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Moving to SSD

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October 16, 2010 7:58:34 AM

Hello everyone. After few years of amazing performance of my VeloRaptor I decided to move to SSD. As of right now I have VeloRaptor 300GB and my Boot (Windows) drive and 3 Caviar Black 750 drives in RAID0 for my programs and also page file. I just got 2 amazing OCZ Vertex 2 Drives http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

So this 2 SSDs is replacing of my VeloRaptor for boot and I kinda need help. It's 4am and I've been reading about SSDs for like 3 hours and my head is about to blow. There is soo many things and I am sure most of them are out dated. So if possible help me out here.

Just in few words couple important things I need to REALLY know to make my transition from mechanical to SSD is smooth. I'll be reinstalling Windows to new drives from scratch. My BIOS is set to RAID in my P6T Deluxe. I really don't know what else is mention. One last thing. People talking about some TRIM software ...and it looks like it's only for Intel boards ...I may be wrong. Also Intel Rapid Technology ...do I need to install it ? Anyhow. Just quickly explain things I need to install beside regular stuff and thank you very much.

P.S.

One of the most knowledgeable people around is on this board so thx all in advance !

More about : moving ssd

a c 353 G Storage
October 16, 2010 3:19:13 PM

(1) Trim Cmd is a win 7 cmd, and works as long as the SSD is NOT a member of a Raid setup.

(2) the Intel RST driver is for the Intel ICHxx controller. The P6T uses the ICH10 controller, so yes use it. You will need to download it, don't forget to also get the "F6" driver which you will need during install.

Extract from: (Almost identical topic)
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...

(1) Agree with Shadow, not worth it for SSDs

(2) Have used raid0 with HDDs for the last 10 years - loved it, still use it on my backup computer (vista and xp daul boot). Best performance comes with short stroke, where you only use about 20-> 40% of the HDDs capacity. This cuts access time (not a problem with SSDs) and improves the random 4 K slightly. Comes with the Loss of HDD space which increases the cost per Gig.

Generally Raid0 only improves the Sequencial file read/writes and does nothing for the more important access time and small file Random read/writes - these are what is important for boot times and program loads. Sequencial's only improve working with large databases, large graphic files and video files (Blu-ray files can be anywheres from 13 gigs to 35 gigs) - - (does not effect whatching a blu-ray movie).
NOTE - YOU are NOT going to short stroke a SSD, just not cost effective and will have less improvement in overall performance than when used with HDDs.

On trim. Yes you loose it, but with the newer SSDs (SF-1200 controlers) it is not the issue it was with the Generation 2 SSDs. The Sf-1200 has a pretty good garbage collection mechanism (for use with XP and Vista that do NOT have trim cmd). That said, Trim cmd does improve retaining that "factory specs" even on the SF-1200 SSds.

Added
Most 120 gig SSds perform sightly better than their 60 gig counterparts, which also reduces the gain of using 2 smaller ones in raid 0.
May be wrong, but the 120 gig SF-1200 uses two 60 gig in raid0 internally.

2nd added:
For non-raid conf, I think you will want to use the Intel RST AHCI driver (for Vertex-2 & Pheonix Pro) and not the default uSoft AHCI driver.
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October 18, 2010 1:48:02 AM

Thank you very much for your replay. There is a lot of things out there but I still kinda uneasy about my upcoming installation because noone can tell me in simple words on what to do and most important what's better. I mean my main question I guess at this point is "Should I go with RAID0 as my boot drive for Windows 7" becase people saying that what SSD in RAID Array the trim function (whatever that is) is not supported. So should ? Second is "Is there something I should set (not in bios) before installing Windows 7 ? And last question people talking about 4 bits is best for SSD and stuff. What is that all about ?

I know it's a lot of noob questions but if possible please answer above 3 questions so at list I can get started because if RAID0 is bad Idea I'll just return 1 SSD back or may be hit me some other Idea ...pagefile for other SSD ? I don't know.

PS.

Right now I am thinking about doin SSDx2 in RAID0 as boot drive and Black Caviar 750x3 in RAID0 for programs and Games (Exept WOW ... it's going to be on SSD as well :p  )

Thank you very much !
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a b G Storage
October 18, 2010 2:29:59 AM

You have two great ssd drives. Either of them can push and pull information faster than practically any other storage media can take it. Also, RAID 0 will not improve access times.

So, why RAID them?

If you insist on RAID then you lose the benefit of the AHCI driver (because your BIOS is set to RAID). Also, without TRIM it is more important to ensure you leave some free space (unpartitioned space us best). I recommend 20%.

As the chief said. The benefits of raiding your two 60gb drives are small. A 60gig boot drive will have plenty of room for WOW. Return one of them or simply use one for boot and the other for games.

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October 18, 2010 6:56:07 AM

NOW WE ARE TALKING ! Nice and very stupit simple. Now one little problem. In bios of P6T Deluxe there is option to make AHCI or RAID and it's not on each drive but in general. And well let's say right now I have my boot raptor not in raid but there is no way I can set it up as AHCI ...on POST I see it's saying NON-RAID Drive among my 3 raid drives. So I don't know If I can make AHCI without getting rid of my 3 RAID0 drives. Also before I install windows on them should I do something with them ? Like partition or something ? Also how to I do trim trick again ? It's software or something and what it does exactly.

Thanks !
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Best solution

a c 353 G Storage
October 18, 2010 3:16:41 PM

Trim cmd
You would first need to understand How a SSD writes to the blocks, this is different than writing to a sector/cluster in a HDD. But in simple terms – Going back to generation 1 SSDs as data was written to an SSD the performance was drastically reduced with the number of writes. To return a Generation1 SSD to “Like New” performance the SSD need to be wiped and OS reinstall. Then came utilities (like intels toolbox and Garbage collection which was internal to the SSD which incorporated wear leveling and provided some prevention of degraded performance. Then came Windows 7 with its trim cmd which improves maintaining of Like New performance.

Trim cmd Extract from wiki
Quote -In computing, a TRIM command allows an operating system to inform a solid-state drive which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be wiped internally.
TRIM was introduced soon after SSDs started to become an affordable alternative for traditional hard disks as permanent storage in PCs. Because low-level operation of SSDs differs significantly from traditional hard disks (see details below), the typical way in which operating systems handle operations like deletes and formats (not communicating the involved sectors/pages to the storage medium) resulted in unanticipated progressive performance degradation of write operations on SSDs.[1] TRIM enables the SSD to handle garbage collection overhead, that would otherwise significantly slow down future write operations to the involved blocks, in advance.[2]
Although tools to "reset" some drives to a fresh state were already available before the introduction of TRIM, they also delete all data on the drive, which makes them impractical to use for ongoing optimization. – End quote

For performance difference between setting Bios to AHCI verse Using SSD as a non-member disk with Bios set to Raid Good question.

AHCI for non raid member Drives
http://www.evga.com/forums/tm.aspx?m=587496&mpage=1&pri...

In either case, with the Sandforce SF-1200, you need the latest Intel RST driver.

Overview of RST
http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/CS-020784...
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October 19, 2010 2:22:21 AM

Thank you VERY VERY much now I am clear with pretty much everything just two last (I promise) questions.

1. On Windows install after I loaded RST driver with F6 is there anything else I'll need to do during install ?


Scratch second question ... one file is English other is Multi ......

2. After Installation in my understanding I have to install RST software. I am on this page and kinda confused on what file I need iata96cd.exe or iata96enu.exe

http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&...





In my understanding this is it. Rest is just like any other drives and that trim command will be executed automatically between Windows 7 and above RST software I'll be installing.

Anything else or I am done ? Thx Thx !
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October 19, 2010 2:25:49 AM

Best answer selected by xakep.
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a c 353 G Storage
October 19, 2010 3:21:29 AM

I think you have it covered, Please let me Know how it turns out.
And yes, windows should pass the cmd, Need to verify
Taken from a sticky thread:

Q: "How do I know if TRIM is working in Windows 7?"

A: Go to the Command prompt and type > fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify

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

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October 20, 2010 6:25:36 PM

Got my drives and check for latest firmware and my drives came with 1.22 that is not even available on official web site. I installed them in my P6T Deluxe and magically 2 SSD's came up in POST.

Anyhow. On Windows 7 install on partition /load drivers screen I loaded F6 driver from flash card and message came up. Something like "You have to load 32bit driver for 32 bit system and 64bit driver need's to be digitally signed" ..something like that. Anyhow In list of all available I see my 2 SSDs. I selected one of them and installed a system. After I installed all necessary drivers including Intel RST software. In RST it's showing my triple drive RAID0 setup and both of my ssd's. IT's saying it's all green check. So looks like all good.

Anything else I should / can do to tweak performance and also should I put pagefile on non boot SSD or not ? IF any other hints.
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a c 353 G Storage
October 20, 2010 7:47:43 PM

Good read on tweaks:
http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?...*-Windows-7-Ultimate-Tweaks-amp-Utilities-*
Probably you would not want to do all.
Should at a min.
.. Set your page file min/max to same vaule
.. Disable hibernation
.. disable superfetch
.. disable disk indexing.

On where to put pagefile. I would set min/max to same value and leave on SSD. Leave for a couple of weeks, then switch to put on HDD. if you do not see any performance difference then leave on HDD. If you notice a performance decrease, then your option (based on amount of decrease) to leave on HDD or move back to SSD.
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