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What's The Deal With Write-Cache Buffer Flushing?

Can You Get More Space Or Speed From Your SSD?
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Intel recommends against disabling write-cache buffer flushing on its SSDs. And based on our benchmark results, we see why.

In order to generate a more visual understanding of this feature's impact, we singled out the effects of disabling write-cache buffer flushing on Intel's X25-M using the CrystalDiskMark 3.0 x64 write test. The following results represent performance after a SE, with all of the tweaks performed, and with all of the tweaks performed, plus write-cache buffer flushing enabled. 

When each of the tweaks is applied, including disabling write-cache buffer flushing, Intel's X25-M takes a major performance hit in all of the relevant metrics (especially the 4 KB random writes, which drop down to the 4 MB/s range).

When write-cache buffer flushing is re-enabled, performance jumps back up to the same level seen from the freshly Secure Erased drive. This is definitely a modification to avoid on a drive that employ's Intel's proprietary architecture.

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