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Intel SRT - To defrag or not to defrag

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  • SSD
  • Defragment
  • Intel
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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May 28, 2011 10:25:02 AM

Question is pretty self-explanatory, but I'll set it up as best I can anyways...

Does anybody know definitively how disk defragmentation is handled on an Intel SRT-enabled drive? Depending on how it's implemented, it seems as if it could be either beneficial or deleterious to the performance and lifespan of the drives.

More about : intel srt defrag defrag

a b G Storage
May 28, 2011 10:59:02 PM

Interesting question, I don’t know the answer for sure but I would imagine that an Intel SRT disk would benefit from being defragmented if very fragmented but that doing so would shorten the life of the drive. So only defragment these drives if you have to because of extreme fragmentation.
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May 29, 2011 3:30:07 AM

defrag in windows 7?? in an ssd??? no
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a b å Intel
a c 143 G Storage
May 29, 2011 3:51:00 AM

^+1...

A SSD doesn't need to be defragged... SSD & Defragging = BAD
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May 29, 2011 4:17:07 AM

Quote:
Interesting question, I don’t know the answer for sure but I would imagine that an Intel SRT disk would benefit from being defragmented if very fragmented but that doing so would shorten the life of the drive. So only defragment these drives if you have to because of extreme fragmentation.


Thanks for the input. Not exactly the explanation I was looking for, but I'm glad to see that somebody else is also thinking about this.

Quote:
defrag in windows 7?? in an ssd??? no


That's the thing, it's not just an SSD, it's a mixture of SSDs and HDDs. In my case, I've got two WD Black drives in a RAID 0 array paired with a Kingston V100 SSD. I don't want to shorten the lifespan of my SSD, but I also don't want my HDDs to become overly fragmented as this would severely hurt performance on writes and non-cached reads. It seems to me that if Intel's Smart Response Technology isn't "smart" about the way it handles defragmentation, you'll eventually be stuck with the choice of hurting your SSD or hurting your performance.

The "smart" approach would be to only defragment the HDDs and leave the SSD alone, however I'm not sure if this is implemented or even possible. I have submitted my question to Intel, but I'm not exactly holding my breath for a helpful answer. It has been my experience that we "tech geeks" are a far more accessible and responsive resource for esoteric technical questions such as these. Regardless, I'll post whatever response I get from Intel on here in case anyone else is still curious.
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May 30, 2011 10:22:01 AM

i dont defrag my HDD's since i installed W7 i think it's not worth it anymore, windows already optimizes enough. Defragging an SDD is a no no because of te NAND cycles and also i think if you defrag with SRT on, it will probably scrap the data on SSD and not defrag the SSD.
A quote only valid for win7
"If solid-state media is detected, Windows disables defragmentation on that disk. The physical nature of solid-state media is such that defragmentation is not needed and in fact, could decrease overall media lifetime in certain cases."
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a b G Storage
May 30, 2011 5:32:55 PM

I don’t think that I would buy a SRT disk, because of the small size of the flash memory in comparison to the size of the hard disk I would think that the flash part of a the drive would be written to a lot more than a normal SSD drive and would have a correspondingly shorter life.
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May 31, 2011 10:07:21 AM

Thats why SRT ready drive Intel 311?? or 322?? uses SLC NAND!

pjmelect said:
I don’t think that I would buy a SRT disk, because of the small size of the flash memory in comparison to the size of the hard disk I would think that the flash part of a the drive would be written to a lot more than a normal SSD drive and would have a correspondingly shorter life.

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May 31, 2011 4:50:59 PM

Quote:
The "smart" approach would be to only defragment the HDDs and leave the SSD alone, however I'm not sure if this is implemented or even possible.

There's some very good 3rd party defragmentation utility's that are better then the standart one in Windows 7. With most of these you can actually select the drive(s) you want to defrag, unlike the Windows 7 one.
My suggestion is JKDefrag, I use it to defrag my HDDs all the time, but if only 1 of 'em is fragmented, you can just select that one.
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June 1, 2011 4:19:37 AM

Okay, so I heard back from Intel about this. Turns out the OS recognizes the SSD as cache and does not defragment it. Pretty cool. Their response is below.

Quote:
Hi,

Thank you for the reply.

The setup for using Intel SSD as cache is to use 311 series SSD as the cache disk, installed OS on the RAID HDD (traditional hard disk). Since the SSD will work as a cache, OS will not defrag a cache.

Here is the URL you may refer to about 311 SSD:
http://www.intel.com/design/flash/nand/311series/techni...

Please be informed also that your email has been routed to Asia Pacific support. Moving forward, you may contact our support in US.

Hope the above information help. Thank you.

Best Regards,
Sharon
Intel Customer Support
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June 1, 2011 7:48:11 PM

when using SRT and you go into the defrag of windows 7, does it list the SSD or just the HDD? i would think it wouldn't list the SSD since its only there to help the HDD. and if you were to choose the HDD and select to defrag, would the SSD be touched?
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Best solution

a b G Storage
June 4, 2011 6:14:59 AM

Look up 1 post above that question. Intel says "no it won't".
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June 7, 2011 9:39:22 PM

Best answer selected by niyosha.
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February 27, 2012 8:34:50 PM

At the file level, Windows is not aware of the SSD. Windows is writing to the hard disk, and the Intel Smart Technology manages the caching. Defragging is performed at a lower level than file level; for defragging, it is necessary to access the drive at the sector level or cluster level. Therefore, defragging has to bypass the usual file system operations in the OS. So defragging is accessing the physical device (the hard disk) as opposed to the logical device (the combination of the hard disk cached by the SSD.) Therefore, the defragging software should be able to discern what device is what, and hopefully not touch the SSD.

And by the way, part of the Smart Technology cache is that it doesn't write every little thing to the SSD. It makes a determination of what is appropriate for caching. The ideal cached file is one that gets read frequently, but is infrequently written to or changed.

See http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-z68-express-s...
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August 22, 2012 9:12:02 AM

You were able to "Accelerate" an SSD to use as a cache for your two WD Black Drives in Raid 0? I didn't think that was possible, could you post a screen shot? I tried it myself for my raid 0 setup and the accelerate button would refuse to appear, I am using an Intel SSD 313 model. I finally broke my raid and just used one hard drive to install OS and "Accelerate" Intel SSD as cache. Also, did you ever figure out if defragmentation would be isolated to the mechanical drive while using Intel SRT?
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August 25, 2012 8:31:18 AM

vanlol said:
You were able to "Accelerate" an SSD to use as a cache for your two WD Black Drives in Raid 0? I didn't think that was possible, could you post a screen shot? I tried it myself for my raid 0 setup and the accelerate button would refuse to appear, I am using an Intel SSD 313 model. I finally broke my raid and just used one hard drive to install OS and "Accelerate" Intel SSD as cache. Also, did you ever figure out if defragmentation would be isolated to the mechanical drive while using Intel SRT?


Absolutely. In fact, here I'm accelerating a Raid 0 set of 2 hdds with an ssd which is a built-in Raid 0 itself. see screenshot.

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August 26, 2012 2:56:19 AM

hthu said:
Absolutely. In fact, here I'm accelerating a Raid 0 set of 2 hdds with an ssd which is a built-in Raid 0 itself. see screenshot.

http://i.imgur.com/DBcbc.png


Thank you for your response, I finally managed to achieve a raid 0+ssd cache acceleration myself. Maybe having two raid 0's created from two 1.5tb HD was the problem (1tb/16k stripe and 2tb/128k stripe) and trying to accelerate the 1tb that held the OS. Or maybe the SSD just needed to be tagged or formatted as a cache somehow for Intel SRT to recognize properly to accelerate. Kinda like the idea of anything over 2.2tb needed to be formatted as GPT to get it to work as a boot drive.
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December 29, 2012 11:54:07 AM

hthu said:
Absolutely. In fact, here I'm accelerating a Raid 0 set of 2 hdds with an ssd which is a built-in Raid 0 itself. see screenshot.

http://i.imgur.com/DBcbc.png



Hey I too have a 120 GB SSD and i used 64 for caching and the rest is just storage, but I dont really save anything in the remaining spaces since its barely 50Gb (not even a game and a half lol...) I think I'd rather fully utilize my SSD for caching and doing what you did (creating a SSD raid with a single SSD) seems like a good solution to bypass the 64Gb limitation of Intel SRT.
My question is, can I do this to accelerate a single 1TB HDD? How do you create a "RAID" out of a single SSD?
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