SSD Tweaks and Tips

Discussion in 'VAIO / Sony' started by Oscar2, Nov 16, 2010.

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  1. arth1

    arth1 a҉r҉t҉h

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    As far as I can tell, this app only pretty-prints a subset of the S.M.A.R.T. values.

    For S.M.A.R.T. to work, it needs to be pointed to the individual physical disks, not the logical disks (in addition to being enabled in the BIOS setup, and the drives actually supporting S.M.A.R.T.)

    To get the actual data, you can either boot a Linux liveCD (pretty much any one will do) and run "smartctl -a /dev/sda" (and sdb, sdc, sdd), or install cygwin and the "smartmontools" package (under "utils"), and do the same.

    If so, note that the S.M.A.R.T. counters count down from a set value towards an alert value, not up. So if the Power_On_Hours report 94 with a raw value of 3000, it means that for this drive, 3000 hours is considered equal to 100-94 = 6% of how long the drive can be powered on before it's expected to fail. Of course, that doesn't mean the drive will last that long -- it's just one of many parameters.
     
  2. sugarkang

    sugarkang Notebook Evangelist

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    Most of the tips on ssd optimization are contentious at best and completely false at worst. There's was a big debate about this already over at anandtech with the SSD optimize site owner. He lost the debate.

    I'm not going to say that he is definitely wrong, but before you guys start tweaking your system, it would be prudent to have all the information.
     
  3. Oscar2

    Oscar2 Notebook Deity

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    I looked through that thread, it contains a lot of thoughtful discussion (with some entertaining trolling thrown in for good measure ;) )
    But if what you got out of all that discussion was that "most ssd optimization is contentious or false" then you should go back and re-read the thread. What they are saying there is not so different than what has been discussed here.

    Here are the suggestions that are in the OP for this thread:
    -Enable Write Caching
    -Disable indexing
    -Turn Off the Disk Defragmenter Schedule
    -Disable Superfetch
    -Disable Prefetch
    -Firefox - Use memory cache instead of disk cache
    -Set up a RAM disk
    -Disable Hibernation
    -Turn off Pagefile


    -Enable Write caching has a little bit of contention but (for laptops) generally falls into the category of 'why not?', for desktops it's a little more serious of a decision due to the potential for data loss.
    -Disable indexing always stirs up some discussion, same everywhere.
    -Disk defrag: Everyone seems to agree that its not necessary to do a regular defrag on sdd's, and that Windows cannot reliably be depended on to automatically do the right thing here (hence the tip to turn off the auto defrag schedule).
    SuperFetch and Prefetch: It can slow boot times, no real reason not to disable these on an ssd.
    Firefox memory cache/ramdisk: This is just a good idea in general.
    Hibernation: after all the screaming about this one settled down, the conclusion was: If you don't really use it turn it off, it saves disk space. Otherwise leave it on as it doesn't impact anything performance wise.
    Disable Pagefile: Everyone always mentions the dangers inherent in turning off pagefile, just a duplication of the same discussion that happens on every thread that mentions it (including this one) nothing new there.

    So, in conclusion, it's not very informative to say: "Most of the tips on ssd optimization are contentious at best and completely false at worst".
     
  4. sugarkang

    sugarkang Notebook Evangelist

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    Before you suggest someone re-read something, you should probably make sure that you didn't overlook something yourself. You missed OP's critical line "IF YOU ARE READING BELOW THIS LINE BE AWARE THAT THE FOLLOWING IS MOSTLY WRONG ADVICE WHICH I AM CRITIQUING!"

    If you look at the very first post, the OP goes to debunk all of these you have listed. His advice consists of:
    1. enable AHCI; and
    2. install Windows 7

    The list you have up is the subject of debate over at anandtech. That debate is long and detailed and if you want to skip to the conclusion, the general consensus was that these "optimizations" are indeed contentious at best and harmful at worst. Unanimous? No.

    Don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying I'm 100% right and you are 100% wrong. I'm saying what the consensus of the thread was from very knowledgeable people.

    Again, I don't care what you decide you want to do with your particular system. I'm merely presenting alternative, credible information that people on this board might be interested in before making a bunch of changes to their machines.
     
  5. Oscar2

    Oscar2 Notebook Deity

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    Yes, I did read the first post. I ALSO read past the first post. Just because the first post says only two things are required. the next 280+ posts make it clear there is more to it than just those first two lines.

    What I summarized, just above, is in agreement with what people on there and elsewhere generally agree with. Instead of speaking in generalities, can you instead point to the particular ones you have issue with? (that's why I listed them and there aren't that many).
     
  6. anseio

    anseio All ways are my ways.

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    I would caution you to check more into things. Just because the SSD is installed, doesn't mean that Win 7 will recognize it. This I have confirmed with firsthand experience. Also, Les (The SSD Guy) isn't just some person with thoughts on SSD performance. He's a "go-to" in the industry and has a ton of knowledge. If you read into the SSD Review, you'll notice that at the very beginning he writes "There is no need to Optimize Win7 or your SSD whatsoever for it to function correctly." All things that follow are things that can be explored, by by no means are necessary.

    I've accepted about half of the optimizations as very useful. Proper chipset drivers being one of them. The anandtech forum post was written quite a while ago. Intel's latest chipset drivers are very useful and 10.0.0.1046 is actually better than msahci (as far as boot times are concerned).
     
  7. sugarkang

    sugarkang Notebook Evangelist

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    True. I have the same experience because I'm on VAIO TZ with ZIF connector which doesn't disable superfetch by default. Maybe because I don't have an AHCI option in my bios. No matter. The options that Windows ends up choosing for me end up conforming to the suggestions listed anyway, which is detailed in the debate.

    I didn't say that he was some unknowledgeable noob spreading disinformation. He knows a lot more about computers than I do. He also had some good reasons for posting info as he did. He referred back to the advice of Intel and Microsoft engineers as well. And yet the other guy was even more knowledgeable. I boot times/performance are better with prefetch and superfetch on.

    Yeah. I presented the anandtech thread as another source of information, not to end or win a debate. You are all free to do whatever you wish.
     
  8. Oscar2

    Oscar2 Notebook Deity

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    btw, I have added your recommendation, not to get too carried away with the optimizations, and the link, to the OP.
    I still disagree with your phrasing however: "Most of the tips on ssd optimization are contentious at best and completely false at worst", but I figure everyone can make up their own mind on that one.
     
  9. sugarkang

    sugarkang Notebook Evangelist

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    EXACTLY. And it's also clear that OP was not suggesting they follow your list above.

    Uhh. Perhaps you missed the entire superfetch debate? SSD guy gives good reasons as to why he thinks they should be off, but OP gives better reasons for why they should be on. Same with almost all of the other stuff.

    I'm not going to go into detail about what's the best procedure. I'm not as knowledgeable as EITHER of those two. And I'm not trying to be. I'm not here to win some debate.

    Like I said before, and will not say again. The tips listed here are the same as the tips listed in the anandtech forum debate. Those tips are not universally accepted good tips. There are credible, knowledgeable people that say that these tips will either do nothing or will harm performance. I am just providing a link to info that nobody else was providing on this forum. I am not trying to relive the arguments in that forum on here.

    For potential tweakers, my suggestion is you read that forum thread. And if not, caveat emptor.
     
  10. Oscar2

    Oscar2 Notebook Deity

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    Well, I just went back and looked at that debate. Taltamir vs Flamenko (i.e. Les the SSD guy) Seems to me Les had the final word on that one when he pointed out that the advice of leaving it on really only benefits older SSD's, that it's recommeded by Intel (remember them?) to leave it off.
    I think you are confusing "better reasons" with "more emphatic", there is no doubt that taltamir is the "more emphatic" in that debate. :)

    In any case, like I pointed out above, your suggestion of using reason and understanding when applying any optimizations, is now added to the OP.

    I still see that we are talking about two separate things however. My main issue is your statement that ssd optimizations fall into the the range of: contentious to false, as per your comment "Most of the tips on ssd optimization are contentious at best and completely false at worst"
    It is that comment, not the underlying notion that we should all become better informed, the way you just throw that out there, that makes one take anything else you say with a grain of salt.
     
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