Solid state disks

I have a computer that I have just put a Intel 160 Gb SSD into. I used the cloning software and got the same performance and performance index 5.9 as I had with the original drive. After getting a Win 7 OS, I did a clean install using the Win 7 disk, it improved the boot time and the performance index is 7.8. At this time I still have the original drive in the computer and was thinking of partitioning it and using it for storage.
I was thinking since the SSD's are capable of better performance another ssd may be better but it needs the trim function in Win 7. I'm guessing that the trim in the OS works on the storage drive to increase performance.
My question is is it worthwhile to use a ssd, will applications on the storage ssd load faster.
Carl
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More about solid state disks
  1. To test your SSD performance, use benchmarks like HDTune Pro (especially the Random Access read and write benchmark). If you post them here, we can have a look.

    To activate TRIM, make sure you're using the Microsoft AHCI driver; not the Intel driver. Also, TRIM doesn't work in RAID-mode. Only on Windows+Microsoft AHCI driver+SSD that supports TRIM.

    Be careful when using cloning programs on SSDs; this may cause misalignment, depending on how the program does its work. It's recommended to do a clean install anyway. When re-installing, do a full format to reset the performance characteristics. This doesn't work with Windows XP full-format by the way; as it only reads and not zero-writes the SSD.

    Another suggestion would be to create a partition smaller than the full capacity, leaving some space unused. This will help the SSD in getting its performance on-par. So on a 160GB SSD, Windows will say its 149GB (actually GiB). Its recommended to create a partition smaller than this, for example 140GB. That would leave roughly 10GB free to be used by the SSD internally. If you do this, you NEED to do a full-format first! Or it might not help at all.
  2. Carl2 said:
    My question is is it worthwhile to use a ssd, will applications on the storage ssd load faster.


    Hard question to answer w/o a qualifier .... for example:

    Is it worthwhile to drive a Porsche ? Will it get me to work faster than my Taurus ?

    While certainly the Porsche is a faster car, whether it gets you to work faster depends on whether you are using the Autobahn or Long Island Expressway. Simply put, it depends on how you drive / work. The SSD will surely outbench the HD. It will boot faster. It will load things faster

    My morning routine is to pop in to office, take out laptop, turn it on and swipe me finger across the reader and let it boot while I hang up my jacket, read my messages or get a cup of java. My puter is way faster than me doing those things so while my puter will boot faster, I will not see a productivity gain because of it.

    As I am working, I receive a fax from legal counsel with a list of changes I need to make in the contract I have written. After launching my word processor, I begin reading his changes, seeing which ones I can read and which ones I have to call him on cause I can't read the handwriting. Again, the SSD offers me no productivity advantage even tho my word processor loaded in 1.5 seconds instead of 4 seconds.

    Now in specialized apps like rendering, photoshop where heavy use of "scratch disks" and the like is involved, where you do actually wait for things to happen before you can proceed, that kind of speed will have a significant productivity impact.

    Keep in mind that I am a guy who spend thousands buying SCSI 15k rpm HD's because of actually productivity improvements in AutoCAD which could be realized. AUtoCAD spent a lot of time writing things to disk before it would take many actions which took seconds ata atime away from our productivity.....but hardware has long passed what AutoCAD needs memory wise and it's no longer as disk dependent as it once was.

    So, for me anyways, it's not whether the SSD is faster than the HD, it's whether the user is fast enough to keep up with the HD and for most users the answer is no. Even on patch Tuesday, when I need 8 minutes to patch windoze, who gets "done first" ?

    -While doing Windows update, SSD owner watches screen take 3 minutes to download patches, apply them and then spends 8 minutes returning calls.....total time = 11 minutes

    -While doing Windows update, HD owner immediately starts returning phone calls.....after 8 minutes of phone calls, windoze is done.

    In short, there's no argument that an SSD can make the computer do things faster. Most people in a business environment will easily absorb any advantages via multitasking. If you are in a single task environment and have nothing to do but watch the screen as a machine boots or program loads, then you will see a productivity increase.
  3. JackNaylorPE said:
    Hard question to answer w/o a qualifier .... for example:

    Is it worthwhile to drive a Porsche ? Will it get me to work faster than my Taurus ?

    While certainly the Porsche is a faster car, whether it gets you to work faster depends on whether you are using the Autobahn or Long Island Expressway. Simply put, it depends on how you drive / work. The SSD will surely outbench the HD. It will boot faster. It will load things faster

    My morning routine is to pop in to office, take out laptop, turn it on and swipe me finger across the reader and let it boot while I hang up my jacket, read my messages or get a cup of java. My puter is way faster than me doing those things so while my puter will boot faster, I will not see a productivity gain because of it.

    As I am working, I receive a fax from legal counsel with a list of changes I need to make in the contract I have written. After launching my word processor, I begin reading his changes, seeing which ones I can read and which ones I have to call him on cause I can't read the handwriting. Again, the SSD offers me no productivity advantage even tho my word processor loaded in 1.5 seconds instead of 4 seconds.

    Now in specialized apps like rendering, photoshop where heavy use of "scratch disks" and the like is involved, where you do actually wait for things to happen before you can proceed, that kind of speed will have a significant productivity impact.

    Keep in mind that I am a guy who spend thousands buying SCSI 15k rpm HD's because of actually productivity improvements in AutoCAD which could be realized. AUtoCAD spent a lot of time writing things to disk before it would take many actions which took seconds ata atime away from our productivity.....but hardware has long passed what AutoCAD needs memory wise and it's no longer as disk dependent as it once was.

    So, for me anyways, it's not whether the SSD is faster than the HD, it's whether the user is fast enough to keep up with the HD and for most users the answer is no. Even on patch Tuesday, when I need 8 minutes to patch windoze, who gets "done first" ?

    -While doing Windows update, SSD owner watches screen take 3 minutes to download patches, apply them and then spends 8 minutes returning calls.....total time = 11 minutes

    -While doing Windows update, HD owner immediately starts returning phone calls.....after 8 minutes of phone calls, windoze is done.

    In short, there's no argument that an SSD can make the computer do things faster. Most people in a business environment will easily absorb any advantages via multitasking. If you are in a single task environment and have nothing to do but watch the screen as a machine boots or program loads, then you will see a productivity increase.


    this is a very good post.
  4. Carl2 said:
    I used the cloning software and got the same performance and performance index 5.9 as I had with the original drive.
    Did you click the "Re-run the assessment" link in the performance information window? If not, then you just saw the value that was cloned from the original system.
  5. I'll give a little more detail, the original boot time to load Win 7 was 1 min 40 sec, from pressing the start, stopwatch stopped for password then restarted, till Win 7 loaded on the screen. The frist thing I tried was a raided array, 2 samsung disks raid 0 with Win 7 as the OS. The read was 274 Mb/s the write was also very high. With the raid array I got a performance index of 5.9 again. Load time was the same 1 min 40 sec.
    I described the install of the ssd, during the cloned install the performance index was reassesed and gave a 5.9, the boot time was the same. The MBR from the original drive was cloned to the SSD, about 10 Gb. I was told to do a clean install, that the ssd needed the trim function in Win 7. I did the clean install, after formatting and reducing the partition, it could not be removed completly. After the install the performance is 7.8, the boot time is less than half. This is with a ssd that has half the speed for read as the raid. I'd used the HD tune for the ssd, the raid and the original drive. the HDTune will not do the write test but it did do the read, for the ssd it was around 170 Mb read.
    I'm planning on putting a video editor and Dragon Naturally on the ssd storage disk. I can't use the raid because of the AHCI that the ssd's need. I'll probably store video and whatever data on a standard hard drive.
    JackNaylorPE your experience with AutoCad reminds me of the time my computer started using the hard drive because of lack of memory, I was lucky I put in more memory to solve the problem. Tried some WD 10K drives at one time. I tried an inexpensive drafting program, much quicker to just do the drafting. Dragon Naturally may help you if you do a lot of writting, it's come a long way.
    Like to mention the cloning software came packaged with the SSD.
    Thanks for the input.
    Carl2
  6. I did something very similar to you. I started with the OS on a WD Green drive. When I bought my SSD (a 160GB Intel X25-M G2) I used Windows 7 backup to make a "System Image" backup onto an external USB drive, then I swapped out the WD Green drive for the SSD, booted from the System Recovery DVD, and restored the image backup to the SSD.

    The resulting system booted up about twice as fast. I actually made a video of the "before" and "after" case showing the time required to boot the system, log on and start Firefox - you can see it here. As you can see the total time required to do everything was cut almost exactly in half.

    After that I did a full reinstall of Windows 7 from scratch onto the SSD, but didn't notice any performance differences from the original "cloned" system.

    It's certainly true that the SSD speeds the system up considerably, at least in terms of booting and starting up programs that are installed on the SSD. Once a program is started, the performance really isn't different for me because I store all my data files on separate hard drives and because I have plenty of memory and so paging is not a bottleneck.
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