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Benchmark Results: 4 KB Random Reads/Writes (CrystalDiskMark)

Freeing Up Capacity On An SSD With NTFS Compression
By , Achim Roos

Switching on the NTFS compression is neither an advantage nor a disadvantage for 4 KB random reads and writes.

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  • 14 Hide
    compton , December 1, 2011 3:38 AM
    I've been wondering about this very topic for a while now.


    However, in the conclusion, it is stated that compression ends up writing more vs. uncompressed NTFS, thus consuming more PE cycles. Shouldn't the opposite be true? When writing to the file system, if a file is compressible it should take up less space and therefore conserve more PEs (though actually compressing the files for the first time should result in more writes).

    Why does on-the-fly compression result in more writes even though the amount to be written is smaller?
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    compton , December 1, 2011 3:38 AM
    I've been wondering about this very topic for a while now.


    However, in the conclusion, it is stated that compression ends up writing more vs. uncompressed NTFS, thus consuming more PE cycles. Shouldn't the opposite be true? When writing to the file system, if a file is compressible it should take up less space and therefore conserve more PEs (though actually compressing the files for the first time should result in more writes).

    Why does on-the-fly compression result in more writes even though the amount to be written is smaller?
  • -1 Hide
    husker , December 1, 2011 3:56 AM
    An interesting article, but seems a bit contradictory. Kind of like buying a Ferrari and then worrying about the gas mileage.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , December 1, 2011 3:59 AM
    because when you modify even just one byte of a file that is compressed, you can end up changing a significant portion of the file, not just that byte. it's good if you can fit the change in one block erase; what if you can't? you'll end up writing more info on the "disk" then.
  • -4 Hide
    clonazepam , December 1, 2011 4:17 AM
    I'd been wondering how I would fit the 20+gb necessary for sw:tor on the ssd (i said this previously, in the recent games on ssd vs hdd article). It'd be interesting to see the titles tested in that article with full drive ntfs compression on and off.
  • 1 Hide
    Marcus52 , December 1, 2011 5:10 AM
    clonazepamI'd been wondering how I would fit the 20+gb necessary for sw:tor on the ssd (i said this previously, in the recent games on ssd vs hdd article). It'd be interesting to see the titles tested in that article with full drive ntfs compression on and off.


    Keep in mind, whatever storage option you use, you need room to install updates on top of installing the game, most especially for MMOGs. This means room to download the update AND install it.

    ;) 
  • -9 Hide
    Anonymous , December 1, 2011 5:17 AM
    Why windows are using ntfs instead of zfs or ext4 which are far superior than ntfs?
  • 4 Hide
    BrightCandle , December 1, 2011 6:35 AM
    Presumably this negatively impacts Sandforce based drives more than the Samsung by making the data stored compressed? Any chance you can do this with a Sandforce drive to see the impact?
  • 4 Hide
    acku , December 1, 2011 6:51 AM
    cruizerbecause when you modify even just one byte of a file that is compressed, you can end up changing a significant portion of the file, not just that byte. it's good if you can fit the change in one block erase; what if you can't? you'll end up writing more info on the "disk" then.


    Correctomundo. Compression involves replace repeated occurrences of data with references to a single copy of that data existing earlier in the input (uncompressed) data stream. That's why it's not right to think of a compressed archive as a container that stores any given file into a discrete space. If anything, the files kind of overlap in a big mixing pot.

    When you compress on the fly, you have to completely decompress all the files in an archive and recompress it when you're done. Hence it's all random transfers for the most part.

    BrightCandlePresumably this negatively impacts Sandforce based drives more than the Samsung by making the data stored compressed? Any chance you can do this with a Sandforce drive to see the impact?


    It's not a sequential transfer. Plus it's already precompressed data. Nothing SandForce can do about it. SandForce, Samsung, it's not going to make a difference.

    Cheers,
    Andrew Ku
    TomsHardware.com
  • -4 Hide
    jemm , December 1, 2011 8:41 AM
    SSDs manufactures do something in order to make it to the markeplace unexpensivelly! Economies of scale?

  • 0 Hide
    chesteracorgi , December 1, 2011 11:37 AM
    Do you have any data on how much using compression shortens the life cycle of the SSD? It would be most helpful as those with smaller SSDs are the likely candidates for using compression.
  • -8 Hide
    DanglingPointer , December 1, 2011 11:51 AM
    The final conclusion mentions increased write cycles with compression shortening the life-span of the SSD!?!?!? Wot the...??? LoL
    There is less write cycle since the file is smaller! The increase is in the time needed to compress the file before writing to the SSD. Therefore Using compression lengthens the life of the SSD since u are writing less since the files are smaller!
    The author must have been sleepy...
  • 0 Hide
    Mark Heath , December 1, 2011 12:24 PM
    DanglingPointerThe final conclusion mentions increased write cycles with compression shortening the life-span of the SSD!?!?!? Wot the...??? LoL There is less write cycle since the file is smaller! The increase is in the time needed to compress the file before writing to the SSD. Therefore Using compression lengthens the life of the SSD since u are writing less since the files are smaller!The author must have been sleepy...


    The above comment shows a lack of reading and/or comprehension skills!?!?!?!? Wot the...??? League of Legends
    The question was already asked and answered in previous comments! I can't think of what to put in this sentence. Therefore Using compression can potentially shorten the life of the SSD since u are potentially writing more [see above comments]!
    The poster must have been stupid...
  • -3 Hide
    blackened144 , December 1, 2011 1:03 PM
    My 60gb ssd drive died.. Im back running Windows 7 64bit on a 30gb Vertex drive.. It works fine but it does just barely fit the OS and all my programs.. All of my games and steam are installed to another raid0 array.. And to be honest Ive never had an issue with this setup.. I flux between about 5-10gb free depending on what Ive been doing and how long I last ran disk clean up..
  • 3 Hide
    Lord Captivus , December 1, 2011 1:17 PM
    I liked the review but the conclusion: "So long as you have a fast-enough processor, there's no reason to not consider enabling it", should have been tested including at least another CPU (Dual-Core).
    Thats just my opinion, just to check that Microsoft is right about that performance issue with NTFS.
    (Excuse my english).
  • 2 Hide
    wolfram23 , December 1, 2011 1:25 PM
    I've been running an 80GB Intel X25M for quite a while now. I think 80GB should be the minimum amount most people would want to consider, as that allows me to have plenty of apps and even 1 or 2 games that I'm playing at the time. 60GB is just too small.

    I did use file compression on it, but only on the AppData and ProgramData folders, because those guys suck and can just randomly start becoming monstrously huge. Every now and then I go in there and find some programs like to put a couple gigs in there for no good reason (Adobe Premiere stored several movie files like wtf, and Code Master games (F1 2010, Dirt 3) like to store 1gb replays in there).

    However, Black Friday gave me a great opportunity, so I bought a 120gb Corsair Fore Series GT for $110 off (~$150)! This drive is strickly for my games... damn it's nice. Skyrim boots up and loads locations in seconds.
  • 6 Hide
    hixbot , December 1, 2011 2:40 PM
    This article reminds me of 1990 when I used a DOS compression program, Stacker, to increase the capacity of my 20MB hard drive to a whopping 40MB.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 1, 2011 2:46 PM
    I don't think this would be as effective for the sandforce 2200 based SSD's because they already do some sort of compression - which is where they get their speed from. You can't compress compressed data, so NTFS compression would have no benefit for sandforce based SSD's

    "Like other SandForce controllers, the SF-2281 features a technology called DuraWrite, which uses data compression to lower write amplification and extend the life of the drive by reducing the number of program-erase cycles. This data compression also plays a big part in the controller's performance. The more the data can be compressed, the faster an SSD like the HyperX is able to read and write."

    from:
    http://cdrlabs.com/Reviews/kingston-hyperx-120gb-solid-state-drive/All-Pages.html
  • 0 Hide
    hmp_goose , December 1, 2011 3:20 PM
    The note about ware for compression: Was that with or without a RAM disk for the temp directory?
  • 0 Hide
    TeraMedia , December 1, 2011 3:23 PM
    I disagree with the way that compression ratios were measured for 7-zip vs. Windows NTFS. You stated that system files were often not compressed. This is probably because Windows couldn't compress an executable that was in-use. But then you compared the 17% compression ratio of the system drive to the ratios of specific folders compressed by 7-zip. You seem to have ignored the fact that you didn't compress a significant number of files in the system folder(s).

    You might try the following:
    1) Take your SSD with the system partition and connect it to another computer that already has a bootable drive.
    2) Boot into Windows on that other computer, go to the attached SSD, and re-compress the system folder as well as any contents in Program Files and Program Files (x86) that were not compressed already.
    3) Put the SSD back into your test machine, re-evaluate the compression ratios, and re-test boot times, shutdown times, and various other system tests.
  • -4 Hide
    MasterMace , December 1, 2011 4:35 PM
    Those using SSDs and storage hdds should make sure that they set up their virtual memory so that none is being used on the SSD. Instead have the hdd set up for virtual memory.
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