and PageFiles.

I've been thinking about an SSD drive for my system (prices keep scaring me away for now) but I'm concerned about usage. I'll admit, I tend to format alot from an image, so between that and PF usage I'm concerned I'd wear out a drive long before it's time.

Any advice or suggestions (besides not formatting as often as I do - guess I'm kinda OCD in that way =) )


T
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Apr 2010   #6
whs

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I would not worry too much about wear and tear. I am sure it will last 3 years and then you want something new anyhow. And the page file you should leave on the SSD (delete the hibernation file though which is usually about the same size as the page file).
As for prices, I would recommend this $99 beauty. And 30GBs is ample for Windows 7 (mine has never exceeded 17.5GBs in 6 months). Just move your data files to a HDD partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Apr 2010   #7

 
 

Who cares about write performance IF you have "enable write-caching" enabled for said device? Dump data down channel into controller cache, channel-end/device-end and you're back to the application. No disc device delay whatsoever...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Apr 2010   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Nice.

I would add, Some can get TRIM support for RAID arrays w/the new Intel drivers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Apr 2010   #9

W7 X-64 RTM,SUSE 11.1, XP PRO SP3 as a VM, VMware ESXi
 
 

Hi there
Things like Photoshop Scratch Files should also be placed on the SSD -- speeds things up HUGELY -- I'm a big user of photoshop CS4 -- the only reason I got an SSD was for Photoshop.

If you can afford it --SSD's MAGIC.

Next generation will be even cheaper, have more capacity and be faster.

To Jim L. about write performance.

For Photoshop files - especially if you are a professional photographer shooting in RAW- Professional DSLR's files can be HUGE -- many gigabytes for A3 and larger sizes - and don't forget you often have several LAYERS as well so WRITE performance IS IMPORTANT. You can't keep all this stuff in RAM.


Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Apr 2010   #10

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi there
Things like Photoshop Scratch Files should also be placed on the SSD -- speeds things up HUGELY -- I'm a big user of photoshop CS4 -- the only reason I got an SSD was for Photoshop.

If you can afford it --SSD's MAGIC.

Next generation will be even cheaper, have more capacity and be faster.

To Jim L. about write performance.

For Photoshop files - especially if you are a professional photographer shooting in RAW- Professional DSLR's files can be HUGE -- many gigabytes for A3 and larger sizes - and don't forget you often have several LAYERS as well so WRITE performance IS IMPORTANT. You can't keep all this stuff in RAM.


Cheers
jimbo
Very good point about massive output files (write/seq). I don't do anything like that so I wasn't thinking along the lines of photo edit/video edit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 The Truth About SSDs





Thread Tools



Similar help and support threads for2: The Truth About SSDs
Thread Forum
What is the truth about when windows 8 comes out? Chillout Room
The unvarnished truth about unsecured Wi-Fi Security News
Kieth Said. NOW THE TRUTH Chillout Room
The truth about Twitter usage News
The truth about MinWin: the heart of Windows 7 News

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:20 AM.
Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App
  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33