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 Post subject: ssd and windows 7 optimizing
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:29 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:32 pm
Posts: 34
On a new system build, windows 7 64bit, samsung 840 120gb ssd,
(3570k, 8gb ram etc.)

I want to optimize windows for the SSD operation. Question..
Turn off page files?
Disable prefetch and superfetch? If disabling the 'fetch's,
is it necessary to set in registry:
enableprefetcher to 0
enablesuperfetcher to 0 ?
Windows should be set for trim (I will check with fsutil behavior query)
Was at microcenter putting together my system, they were out
of the samsung 830, they had the 840 and said a new and
better version same cost. From what I have seen lately, I quess
I made a poor selection.


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 Post subject: Re: ssd and windows 7 optimizing
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:05 am 
Smithfield
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5247
pakyman wrote:
Turn off page files?

Don't turn off the page file, some programs will whine at you. Just turn it down to 1GB-2GB. Also Microsoft did post a tech blog stating that page file operations are mostly reads. The OS only writes to the page file if it needs to boot something off RAM.

Quote:
Disable prefetch and superfetch? If disabling the 'fetch's,
is it necessary to set in registry:
enableprefetcher to 0
enablesuperfetcher to 0 ?

If you're getting a Samsung, its utility will disable superfetch for you. So I'm going to go on a whim and say yes, you should disable it.

Quote:
Windows should be set for trim (I will check with fsutil behavior query)

Windows will do this automatically.

Quote:
Was at microcenter putting together my system, they were out of the samsung 830, they had the 840 and said a new and better version same cost. From what I have seen lately, I quess I made a poor selection.

Poor selection from what? Samsung SSDs are great SSDs.


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 Post subject: Re: ssd and windows 7 optimizing
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:14 am 
Clawhammer
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Can't recall where I first read this, but this is EVERYthing in a nutshell and all wrapped up...

Quote:
I keep on seeing flat out wrong advice on how to optimize your SSD for windows 7. I thought I would correct it.

So here are the steps for optimizing your SSD for windows 7:
1. Enable AHCI in the BIOS before installing windows.
2. Install windows 7.

Thats it, thats all you need to do!

One suggestion typically made that I can't exactly say is "wrong" is "verify that windws7 set the right settings". The notion is that maybe windows7 misidentified your SSD as a spindle drive, and thus configured itself incorrectly. I would very much like to hear from someone to whom that actually happened rather then mere speculation that it might happen.

Optional "personal preference" settings:
1. Consider enabling indexing for your SSD, it is disabled by default. This is an issue not limited to SSD, there is argument on whether to have it on or off for either SSD or spindle drives. In both cases it is a matter of personal preference.
In windows 7 Indexing is turned off by default for SSDs because it is disastrous for drives like the first gen jmicrons which had atrocious random write performance. As a result everyone said "disable it" and MS followed suit. There is no noticeable change in a high performance SSDs and I personally find it to be a useful feature.

2. Consider disabling system restore.
Many disable system restore even with spindle drives. I find that when I have a problem it doesn't work for me, and it eats my HDD space, and it makes windows update installations take much longer. Plus malware likes to hide in it (or so I have heard).
Many others recommend to leave it on but at a reduced size setting, as it has worked for them in the past and saved them much time and effort in reversing a problem with the system.

There are claims that system restore interferes with TRIM. Which lowers SSD performance. It should be noted that it has never been mentioned in professional review sites such as anandtech or PcPer; but several people here say they have seen it personally. I will search for more information about the TRIM compatibility issue.
Even if it interferes with trim, there is a good a chance you would not notice the performance difference while finding system restore to be a useful feature. So this is still largely a personal preference.

Lets compare it to this list I was recently shown:
this: http://thessdreview.blogspot.com/p/w...imization.html

Now lets go item by item from the other list and explain why it is wrong.
IF YOU ARE READING BELOW THIS LINE BE AWARE THAT THE FOLLOWING IS MOSTLY WRONG ADVICE WHICH I AM CRITIQUING!
Quote:
1. Install Chipset Drivers
The built in generic windows drivers pass on trim, the chipset drivers? most do not. Intel just very recently finally released a driver that passed trim along.
So there is no benefit or drawback to installing those.
To be fair the author did mention that, and specifically referred to it only being of use to people who have RAID arrays.

Quote:
2. Disable System Restore
Actually this is good advice.
I have not heard about it "not working with trim"... but it is a heaven for viruses and malware, doesn't work properly when you need it, never can fix anything, and if you use it leaves your system a broken wreck. Waste of space and effort, disable it.

Quote:
3. Disable Drive Indexing

WEBMASTER NOTE: The purpose of drive indexing on a hard drive was to allow quicker access to a file.
Windows 7 automatically disables indexing for SSDs... you should enable it!
Indexing makes searching for stuff much faster. The purpose was never to allow PROGRAMS to ACCESS files faster, the purpose was to allow SEARCHING for files faster.
Disabling indexing on the original crappy Jmicron controllers helped because they were vastly inferior to spindle drives. Indexing will not harm your performance on a quality SSD, like an Intel, sandforce, or indilinx SSD.

Quote:
4. Disable Disk Defragment Schedule
Windows 7 actually have sensible defragmenting for spindle drives, normally I recommend that people don't defragment even a spindle drive but with windows 7 defrag method it is a good idea to use on spindle drives. it only performs the absolute minimum defragging, the defragging that is actually useful to you.
As for SSDs, it automatically disables defragging for SSDs in windows 7.

the explanation of:
Quote:
There are no moving parts so file fragmentation doesn't occur as frequently as it does with a hard drive which fragments files as they are retrieved and stored on the disk while it spins at very high speeds.
is also hilariously wrong. Fragmentation has nothing to do with moving parts. SSDs do fragment, this is why they need TRIM, the reason defragging does not work on SSDs is because they have an abstraction layer and do not grant direct access to the OS to the data, instead they give it virtual addresses which they resolve to physical addresses (which change as the drive performs wear leveling!)

This should help clarify things http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRIM_(SSD_command)

Quote:
5. Turn Off Windows Write-Cache Buffer Flushing
This goes back to the days where windows buffer flushes were broken, it would simply reply with "done" as soon as it got the command, resulting it appearing insanely fast... so a few rare applications that haven't been updated in decades might use excessive amount of forced buffer flushing...
this is really not something you should mess with and it isn't even guaranteed to improve performance, with those giving out this advice saying "it might increase OR decrease performance"

Quote:
6. Turn Off Page File
Horrible terrible and stupid advice! Windows 7 handles the page file very well, and turning it off lowers performance, worse, it WILL cause crashes in some programs (ex: the game spellforce the order of dawn) when they try to access it.

Common advice found elsewhere on the web is:
Quote:
place your pagefile on a spindle disk instead of the SSD
this is ALSO wrong, for maximum performance you should place your pagefile on the device with the best random write performance. In the days of Jmicron SSDs that was any spindle disk... if you have a good SSD then the SSD has better 4k random writes and you should place a pagefile on it.

Quote:
7. Turn Off Multi-Boot Selection
This is completely pointless and will not provide any boost to performance.

Quote:
8. Turn Off Hibernation
This is completely pointless and will not provide any boost to performance.
Furthermore, the assumption that "you don't need it because SSDs boot so fast" is flawed, a significant portion of the boot up process involves various firmwares, and in windows itself, it involves the CPU.

Quote:
9. Power Settings
This is needed for trim to activate at the log-in screen.
You delete files in the log-in screen?

EDIT:
Quote:
Power Settings - TRIM runs on its own accord and not only when you delete a file. If the power settings arent set at boot up, well...its like grammar school now isnt it.
Actually that is exactly NOT how TRIM works... background cleaning might run on its own accord (many drives don't do it either, such as the Intel SSDs)... TRIM is a command that is used to notify the drive that something is safe to delete. It is near instantaneous and only occurs when you delete a file.

Quote:
10. Disable Windows Search and Superfetch (Services.msc)
TERRIBLE advice. Superfetch greatly improves performance and uses ram to the best of its potential with no harm to your SSD at all. There is no reason to ever turn it off.

Quote:
11. Enable Faster Booting Sequence (Msconfig)
Useful advice that will shave off 2 seconds from your bootup, has nothing at all to do with SSDs.

Quote:
12. Disable Recycle Bin
Pointless. if you delete things via the recycle bin rather then immediately permanently remove them it is so that you could potentially recover them later... This doesn't help at all.

Quote:
13. Verify TRIM
WEBMASTER NOTE: Verifying that TRIM is working is actually a next to impossible task which requires monitoring your computers activity closely as TRIM can take only a split second to complete. There is truly no way for the user to confirm that it is working. Verifying TRIM wilkl confirm for the user that the TRIM commands are being sent from the software to the ssd. This, unfortunately, is the closest one will come without trying to catch it in action for that split second.
What can I say, they are right about this.

Quote:
14. Wait To Kill Service Timeout (Decrease Shutdown Time)
Completely uncessary, this just means that your computer will terminate programs as they are closing if they take too long... just let programs finish shutting down properly when you shut down windows... this is mostly dependent on your CPU speed anyways.

Quote:
15. Disable ClearPageFileAtShutdown and LargeSystemCache
disabling largesystemcache is unnecessary, and clear pagefile at showdown should be off by default.

Quote:
16. Disable Superfetch and Prefetch
This is the same as #10, and its still as wrong.

Quote:
17. NTFS Memory Usage and NTFS Disable Name Creation
Why would you disable backwards compatibility with programs that use 8.3 names? what do you hope to gain aside from crashes when using such programs.
As for NTFS memory useage... I have no idea what that is but I don't trust the author based on his other advice.

Quote:
18. Change from IDE mode to AHCI
Good advice, should be #1 on the list, should have been done BEFORE installing windows.


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 Post subject: Re: ssd and windows 7 optimizing
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:48 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5247
I want to butt in here for a moment.

In regards to indexing, it depends on what's being indexed. I think by default, Windows only does a small subset of what's in your user folder and that's it, as I don't think it's practical to do the entire drive. Also, how often do you use the search feature and what do you normally search for? Since I only use search for finding a program, which is what Windows usually indexes (the Start Menu and control panel stuff) and I usually keep everything else organized, I tend to turn it off anyway.

The comment about turning off hibernation is kind of "eh". The problem I have with it is that hibernation represents a large amount of data writing every time its used (it has to copy the contents of RAM, whether it's actually used or if there's cached stuff). I wouldn't turn it off, but I'd minimize when it's being used. You also have to consider the fact that it takes up as much space as you have RAM. Also on a desktop there's no point. Hibernate is more useful to for laptops that need to conserve battery life.

The Superfetch comment I'm finding has mixed opinions. Superfetch originally was supposed to help HDDs by preloading parts of commonly used programs into memory on boot. While I like the idea of precaching my commonly used programs, I'm also wonder how Windows stores this information (it has to store it somewhere, and update it accordingly). If this generates a lot of data to write, I don't want it on my SSD. But I have mine off and I don't see any real performance hit.

Anyway, the idea of using an SSD is for its read prowess. Sure it has a lot of write performance, but I'm still paranoid about its limited lifespan. It doesn't help that recent TLC based flash memory has abysmal P/E cycles life compared to MLC based flash memory.


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 Post subject: Re: ssd and windows 7 optimizing
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:52 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:32 pm
Posts: 34
thank you all for your reply. I will review and install the samsung utility.


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 Post subject: Re: ssd and windows 7 optimizing
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:18 am 
Clawhammer
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Yeah, Superfetch is such a mixed bag. I don't use it even on hdd-based systems. It's not some magical elixir that makes your system run faster. All that it does it shift the time costs of slow hdd access so that they are incurred at a presumably more convenient time. The downside being that if it guesses wrong, it might incur hdd access at a bad time or hdd access for data that you never needed.

Keep in mind that Windows already uses free memory for caching, long before Superfetch was even a twinkle in MSFT's eye. Access a large file, and unless there is memory pressure, that large file will remain resident for future accesses. Run a program, and unless evicted by memory pressure, the program's binaries and other static data will remain resident so that subsequent launches of that process will be fast. All that Superfetch does is that it tries to cache things before you access them. All in, I find Superfetch to be pretty much pointless. It can be useful for certain usage patterns, but for me, it is a wash. So I have it disabled everywhere, regardless of whether the system has a ssd or spindle. Add too, that the Intel ssd optimizer recommends turning it off so it's quick and easy just to comply and not over-think.

As for hibernation, I honestly don't think its a big deal whether you use hibernation or not when it comes to and ssd. I think it's being a bit overcautious. If it where an common issue with ssd then Win7/8 would certainly have it turned of by default when being installed on ssd. Ahhh um, :roll: yeah!


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 Post subject: Re: ssd and windows 7 optimizing
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:34 am 
Smithfield
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
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Well the thing is, what hurts the SSD more, a large amount of smaller writes, or just how much you write to it in general? And I don't think Hibernation is totally unnecessary on an SSD based laptop. If you want to save your system state and battery life, then it's a good enough tradeoff.


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 Post subject: Re: ssd and windows 7 optimizing
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:15 pm 
Boy in Black
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That wordy reply, bad punctuation...I'll defend that guy a bit here. That was a dated reply while folks were still hanging onto the idea of 10K RPM drives (in RAID 0) and all the "complications" with SSD's that were put our there at that time. I think 600G raptors were hitting the market and they were doubling down on them instead of an easy SSD %root% / Fat slower drive as storage in their builds. I just never saw having 1.2TB of 10K RPM drives just sitting there instead of a "slow" SSD.

It's still something to think about, but a lot of it has been waxed over and made a moot point.

With memory prices as they are and CPU's as capable as we have, I'd still disable Virtual memory and stab 8-16G in there. If you're pounding the system so much that it wants more than 8G, think about how it's going to trash your SSD.

Superfetch is Pentium4 pipeline prediction to me. With spindles being much slower on a fetch, you miss a thing if it has to re-fetch it on an SSD. Now if you have a hybrid drive, leave it on. But for an SSD with such low seek times, let the controller stumble and just grab it again on the OS's request.

What hurts an SSD more is up to THAT SSD and how it's built. Hibernation could be harmful for one while helpful to another (drive, brand, controller). With an SSD in a laptop, shut down shouldn't take very long at all and negate all the past negatives while reinforcing just having an SSD in the first place. Hibernation was implemented because shutdown and saving work took a while...it's not moot now, but a "use of the laptop" issue. To me: if I close my laptop and want it to Hibernate, I'm a very busy executive and not just a bored traveler where my boarding just got called. From my experience, I'd just end what I'm doing and be able to pick right back up in a few minutes because it boots so quickly.

Win7 was built during the flux of the SSD/spindle war which no longer exists. If save/shutdown of an SSD takes longer than Hibernation of a laptop; then that needs addressed with that manufacturer; Not SSD tech in itself. I do it on iTX builds quicker than any laptop I've seen trying to hibernate.


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 Post subject: Re: ssd and windows 7 optimizing
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:30 pm 
Smithfield
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Chumly wrote:
I'd still disable Virtual memory and stab 8-16G in there.

I recommend against this because some programs will at best whine there is none, at worst crash because it can't find it, or something. It may be a rare occurrence, but eh, there's no harm in leaving it on but at a severely reduced size.


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 Post subject: Re: ssd and windows 7 optimizing
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:24 pm 
Boy in Black
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There's one opinion. I haven't had VM since...2004? Never missed it. And that was with that crazy mack daddy fast 74G raptor RAID (SLOW as SHIT) and 4G RAM.

What are you placing into memory that you actually need fake memory for? Think about that for a bit. You're running on FAKE memory that should be addressed directly to the CPU and you ran out of it. 3D fork designs of a MotoGP bike? Nope, still did it w/o. A liquid model of an LMS100 set of blades on stall? Nope, still nothing. If it hit my SSD instead of my physical memory I didn't build right for that machine.

I don't need fake memory. If you do, then check your software. In house programing? Yeah, I've seen it...that's business talk and where I'd step up and say it's shit too. Fix it or I'm not working with it.


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