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Slow PC - SSD the culprit?

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January 12, 2013 5:50:19 PM

Hi all,

Two months ago I changed a few parts of the PC I'd built six months previous. The parts I changed were just the motherboard and HDD, which I 'upgraded' to a much smaller SSD. Specs as follows:

MSI B75IA-E33 Motherboard
Intel i3 2120
XFX 6870 1GB
Kingston 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1333Mhz HyperX Red Memory Kit
Verbatim 128GB Black SSD - 2.5" SATA-II Read 270MB/s Write 225MB/s
650W POWERCOOL PC650UM MODULAR
Windows 7 64bit Pro SP1

After about three weeks of use however, the machine started to chug along and slow down massively. I hadn't benchmarked anything when I built it, but it had been much quicker when first built. I did a fresh install of Windows 7, but after a week it's chugging once again. I've installed all of the relevant drivers for components as far as I can tell, the temps are ok, and CPU and memory usage appear acceptable (though I have that whole IE eating up memory thing going on!).

Considering only the SSD and mobo are actually new parts, I'm leaning towards it being one of those that's the culprit (as I had no problems with my previous larger HDD and mobo). Focussing on the SSD, I currently have about 50GB left on my drive. Last night I put 10GB of music onto the drive and everything went extremely slow. I deleted it and the speed is just about acceptable at the moment. Can filling up a SSD to 60-70% have this effect? Or is my SSD just messed up? Or is it something else?

I've pasted the current benchmarks for my SSD below. But I did run it quickly last night and the score was 203. I have no idea what these numbers mean but I'm guessing they're not good as the advertised read and write speeds of the drive are massivey higher.


AS SSD Benchmark 1.7.4739.38088
------------------------------
Name: SATA SSD ATA Device
Firmware: S5FAM018
Controller: msahci
Offset: 103424 K - OK
Size: 119.24 GB
Date: 12/01/2013 11:35:17
------------------------------
Sequential:
------------------------------
Read: 241.27 MB/s
Write: 96.37 MB/s
------------------------------
4K:
------------------------------
Read: 6.87 MB/s
Write: 31.00 MB/s
------------------------------
4K-64Threads:
------------------------------
Read: 26.24 MB/s
Write: 15.36 MB/s
------------------------------
Access Times:
------------------------------
Read: 0.514 ms
Write: 0.373 ms
------------------------------
Score:
------------------------------
Read: 57
Write: 56
Total: 138
------------------------------


Any help would be appreciated. If you need any screenshots or any more info then let me know. Ta!

More about : slow ssd culprit

a b G Storage
January 12, 2013 6:24:31 PM

Does that drive use the sandforce controller? If so, that COULD be the problem... but I doubt it. More likely you're getting a virus of some sort; I'd start by looking at the websites you frequent.
January 12, 2013 6:32:36 PM

I'd recommend you add your HDD back into the system as a data drive (save what you need then format it first). Then, try to offload some data components from the SSD onto the HDD (e.g. media). You don't wan't to get anywhere close to maxing out any SSD (they need free space for optimal use).

Enter your SSD into google and add review to the search. Check out the reviewers AS SSD benchmark scores.
Related resources
January 13, 2013 12:42:01 AM

It sounds like the SSD needs to have garbage collection routines performed, which requires the system to be idle if its not Sandforce. It is definitely a point to keep it %70-80 full as well. Some people make partitions on their SSDs that are only %80 of the available space so there is dedicated space to collection routines.

Here's the complicated explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garbage_collection_%28SSD%...

And here's a forum here on TH that makes it a bit easier to understand, and the advice of logging off or entering safe mode is also a good idea to force the SSD to perform collection as fast as possible.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/279676-32-garbage-col...

If I were you, I'd leave the computer on overnight while logged off of all users and then see how it responds after a reboot. Also, check if there is a program for your SSD for optimization etc if that doesn't work since some manufacturers include optimization utilities with their SSDs (intel does)
a b G Storage
January 13, 2013 4:28:49 PM

Leaving the system on for 30 minutes to 4 hours, with Power Options adjusted to avoid standby (both system and 'HDD' options) is an excellent suggestion.

If you want to precache data, and have a large amount of available physical memory try this:
- http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/296421-14-precacher...

RAM is still 100x faster than SSD, esp for file system traversal.


The above precache and read-back time is using a Samsung 830 SSD
It is 9.64 times faster once the bulk of the files are precached into RAM.

You may also want to copy/paste the PreCacher log (or ZIP a Notepad TXT file and link to it) so I can compare the metrics of your SSD to other models.
January 13, 2013 4:54:34 PM

Scott_D_Bowen said:
Leaving the system on for 30 minutes to 4 hours, with Power Options adjusted to avoid standby (both system and 'HDD' options) is an excellent suggestion.

If you want to precache data, and have a large amount of available physical memory try this:
- http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/296421-14-precacher...

RAM is still 100x faster than SSD, esp for file system traversal.

http://scottdbowen.id.au/PreCacher/PreCacher_v1005_Graph640x240.png
The above precache and read-back time is using a Samsung 830 SSD
It is 9.64 times faster once the bulk of the files are precached into RAM.

You may also want to copy/paste the PreCacher log (or ZIP a Notepad TXT file and link to it) so I can compare the metrics of your SSD to other models.



I've never seen this program. Interesting! I have 32GB of RAM with a 8GB temp ramdisk so this sounds better...
January 13, 2013 5:34:27 PM

Not read about lots of people having problems with this ssd in general, so I imagine it's either my personal drive or just me!

It's not Sandforce, and generally if my PC is on it's being used and doing something. Very rarely has it ever sat idle, especially at the login screen or in safe mode. I was completely unaware that an ssd needed any sort of 'alone time', but that may have just been ignorance on my part.

Not had any chance so far today, but this evening I'll move as much off the drive as I can and leave it at the login screen overnight with the power options set as described. I'll check in the morning and report back, hopefully with good news.

Either way thanks for the suggestions people!
January 13, 2013 5:50:01 PM

tsigalko09 said:
Not read about lots of people having problems with this ssd in general, so I imagine it's either my personal drive or just me!

It's not Sandforce, and generally if my PC is on it's being used and doing something. Very rarely has it ever sat idle, especially at the login screen or in safe mode. I was completely unaware that an ssd needed any sort of 'alone time', but that may have just been ignorance on my part.

Not had any chance so far today, but this evening I'll move as much off the drive as I can and leave it at the login screen overnight with the power options set as described. I'll check in the morning and report back, hopefully with good news.

Either way thanks for the suggestions people!


Yep. Anytime! I shopped around a bit for my first SSD once I found out about garbage collection and it definitely avoided unnecessary suffering. Hopefully this will fix everything.
January 14, 2013 6:17:29 PM

Hmmm,

Right, so I moved quite a bit off of the SSD and got it down to about 40% full. I booted my PC and left it in at the login screen overnight and simply turned it off before I went to work this morning as I didn't have time to check it unfortunately.
My better half beat me home, turned the PC on and used it for 45 minutes before turning it off. I asked her how it ran and she thought it seemed back to normal.

So I turn the PC on and. . . . uurrgghh. . . . almost a minute from typing my login password to being able to do anything without slowdown. I'm conscious about running too many benchmarks on an SSD but here's what I got this time:

AS SSD Benchmark 1.7.4739.38088
------------------------------
Name: SATA SSD ATA Device
Firmware: S5FAM018
Controller: msahci
Offset: 103424 K - OK
Size: 119.24 GB
Date: 14/01/2013 19:31:37
------------------------------
Sequential:
------------------------------
Read: 242.60 MB/s
Write: 122.70 MB/s
------------------------------
4K:
------------------------------
Read: 10.21 MB/s
Write: 20.62 MB/s
------------------------------
4K-64Threads:
------------------------------
Read: 33.87 MB/s
Write: 1.34 MB/s
------------------------------
Access Times:
------------------------------
Read: 0.487 ms
Write: 0.361 ms
------------------------------
Score:
------------------------------
Read: 68
Write: 34
Total: 136
------------------------------

. . . So it's actually a little bit worse scorewise. I opened the PC up, checked all the cabling and changed the sata port and cable to the SSD (my own little last resort, as I couldn't bring myself to kick my PC to get it to go faster) and it's still the same.

Ideas please? I'm still finding it hard to believe that anything other than the SSD is the problem as most of the components have been used previously with no issues. Also, though I am no genius with the numbers from the benchmarks, they have varied a lot in composition each time. Or is that normal?!
January 14, 2013 6:38:09 PM

Well, your sequential write speeds have gone up %22 compared to the first benchmark. That's significant enough to know idling it did something. However, there obviously is some sort of efficiency issue. It may be a bad/inefficient driver or something is configured to use the SSD in a way that might be choking it down.

It wouldn't hurt to try disabling prefetch/readyboot and see what happens.
January 14, 2013 6:40:23 PM

Oh, and, if the variations that big like that are constantly happening thats not really normal, no. Its indicative that something else is going on behind the scenes e.g. bad drivers or another process is slamming the disk or an incompatibility or something. How many tests have you run, though? 2 or 3 isn't enough to conclude anything especially if you idled and that could have changed something. I take back what I said about the idling overnight doing something if the benchmark variations are that huge each time and its been quite a few times though. lol.


Whats the warranty period on that thing in case it is bad? Whats the return window, in case its incompatible?
a c 257 G Storage
January 14, 2013 7:03:24 PM

tsigalko09 -

1. What is the exact model number of your Verbatim SATA 2 3Gb/s 128GB SSD? You probably have the model with the Phison controller. Did you check for firmware updates?

2. Your MSI motherboard has the SATA II controller built into the Intel B75 chipset. Have you installed the latest Chipset drivers and updates?
January 16, 2013 11:36:32 AM

I've checked and yes, it's the model with the Phison controller. There are no firmware updates on the Verbatim website (and not much support in general from the looks of it) and to be honest I don't really know where else to find them!
My motherboard is fully updated with the latest drivers, etc.

I'm hesitant about running too many benchmarks in case when I contact Verbatim they blame me for ruining the drive for benchmarking it too much, but the several more that I've done are providing inconsistent and still very slow results. I know it should only take a few minutes to run through but sometimes it's taking 20 minutes or more to run which I suppose in itself indicates something's wrong.

I'm going to contact Verbatim and see what they say as the drive has a 2 year warranty. Again, I can't think it's anything I've expressly done to ruin it as up until a couple of weeks ago everything was running as quick as anything!
a b G Storage
January 20, 2013 2:08:25 PM

Shrink all the partitions by 20%, so there is a scratch area it can use between each one.
!