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SSD performance degradation factors.

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devnulllore    17


Many of you who know me know I am fairly new to the use of SSD's. As of April it will be a year since I built a new gaming PC, with the help of many suggestions here, and I didn't skimp on anything.  (well I did settle for one grade lower on my EVGA GTX video card as I got 2 to support SLI). I didn't skimp on my SSD's however. On several suggestions I got 2 Samsung 840 Pro series and have been tremendously happy with them.


Lately however my OS disk has been a bit laggy comapred to new, and I understand this will happen with ANY drive but what are some factors that can contribute performance degridation and what are some things I can do either in the OS or otherwise to speed it back up or prevent it from degrading further any time soon?


I have 2 Samsung 256G 840 Pro series SSD's on an Asus Sabertooth Z77 board with an i7 series C216 Chipset SATA/AHCI controler both SATA III 6G. I have the latest Intel Chipset Software installed and the latest Intel RST software. Both drives have both indexing and write cache buffering off. Superfetch, Prefetch and Readyboot are turned off as well according to Microsofts recommendation.


Any info suggestions or news would be greatly appreciated.



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+Fahim S.    892

I don't think the performance of your SSDs have degraded, unless of course you can provide some benchmarks from outside Windows that proves this to be the case.


I'd venture a guess that your Windows installation is rotting.  How do you use your PC? How many applications get installed, updated and uninstalled.  What sort of extensions do you have on your browser, how many background processes.  These things all have an effect on how responsive your machine feels.


SSDs are mostly binary - either working fantastically, or dead.  There doesn't seem to be an in-between state.

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+goretsky    669



Here is one way you can try proceeding, largely based on the amount of effort you have to expend (e.g., going from easiest steps to troubleshoot the issue to the more labor- and time-consuming ones).


First things first... back up everything.  If everything's backed up, make a second, or even third backup.  You can never have too many back ups of your valuable data, and in different formats, too (copying the files to an external drive, backing up to recordable optical media, disk imaging, etc.).  For that matter, try restoring some/all of your data, preferably on an entirely different computer, just to make sure that the backups worked and can restore correctly.


Now, with that out of the way, I'd suggest starting with updating the firmware for the various devices.  You can use the Samsung Magician software to check the firmware on the 840PRO's, visit ASUS' website for the latest UEFI firmware for your Sabertooth motherboard, etc.  Your EVGA video cards may even have BIOS updates from the manufacturer. 


If you have not already done so, make sure you have the latest device drivers installed for the remaining hardware.


If that solves the problem then, well, you're done, and you've found out the problem was either due to old firmware or old device drivers.


If it doesn't... well, the next step would take is a secure wipe of the SSDs, followed by reloading them from an image backup.  I wouldn't do a sector-by-sector backup/restore, just a reload at the filesystem level.  SSD's don't particularly suffer from fragmentation, because all data can be read from any part of the flash RAM at the same speed, but this will at least make sure all the files are contiguous, which may make some of the largest ones load a few microseconds faster.  It should also let the SSD handle block management itself when doing the restore, which should make for a faster reload.


If that solves the problem, then the problem was due to an issue with how the file system was storing files on the disk, and you've fixed it.


If not, well, in that case, I would recommend another secure wipe, following by a clean reinstall of the operating system (and it's updates, hotfixes, patches, etc.), followed by installing device drivers and your applications.  After all of those are up to date, reload your data.  At this point, you've got a clean build, without any of the "rot" that Fahim S. mentioned.  At that point, there should be no problems.




Aryeh Goretsky

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