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Speed optimization/garbage management in PATA SSD’s under XP

T4x series specific matters only
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Speed optimization/garbage management in PATA SSD’s under XP

#1 Post by Johan » Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:12 pm

SSD garbage collection or -management in PATA SSD’s running under Windows XP (and hence with no TRIM support), intended to maintain fast SSD speed even after long time of use:

As has been widely experienced – and discussed – SSD’s tend to slow down after have been in use for a while (see e.g. A closer look at fresh versus used SSD performance or SSD Tweak Utilities and tweaks), if not being ”regularly maintained” which is why Windows 7 has introduced TRIM to keep SSD speed high. There are a bunch of SSD tools (free and commercial) available and intended to help keep up the high SSD speed under e.g. Windows XP, amongst other these programs/tools:

SSD Tweak Utility (also discussed in Maximize SSD Performance with the SSD Tweak Utility)

The SSD Optimization Guide

FreeSpaceCleaner - Questions

PATA SSD w/ garbage collection which is pointing to A simple guide for speeding up EOL OCZ SSD's

1.8" ZIF PATA SSDs available suggesting the use of Microsoft’s/Sysinternals (free) utility SDelete

Free Utility FlashFire Works Under the Hood to Overcome SSD Slowness

Free utility speeds up SSD writing on XP

Free utility speeds up SSD writing on XP & Vista 32-bit

I have been playing a little with some (but far from all!) of the above, in my T42p using a 16 GB SLC PATA SSD Transcend TS16GSSD25-S and running Windows XP Prof w/SP3, and I can’t say that I believe I have yet found a satisfactory, all-safe, super-stable, self-contained, automatic solution... but again; I have only been playing with this from time to time, and I have not investigated all those tools systematically for an extended period of time to see which one offer the best overall, long-term stable performance. Also, some of the tools seems a bit too homemade to my liking... in the sense that the stability seems to be a bit untested. I pretty much dislike that!

The purpose of this thread is therefore to invite ThinkPad-users of PATA SSD’s (MLC or SLC), preferably running under Windows XP, to share your experience about optimization of your SSD; what have you done, which tools have you tried, and with what settings, what worked, how good or bad was this or that, and what do you recommend based on actual, personal experience? It would be very valuable if we could perhaps in work out in common (after all, we're all members of an enthusiastic and very friendly, helpful, sharing forum, remember?! 8) ) a "how-to-do" guide which we felt some confidence in. THAT would be a very valuable achievement! :wink:

I am obviously interested in learning about tools usable with my Transcend PATA SLC SSD, although I am also currently in the process of getting an Intel X18-M SATA SSD and install it in my PATA T42p, using the 1.8”-to-2.5” SATA-to-PATA adapter discussed in the thread 1.8" SATA to 2.5" IDE converter? . More in that thread once I get the parts (the X18-M and the SATA-to-PATA adapter), and start to play with it. Please help keep this thread focusing on PATA SSD’s under XP and garbage collection/management and speed maintenance/optimization therein... thanks.

Thanks very much in advance for sharing! :-)

IBM T42p's (2373-Q1U & -Q2U): 2.1 GHz, 15" UXGA FlexView, 2 GB RAM, 128 MB FireGL T2, 128 GB 1.8" SATA SSD, IBM a/b/g, BT, Win 7 Ultimate
IBM T42 (2373-N1G): 1.8 GHz, 15" SXGA+ FlexView, 2 GB RAM, 64 MB Radeon 9600, 64 GB 1.8" SATA SSD, IBM a/b/g, BT, Win 7 Ultimate

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Re: Speed optimization/garbage management in PATA SSD’s under XP

#2 Post by AMATX » Wed Feb 16, 2011 4:53 pm

I'm also interested in this, as I run SSD on some WinXP boxes and also Win7. Win7 oughta work, but what to do with the XP laptops? Don't really have time or interest right now to mess with manual trim, and so far haven't needed to do so.

One thing I've wondered about would be to pull out the XP SSD and shove it into an ultrabay 2nd drive caddy on my Win7 box and see if Win7 would clean it up. Then reinsert it back into my XP laptop and go to town...Anyone wanna chime in on this brilliant(or non-brilliant :P ) idea?

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Re: Speed optimization/garbage management in PATA SSD’s under XP

#3 Post by w0qj » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:34 am

I did install T42 (2373-K5H) running Win'XP with a PATA SSD (MLC type), my experience is here:
http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.ph ... 29#p605929
~There is no PATA SSD with native garbage collection function to the best of my knowledge.

Now I have a T410 (2522-RE3) with SATA SSD (MLC type) which has both TRIM and garbage collection functions.
My comments about SSD garbage collection vs TRIM for different OS's here:
http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.ph ... 91#p614291

Two very good SSD primers here (Note: I do not work for Anandtech!):
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4159/ocz- ... sf2500-ssd
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4010/king ... 100-review

Finer points on Win7/TRIM vs Garbage Collection:

a) Win'XP (or any non-TRIM compliant OS, like Mac OS, Linux, etc.), when non-TRIM compliant SSD had been written full, even an "empty" block the SSD needs to erase the block (write all zeros into it), then a 2nd write of the actual data onto SSD. Total 2 writes, hence the dramatic SSD performance degradation after every SSD block had been written over, for any OS which does not support TRIM (or if SSD does not support TRIM).

b) Win7 on a TRIM-compliant SSD: above (a) scenario of a SSD that had been written full, then Win7 writes data to an "empty" block, the SSD does only *ONE* write by directly writing data onto SSD (eliminated the process of erasing block).

c) SSD with Garbage Collection function will on a SSD hardware level seek out "empty" blocks (which previously had data written in it), and the SSD does an "erase block" function on it. This is great for Mac OS (which does not support TRIM yet), or Linux, or Win'XP. Note that this Garbage Collection process is OS-independent; this process is handled entirely by the controller inside the SSD.

The problem with (c) on Win7/TRIM SSD is, this leads to write amplification, writes to single pages would cause entire blocks to go into Garbage Collection mode, essentially write much more data onto SSD than needed (especially for very small data writes onto SSD, of a few kb or even a few bytes). This problem would be amplified if your SSD is fairly full (SSD is 80+% full of data).

How much SSD life this Garbage Collection can potentially take out depends greatly on your computer/OS, as well as program and and user usage patterns, as well as how full your hard drive is. Also, different SSD controllers (SanForce vs Intel vs Toshiba, etc.) uses different strategies to try minimize SSD writes to try lengthen SSD lifespan, and the SSD MBF may vary according to different brands, even under same user/program/data usage patterns.

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Re: Speed optimization/garbage management in PATA SSD’s under XP

#4 Post by frankiepankie » Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:45 am

What if you use an PATA SSD with Windows 7?

I don't think the PATA connector / IDE protocol does support TRIM anyway
Lenovo ThinkPad T410

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Re: Speed optimization/garbage management in PATA SSD’s under XP

#5 Post by w0qj » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:01 am

I'm not sure if there are any PATA SSD with TRIM on the market at all. You would need to check very carefully...

Most PATA SSD were designed/manufactured before TRIM function came out, and were aimed at the temporary niche market of upgrading notebook computers with PATA hard drive slots. ie: Notebook computers that are 5-6 years old, or more.

Manufacturers seem to have stopped developing anymore new PATA SSD drives since then, hence little or no TRIM support for PATA SSD.

In fact, some SSD manufacturers have stopped mentioning PATA SSD at all, their web pages just say "2.5 inch SSD" instead which is SATA flavour only.

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Re: Speed optimization/garbage management in PATA SSD’s under XP

#6 Post by Orclas » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:47 pm

Johan, what's your experience with Transcend and Flashfire?

I replaced a faulty Kingspec with a Transcend TS32GSSD25-M about half a year ago and came to the conclusion that FF didn't add much to performance (for the Transcend, for the Kingspec it did somewhat).

I may add that the only other tweaks I've done is some basic stuff like disable hibernation, disk caching and indexing, plus aligning it (I cloned it from original HD after a reinstall, so was misaligned). My experience so far is that it's quiet, reasonably fast, but does suffer from the occasional stutter and "choke" (don't know how else to describe it, things halt while waiting for disk to finish some I/O operations).
T61 (8895-2FG) T8100/Intel X3100/SXGA+/Intel 320 SSD/4GB/Win7 x64 Pro
T400 (retired, couldn't quite stand it)
T40 (retired and missed)

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