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My 1st SSD - What Do I Need to Know?

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February 28, 2012 5:38:16 PM

My 1st SSD - What Do I Need to Know?

I've never had an SSD before so, I'm curious about basic maintenance differences between HD's and SSD's. What all do I need to know before getting my first SSD regarding basic maintenance like I used to perform with HD's such as defrag, clean and scan disk, virus scans etc? By having an SSD for my OS and programs only, while having a separate HD for documents etc, will that eliminate most viruses from corrupting my OS and programs?

I want the Intel 520, 120G "Cherryville" and I'll also still have to use my 1 year old 500g HD for now until prices come way down.

I am in the process of organizing for a new build but, I'm waiting for Ivy Bridge and the z77 boards -

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/333702-31-bridge-work...


More about : 1st ssd

a c 523 G Storage
February 28, 2012 6:36:31 PM

Do not defrag a SSD. It is useless and just add uncessary writes to the drive.
SSDs use Wear Leveling algorithms to ensure that all NAND cells get equal usage.
Let the SSD write the files where it wants and do its job of wear leveling.

Follow the same procedures as a HDD with regards to virus protection.

The port your SSD is connected to should be in AHCI mode for maximum performance.
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a c 119 G Storage
February 28, 2012 11:07:28 PM

Your choice of a SSD is good and the Intel SSD is great for reliablity. As said by Dereck do not defrag your SSD and as a matter of fact you should shut off automatic defrag that is on by default in Windows 7. You can still scan for viruses and the SSD is just as sussectable to getting a virus as any hdd and it will afect the whole computer. Make sure you enable AHCI before you load the OS onto the SSD.
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Related resources
a b G Storage
February 29, 2012 4:00:26 PM

After installation, you can optimize your SSD by following the directions on the page below:
http://www.computing.net/howtos/show/solid-state-drive-...

Instead of disabling your pagefile as the article suggests, I recommend moving it to your hard drive as it can prevent some Blue Screens.
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a c 99 G Storage
February 29, 2012 4:20:42 PM

Tom's has an article about this, here.
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February 29, 2012 4:57:48 PM

Thanks soooo much for all the help!

Those last two posts link to the same article. I wonder, since that article is from 2010 does that article need to be updated with any other newer information?

Here's another comment:

Quote:
"Make sure AHCI is enabled in bios, and install Windows 7. That's it. Windows 7 will automatically install in correct partition alignment, enable TRIM, disable defrag etc. You don't have to do any extra work.

Some people may tell you to do further maintenance (disable indexing, page files, etc), but that's absolutely unnecessary."
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a c 119 G Storage
February 29, 2012 7:47:31 PM

You only get trim support on Motherboards with Intel chipsets and you do want to enable AHCI before you load Windows and you still want to check and make sure that automatic defrag is turned off. You want to move you page file off of the boot drive if the boot drive is a SSD and lower the amount of virtual memory.
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a b G Storage
February 29, 2012 8:09:09 PM

It isn't so much that wear-leveling is in the way of degragmentation, its that defragmentation is useless as all parts of the SSD have equal access times. It isn't a magnetic platter that spins with latency involved in tracking down file fragments.
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a c 523 G Storage
February 29, 2012 9:24:27 PM

blackhawk1928 said:
It isn't so much that wear-leveling is in the way of degragmentation, its that defragmentation is useless as all parts of the SSD have equal access times. It isn't a magnetic platter that spins with latency involved in tracking down file fragments.


You are correct with regards to access times.
Didn’t mean to imply that wear leveling gets in the way of defragmenting, just that with regards to SSDs it doesn’t matter if data is fragmented or not.

Here’s a brief quote from a Micron whitepaper on Wear Leveling:


[b said:
Introduction
Wear leveling is a process that helps reduce premature wear in NAND Flash devices. This
technical note highlights the importance of wear leveling, explains two primary wear leveling
techniques—static and dynamic—and calls attention to other considerations
involved in implementing wear leveling.
Wear Leveling Implementation
The most common implementation of wear leveling occurs in the NAND Flash
controller, which manages access to the memory device and determines how the NAND
Flash blocks are used. In most cases, the controller maintains a lookup table to translate
the memory array physical block address (PBA) to the logical block address (LBA) used
by the host system. The controller's wear-leveling algorithm determines
which physical block to use each time data is programmed, eliminating the relevance of
the physical location of data
and enabling data to be stored anywhere within the
memory array.]Introduction
Wear leveling is a process that helps reduce premature wear in NAND Flash devices. This
technical note highlights the importance of wear leveling, explains two primary wear leveling
techniques—static and dynamic—and calls attention to other considerations
involved in implementing wear leveling.
Wear Leveling Implementation
The most common implementation of wear leveling occurs in the NAND Flash
controller, which manages access to the memory device and determines how the NAND
Flash blocks are used. In most cases, the controller maintains a lookup table to translate
the memory array physical block address (PBA) to the logical block address (LBA) used
by the host system. The controller's wear-leveling algorithm determines
which physical block to use each time data is programmed, eliminating the relevance of
the physical location of data
and enabling data to be stored anywhere within the
memory array.
[/b]
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a b G Storage
February 29, 2012 9:56:40 PM

No no, I was not discrediting what you were saying. You are absolutely correct that wear leveling practically prevent degragmentation, because it attempts to ensure different cells get equal write cycles. Infact, I've heard of wear leveling making it so that defragmentation software THINKS the drive is defragmentated physically, but the wear leveling puts files where it pleases anyway. So you were correct, wear leveling pretty much does get into the way, I think.

I just was just adding to the fact that no top of being in the way, that defragmenting SSD's is pointless in general for performance reasons.
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a b G Storage
February 29, 2012 10:28:44 PM

inzone said:
You only get trim support on Motherboards with Intel chipsets and you do want to enable AHCI before you load Windows and you still want to check and make sure that automatic defrag is turned off. You want to move you page file off of the boot drive if the boot drive is a SSD and lower the amount of virtual memory.

I believe TRIM support is a feature of the OS and SSD, not the chipset. To my knowledge, TRIM works perfectly fine on both AMD and Intel systems, and works in both AHCI and IDE modes (although AHCI is faster).

Here is a post I found with more information about TRIM (towards the end, it's a long message).
http://communities.intel.com/message/123107#123107
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March 1, 2012 4:15:30 PM

A little help here please ...

Why are these 120g by Intel 520 SSD's different prices? What's the difference between them - I notice the model numbers are different so, what is the difference?

This one (SSDSC2CW120A3K5) runs $223.99

While this one (SSDSC2CW120A310) runs $194.94

Is there a difference between these SSD's or no?
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a c 523 G Storage
March 1, 2012 4:58:32 PM

josejones said:
A little help here please ...

Why are these 120g by Intel 520 SSD's different prices? What's the difference between them - I notice the model numbers are different so, what is the difference?

This one (SSDSC2CW120A3K5) runs $223.99

While this one (SSDSC2CW120A310) runs $194.94

Is there a difference between these SSD's or no?



IntelEnthusiast said:
Here is some additional information on the differences between the packaging on the Intel® SSDs (including the 320s, 510s and the new 520s). The Part # will end with a 10, K5 or B5 based on that information you will be able to tell what comes in the box with the SSD.

If the part # ends with 10 it comes with the SSD, warranty, a sticker and in a brown box.

If the part # ends with K5, it is the reseller box and comes with:
*The SSD
*One-page flyer with web links
*Mini CD-Rom with installation and warranty documents.
*Desktop install kit:
-Drive bracket and screws
-SATA signal cable
-SATA power cable

If the part # ends with B5, it is the retail box and comes with:
*The SSD
*One-page flyer with web links
*Mini CD-Rom with installation and warranty documents.
*Desktop install kit:
-Drive bracket and screws
-SATA signal cable
-SATA power cable
*Notebook install kit:
-USB to SATA cable
-Protective sleeve
-Screwdriver


Christian Wood
Intel Enthuisast Team


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a c 119 G Storage
March 1, 2012 7:08:25 PM

That might work for those 120gb SSD's but what about these?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Intel 520 Series Cherryville SSDSC2CW240A310 2.5" 240GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $479.00


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Intel 520 Series Cherryville SSDSC2CW240A3K5 2.5" 240GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $359.99

The brown box one costs $120 more than the retail box??
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a c 523 G Storage
March 1, 2012 7:26:02 PM

inzone said:
That might work for those 120gb SSD's but what about these?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Intel 520 Series Cherryville SSDSC2CW240A310 2.5" 240GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $479.00


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Intel 520 Series Cherryville SSDSC2CW240A3K5 2.5" 240GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $359.99

The brown box one costs $120 more than the retail box??



Good point. :) 
I went to Intel's website and there's just a $10 difference between the 2 product codes.
I think Newegg's trying to make a $110 markup. :) 
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a c 119 G Storage
March 1, 2012 7:42:46 PM

What's even more curious is that the 180gb model is also $359.99 , the same price as the 240gb.
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a c 99 G Storage
March 2, 2012 3:22:16 PM

Contact newegg and find out. I think it's just a website posting error.

For simplicity, the cheaper one is OEM, and the other is a retail package.

Is you don't need the brackets, cables, manual, or info disk, go OEM.
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May 29, 2012 10:55:49 AM

inzone said:
You only get trim support on Motherboards with Intel chipsets and you do want to enable AHCI before you load Windows and you still want to check and make sure that automatic defrag is turned off. You want to move you page file off of the boot drive if the boot drive is a SSD and lower the amount of virtual memory.

Hi,

1. TRIM is supported by Windows 7 if SATA AHCI mode is enabled in BIOS. That req. of course that the mobo has support for it and other mobos than Intel chipset do have support.

The Microsoft AHCI driver will be a better choice if running on a AMD platform, since Intel SSD Toolbox does not work well with the AMD AHCI driver. There are also some issues with some Dell computers, so use msahci driver if problems occur.
MS ACHI also supports TRIM.

However, Intel Matrox or Intel RST AHCI driver will be the best to use on the Intel chipset platform for optimum performance with an Intel SSD (note).

Note1. Windows 7 with Intel Matrox AHCI driver: Intel SSD Toolbox with Intel SSD Optimizer required to run Trim
Note 2. Microsoft Vista or Windows XP regardless AHCI driver: Intel SSD Toolbox with Intel SSD Optimizer required to run Trim
http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&...

2. The Microsoft Pagefile should of course be on the SSD, preferable use two of them and put second pagefile on the HDD, since Windows will automatically read/write from the disk that is not used at the moment. The SSD/HDD cannot read/write on the same disk at the same time.

Microsoft http://blogs.msdn.com/b/e7/archive/2009/05/05/support-a...
Quote:

Should the pagefile be placed on SSDs? Yes. Most pagefile operations are small random reads or larger sequential writes, both of which are types of operations that SSDs handle well.

In looking at telemetry data from thousands of traces and focusing on pagefile reads and writes, we find that

Pagefile.sys reads outnumber pagefile.sys writes by about 40 to 1,
Pagefile.sys read sizes are typically quite small, with 67% less than or equal to 4 KB, and 88% less than 16 KB.
Pagefile.sys writes are relatively large, with 62% greater than or equal to 128 KB and 45% being exactly 1 MB in size.

In fact, given typical pagefile reference patterns and the favorable performance characteristics SSDs have on those patterns, there are few files better than the pagefile to place on an SSD.


3. This article on Tom's should be re-written, since it has some wrong suggestions about what is best to do.
http://www.computing.net/howtos/show/solid-state-drive-...

Sincerely, from Sweden :wahoo: 
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December 14, 2012 10:21:40 AM

Sorry to resurrect an old thread but I was doing some SSD research and stumbled on it. FlyFisherman is correct with his last statement that the guide at http://www.computing.net/howtos/show/solid-state-drive-ssd-tweaks-for-windows-7/552.html is very wrong in places as my understanding goes. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong but...

Step 4 - Disable drive indexing. Why would you want to do this? It's not really directly related to seek times it allows windows search to index files so that if you type 'hardware' for example into windows search it will search the contents of files. Why turn this off?

Step 6 - Disable page file! I've done quite a bit of research on this and it's never good to disable the page file, it is a myth that windows works better without it. I understand cutting down on the access to the drive but surely the whole point of the SSD is quick access times from the pagefile?!

Step 8 - Disable prefetch and Superfetch?!?!?! Surely, as my understanding goes this is the fundamental reason for getting an SSD. That's why Windows from Vista onwards allows you to create Readyboost partitions on flash memory devices. The point of superfetch is to cache fequently used files in quick access storage memory for faster access times (ie a flash drive) I totally don't understand this suggestion.

Step 10 - Disbale windows search and superfetch. Again I don't see the logic behind this, Windows 7 (haven't used 8 yet) hides all the stuff you wan't to find, I actually use windows search all the time why disable it? Also Superfetch see above.

The only thing I've taken from that guide is the TRIM information and confirming defrag is turned off. I think the rest is a waste of effort and highlighted above I think wrong. The guide needs revising unless someone can show me the error of my ways!
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December 14, 2012 3:32:00 PM

I totally agree and I am surprised that no one has replayed on my posting before...
Tom's should absolutely do a serious consideration on exactly what they are recommend in their articles...
In some cases it's absolute wrong.

Sometimes I have a feeling that regardless of how good Tom's are in respect of writing their articles about 'testing and reporting new stuffs' they do not sometimes fully understand what they are talking about and get the whole facts.

Step. 6 Page file should Not be disabled on the system disk, especially if one need s to have a memory dump file in case of BSOD. Well read my last posting regarding this.

As for the rest of Your points, that is very interesting and I have also some serious doubt about these.

Ps. Sorry for my poor English and grammar. Ds

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January 25, 2013 1:54:56 PM

inzone said:
That might work for those 120gb SSD's but what about these?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Intel 520 Series Cherryville SSDSC2CW240A310 2.5" 240GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $479.00


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Intel 520 Series Cherryville SSDSC2CW240A3K5 2.5" 240GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $359.99

The brown box one costs $120 more than the retail box??


the part numbers end with 310 comes from a bulk OEM pack, without the 2.5" to 3.5" bracket. That's where the $10 delta comes in. The part numbers end with 3K5 are retail/reseller packs with the bracket. The drives itself are the same.
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May 17, 2014 2:28:25 AM

anyway just something, keep your hdd and 120gb is enough !
ssds are not drives throw files at and pictures and load it with unsorted files :D  install windows antivirus + drivers on ssd and some stuff that doesn't make different or you dont use much on hdd + photos and videos and downloads !

all that stuff + world of warcraft (much quicker loads and stuff) on my ssd, still 75gb free (same model as you !)

also i recommend you too install intel ssd toolbox

thats stuff on my HDD : arduino IDE - battle.net - half-life - crystal disk bench heartstone - handbreak

IDM .... vlc - steam - sublime - warcraft - winrar - wow mop ( i dont play it ! )

anyway that was just to give you idea to install what on which !:D  enjoy your new fast life :p 

also: my hdd gives much better crystal results after i removed windows from it :o  my hdd is faster too now !

and i tried all the stuff on hdd on ssd once, not even a 0.1sec difference :D  but fo others there was much difference!

EDIT: :o  this thread is so old ! im so sorry, i didn't realize that, at least when someone has the same problem they can check it :!
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