Help needed with upgrading my system

  • Thread starter Charlie Hoffpauir
  • Start date

C

Charlie Hoffpauir

First, what I have:

Foxconn P45A-S LGA 775 MB

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0 GHz LGA 775 65W Processor

8 GB G Skill DDR2 1066 RAM

Gigabyte GV-NX96T512HP GeForce GT 512 MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express
Video Card
(no gaming, so I opted for a passive cooling card instead of speed)

Several 7200 RPM disks, 500 GB Seagate for my C drive, 1 TB Hitachi
for my data drive, and a 1.5 TB Seagate for backups for both my data
and for data from my wife's computer.

Running MS Vista home Premium

I guess that's all that's pertinent to the upgrade...

I wanted faster loading and startup so I just installed an OCZ 120 GB
SSD drive in place of the above mentioned Seagate 500 GB (after
trimming what I could from the C drive to get the size down to 50 GB).
I "expected" to see an incredible improvement in load and startup
times, based on articles I'd read. However, although it does seem
faster, it's not an incredible improvement. In fact, if I look at
Windows performance ratings, there's no improvement at all.

I got a 5.0 rating on disk transfer rate with the Seagate, and a 5.9
rating with the OCZ. All other ratings are also 5.9, except for
Processor, which is 5.7. (these numbers from Vistas performance
information and tools.)


So... does anyone have any suggestions on what to do to get some
performance improvement? I'm maxed out on RAM (I think). I tried to
set up a Raid 0 using 2 500GB Seagates to try to improve data
transfer, but somehow screwed that effort up. Couldn't get it working
after a couple of trys.

Did I do something wrong with the installation of the SSD? What I did
was simply to clone my old C drive to the SSD using Acronis..... is
there some "tuning" I need to do for the SSD?

Also, I probably have a lot of junk on my system still.... from trying
software and removing it.... I've never tried using a registry
cleaner.... heard both pros and cons about that.

I appreciate suggestions....
 
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C

Charlie Hoffpauir

On Mon, 07 Mar 2011 14:09:32 -0600, Charlie Hoffpauir


On re-reading my post, I noticed a typo that I overlooked before. My
Windows performance ratings should have said 5.9 on disk transfer
rate, not 5.0. so that's 5.9 with both the Seagate HD and the SSD.
 
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Paul

Charlie said:
On Mon, 07 Mar 2011 14:09:32 -0600, Charlie Hoffpauir


On re-reading my post, I noticed a typo that I overlooked before. My
Windows performance ratings should have said 5.9 on disk transfer
rate, not 5.0. so that's 5.9 with both the Seagate HD and the SSD.

Do you have a part number for the OCZ drive ? There is a pretty wide
range of performance numbers for SSD drives.

Get a copy of HDTune and try the read benchmark. This should be
the free version, capable of doing a read benchmark.

http://www.hdtune.com/files/hdtune_255.exe

Seek time should be down in the 0.1 millisecond range. Read
transfer rate will either be limited by the width of the flash
interface inside the SSD drive, or it will be limited by the
speed of the SATA cable.

Your existing system should be able to give you good performance.
All that a new system would give perhaps, is an opportunity to buy
a new processor with more cores. And whether that would help,
you'd look at Task Manager, and see if the dual cores you've got now
are pinned (100%). If the system is slow, and the CPU graphs aren't
flat out, then there'd have to be an issue somewhere else.

Using AHCI setting allows:

1) Command queuing to a disk. Important for rotating disks, where
there is a server queue type buildup of disk commands. Less important
for desktops with queue depth of 1.

2) Hot swap for detecting SATA/ESATA drives plugged in while the system
is running.

3) TRIM support for an SSD, using the MSAHCI driver.

Using IDE (native or compatible) gives:

1) Occasionally, a few seconds faster boot. AHCI doesn't help there.

You can play with things like partition alignment on the SSD, but I
don't know if that's going to give a big performance boost. First,
I'd want to just bench the SSD, to see if it's working right or not.

You can post your HDTune on imageshack.us if you want. This is one
of mine.

http://img829.imageshack.us/img829/842/500gb3500418ascomposite.gif

Paul
 
C

Charlie Hoffpauir

Do you have a part number for the OCZ drive ? There is a pretty wide
range of performance numbers for SSD drives.

Get a copy of HDTune and try the read benchmark. This should be
the free version, capable of doing a read benchmark.

http://www.hdtune.com/files/hdtune_255.exe

Seek time should be down in the 0.1 millisecond range. Read
transfer rate will either be limited by the width of the flash
interface inside the SSD drive, or it will be limited by the
speed of the SATA cable.

Your existing system should be able to give you good performance.
All that a new system would give perhaps, is an opportunity to buy
a new processor with more cores. And whether that would help,
you'd look at Task Manager, and see if the dual cores you've got now
are pinned (100%). If the system is slow, and the CPU graphs aren't
flat out, then there'd have to be an issue somewhere else.

Using AHCI setting allows:

1) Command queuing to a disk. Important for rotating disks, where
there is a server queue type buildup of disk commands. Less important
for desktops with queue depth of 1.

2) Hot swap for detecting SATA/ESATA drives plugged in while the system
is running.

3) TRIM support for an SSD, using the MSAHCI driver.

Using IDE (native or compatible) gives:

1) Occasionally, a few seconds faster boot. AHCI doesn't help there.

You can play with things like partition alignment on the SSD, but I
don't know if that's going to give a big performance boost. First,
I'd want to just bench the SSD, to see if it's working right or not.

You can post your HDTune on imageshack.us if you want. This is one
of mine.

http://img829.imageshack.us/img829/842/500gb3500418ascomposite.gif

Paul


Paul,

I downloaded HD tune and ran the read test, here are the results:

Transfer rate minimum: 132.8 MB.sec
Transfer rate maximum: 202.4 MB/sec
Average: 172.4 MB.sec
Access time: 0.2 ms
Burst Rate: 148.4 MB/sec
CPU usage 13.3 %

The model of the SSD is OCZSSD3-2VTX120GR
(Newegg item 20-227-590)
 
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Paul

Charlie said:

OCZSSD3-2VTX120GR

It looks like they haven't updated the speed numbers here.

http://www.ocztechnology.com/ocz-vertex-2-sata-ii-3-5-ssd.html

You probably have one with 25nm flash. Your reads still seem
a bit on the low side, at least looking at Newegg.

http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?84598-Drives-Shipping-With-25nm-NAND

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=20-227-590

"ZooTownKid: I get sustainable 233/222 read/write speeds"

"xcor057: Cons: Drive goes into panic mode and locks after
only one weeks use. OCZ says it is due to SandForce
and sleep commands from the BOIS. Says its not
their products fault. Only way to recover the drive
is to RMA it and have them unlock it. Unfortunately
all data is lost in the process

Other Thoughts: Locking as a result of panic mode is designed to
protect the data. What is the point of protecting
the data if the manufacturer's unlock process is
destructive."

"seriks: Pros: It loaded windows fast at first but seems kinda normal
now after a few weeks."

That last review, suggests some kind of fragmentation issue, perhaps
TRIM not working. I wasn't able to find any OCZ utility for working
with your drive, and I don't know if there is a separate maintenance
utility for it or not.

This still doesn't answer why you're not happy with it. One of
the main advantages, should come from the 0.1 millisecond seek
time, which is miles ahead of what a hard drive can do. For
example, when you do a file search, it should just fly. On my
ordinary hard drives, it takes a minute or two, to search for
a file. Only Win2K had good caching here, such that the second
search was pretty fast. A SATA SSD should be around 0.1 millisecond,
whereas a USB flash stick is around 1 millisecond due to the USB
protocol overhead.

http://techreport.com/articles.x/17136

"Due to be supported by Windows 7, the TRIM command promises deal
with the block-rewrite penalty by emptying pages when data is deleted
rather than simply marking them as available."

"OCZ says switching to Vista's own AHCI drivers resolves the issue,
and based on our own testing, that appears to be true." <--- MSAHCI

*******

If you want to check your partition alignment, you might try the
free PTEDIT32 dialog box.

This is where I got mine.

ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/tools/pq/utilities/PTEDIT32.zip

This is a sample from one of my hard drives. Older OSes may use CHS info
and select cylinder alignment (multiple of 63). whereas a more modern
OS, upon seeing an SSD, may align to the 128KB or 256KB natural internal
alignment of the flash. Older OSes don't know about flash, and I'm not even sure
how your average disk utility will behave if they see a non "63" alignment.
CHS is obsolete for the most part, and once you get past about the 8GB mark,
is kinda meaningless in the MBR partition table.

This isn't actually that good an example, because I've moved the partitions
on this disk. But the one relevant part, is the "637 1 1" part. In CHS terminology,
a cylinder is 255*63 sectors or about 8MB. Even though the partition is
quite far from the beginning of the disk, it's still aligned to the
(fake) cylinder mark at cylinder 637. If you check your SSD, the
"1 1" part of that, should be something else. When you work out the LBA,
you'd hope it was spaced a multiple of 128KB or the like, from the origin
(128KB = 256 sectors). 63 doesn't divide into 256, so odd numbers should show
up after the cylinder number, instead of the "1 1" mine is using.

http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/2986/disk1after.gif

The file system clusters will have some alignment to the blocks in the flash.
The clusters are likely a power-of-two size. If the clusters fit within a
flash block, and aligned the same way, it might make a difference on writes.

Maybe you aren't using the MSAHCI driver ?

One of the regular posters "John Doe" has worked with an SSD for a while, and
may have gone through the optimization process, and maybe he'll have a few
comments. I'm too poor to afford an SSD :)

Paul
 
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Paul

geoff said:
. . . and the fact that data does not have to be converted from magnetic to
electronic.

--g

The seek time (move heads to the correct cylinder), is what takes
the time on a hard drive. The rest of the processing is very fast
by comparison.

Converting from magnetic to electrical, is measured in nanoseconds.

Paul
 

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