As you know, SSD is short for Solid State Drive which is a storage device made by solid state electronic memory chip arrays. The storage medium of SSD can be divided into two categories, flash chip and DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory). Thereinto, the SSD based on flash chip is the main category.
Compared with the mechanical hard drives, SSD is able to read data from any location of flash memories quickly, moreover, the random reading and writing speed is very fast and it can easily reach 0.1ms or less. In addition, SSD has many other merits, such as low power consumption, no noise, light weight. Therefore, SSD is chosen by you to use in many computers for fast writing and reading speed.
However, SSD performance possibly degrades, because of many factors, for example, 4K is not aligned, running IDE mode, disabling Trim, using SATA2.0 interface and so on. Thus, you had better take measures for SSD optimization.
How to get the best SSD performance? The following content will introduce you some ways.
In BIOS, you can see there are three disk modes which are IDE mode (Integrated Development Environment), RAID mode and AHCI mode. AHCI is the acronym for Serial ATA Advanced Host Controller Interface which is a PCI device. It is a kind of interface standard which is developed by many companies under the guide of Intel. And it is used between system memory and serial ATA, moreover, it is commonly used in different operating systems and hardwares.
AHCI supports NCQ (Native Command Queuing) technology which can be used to optimize the command order in disk to achieve optimizing hard drive performance. AHCI has faster reading and writing speed compared to IDE mode. Therefore, it is essential to enable AHCI mode instead of IDE mode for your SSD.
If you want to modify boot code, please enter into BIOS to change to AHCI mode when your computer boot. In different operating systems, the way of entering into BIOS is different and you should press a specified key according to your computers and motherboards. In BIOS, please move to “Advanced” menu and modify “SATA Configuration” to set as AHCI mode. In Windows 7 and the recent systems, there is a built-in AHCI driver. However, your old Windows systems don’t have the driver, so you need to download it firstly and then enter into BIOS to modify SATA configuration as AHCI.
Then you need to press “F10” to save your setting. Unfortunately, after you change the mode from IDE to AHCI, your computer system may encounter blue screen issue because you are enabling AHCI mode after system is installed. Thus, you must change it to the original mode, then the computer can boot. When experiencing such a case, you can enter Windows to set AHCI mode by using another way.
1. Press Win + R to run dialog box and type “regedit” to open Registry Editor.
2. Then go to the location:
3. Next, you need to double click “Start” to modify the value data as 0. The data 0 means AHCI has been enabled.
By using this way to change AHCI mode, the system can boot successfully and your SSD performance can be optimized.
As you know, when deleting data, the system only makes a sign for the location of deleted data to note that there is no data and new data can be written to this location. In fact, the deleted data is still existing in the original place and can be recovered until it is overwritten by new data, and system doesn’t send any request to your hard drive.
As to SSD, if Trim is disabled, there is still original data in deleted physical sector but SSD doesn’t know the block is useless until new data is written to the place. When enabling Garbage
Collection(GC), SSD still treats the deleted data as useful data. It will reduce writing & reading speed and degrade SSD performance. If SSD Trim is enabled, while deleting data, OS can notify SSD that the blocks of data are invalid and erase the data. In other words, Trim just avoid SSD to transport the unless data which is thought to be useful data in the process of garbage collection, which can improve SSD performance to a certain degree.
In Windows 7, the Trim command is enabled by default. You can check the Trim state by running CMD window as administrator. Then type “fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify”, if the value data is 0, it means Trim has been enabled. But if the result is 1, you need to set it as 0 by running the command “ fsutil behavior query | set DisableDeleteNotify = 0” to optimize SSD performance.
4K alignment is aimed at SSD and advanced formatted HD. Please ensure whether your SSD is aligned or not, because it is a big issue for SSD. In the previous hard disk standard, a sector is 512 bytes by default. With the increasing of disk capacity, a sector is changed from 512 byte to 4096 bytes. After NTFS has became the standard disk file system, a cluster is defined as 4096 byte. Therefore, to align a cluster and a sector and ensure reading and writing rate, there is 4K alignment conception. In fact, a 4K sector is emulated to be 8*512 sectors for data management. In some systems, a cluster is 4096 bytes by default, but the boot area occupies 63 sectors and the real file system is after 63 sectors (512B*63÷4096=7.875 clusters). That is to say, each cluster always spans two 4K physical sectors, so a 4K cluster is not aligned with a 4K physical sector. From the following picture, you can see a 4K cluster spans two 4K physical sectors, which can reduce writing and reading speed and also waste disk space.
To get a better SSD performance, it is necessary to do 4K alignment on SSD. In Windows 7 and the recent operating systems, the partitions are aligned automatically. But when you do partition operations on SSD in Windows XP/Vista, you don’t know whether partitions are aligned or not, in such case, you can use a professional tool, AS SSD Benchmark to check. Also diskpart command is useful to ensure whether there is a partition alignment on SSD. If 4K is not aligned, you can align it.
How to achieve this aim? MiniTool Partition Wizard, a professional partition magic, can help you to do this work.
Step 1: Firstly you need to download MiniTool Partition Wizard and go to its main interface.
Step 2: Then select a target disk and click “Align All Partitions” from “Operations” menu. Also you can select this feature by right clicking the target hard drive.
If you want to align a specified partition, you need to use its “Align Partition” feature to align your SSD partition.
Step 3: At last, click “Apply” to execute the operation.
In addition to 4K alignment, MiniTool Partition Wizard is very powerful to resize/extend/wipe/shrink/split partition, migrate system to SSD/HD, convert MBR to GPT, rebuild MBR and so on. You can try it to manage your partition and disk well. As to SSD optimization, this software can help you achieve aim only with three steps.
The above content only introduce you three ways to get the best performance of SSD in details. In addition, there are other ways that can let you know how to optimize SSD, listing:
1. Use a SSD as the system disk: you can install the operating system on a SSD to reduce the computer boot time and increase running speed.
2. Disable disk fragmentation: disk fragmentation can bring frequent reading and writing operation, which is influential to SSD. Thus, it is recommended to disable this feature.
3. Close Windows indexing service.
4. Turn off page file.
5. Deactivate Hibernation/Sleep Mode.
6. Disable Prefetch and Superfetch.
7. Use SATA3.0 interface: SSD must connected to SATA3.0 interface.
8. Enable write caching.
9. Make sure there is free space on SSD.
In conclusion, all those methods can be used to optimize SSD performance, please take measures now.