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Windows 7: SSD Performance Confusing

07 Aug 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
SSD Performance Confusing

I recently installed a Crucial M4 128GB SSD into my pc.

I connected to a SATA lll 6.0 Gb/s port on my motherboard.

This drive exists along side my HDD, which is now Drive "F", with the SSD being drive "C". I did not clone or transfer anything to the SSD, installing a fresh copy of Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit from my CD.

I went through all the optimization steps spelled out by the experts both here and on other sites.

I have the SSD selected as the boot drive, but to my disappointment WIndows7 64 bit loads slower than my HDD. I would like to find out why, but I can live with that as long as the drive performance is what it should be.

I attempted to set AHCI in the BIOS, before installing the OS, but each time I selected it, I would get a blue screen which wouldn't leave until I restarted the computer. As soon as I switched the setting over to IDE, the pc booted but as I said, slower than my HDD.

I have attached a screenshot of a result using Crystal Disk Mark.

The top row are the results of the SSD, while the bottom row is the results of my HDD. Although the results are considerably better than the HDD, I have been told that these numbers should be much better and the boot time should be very quick.

Any help would be greatly appreciated


I have also included my computer specs below:

Case: Coolermaster HAF-X
MB: Gigabyte Z68AP-D3
Processor: Intel Core i7-2700k @ 3.50GHz
Video Card: Zotac NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8 GB (2 x4 GB) 1600MHz
Hard Disk 1: Crucial M4 128 GB SATA lll 6.0 Gb/s
Hard Disk 2: Western Digital 1 TB 7200 RPM
PSU: Coolermaster Silent Pro 850W
Monitor: Hanns-G 27.5" (11920 x 1200)

Attached Thumbnails
SSD Performance Confusing-ssdtest.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2012   #2

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint

See if this tutorial helps you to AHCI : Enable in Windows 7 / Vista. You should see a performance increase after enabling AHCI. There should be no blue screens if you follow the tutorial exactly. For your drive, those numbers should be some higher, but I would refrain from running tests for a few days. Too many tests close together can hurt performance. I don't know what 'tweeks' you did, but very few are necessary. Windows will do most of what is needed. I would guess when you changed bios to AHCI you still had your other OS installed, and is why you got the blue screens. Once you change over you should see an improvement. You should have seen a significant improvement already.

EDIT: and if you have the drive connected to a Marvel port, switch it to an Intel controlled sata 3 port (usually port 0-1)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Thanks for the info.

I have no yet tried what is contained in the tutorial, and I am not optomistic it will work.

I say this because I had my HDD disconnected the entire time from connecting the SSD to doing all the tweaks. The HDD was not reconnected until everything, including the OS install on the SSD was complete.

I am not quite sure why the tutorial wants me to make registry changes and then go back to the BIOS where the change was rejected several times.

I guess it can't hurt to try. I think I better re-enable system restore and create a restore point before I try this.

Any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

07 Aug 2012   #4

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint

First thing is read your manual and see how to put your system into AHCI mode. I'm not familar with Gigabyte boards. The reason it blue screened is because the OS did not have AHCI drivers in it. The reason for the registry changes is so when you make the change in bios it will force the OS to load the AHCI drivers. once you see it downloading drivers it will finish and ask you to reboot. You will then be in AHCI mode. You should have system restore enabled anyway. It can save you a lot of trouble at times..

EDIT: also make sure your bios is set for the SSD to be the 1st hard drive to boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Okay, well I was able to get the BIOS to accept AHCI without a blue screen.

Unfortunately the boot time from BIOS screen to loaded desktop is 2.5 minutes. This is still a good 45 seconds slower than my HDD.

The ports are Intel controlled SATA lll 6.0 slots.

I did not run any additional r/w tests as you suggested and I am mostly working on the boot time now.

If I could get the boot time to be anything quicker than my HDD I would accept that, and then we can try to find out why the speeds posted earlier are still not where they need to be.

I am not sure if this means anything to you, but I noticed after changing the registry value and then restarting the pc in AHCI, there were two driver searches that just kept searching and never loaded. they were ata 1 and ata 2. I did receive the message to restart to complete the process, but I gave it about 5 minutes to see if it found those 2 drivers. I went to those two drivers in my device manager and asked it to search for the best driver (internet) and I was told that I had the best driver and the devices were working properly.

When I restarted the pc, I didn't get any errors or blue screens, or even another driver search....just two and a half minutes of waiting.

Any other thoughts would be great,

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2012   #6

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint

OK for starters. Click the start button, typein the search box cmd, on the cmd entry that appears, right click it and select run as administrator, you will have to provide admin permission.
Type diskpart -press enter and wait for the computer to reply 'diskpatrt'
Type list disk and press enter
it will give you a list of all drives you have installed each with a number. Look for the number of your SSD.
type select disk # (# being the number of your SSD) and press enter it will say disk # is the selected disk
Type list partition and press enter
it will give you info on the partition. The one we are intrested in is under offset. That is your alignment.

This is what it will look like. I probably have more disks than you, but the SSD was disk 0 in this example. tell me what the offset is.

SSD Performance Confusing-alignment.png

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2012   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

partitions.txtThanks for all the help guys. Although we still aren't there yet, I think progress...I really appreciate it.

I am attaching screenshots off several BIOS screens and I have attached a file with the results of the partition question posed by essenbe.

I hope these help and by all means ask away if you need anything else....I am just thankful there are guys out there like you willing to help.

Sorry the text document of the partitions isn't below, I think it is gonna be embedded within this text.


Attached Thumbnails
SSD Performance Confusing-bootpriority.png   SSD Performance Confusing-loadingscreen.png  
Attached Images
SSD Performance Confusing-cmosadvbios.png SSD Performance Confusing-intperif.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Aug 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1

Your alignment is as it should be.
Under Computer in the start menu, is the SSD listed as drive C\?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Aug 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

yes it is
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Aug 2012   #10

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint

goosegas, download As SSD and open it up. You don't need to run the test, just open it, make sure your SSD is selected and post a screenshot for us. Also, go to device manager, expand IDE ATA/Atapi controllers and post a scrreenshot of that. We'll try to sort this out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 SSD Performance Confusing

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