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SSD with 2 HDDs - Best Partition? PLEASE HELP!

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March 7, 2010 3:29:31 AM

I am a total newbe building a system and, since I'm starting out with a blank canvas, I want to do this right the first time around. This is a photo editing dedicated machine - no gaming will be done on it. I have the following to work with:

Drives:
1 - 60GB Corsair Reactor SSD
2 - Caviar Black 1TB HDDs

OS:
Windows 7 Pro 64

Software:
Photoshop CS4
Adobe Lightroom
Microsoft Office 2007

Anti Virus / Security:
ESET Smart Security 4


I want to install my OS on the SSD but I am not sure what else to do from there. The OS only takes up about 10+/- GB but needs more from what I have read. So should the SSD be partitioned with a partition for the OS with a little room, say 20GB total? If so, what else should I install on the SSD. I don't know if the anti virus is a good idea to install on the SSD since it is updated often and, from what I have read, writing and overwriting is not a good thing with a SSD. Microsoft Office sounds like a good idea since it is slow on start-up.

I also read on another thread that it may be a good idea (for the same reason) to set the OS paging files and index files to write on a hard drive rather than the SSD. Should I create a separate partition on one of the HDDs for this purpose?

Photoshop says right on the box not to install it on a SSD.

As I type this, I am thinking the following might work:
SSD - 2 partitions - the OS on one and Microsoft Office on the other.
HDD #1: 3 partitions - Photoshop, Lightroom, the anti-virus (and other misc apps) on one partition, another partition for the OS paging files and index files, and a third for hardware drivers.
HDD #2 - 2 partitions - Data files (primarily photos) on one and OS backup imaging on the other.

Does this sound reasonable or just plain stupid?
Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

More about : ssd hdds partition

March 7, 2010 9:03:22 PM

Surprised nobody has replied by now. I've spent several hours reading through the threads and found that it is OK to put Photoshop on the SSD as long as I create a scratch partition on a HDD.

So here's the plan so far - please give feedback!

SSD: Two partitions - OS on one partition and programs on the other.
HDD #1: Three partitions - scratch on one, infrequently used programs on the 2nd, and data on the 3rd.
HDD #2: Two partitions - photo data on one and OS image on the other.

I plan on backing up automatically with USB external drives and I also added a hot-swap bay so I can back up everything on extra HDDs which I will keep off-site.

Does this sound good?

I almost forgot - where should I install drivers?


candidprints said:
I am a total newbe building a system and, since I'm starting out with a blank canvas, I want to do this right the first time around. This is a photo editing dedicated machine - no gaming will be done on it. I have the following to work with:

Drives:
1 - 60GB Corsair Reactor SSD
2 - Caviar Black 1TB HDDs

OS:
Windows 7 Pro 64

Software:
Photoshop CS4
Adobe Lightroom
Microsoft Office 2007

Anti Virus / Security:
ESET Smart Security 4


I want to install my OS on the SSD but I am not sure what else to do from there. The OS only takes up about 10+/- GB but needs more from what I have read. So should the SSD be partitioned with a partition for the OS with a little room, say 20GB total? If so, what else should I install on the SSD. I don't know if the anti virus is a good idea to install on the SSD since it is updated often and, from what I have read, writing and overwriting is not a good thing with a SSD. Microsoft Office sounds like a good idea since it is slow on start-up.

I also read on another thread that it may be a good idea (for the same reason) to set the OS paging files and index files to write on a hard drive rather than the SSD. Should I create a separate partition on one of the HDDs for this purpose?

Photoshop says right on the box not to install it on a SSD.

As I type this, I am thinking the following might work:
SSD - 2 partitions - the OS on one and Microsoft Office on the other.
HDD #1: 3 partitions - Photoshop, Lightroom, the anti-virus (and other misc apps) on one partition, another partition for the OS paging files and index files, and a third for hardware drivers.
HDD #2 - 2 partitions - Data files (primarily photos) on one and OS backup imaging on the other.

Does this sound reasonable or just plain stupid?
Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

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a c 415 G Storage
March 7, 2010 10:08:33 PM

There's no need to have separate partitions on the SSD for the OS and programs. All that does it make it more likely you'll run out of space in one partition and have to re-adjust the partition sizes. Just use one partition for the whole drive and and install the OS and as many applications as you can fit there.

Note - Windows 7 will create a 100MB recovery partition as well as the partition that the OS is installed into. You may want to make sure no other drives are connected while installing Windows to force the recovery partition onto the same drive as the OS. If you don't you may find that the system won't boot one day if the data drive with the recovery partition isn't available.

As for partitions on the hard drives, you'll probably get a lot of different opinions. Mine is that you should just use one full-sized partition per disk and organize the files within the partition using folders.

Over time if you feel you have performance issues then you can monitor your I/O and if you find that one disk is substantially busier than the other then identify which folders have the active files and move some of them to the less busy drive.
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March 7, 2010 10:24:47 PM


Thanks for the reply. That makes it much easier for me! Which drive should I install the drivers on - the same one as the OS? Sorry this is all new to me.



sminlal said:
There's no need to have separate partitions on the SSD for the OS and programs. All that does it make it more likely you'll run out of space in one partition and have to re-adjust the partition sizes. Just use one partition for the whole drive and and install the OS and as many applications as you can fit there.

Note - Windows 7 will create a 100MB recovery partition as well as the partition that the OS is installed into. You may want to make sure no other drives are connected while installing Windows to force the recovery partition onto the same drive as the OS. If you don't you may find that the system won't boot one day if the data drive with the recovery partition isn't available.

As for partitions on the hard drives, you'll probably get a lot of different opinions. Mine is that you should just use one full-sized partition per disk and organize the files within the partition using folders.

Over time if you feel you have performance issues then you can monitor your I/O and if you find that one disk is substantially busier than the other then identify which folders have the active files and move some of them to the less busy drive.

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a c 415 G Storage
March 8, 2010 2:16:22 AM

When you install drivers into the OS Windows will put them into it's internal folders and you don't really need to worry about where they go (but they'll end up inside the partition that has the OS).
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March 8, 2010 6:53:56 PM

I agree and suggest you follow sminial's advice. Just install Windows 7 on your SSD and whatever drivers, programs you want to install. Save and store your data on your 1TB drive.

You can use the backup and restore function to create a backup of your system files if you want.

If it was me, I would buy TWO more drives. I would buy a 1TB and make an exact backup or clone of your data drive. I would get another cheap drive to make a backup of the OS although it might be easier now to restore an OS that has been corrupted or screwed up. I am not familiar with 7 yet to say. At the very least, I would have another 1TB drive as a backup for the data. That's just me, though. It's just a suggestion.

So, in summary, save your Photoshop and Office files (any data) to your 1TB and install these core programs to your SSD which will have Windows 7 installed.
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March 8, 2010 7:49:14 PM

Quote:
If it was me, I would buy TWO more drives. I would buy a 1TB and make an exact backup or clone of your data drive. I would get another cheap drive to make a backup of the OS although it might be easier now to restore an OS that has been corrupted or screwed up. I am not familiar with 7 yet to say. At the very least, I would have another 1TB drive as a backup for the data. That's just me, though. It's just a suggestion.

So, in summary, save your Photoshop and Office files (any data) to your 1TB and install these core programs to your SSD which will have Windows 7 installed.


I was going to do a RAID 1 for backup but I found out - after I purchased the 2 non-returnable Caviar Blacks - that they cannot be raided, which is probably better because a virus will infect all the drives in a array. Since I am a photographer, I may use the second 1TB HDD for photo storage only then buy 3 extra hot-swap HDDs for backup (1 for each internal drive.)

Thank you both of you for all the help. It sounds like my life is going to be a lot easier!
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a b G Storage
March 8, 2010 8:01:22 PM

I'm a bit surprised that the Caviar Blacks couldn't be put in RAID. I read that some people had issues, but I though all had been resolved for months.
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a c 415 G Storage
March 8, 2010 9:09:13 PM

It's perfectly possible to put Caviar Blacks into a RAID array, the only issue is that they don't use TLER (Time Limited Error Recovery) and so there's a slightly higher chance that if they run into a bad block they'll time out during error recovery and the RAID array will flag them as failed.

But you should NOT use RAID 1 as a backup. RAID 1 protects against drive failure, but that's only one of a host of risks to your data. There are plenty of other things which can go wrong that RAID 1 DOESN'T protect you from - so you need to do backups to offline media whether you use it or not.
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March 8, 2010 9:25:00 PM

Zenthar said:
I'm a bit surprised that the Caviar Blacks couldn't be put in RAID. I read that some people had issues, but I though all had been resolved for months.


Sorry, you are both correct so I should clarify. Although they can be put into an array, several people have had problems with them falling off due to TLER. While some have been able to disable the TLER and have had great success, I realized that:
1) I am too much of a newbe to be messing about with potentially repairing a RAID if it fails, and
2) I was going to a RAID system for the wrong reasons anyway, which is backup. Sminlal's suggestion of having seperate backup drives makes much more sense.
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March 8, 2010 11:03:20 PM

I am building a very similar rig right now. I agree with everything that has been said so far (one partition on the SSD; pitfalls of RAID) but I have some suggestions that go beyond the advice you just got.

Make sure that you have selected ACHI as your SATA controller. This will enable Native Command Queuing (NCQ), which should help performance of your drives. It will also ensure that your SSD will receive TRIM commands from Windows 7 if your SSD supports it (most new SSDs do now). (Note that another reason not to run RAID with an SSD is that the drive controller in RAID configuration cannot handle TRIM commands from Windows 7.) Also, when you first load Windows, only have your SSD plugged in. You can add your other drives later.

As you noted, because data sectors in SSDs "wear out" after a certain number of write/erase cycles, you should move the page file from your SSD to one of your HDDs. Instructions for how to do this can be found by searching virtual memory in the start bar and clicking on the option "How to change the size of virtual memory?". Windows will tell you that if you set the C: drive to no virtual memory that it won't be able to write a crash dump file if your OS crashes. For that reason, I left 400MB open on my C: drive, but since I have 8GB of RAM and 8GB of virtual memory open on my HDD, Windows almost never uses the page file on the C: drive. Turning it off won't kill your system, despite the warnings from Windows.

You may also want to do the following:

Turn off or reduce the amount of space the system Restore uses on the SSD. I am leaving this on while I continue to tweak and build the system, but I will turn it off once everything seems stable.

Move your internet browser's Temporary Internet Files folder to a HDD. This can be done in IE8 by opening Internet Options, and clicking Settings under the Browsing History area of the General tab.

I also migrated all of the user folders to my HDD. (These are folders like 'My Documents' and 'My Pictures'.) Some programs will default to using these folders when saving information and data, so it is a handy way to point these programs to save info on the HDD. You can do this by opening the "Personal Folder" for the User Account and right clicking on, for instance, the My Pictures file and selecting Properties. From there, click the Location tab and select the new location you want. All the files in that folder should be automatically migrated to the new drive.

Some people suggest that you turn off indexing with a SSD because this file is regularly overwritten. I don't agree, since you can move the indexing file to your HDD instead. To do this, click Indexing Options from the Control Panel, click the Advanced button at the bottom, and enter in the new folder you would like to use under Index Location.

Definitely disable your Disk Defragmenter. Windows 7 by default has this scheduled to run each week, so make sure that it is disabled in the scheduler, or you have set it up to pass over your SSD. Not sure exactly how to do this other than opening up the Task Scheduler and disabling the weekly task for Defrag. Supposedly, Windows should detect your SSD and skip over it, but when I looked at the Task Scheduler, it looked like it was scheduled to happen, so I just disabled it to be sure.

I'm undecided about what to do with Superfetch and Prefetch. There are a lot of people who disagree on what to do with this if you have an SSD. Supposedly Windows is supposed to automatically disable these features if it detects an SSD, but after looking at my registry, it didn't appear to in my case. I have mine off for now, because I understand that they really don't provide any benefit if you are running programs from an SSD. If you choose to turn these off, you should get directions on that from another thread--I'm certainly not qualified to tell you how to edit your Registry.

There are also people who have said to disable the write caching to your SSD drive. IMHO, this is not good advice. You should keep it on; it allows your SSD to group data together more efficiently so as to minimize wasted space on the drive. The cache resides in your volatile memory (RAM) so it doesn't cause any additional writes to the SSD. Actually, it should decrease the number of writes.

Good luck!
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March 9, 2010 1:25:20 AM

Thanks JDP245. You just saved me a lot of research time!
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a c 415 G Storage
March 9, 2010 2:31:21 AM

jdp245 said:
Move your internet browser's Temporary Internet Files folder to a HDD.
I actually left my home directory on the SSD (a 160GB Intel X25-M G2) specifically so that things like temporary files and browser history would reside there. These fit into the "lots of little files" category that SSDs deal with very well in terms of performance. However the bulk of my documents and data files are located on hard drives and I use links to navigate to them. And I have disabled my pagefile altogether because with 12GB of memory I never come close to needing it.

I use my computer very heavily, typically 8-12 hours per day, and I have quite a bit of software installed including Office 2007, Adobe Web Premium CS4, Visual Studio 2008, some SDKs, etc. I have hybrid sleep mode enabled, and my system sleeps probably at least once or twice every day (which dumps modified memory to the hibernation file). Using the Intel toolbox I see that I've written a little less than 200GB to my SSD in the last month, which works out to about 6-700KB per day.

Intel claims that their drives will last for "at least" 5 years if you write 20GB per day to them. If that's true, then based on the write rate I've seen my drive will last for well over 100 years before I wear it out.

I say all this to point out that SSDs, at least the Intel ones for which I've seen an actual longevity estimate from the manufacturer, aren't quite as delicate as people sometimes fear.
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March 9, 2010 4:45:30 AM

sminlal said:
I use my computer very heavily, typically 8-12 hours per day, and I have quite a bit of software installed including Office 2007, Adobe Web Premium CS4, Visual Studio 2008, some SDKs, etc. I have hybrid sleep mode enabled, and my system sleeps probably at least once or twice every day (which dumps modified memory to the hibernation file). Using the Intel toolbox I see that I've written a little less than 200GB to my SSD in the last month, which works out to about 6-700KB per day.

Intel claims that their drives will last for "at least" 5 years if you write 20GB per day to them. If that's true, then based on the write rate I've seen my drive will last for well over 100 years before I wear it out.

I say all this to point out that SSDs, at least the Intel ones for which I've seen an actual longevity estimate from the manufacturer, aren't quite as delicate as people sometimes fear.


I think this is a very good point. It is easy to get quite phobic about writing to the drive (probably because we have spent so much money for our new gear) but at some point, it ceases to be worth it if you just don't use it. And the drives are much more robust than people give them credit for.

This Tom's article is a good read on this topic. The daily write limits cited by Kingston for a projected 5 year life equal to approximately 1/3 the capacity of the drive. So for my 128GB, I'm looking at about 44GB/day, which I will never reach. For a 64GB drive, you are talking about 22GB/day, which again, is not likely to be reached in most applications.

Any idea if there are any utilities out there other than the Intel one that measure the total writes to a drive? I'd love to benchmark mine for a month too to see what is being written to it.
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a c 415 G Storage
March 9, 2010 5:38:42 AM

I'm not aware of any utilities to display the write statistics other than the Intel one. SSDs are growing in popularity so I'm sure something will become available if it isn't already.
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March 9, 2010 12:39:55 PM

I'm not too worried about it wearing out over a year or two because $200 is not bad in the scope of things and they will be much cheaper and faster by the time it's time to replace. BUT I am concerned about a systematic degradation in performance and speed, which is the purpose of adding the SSD in the first place. I am just hoping to mitigate possible performance loss by setting it up correctly in the first place since I'm starting from a blank canvas with my new build.

I'm not going to worry about it at this point, though. I spent a small fortune restoring an old car a few years ago - a '66 Mini Cooper S. It was so perfect that when it was done I never enjoyed driving it because I was afraid something would happen to it. I finally lost interest in my 401k, as I called it, sitting in the climate-control garage. So I sold it in a bad economy for a third of what it cost me to restore. In retrospect, I could have driven the crap out of it and enjoyed myself for less than the 66% depreciation hit I took. As a friend of mine used to say, "it's a car, not a F'in kidney - quit worrying and enjoy yourself!" I think the same applies here.

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a c 415 G Storage
March 9, 2010 4:00:56 PM

candidprints said:
"it's a car, not a F'in kidney - quit worrying and enjoy yourself!"

Good advice! :D 
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a b G Storage
March 23, 2010 4:02:32 AM

Best answer selected by r_manic.
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March 26, 2010 11:36:19 PM

This is an outstanding thread: Good original question by a thoughtful and articulate OP; excellent opinions from the two main contributors, with a good back and forth discussion between them about the finer points; and an excellent, humorous bit of advice from the OP (the F'in kidney comment) to keep it real. I hate to gush but, seriously, it was a pleasure to read this, and it perfectly answers the precise questions that I've been looking for an answer to.

Thanks to all of you.

I'm getting the 80GB Intel X25-M for my OS (Win 7) and programs, and I'm leaving all my basic data on my velociraptor, with media (pics, videos, music) on a 1TB SATA drive, backing up on another 1TB SATA drive. I guess I'll put the page file in a partition on the velociraptor, too. Do you guys see any problems or missed opportunities for performance with that plan?
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March 27, 2010 8:10:18 PM

I think that setup sounds like a good plan. I've been using the setup I described here for a while now and everything has worked great. The only downside with the SSD is that now, everytime I have to go to my HDD for data, I notice how comparitively slow the HDD is! Word, PowerPoint, Excel are all instant-on with the SSD. Load-up times with games are lightning quick. I'll never go back--too spoiled now.
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March 27, 2010 9:42:34 PM

When you install drivers into the OS Windows will put them into it's internal folders and you don't really need to worry about where they go (but they'll end up inside the partition that has the OS).
Increase Penis Size

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March 28, 2010 3:16:02 PM

jdp245 said:
I am building a very similar rig right now. I agree with everything that has been said so far (one partition on the SSD; pitfalls of RAID) but I have some suggestions that go beyond the advice you just got.

Make sure that you have selected ACHI as your SATA controller. This will enable Native Command Queuing (NCQ), which should help performance of your drives. It will also ensure that your SSD will receive TRIM commands from Windows 7 if your SSD supports it (most new SSDs do now). (Note that another reason not to run RAID with an SSD is that the drive controller in RAID configuration cannot handle TRIM commands from Windows 7.) Also, when you first load Windows, only have your SSD plugged in. You can add your other drives later.


I read in numerous threads that you should NOT use ACHI for SSD. For example, according to OCZ forums, AHCI is not compatible with OCZ SSD's.
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March 31, 2010 12:53:33 PM

Can I jump in here with a somewhat similiar issue that I posted in another thread (before finding this one,) apologies...

I'm tryin gto setup my Asus P6X58D MB the best way possible for using an Intel X25-M 80GB SSD drive as a single drive for Win 7 and applications and 2 Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB in a RAID 1 for data.
Inso far as the features of AHCI, Trim, etc are concerned

The motherboard has the following fo rcontrollers:
•Southbridge
◦6 x SATA 3.0Gbit/s ports
◦Support AHCI controller with SATA RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10 configurations
•Marvell 88SE9123 SATA 6.0Gbit/s controller
◦2 x SATA 6.0Gbit/s ports

My question comes down to:
Can I use the Marvel controller for the SSD drive setup for AHCI Enabled and then use the Intel controller for the RAID 1 setup?
The manual seemed to imply that if you Enable RAID i nbios then ALL SATA ports are enabled for RAID.
In BIOS/Storage Config/SATA Confiquration, do I set Enable RAID - or - Enable the AHCI.
The manual implies that if your going to setup a RAID at any time set it here and now.

I poked around and heard it said that the RAID mode is a super-set of AHCI. i.e. if you set to 'RAID', drives that are not in a RAID configuration will function as AHCI.

Thanks for your consideration
John
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March 31, 2010 1:19:45 PM

JohnC58 said:

Can I use the Marvel controller for the SSD drive setup for AHCI Enabled and then use the Intel controller for the RAID 1 setup?
The manual seemed to imply that if you Enable RAID i nbios then ALL SATA ports are enabled for RAID.
In BIOS/Storage Config/SATA Confiquration, do I set Enable RAID - or - Enable the AHCI.
John


John,

I did a bit more research and these are my findings:
- Do not use the Marvel SATA3 controller for SATA2 SSD drives, like your Intel. A few tests (Google is your friend) noticed that the Intel controller is faster than the Marvel and since your Intel SSD doesn't exceed the SATA2 bandwidth, the P55 is your friend
- If you enabled RAID in your BIOS (either controller), AHCI automatically gets disabled as well but you do need to use your RAID setup utility to configure the drives. You can leave a disc out of the array setup.
- For Windows 7 configuration: use IDE to install, update your firmware and then enable RAID/AHCI -> this is a requirement for OCZ SSDs not too sure about Intel. Although it can't hurt either, since you can always switch back to AHCI (see below)

So my setup (OCZ SSD and 2xWD Black Raid1):

During installation
- OCZ SSD to Intel P55 SATA, setting IDE. HDs not connected
- Upgrade OCZ firmware

After installation
- Connect HDs to Intel P55 SATA, Set Bios to RAID, configure RAID1 array. SSD will show up in RAID setup but you can leave that as a single drive
- Change the Windows 7 settings from IDE to AHCI (see the link below)

This is a gread read (although it's OCZ, there are a lot of good hints and tips): http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?...*-Windows-7-Ultimate-Tweaks-Utilities-*

Hope this helps!
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April 11, 2010 5:01:43 PM

exm said:
I read in numerous threads that you should NOT use ACHI for SSD. For example, according to OCZ forums, AHCI is not compatible with OCZ SSD's.

Hmm... that is interesting. I have seen no problems at all running ACHI on the Kingston V+ Series. My motherboard defaults to IDE, so I did inadvertently install the SSD using IDE and then switched to ACHI. The responses above suggest that this will work for OCZ as well.

I have also read threads that say that Windows 7 TRIM support requires the use of ACHI. I know that it is well documented that the Windows 7 TRIM command doesn't work with a RAID controller, but I'm not sure about the accuracy of the claims that it doesn't work on an IDE controller. If this were true, though, would that mean that the OCZ SSD doesn't support the Windows 7 TRIM command? Or is this talk about TRIM support on the IDE controller bunk?

**I would LOVE to see some Tom's articles sorting through some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding the use of SSDs. I like to think of myself as a fairly capable enthusiast, but the conflicting information out there about these things really has me (and I suspect some others) baffled.**
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April 11, 2010 8:51:20 PM

jdp245 said:
Hmm... that is interesting. I have seen no problems at all running ACHI on the Kingston V+ Series. My motherboard defaults to IDE, so I did inadvertently install the SSD using IDE and then switched to ACHI. The responses above suggest that this will work for OCZ as well.

I have also read threads that say that Windows 7 TRIM support requires the use of ACHI. I know that it is well documented that the Windows 7 TRIM command doesn't work with a RAID controller, but I'm not sure about the accuracy of the claims that it doesn't work on an IDE controller. If this were true, though, would that mean that the OCZ SSD doesn't support the Windows 7 TRIM command? Or is this talk about TRIM support on the IDE controller bunk?

**I would LOVE to see some Tom's articles sorting through some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding the use of SSDs. I like to think of myself as a fairly capable enthusiast, but the conflicting information out there about these things really has me (and I suspect some others) baffled.**


Let me rewrite my original statement... Install the OCZ with your BIOS set to IDE, and use IDE for any firmware upgrades. Afterwards, change the W7 settings to AHCI and change your BIOS.
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April 15, 2010 12:55:06 AM

I posted this question earlier in this thread, and didn't get a response (maybe because I buried it in my gushing compliments about the quality of the discussion in this thread). Anyway, I just got my new SSD and I'm trying to finalize my plan, so I'm wondering if anyone would like to weigh in on this with any comments or suggestions:

"I'm getting the 80GB Intel X25-M for my OS (Win 7) and programs, and I'm leaving all my basic data on my velociraptor, with media (pics, videos, music) on a 1TB SATA drive, backing up on another 1TB SATA drive. I guess I'll put the page file in a partition on the velociraptor, too. Do you guys see any problems or missed opportunities for performance with that plan?"
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April 15, 2010 2:29:03 AM

tomsjim said:
I posted this question earlier in this thread, and didn't get a response (maybe because I buried it in my gushing compliments about the quality of the discussion in this thread). Anyway, I just got my new SSD and I'm trying to finalize my plan, so I'm wondering if anyone would like to weigh in on this with any comments or suggestions:

"I'm getting the 80GB Intel X25-M for my OS (Win 7) and programs, and I'm leaving all my basic data on my velociraptor, with media (pics, videos, music) on a 1TB SATA drive, backing up on another 1TB SATA drive. I guess I'll put the page file in a partition on the velociraptor, too. Do you guys see any problems or missed opportunities for performance with that plan?"


Since there are a lot of random writes to the page file, in general people recommend moving the page file out of the SSD, so in my opinion your plan makes sense.
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July 21, 2011 10:20:26 AM

jdp245 said:
I am building a very similar rig right now. I agree with everything that has been said so far (one partition on the SSD; pitfalls of RAID) but I have some suggestions that go beyond the advice you just got.

Make sure that you have selected ACHI as your SATA controller. This will enable Native Command Queuing (NCQ), which should help performance of your drives. It will also ensure that your SSD will receive TRIM commands from Windows 7 if your SSD supports it (most new SSDs do now). (Note that another reason not to run RAID with an SSD is that the drive controller in RAID configuration cannot handle TRIM commands from Windows 7.) Also, when you first load Windows, only have your SSD plugged in. You can add your other drives later.

As you noted, because data sectors in SSDs "wear out" after a certain number of write/erase cycles, you should move the page file from your SSD to one of your HDDs. Instructions for how to do this can be found by searching virtual memory in the start bar and clicking on the option "How to change the size of virtual memory?". Windows will tell you that if you set the C: drive to no virtual memory that it won't be able to write a crash dump file if your OS crashes. For that reason, I left 400MB open on my C: drive, but since I have 8GB of RAM and 8GB of virtual memory open on my HDD, Windows almost never uses the page file on the C: drive. Turning it off won't kill your system, despite the warnings from Windows.

You may also want to do the following:

Turn off or reduce the amount of space the system Restore uses on the SSD. I am leaving this on while I continue to tweak and build the system, but I will turn it off once everything seems stable.

Move your internet browser's Temporary Internet Files folder to a HDD. This can be done in IE8 by opening Internet Options, and clicking Settings under the Browsing History area of the General tab.

I also migrated all of the user folders to my HDD. (These are folders like 'My Documents' and 'My Pictures'.) Some programs will default to using these folders when saving information and data, so it is a handy way to point these programs to save info on the HDD. You can do this by opening the "Personal Folder" for the User Account and right clicking on, for instance, the My Pictures file and selecting Properties. From there, click the Location tab and select the new location you want. All the files in that folder should be automatically migrated to the new drive.

Some people suggest that you turn off indexing with a SSD because this file is regularly overwritten. I don't agree, since you can move the indexing file to your HDD instead. To do this, click Indexing Options from the Control Panel, click the Advanced button at the bottom, and enter in the new folder you would like to use under Index Location.

Definitely disable your Disk Defragmenter. Windows 7 by default has this scheduled to run each week, so make sure that it is disabled in the scheduler, or you have set it up to pass over your SSD. Not sure exactly how to do this other than opening up the Task Scheduler and disabling the weekly task for Defrag. Supposedly, Windows should detect your SSD and skip over it, but when I looked at the Task Scheduler, it looked like it was scheduled to happen, so I just disabled it to be sure.

I'm undecided about what to do with Superfetch and Prefetch. There are a lot of people who disagree on what to do with this if you have an SSD. Supposedly Windows is supposed to automatically disable these features if it detects an SSD, but after looking at my registry, it didn't appear to in my case. I have mine off for now, because I understand that they really don't provide any benefit if you are running programs from an SSD. If you choose to turn these off, you should get directions on that from another thread--I'm certainly not qualified to tell you how to edit your Registry.

There are also people who have said to disable the write caching to your SSD drive. IMHO, this is not good advice. You should keep it on; it allows your SSD to group data together more efficiently so as to minimize wasted space on the drive. The cache resides in your volatile memory (RAM) so it doesn't cause any additional writes to the SSD. Actually, it should decrease the number of writes.

Good luck!


Is this advice valid even for my computer with these parts:

Asus P8Z68
Intel ® Core i7 2600K, 3.4GHz, 8MB
2 x 'CORSAIR 8GB DDR3 XMS3 VENGEANCE PC3-12800 1600MHz CL8 (2x4GB) "
SSD 120GB Corsair CSSD-F120GB2 2.5 "Force Series
4 x 1TB Samsung HD103

Thanks / Steglits
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