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Alienware M9750 & Kingston SSD V+ 256Gb

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February 17, 2010 10:52:46 AM

I've recently upgraded my Alienware M9750 with a Kingston V+ 256gb SSD and I cant say that I've noticed any real improvement in speed.

I've disabled prefetch, pagefile etc as suggested in numerous tweaking guides yet can still only seem to acheive low 100Mb/s read & Write times.

Any suggestions?

I'm running 4gb ram, 2.3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T7600, SLI 8700M GT, Vista 32 Bit.
a b G Storage
February 17, 2010 11:25:27 AM

Don't disable pagefile. Maybe give it 2 GB, but don't disable it.

That number (100 MB/s) is not unusual. That is the spec given by Kingston for their V series. If you wanted performance, you should have gone with Intel's X25-M SSD. It's only 80 GB for around 300$, but it's going to give you the performance you're looking for.
February 17, 2010 11:46:55 AM

I know that the Write speeds are pretty much in line with the spec sheet but the benchmarks for the V+ Series give read speeds over 200 yet I can only manage half of that.

I'm a little concerned that the Mobo might be throttling it but i dont know enough to be sure.
Related resources
a b G Storage
February 17, 2010 12:11:54 PM

Okay, how do you determine write speed?

Try this: run an Administrator command prompt and type "winsat disk -write -seq -drive <put your drive letter here>" minus the quotes.

I doubt your mobo is throttling it. It has a 3.0 Gbps connection to the motherboard, so there's no reason for the mobo to be throttling.
February 17, 2010 12:30:12 PM

I was using "AS SSD Benchmark" gave me 110-120 MB/s read speeds and 80-90 MM/s write.

I'm not at my machine now but will look @ your suggestion tonight.

Thanks for the help

Sam
a b G Storage
February 17, 2010 12:32:03 PM

Also, did you set the "SATA Operation Mode" or something similar in the bios to "AHCI" instead of "IDE", "Enhanced", or "Compatible"? SSDs like AHCI better than the rest, and it provides more features that enhance operation, like TRIM, which is very very very very very very important to maintain the performance of an SSD.
February 17, 2010 12:38:43 PM

I couldnt find it in the bios to change it - nor have i been able to locate any help from Alienware about changing it either....
February 17, 2010 4:25:43 PM

Greacefully......i've run the cmd prompt and it gave:

Run Time 13.13

Disk Performance 109.17MB/s

Total Run Time 14.06


I've searched through my bios and cant find an option for me to change the Sata type to ACHI

Is it worth looking for a newer bios maybe?
a b G Storage
February 18, 2010 8:58:12 AM

Maybe. Check the Alienware website for a BIOS update to your system. Also, can you run "winsat disk -read -seq -drive <drive letter>" to test your read speed?
a c 353 G Storage
February 18, 2010 5:29:27 PM

4 K Seq read/writes are the most importance performance factor. I use crystal diskmark, just don't run to often. Vista does not support Trim, must use a application that mimics Windows 7 Trim cmd.

Gracefully is correct - should have ahci enabled. If it was not used may need to "force" Vista to load driver. May be able to check system hardware properties to see which driver is being used. May need to discondect HDD to do, and the HDD may not be recognized after the switch to ahci and you will need to redo your storage drive.
February 19, 2010 7:13:32 AM

I've got the most up-to-date Bios according to Alienware, so I havent got an option to enable ahci.

Do you think I should look @ win 7 Upgrade? I know my machine will run it.....

Will this improve my speeds? I know it would give me TRIM support
a c 353 G Storage
February 19, 2010 5:05:18 PM

(1) I would upgrade to Win 7. Get the cheaper upgrade version - BUT do a clean Install WITH only your SSD installed (remove the HDD) select custom and REMOVE your current partition and create a new one.. Will post method in a foloow on post.

(2) On your current system, down load cyrtal disk info. and run it.
On my laptop (Patriot torqx 128 gig installed) shows:
Standard = ATA8-ACS
Supported Features = SMART, 48 Bit LBA, NCQ, and Trim
Added: Looked in my bios (toshiba A305 - Cheapy, But I upped memory to 4 gigs, changed the DVD drive for a blu-ray/DVD writer).
Under "Advanced it shows mode = (AHCI) End added

Also open regedit (From run promt), then edit, then find. Enter msahci.sys
Look at value.
Note mine shows 3, BUT look at expected values, show be a 0, or a 1 (I think 0 is enabled.
Should be a software program that shows what dag burn mode it is opperating in.

Currently at work, then going bowling so will not be home until late this evening. But will check my desktop (Have a intel G2 80 Gig) will see what it reports.

Have you tried calling alienware, they may have a special Key to access HDD mode.

Also why you are at it download crytal disk mark and look at the 4k random read/writes.
a c 353 G Storage
February 19, 2010 5:14:16 PM

Copy of one of my previous post on using an upgrade Win 7 disk to do a clean install - ONLY VALID IF YOU OWN a qualifing Operating system - YOU DO.

During the instal do not input your serial number. After install, let windows do any updates. Two things you need to do before entering your Key (you have 30 to do this.
Need to check one of my old replies to give you the steps. Will post back.

ADDED
To install using an upgrade install disk (Must Own a qualifing Operating system - Does not have to be installed).

Do a Clean Install, But DO NOT enter your Key
Goahead and let windows 7 down load critical updates. Then:

Open regedit.exe with Start Menu Search and navigate to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE
Easier - Just do a search for " MediaBootInstall"

Change MediaBootInstall from "1" to "0". (Double-click it and then enter 0 in the dialog that appears.)

Close RegEdit.

Open the Start Menu again and type cmd in Start Menu search to display a shortcut to the Command Line utility. Right-click this shortcut and choose "Run as administrator." Handle the UAC prompt.

In the command line window, type: slmgr /rearm

Then tap ENTER and wait for the "Command completed successfully" dialog.

Then, close the command line window and reboot. When Windows 7 reboots, run the Activate Windows utility, type in your product key and activate windows.
a c 353 G Storage
February 19, 2010 5:57:05 PM

How to check if TRIM is enabled in Windows 7?"

A: Go to the Command prompt (run as admin) and type "fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify"

DisableDeleteNotify = 1 (Windows TRIM commands are disabled)
DisableDeleteNotify = 0 (Windows TRIM commands are enabled)

My laptop returned a "0"

Added - This just tells you if it is enabled/disabled NOT that it is working (Did a little more research).
February 19, 2010 7:46:01 PM

thanks for the info chief will look into it over the weekend

Ringo
February 20, 2010 12:22:35 PM

so i attached the SSD to my main desktop and it seemed to run a lot quicker - I understand that it obviously wasnt running the OS at the time but even so the benchmarks were a good 50% increase on the details above for the read times.

I think my best option is probably a new OS install (Probably 7) and see if that helps but it'll have to wait a bit as im broke for the next coupke weeks....
!