SSD Tweaks and Tips

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

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  1. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops MY FRIENDS CALL ME JEFF!

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    Oscar, I know I'm not the first to say this, but bravo! for putting the time and trouble into compiling this guide - it is just awesome! I just purchased my first SONY Z - a Z11 refurb I got from cheetahdeals.com**(see below). I do have another notebook with an SSD and these are all universal, so they seem, and though by now I know a few of them, there are many I didn't know or weren't sure if they were cool with the Z and its RaidO array.

    A rep pt for you, sir, and many thanks for the service. I'll save a few minor questions after I have implemented all of these, but for now, just one question:

    Of all of your tips, what would you consider your top 3? If eliminating Pagefiles are not in the top 3 - or maybe even if they are - if you already have 8GB RAM, is it likely that pagefiles would ever be created?

    Thanks again. See below for info about a great source of refurbed computers, from whom I just purchased my Z11 for $855!!

    ** Cheetahdeals.com, for those who have never heard of it, is a great, great American small business (about 700 people) in Syracuse NY that refurbs notebook PCs under contract from major mfrs; has exclusive for all Acer refurbs in US and does many others on nonexclusive basis. Just discovered them by accident and saw they had 5 Z11's i5-520, 4GB, 128 GB models for $899, less a 5% coupon making it $855 all-in - no tax, free shipping! Dealing with them has been a pleasure, the only small downside being that their administrative staff is pretty small, so you may have to wait to speak to someone. They give you 30 day full refund (no restocking fee) on all refurbs - what could be better? The wtty is pretty much industry std 90 day, which is backed by both Cheetah and the OEM. Personally, I think any refurb purchaser should add a mfrs extd wtty or third party, such as Square Trade

    As to my experience so far, I received my Z11 in 2 days (went a whopping $20 for 2 day air!) and it arrived in perfect condition. I cannot find a single scratch or wear mark on it. It ran pretty much perfectly out of the box and so far I have not hit a snag, other than the limitations of the 128 GB SSD which begins life as a 110 GB drive and shrinks to 80 after the OS, software and the recovery partition which I might ditch, but it has saved my butt many times, so we'll see. I'm thinking of removing the DVD and putting in a 256 GB SSD I already own, or possibly just getting a fast Seagate Momentus XT 750 GB HDD and consider this 3.4 lb, $920 (with the Segate drive added) full-on DTR and ultra, ultra portable travelin machine about the best, luckiest deal I ever got. I'm getting 5-6 hrs batt life on "stamina" gpu and conservative settings, but wifi on all the time and 6-9 browser windows.
     
  2. Oscar2

    Oscar2 Notebook Deity

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    Thanks for the rep, always much appreciated. :)

    My top 3, in no particular order:

    -Enable Write Caching
    -Disable indexing
    -Turn Off the Disk Defragmenter Schedule
    -Firefox - Use memory cache instead of disk cache
    -Disable Hibernation
    -Turn off Pagefile

    Oops, I guess that's more than 3. Well I think any 3 of those are certainly worth doing.

    In your last statement, if are you asking whether Windows would create a pagefile when 8GB of RAM is installed. The answer is that it does. By default it creates a pagefile equal to the amount of memory you have installed.
     
  3. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops MY FRIENDS CALL ME JEFF!

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    Thanks for listing more than 3 - I could never narrow things like that down, lol. I have implemented all of those recommendations, and a few others, except for disabling Hibernation. It's not that I need it for the faster startuup, the way you do with an HDD, but I find two advantages to it I'd rather not give up, unless I'm making some wrong assumptions:

    1) I perceive that a hibernate shut down is faster than a total shutdown, but will consume less battery (ie, almost none) while down than a Sleep would

    2) Likewise, booting back up, it not only appears to be a bit quicker, but far less meaningful than with an HDD, but it brings back all the open files, browser windows, etc, without having to manually restart them.

    Are my assumptions correct, and if so, what is the downside of leaving Hibernate functionality intact? Is it mostly a matter of freeing up some SSD capacity? How much?

    Finally, I was wondering if you know why the SONY 128 GB RAID0 SSDs lose more of their advertised capacity before a single file is loaded than any other I have seen. I find that there is more lost from advertised cpacity of 128 GB to 110 GB - 14% - compared to about 7% on almost every other SSD or HDD. Is it the RAID 0?

    Thanks again for all.

    Jeff
     
  4. anseio

    anseio All ways are my ways.

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    Hi Jeff,

    I must argue one of the recommendations that Oscar2 gave. Going into these considerations, you should look at it like a new couch. Do you cover it in a protective plastic layer and refuse to sit on it, so it stays perfect... or... do you actually use it for its intended purpose and enjoy it?

    There is no noticeable benefit to disabling drive indexing. The only fear people have about it is the amount of writes to the SSD. The indexing file is very small, less than 1% of my 80GB SSD, and cannot possibly write enough pieces of small data to leave noticeable wear on the SSD. My SSD 7mths old and the wearout indicator still has it at 100%. So, there is no proven upside to disabling drive indexing. Let's look at the downside to disabling it. Searching via your Start Menu specifically relies on the contents of your drive index. If you have it disabled, you cannot search by pressing the Windows key. It will never return results. I, personally, would rather to be able to type what I want rather than hold an irrational fear of wearing out my SSD.

    Looking at hibernation... there is good reason to disable it. Each time you hibernate, the contents of your RAM are written to the drive so that the machine can enter a powered down state. Each time you hibernate, you do a large file write to your SSD. Again, you have to pick what benefits you want and what you can live with. You seem to have good reason to hibernate, but know that it takes the same amount of time to restore from hiberation as it does to simply power on your laptop with the SSD. Of course, hibernation will have all of your files open as they were.

    The actual size of a 128GB SSD is 119GB, since they're marketed with the data factored at 1000, but the actual storage is in factors of 1024. Then, the recovery partition comes off the top. That's 8-14GB or so. The rest is for you to enjoy.
     
  5. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops MY FRIENDS CALL ME JEFF!

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    Thanks so much for those suggestions. Of the two, I am happy to put indexing back on, because I really use it a lot, but I was willing to sacrifice it if it would save a lot of wear and tear on my SSD. As for hibernation, if we are only talking about space on the SSD, I'll keep it in place until I find I'm near capacity - and by then I'm sure I'll either add another disk in the raid array or in place of the DVD drive.

    That said, Oscar, do you wish to rebut? All in the spirit of intellectual discourse, please ;)
    Best,

    Jeff
     
  6. Oscar2

    Oscar2 Notebook Deity

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    No, not at all. Anseio raises good points as always.

    I would only point out that even without indexing, things are found reasonably quickly, so a good case can be made either way.
     
  7. anseio

    anseio All ways are my ways.

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    True, things are found very quickly... from explorer. I specifically address the issue that searches canot be performed via the Start Menu unless the item has been included in the index.
     
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