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SSD performance, not impressed rant

Last response: in Storage
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April 7, 2011 5:34:15 PM

My laptop was top of the line 2 years ago. 15.4"
Sager 8662, Nvidia GTX 260m, Intel P9600. I'm running the newest current games at medium high at 1680x1050.
My Hitachi 2.5 320GB 7200rpm was kinda crapping out giving me a few write errors and I know this from owning probably 20 HDD's in my life so I went and bought the newest "can't go back" SSD drive.
It's a crucial c300 128GB. I paid $280 for it. I live in Bangkok and that's the best deal I could find.
I'm currently gaming a lot, unraring files from downloads, and I'm still noticing that it's about 5 minutes average for a 8GB file.
When I play games like League of Legends, "not a heavy load game", with some music videos playing minimized in the background, there's a noticeable different in frames in the game. I'm talking from consistent 60fps to 40-50fps. If i'm downloading anything from newsgroups, my games start to stutter and I'm playing offline warhammer retribution 40k. Even on LOWEST settings. I'm running windows 7 64bit with the default windows drivers. I don't even know where to get the other ones. I've read bad things about marvell drivers and I'm just a bit confused. I suppose installing Apps are a BIT faster but that's teh only thing I could nit pick about being any faster. I'm a bit disappointed when I see 1TB WD 2.5 7200rpm drives going for $60 and I just paid $280 for a 2.5 128GB SSD that can't even allow me to play music and a game at the same time without causing my games to lag or download and play games without stuttering. Did I just get a bad drive or.... i'm kinda speechless now when I think about it. The only thing I can justify the money is that SSD apparently last a lot longer so I can use it as a backup for personal stuff. But then I read that some drives have a tendency to lose data... Someone PLEASE give me some good info and I just didn't totally screw the pooch on this. Oh and I can't return the drive for a refund. basically just the same drive. That is standard here in bkk.
April 7, 2011 5:58:13 PM

SSDs excel in read performance, not so much in write. That is especially true for random read write or writing compressed data (ie rar zip files). Even so the dropping FPS seems kinda strange to me. Looks like something you should research in case you got a bad drive.
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April 12, 2011 2:05:49 AM

I wonder what O/S you are running? I noticed a huge difference from my WD Green to Crucial 60gb SSD on a 680i MB and Windows 7. I think you may possibly have a bad SSD as suggested, outdated chipset controller, or some other conflict. You could try doing a fresh reinstall of your OS and make sure all your drivers are up-to-date. Make sure you follow all the guides to owning an OS like enabling trim, disabling indexing, disable defrag etc.
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April 14, 2011 1:28:26 PM

i appreciate the suggestions. it's the newest firmware and i just bought it and it came with that firmware so i'm guessing it's a newer controller as well. I honestly don't see it being so much where I'd sacrifice over a TB in storage just for a bit of extra speed that may be a bit noticeable.
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a c 289 G Storage
April 14, 2011 2:14:34 PM

If I read your post correctly, the poor performance that you are reporting is while things are running. The SSD won't speed up game performance, or allow you to multitask better. The key benefit of an SSD OS drive is that programs will _load_ faster, and the boot sequence will go faster. Once the program is running, unless you are swap-bound and the swap file is on the SSD, it has no effect on how things run.

So by my reading, you are having problems with things that would be more responsive to a memory increase, or a faster processor, or a multi-core processor, than to an SSD.

Question: did the machine multi-task any better with the original HDD?
Question: Are you running Win7? Is AHCI mode enabled on the SATA port? Did you download and install the Intel Matrix Storage drivers? All of these are important to the performance of an SSD.
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a b G Storage
April 14, 2011 2:44:14 PM

@WyomingKnott. I find it hard to believe that you would think that SSD would NOT deliver much better multitasking performance with its low latency and major increases in random small file performance over an HDD.

Besides the snappiness and boot times, it was one of the biggest benefits I noticed as soon as I tasked my system harder. Not trying to argue with ya, but was simply trying to understand your thought process there.
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a c 289 G Storage
April 14, 2011 2:59:45 PM

My thought process is that if I have enough memory, multitasking doesn't require paging so the speed of my page file doesn't matter.

If you are multitasking and all the tasks are reading from disk and the reads are to the SSD you will see an improvement, but the multitasking that I generally do is not heavily dependent on disk reads. Your mileage may vary.

And there's the thought process.
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a b G Storage
April 15, 2011 3:16:09 AM

Got it and was hoping that's where you were going to lead there. You seem to be one of the more knowledgeable folks here and I almost thought you were going to lose a notch there, in my mind anyways. And yes.. I keep scores. lol

I'm not too prideful to hang on coattails and yours certainly seem long enough around here. Although I like to help on occasion,.. I'm here to learn first and foremost and guys like you that are willing to share make that possible. Much appreciated
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April 22, 2011 1:56:56 AM

thanks for the replies, but yeah i'm going to take the drive back. I see your point about memory. I figured with this "hype" that you can't go back to your old 7200rpm I figured I'd give it a try. For the price I was expecting more. Of course the read and writing is faster from benchmarks but not noticeable. Certainly not worth the extra $200. And to answer your questions. Win7 64, AHCD enabled, with intel matrix drives installed yes. Even if it didnt' slow my games downo while listening to music I'd still take it back as I could care less if my windows bootup took 5mins and I install something maybe once a week, only saving seconds, but thanks for your input! :) 
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June 16, 2011 4:50:04 AM

Everything you have described is as the other poster said, CPU, GPU and Ram bound. As you said, your computer was pretty hot 2 years ago, but in computing, that can be an eternity. Frame rates are your gpu, stutter while downloading looks like cpu and/or bandwidth/network speed. From the outside, it appears you bought the ssd thinking it would fix an older computer. The 260m will have a hard time running a lot of games now. Also, I checked out the specs and it seems your computer is Sata , yet you bought a Sata III ssd. You will be capped at the Sata I speed at best, so yes, you should return it, and I would suggest if you keep the laptop, use that money to upgrade the ram, possibly the gpu (although I don't know if it is cost effective) and just get the fastest Sata I drive you can find. Sagers are known for being user upgradeable, so you should check out how much the upgrades will be and decide if it is worth it, or should you replace the laptop. I would be wary of buying a used gpu, as it could have been put through hell. Good luck, but do some research to see what you can do.
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