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Poor random write performance: Samsung 840

Last response: in Storage
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January 27, 2013 11:36:21 PM

I installed a Samsung 840 250 GB in my Dell 1645 laptop in December when the OEM HDD died, Clean install, Win7 Pro SP1:

Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1
CPU
Intel Core i7 720QM @ 1.60GHz 77 °C
Clarksfield 45nm Technology
RAM
6.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 664MHz (9-9-9-24)
Motherboard
Dell Inc. 0VV228 (U2E1) 27 °C
Graphics
Generic PnP Monitor (1920x1080@60Hz)
LG TV (1280x720@60Hz)
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 (Dell)
Hard Drives
233GB Samsung SSD 840 Series (SSD)
Optical Drives
HL-DT-ST DVDRWBD CA10N
Audio
ATI High Definition Audio Device

Here's the speccy data on the SSD:

Samsung SSD 840 Series
Manufacturer Unknown manufacturer
Heads 16
Cylinders 16383
SATA type SATA-III 6.0Gb/s
Device type Fixed
ATA Standard ATA8-ACS
Serial Number S14GNEACA43532T
LBA Size 48-bit LBA
Power On Count 53 times
Power On Time 6.0 days

Features S.M.A.R.T., NCQ, TRIM, SSD
Transfer Mode SATA III
Interface SATA
Capacity 233GB
Real size 250,059,350,016 bytes
RAID Type None
S.M.A.R.T
05 Reallocated Sectors Count 100 (100 worst) Data 0000000000
09 Power-On Hours (POH) 099 (099) Data 000000008F
0C Device Power Cycle Count 099 (099) Data 0000000035
B1 099 (099) Data 0000000009
B3 100 (100) Data 0000000000
B5 100 (100) Data 0000000000
B6 100 (100) Data 0000000000
B7 SATA Downshift Error Count 100 (100) Data 0000000000
BB Reported Uncorrectable Errors 100 (100) Data 0000000000
BE Temperature Difference from 100 062 (050) Data 0000000026
C3 Hardware ECC Recovered 200 (200) Data 0000000000
C7 UltraDMA CRC Error Count 100 (100) Data 0000000000
EB 099 (099) Data 0000000003
F1 Total LBAs Written 099 (099) Data 002C5C4F87
Status Good
Partition 0
Partition ID Disk #0, Partition #0
Size 100 MB
Partition 1
Partition ID Disk #0, Partition #1
Disk Letter C:
File System NTFS
Volume Serial Number 72768086
Size 233GB
Used Space 80GB (35%)
Free Space 153GB (65%)

SORRY: I tried to make the above data more readablle--I apologize that it's so jumbled (don;t know if it's useful).

When I ran the Magician benchmark the first time (before most of my programs were installed), here's what I got:

Seq Read: 270
Seq Write: 253
Random Read: 51988
Random Write: 39051

After that, the random read and write dropped considerably. I updated the firmware, and here's what I got:

Seq Read: 268
Seq Write: 217
Random Read: 40532
Random Write: 18014


Then I ran the Magician optimization, and here's what I got:

Seq Read: 270
Seq Write: 236
Random Read: 46948
Random Write: 20947

Are these numbers normal? This seems to be considerably below the advertized numbers.

dg
a b Ô Samsung
a c 740 G Storage
January 28, 2013 12:18:02 AM

Do you have the option in the bios to change to tha ahci sata setting?
January 28, 2013 12:22:51 AM

I'll check the BIOS, but I believe I saw a popup referencing that when I was installing it. Also, if it were not, wouldn't either Magician or CrystalDisk say so?
Related resources
January 28, 2013 1:43:42 AM

popatim said:
Do you have the option in the bios to change to tha ahci sata setting?


Confirmed. I knew it was and what's particularly alarming is that out of the box it was a lot faster than it is now.

This apparent drop in performance is driving me a little crazy because aside from the faster boot times, I am not seeing much in the way of real-world performance improvements at all with the SSD over an HDD. Yeah, Photoshop opens faster, but when I'm working with RAW files, the difference is absolutely negligible. Same thing with Pro Tools: very little change.

(The boot time issue I find hilarious because it seems like one big pissing contest with people claiming "I have a working desktop in 5 seconds." I really don't care. All 4 of my machines boot up in less than a minute. This does not matter to me at all. We're all going to die anyway. :pt1cable: 

Also, IMO, the greatest feature in Win7 is the indexing/search capability. Having to shut that off is a huge issue for me. One guy on another forum said "SSDs are so fast that you don't need it." Oh, but you do, if you want to search for a file. If you have it shut off, Windows won't search, period. That is a trade-off that for my requirements is a serious shortcoming of SSDs in general.

Also, due to limited writes, having to avoid keeping data that constantly changes on the drive itself is another gigantic issue. I normally do not keep data on my boot drive (on my desktop I have two 2 TB WD BCs plus several external back up drives), but with a laptop that can become a real pain in the ass (having to use externals or thumb drives, which are inherently slow). So just where is the big advantage? I'm not seeing much at all once the machine is up and running.

Based on my experience I'm in no hurry to install any SSD in my primary machine (XPS 9100 desktop with 24 GB RAM). I'm hoping WD will come out with a hybrid worth considering. (I've heard bad things about the Seagate.)

Like lots of things in life, the anticipation was far greater than the realization. Maybe SSDs are great for gamers (I wouldn't know: I have never played a single game in my life and have none on any of my 4 systems--nothing against them--it's just not my thing). But working with high-end programs (Photoshop CS 6, Illustrator CS 6, Pro Tools, various video software, you'll always be limited by the limitations of the program itself once it's open as well as by other factors, e.g., like your GPU.

Sorry for the rant, but I'm really underwhelmed.

In the meantime, I'd appreciate any advice anyone can provide.

dg

Best solution

a b Ô Samsung
a c 503 G Storage
January 28, 2013 2:57:47 AM
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Your laptop's motherboard uses an Intel PM55 Express chipset.
The SATA ports on that chipset run at SATA 2 (3Gb/s) speeds.
SATA 2 speeds are from 151MB/s to 300MB/s, so your benchmark results appear to be normal.

dg27 said:
Also, IMO, the greatest feature in Win7 is the indexing/search capability. Having to shut that off is a huge issue for me. One guy on another forum said "SSDs are so fast that you don't need it." Oh, but you do, if you want to search for a file. If you have it shut off, Windows won't search, period. That is a trade-off that for my requirements is a serious shortcoming of SSDs in general.


You don't shut off search, you just disable indexing.
In Windows Explorer right-click on the drive letter of your SSD and select Properties. On the bottom of the "General" tab you will see a check box that says "Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties". Just uncheck that box. Since SSDs have data access times of 0.1 ms and less you won't notice any difference in performance when you search for a file.

Also, due to limited writes, having to avoid keeping data that constantly changes on the drive itself is another gigantic issue. I normally do not keep data on my boot drive (on my desktop I have two 2 TB WD BCs plus several external back up drives), but with a laptop that can become a real pain in the ass (having to use externals or thumb drives, which are inherently slow). So just where is the big advantage? I'm not seeing much at all once the machine is up and running. said:
Also, due to limited writes, having to avoid keeping data that constantly changes on the drive itself is another gigantic issue. I normally do not keep data on my boot drive (on my desktop I have two 2 TB WD BCs plus several external back up drives), but with a laptop that can become a real pain in the ass (having to use externals or thumb drives, which are inherently slow). So just where is the big advantage? I'm not seeing much at all once the machine is up and running.


You don't have to worry about drive longevity with current generation SSDs. Just use your SSD as you would a HDD. Your laptop will die or your SSD will fail for other reasons long before you run out of P/E (Program/Erase) cycles.

The only thing I suggest for anyone with a current generation SSD is to have it in AHCI mode and to disable defrag; and if you run WEI (Windows Experience Index), Windows will automatically disable defrag on all SSDs it detects.

Based on my experience I'm in no hurry to install any SSD in my primary machine (XPS 9100 desktop with 24 GB RAM). I'm hoping WD will come out with a hybrid worth considering. (I've heard bad things about the Seagate.) said:
Based on my experience I'm in no hurry to install any SSD in my primary machine (XPS 9100 desktop with 24 GB RAM). I'm hoping WD will come out with a hybrid worth considering. (I've heard bad things about the Seagate.)


I don't know what chipset the XPS 9100 uses but I believe it only has SATA 2 ports also; so you won't get advertised Read/Write speeds from any SATA 3 SSD you connect to it.

In the meantime, I'd appreciate any advice anyone can provide. said:
In the meantime, I'd appreciate any advice anyone can provide.


SSDs use idle Garbage Collection in addition to TRIM to maintain drive performance.
Log off (not Shut down) overnight (for 3 or 4 days) while you sleep to allow GC to do its thing. Change the Power profile of your SSD to Never shut down before you Log off, and then change it back to whatever it was when you wake up.
In 4 days run another benchmark and see if you see any performance improvements.
a b Ô Samsung
a c 157 G Storage
January 28, 2013 3:01:05 AM

Normal bases on your connections.
January 28, 2013 3:36:08 AM

Dereck47 said:
Your laptop's motherboard uses an Intel PM55 Express chipset.
The SATA ports on that chipset run at SATA 2 (3Gb/s) speeds.
SATA 2 speeds are from 151MB/s to 300MB/s, so your benchmark results appear to be normal.

>>>OK, but why would, for example, the random write for the first benchmark be double any subsequent result? Shouldn't it remain where it was on the first benchmark?

You don't shut off search, you just disable indexing.
In Windows Explorer right-click on the drive letter of your SSD and select Properties. On the bottom of the "General" tab you will see a check box that says "Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties". Just uncheck that box. Since SSDs have data access times of 0.1 ms and less you won't notice any difference in performance when you search for a file.

>>>This is the way I had it initially: Indexing was unchecked on the SSD and checked on the other drives I use with the laptop. I disabled indexing completely when I ran the Magician optimization (because it was shown as "recommended").

You don't have to worry about drive longevity with current generation SSDs. Just use your SSD as you would a HDD. Your laptop will die or your SSD will fail for other reasons long before you run out of P/E (Program/Erase) cycles.


>>>OK--I was led to believe that this was not recommended.

The only thing I suggest for anyone with a current generation SSD is to have it in AHCI mode and to disable defrag; and if you run WEI (Windows Experience Index), Windows will automatically disable defrag on all SSDs it detects.

>>>I am definitely in AHCI and have disabled defrag.

I don't know what chipset the XPS 9100 uses but I believe it only has SATA 2 ports also; so you won't get advertised Read/Write speeds from any SATA 3 SSD you connect to it.

>>>I'll keep that in mind.

SSDs use idle Garbage Collection in addition to TRIM to maintain drive performance.
Log off (not Shut down) overnight (for 3 or 4 days) while you sleep to allow GC to do its thing. Change the Power profile of your SSD to Never shut down before you Log off, and then change it back to whatever it was when you wake up.
In 4 days run another benchmark and see if you see any performance improvements.


Was completely unaware of this. Can it be run manually?

Thanks for all the good advice.

dg
January 28, 2013 3:39:56 AM

SR-71 Blackbird said:
Normal bases on your connections.


Do you mean because of SATA II instead of SATA III?

dg
a b Ô Samsung
a c 503 G Storage
January 28, 2013 3:50:11 AM

dg27 said:
Can it be run manually?


No; GC runs when there is low system activity and when there are not that many system processes loaded.
January 28, 2013 3:55:26 AM

OK--thanks for all your help.

dg
January 28, 2013 3:55:48 AM

Best answer selected by dg27.
a b Ô Samsung
a c 112 G Storage
January 28, 2013 3:57:05 AM

dg27 said:
Confirmed. I knew it was and what's particularly alarming is that out of the box it was a lot faster than it is now.

This apparent drop in performance is driving me a little crazy because aside from the faster boot times, I am not seeing much in the way of real-world performance improvements at all with the SSD over an HDD. Yeah, Photoshop opens faster, but when I'm working with RAW files, the difference is absolutely negligible. Same thing with Pro Tools: very little change.

(The boot time issue I find hilarious because it seems like one big pissing contest with people claiming "I have a working desktop in 5 seconds." I really don't care. All 4 of my machines boot up in less than a minute. This does not matter to me at all. We're all going to die anyway. :pt1cable: 

Also, IMO, the greatest feature in Win7 is the indexing/search capability. Having to shut that off is a huge issue for me. One guy on another forum said "SSDs are so fast that you don't need it." Oh, but you do, if you want to search for a file. If you have it shut off, Windows won't search, period. That is a trade-off that for my requirements is a serious shortcoming of SSDs in general.

Also, due to limited writes, having to avoid keeping data that constantly changes on the drive itself is another gigantic issue. I normally do not keep data on my boot drive (on my desktop I have two 2 TB WD BCs plus several external back up drives), but with a laptop that can become a real pain in the ass (having to use externals or thumb drives, which are inherently slow). So just where is the big advantage? I'm not seeing much at all once the machine is up and running.

Based on my experience I'm in no hurry to install any SSD in my primary machine (XPS 9100 desktop with 24 GB RAM). I'm hoping WD will come out with a hybrid worth considering. (I've heard bad things about the Seagate.)

Like lots of things in life, the anticipation was far greater than the realization. Maybe SSDs are great for gamers (I wouldn't know: I have never played a single game in my life and have none on any of my 4 systems--nothing against them--it's just not my thing). But working with high-end programs (Photoshop CS 6, Illustrator CS 6, Pro Tools, various video software, you'll always be limited by the limitations of the program itself once it's open as well as by other factors, e.g., like your GPU.

Sorry for the rant, but I'm really underwhelmed.

In the meantime, I'd appreciate any advice anyone can provide.

dg


One more note, the CS6 is not for the laptop ike the one you had only 6GB RAM and 250GB SSD, you need the desktop like your XPS9100 with i7, large HDD and large amount of RAM, also you need optimize the CS6 too.

This is not the SSD or the laptop problem for the low performance. It is the Intel series 5 chipset based laptops, because my friend talk about this before, and I were really surprised ti find out that. If you follow that you can get a little bit better performance, also you need download the BIOS or chipset driver from dell support website if you don't do it yet, by the way I can't find the chipset driver in the intel website. They usually have the newest the chipset driver for us.

http://www.storagereview.com/how_to_improve_low_ssd_per...
January 28, 2013 4:02:50 AM

I inadvertently embedded embedded my questions above. This one remains:

Dereck47 wrote: Your laptop's motherboard uses an Intel PM55 Express chipset.
The SATA ports on that chipset run at SATA 2 (3Gb/s) speeds.
SATA 2 speeds are from 151MB/s to 300MB/s, so your benchmark results appear to be normal.

>>>OK, but why would, for example, the random write for the first benchmark be double any subsequent result? Shouldn't it remain where it was on the first benchmark?
a b Ô Samsung
a c 503 G Storage
January 28, 2013 4:57:48 AM

dg27 said:
>>>OK, but why would, for example, the random write for the first benchmark be double any subsequent result? Shouldn't it remain where it was on the first benchmark?


No, benchmark programs write test data on each run to measure Read/Write speeds.

AS-SSD writes about 5GB of data on each run. CrystalDiskMark writes about 20GB of data on each run.
I don' know the size of the test data that Magician uses.

So if you run CDM 4 times in a row then in 15 minutes you have written to your SSD what you would normally do in a week or a month (depending on what you normally do with your system).

So that's why if you run multiple benchmarks consecutively then you should give your system some idle time to allow TRIM and GC to restore drive performance.
January 28, 2013 5:12:32 AM

Dereck47 said:
No, benchmark programs write test data on each run to measure Read/Write speeds.

AS-SSD writes about 5GB of data on each run. CrystalDiskMark writes about 20GB of data on each run.
I don' know the size of the test data that Magician uses.


OK--did not know this. On Magician it's selectable. When I ran it I left the fault setting, which was 1 GB.

Dereck47 said:
So if you run CDM 4 times in a row then in 15 minutes you have written to your SSD what you would normally do in a week or a month (depending on what you normally do with your system).

So that's why if you run multiple benchmarks consecutively then you should give your system some idle time to allow TRIM and GC to restore drive performance.


OK--I guess this is another reason Magician says to wait and not run more than once per day.

Thanks for all the useful info.

dg
February 4, 2013 12:41:55 PM

Dereck47 said:
SSDs use idle Garbage Collection in addition to TRIM to maintain drive performance.
Log off (not Shut down) overnight (for 3 or 4 days) while you sleep to allow GC to do its thing. Change the Power profile of your SSD to Never shut down before you Log off, and then change it back to whatever it was when you wake up.
In 4 days run another benchmark and see if you see any performance improvements.


OK--I followed your advice and left the machine on overnight for four nights with no programs running. Today I did a Magician optimization and ran another benchmark: The results were nearly identical to the first benchmark I ran, before any programs were installed. (right out of the box)

I also have indexing shut off on the drive and I moved the data I need to access regularly to the SSD (>15,000 files in ~5000 subfolders in a single root folder, 9 GB total--my work files). It finds what I need in less than a heartbeat.

So it looks like all is well.

Thanks again for all your help.

dg27
a b Ô Samsung
a c 503 G Storage
February 4, 2013 12:56:15 PM

dg27 said:
OK--I followed your advice and left the machine on overnight for four nights with no programs running. Today I did a Magician optimization and ran another benchmark: The results were nearly identical to the first benchmark I ran, before any programs were installed. (right out of the box)


OK, that means that your drive did not suffer any Read/Write performance hits when you ran all of your benchmarks, and there was nothing for GC to do.

Thanks again for all your help. said:
Thanks again for all your help.


No problem.
February 4, 2013 1:11:09 PM

cin19 said:
One more note, the CS6 is not for the laptop ike the one you had only 6GB RAM and 250GB SSD, you need the desktop like your XPS9100 with i7, large HDD and large amount of RAM, also you need optimize the CS6 too.


CS6 (all CS suites) can be installed on up to 2 systems. My primary system is my XPS 9100, which has 24 GB of RAM. I only use this laptop when I'm on the road; it was sort of the testing ground for me for SSDs in general.

I checked the CS optimization suggestions on the Adobe site and there is nothing specific regarding SSDs (they don't indicate that you need to do anything or change anything when you install an SSD).

http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/optimize-performanc...

As a long-time CS user, I was already following all of their suggestions on both the laptop and the desktop in terms of scratch disks, cache levels, etc. But I know the laptop is a less ballsy system (I have not maxed out on RAM and probably won't bother).

On the desktop I have 2 internal WD CBs set as the scratch disks, which Photoshop probably won't ever need since I have 24 GB of RAM. But when I install the Samsung 840 Pro in the 9100, I'll probably set it first in the scratch disk list as per Adobe's recommendations.

Thanks for prompting me to check this out.

dg
June 5, 2013 9:22:50 AM

PM55 has issues with 4K random read/write at all. No matter what SSd you use, you will get poor results for smaller files. Problem is Intel specific.

But it is still at least thousend times faster than traditional hard drive in smaller files.
June 5, 2013 9:22:50 AM

PM55 has issues with 4K random read/write at all. No matter what SSd you use, you will get poor results for smaller files. Problem is Intel specific.

But it is still at least thousend times faster than traditional hard drive in smaller files.
June 5, 2013 9:22:50 AM

PM55 has issues with 4K random read/write at all. No matter what SSd you use, you will get poor results for smaller files. Problem is Intel specific.

But it is still at least thousend times faster than traditional hard drive in smaller files.
June 5, 2013 9:22:50 AM

PM55 has issues with 4K random read/write at all. No matter what SSd you use, you will get poor results for smaller files. Problem is Intel specific.

But it is still at least thousend times faster than traditional hard drive in smaller files.
!