Get the most from your SSD quick guide on optimization
Today, after we figured out how to use SSD to ensure it a long and trouble-free life, we’ll talk about how you can optimize such a device.
Although the SSD is much faster than conventional hard drives, this does not mean that solid state devices are not subject to optimization – on the contrary. Of course, it is in any case is not compulsory and even if you’re not going to follow the tips in this article, your SSD in any case will provide you a much better performance than any magnetic hard drive. However, if you want to get the best of what he’s capable of, and intends to achieve peak results, here are some interesting ideas on this topic.
Optimization in the BIOS
After installing the SSD check which SATA connector it’s connected. This information can be found in the BIOS menu (BIOS), which you can access by pressing Del or F2 when the computer is turned on almost immediately after pressing the power button.
Go to the BIOS, responsible for the management of disk devices. The title of this section may vary depending on the brand and model of the laptop/motherboard, and if you will face difficulty in his search, try to look for relevant information on the website of the manufacturer.
Inside this section, make sure the SATA port to which you connected the SSD is configured to use AHCI mode. This is a special interface (Advanced Host Controller Interface) developed by Intel for communication between a disk device and memory. Unlike the older IDE mode, it allows the SSD to fully use transmission power SATA channel to which it is connected. This is especially important if your notebook/computer has SATA ports the latest edition of the standard (3.0), which delivers peak data transfer rate up to 600 MB/s for A modern SSD device is quite capable of a serious capacity and under ideal conditions, gives you the speed read/write of the order of 500-550 MB/s.
A selection of modern front-end AHCI mode is another plus – some models of SSD in IDE mode can cause problems with the so-called TRIM support. It is a function that only support modern operating systems – Windows 7 and newer versions. Its aim is to care about «good health» SSD. In fact, TRIM is a command, which the system periodically polls the device controller responsible for the dissemination of information on him. In simple words, the TRIM improves the efficiency of your SSD, but if it is configured to work in IDE mode, the TRIM function may not work correctly.
Optimization on the Windows
As mentioned above, to get the most out of the SSD it needs to have good support at the operating system level. The problem with the versions of Windows released before the «seven», is that they simply are not designed to work with such discs, which massively appeared on the market recently. So my advice – if you are going to do upgrading from HDD to SSD, first consider switching to a modern version of Windows (7 or above), of course, if you have not yet done so.
After connecting the drive, please make sure that your system SATA drivers updated to the latest, most current version. To do this, your first stop should be the website of the manufacturer of the motherboard/laptop.
Also make sure that SSD uses the latest firmware version. All SSD manufacturers offer a special service tool for this purpose, which you can find and download on the official website. Many of these tools offer useful functions and not just testing the relevance of the firmware – they include settings for the overall system optimization, such as disabling defragmentation, which not only increases the performance of the SSD, but can seriously reduce its lifetime.
It is, however, not the only optimization level operating system that can and should be undertaken. Another feature of Windows that is not necessary or desirable to disable it, is the so-called indexing information on the disk. It is designed to accelerate the search for large amounts of files, but at a much slower hard drives, and in the case of SSD, this feature is completely unnecessary. Moreover, like the Defrag, the indexing process is accompanied by a set of disk accesses, as it was already mentioned, can shorten the life of the SSD.
To disable indexing, right-click the mouse on the icon for your drive, select Properties and uncheck the «Allow to index the contents of files on this CD in addition to file properties».
Another useful optimization is to reduce the so-called virtual memory (swap file, page file). We are talking about the area on the system drive that Windows reserves to use if free RAM to load the user application is not enough. In such cases, the system stores on disk the «surplus» of information from memory, i.e., data which is currently not required, but the requirement of the user again loaded into the main memory.
You understand that this is due to repeated cycles of read/write from the system partition in the case of the SSD once again reduces its period of operation. It is therefore recommended to either reduce the size of the paging file or (which is preferable) to move it to another section – for example, on an external hard drive, so if you have.
To do this, click the right mouse button on the folder «Computer» (or «This computer»), select «Properties» then «advanced system settings». In the section «Performance» click «Settings», select the «Advanced» tab and in the section «Virtual memory» click «Change».
By default, the location and size of the paging file are determined automatically. To move this file to another location, uncheck the option «Automatically select the paging file size,» then in the list below, select the drive/partition that is the system, and click «Ask».
You can completely disable this feature if you have a really large amount of RAM say, 16 or more gigabytes. So you can not only save precious space on the SSD disk, but will increase overall system performance by forcing Windows to use only RAM that is even faster than SSD.
Hibernate mode is another system function that is not really needed, if you use SSD. If you read our text on this subject, then you probably remember that hibernate provides a quick start operating system and energy efficiency – two issues that are effectively resolved by using SSD. It makes sleep unnecessary and it is better to disable active use hibernate to absorb your SSD, making unnecessary disk access.
To disable hibernation, click on the keyboard + R, type CMD, and press Enter to invoke a command prompt window. Then type the command powercfg -h off and press Enter. Ready – hibernate disabled.