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Migrating to Solid State Disks (SSDs).

14/11/11

Migrating to Solid State Disks (SSDs).

Permalink 04:23:00 pm by Eugene Gardner, Categories: Articles, Technical Tips

Many people know that SSDs are much faster than the traditional electro mechanical disk drives, use less power, produce less heat and last much longer. The only drawback is that they cost a little more - not so much now though; so they are a sensible upgrade for both laptops and towers if most cases. To get the best performance out of SSDs Windows should be installed from scratch. If cloning or migratingfrom an old disk there are a few things that can be modified to improve performance or longevity.

  • Disable features that involve moving data to equally fast memory: Open REGEDIT and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters Look for the keys EnablePrefetcher and EnableSuperfetch. Both should be set to 0.
  • Make use of the TRIM command to have the disk handle delete operations in the background. First check whether this is already set by getting to the CMD prompt and typing fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify if you are informed that it is set to 0 move on to the next thing otherwise enter the following command to enable TRIM fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 0
  • Make sure that SSDs are not defragmented. This is more than a superfluous operation, it actively shortens the expected lifetime of the disk as leveling disrupts file patterns.

There are currently two types of memory used in SSDs: SLC (single-layer-cell), and MLC (multiple-layer cell). SLC lasts much longer but costs more to make.  All the cheaper drives and most USB flash memory drives are MLC based devices. Flash memory can only be programmed and erased a limited number of times. This is often referred to as the maximum number of program/erase cycles (P/E cycles) it can sustain over the life of the flash memory.  Single-level cell (SLC) flash, designed for higher performance and longer endurance, can typically operate between 50,000 and 100,000 cycles. As of 2011, multi-level cell (MLC) flash is designed for lower cost applications and has a greatly reduced cycle count of typically between 3,000 and 5,000.

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