With the market for solid-state drives continually expanding, we wanted to explore some of the most popular tweaks enthusiasts use to purportedly improve performance and free up capacity. We break out the benchmarks and put them to the test.
Solid-state storage is generally faster than mechanical disks. Sure, once you get down into the 40 GB boot drives, write performance really suffers. But for the most part, SSDs rule. However, they're also much more expensive. Every gigabyte of capacity on your SSD is precious space. And while SSDs are very fast inherently, there are plenty of folks online who'll try to convince you that they can be made even faster with simple adjustments.
Today's story is the product of our own efforts to maximize the amount of useful space you can squeeze from your valuable SSD. We also want to put some of those performance claims to the test using a couple of different drives in order to gauge whether performance-oriented optimizations are specific to a certain vendor's hardware, or if they're universally-applicable. Or, maybe they're entirely untrue, and there's no way to make an SSD any faster.
We'll launch our exploration into the potential of solid-state drive tweaking by testing nine of the most commonly-recommended optimizations we see tossed around once an SSD is up and running with Microsoft's Windows operating system. These include the following:
- Disable System Restore
- Disable drive indexing
- Disable the page file
- Disable Hibernation
- Disable prefetching in the registry
- Disable Windows' write caching
- Disable the SuperFetch and Windows Search services
- Disable ClearPageFileAtShutdown and LargeSystemCache
- Adjust power settings
- Optimizing Precious Solid-State Storage
- Start By Enabling AHCI (With TRIM)
- Disable System Restore And Drive Indexing
- Disable The Page File And Hibernation
- Disable Prefetch, SuperFetch, And Windows Write-Cache Buffer Flushing
- Disable SuperFetch (Again), Windows Search, ClearPageFileAtShutdown, And LargeSystemCache
- Power Settings Adjustment
- Test Setup And Method
- Benchmark Results: CrystalDiskMark
- Reclaiming Storage Capacity
- Benchmark Results: Iometer
- Benchmark Results: Iometer Streaming
- Benchmark Results: 4 KB Random Reads And Writes
- Benchmark Results: PCMark Vantage Storage Test
- What's The Deal With Write-Cache Buffer Flushing?