Dell Mini 9 Hardware and Upgrades Discuss Dell Mini 9 Hardware and Upgrades.

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ubiquityman ubiquityman is offline
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Default How to get the ULTIMATE performance from your SSD! - 04-19-2009, 08:18 AM

Here's my SSD "best configuration for performance" Guide.
(This applies only to Windows XP, but the principles should work equally well for Linux or other OSes.)

The logic is as follows:

The bulk of the activity on the computer is READING from the SSD, not writing to it.
Thus, optimizing the read performance will speed up most tasks on the computer.

People have argued that the occasional (slower) WRITES to a compressed drive may offset any performance gains from the faster READ speeds. To mitigate that, we increase the performance of the frequent/typical write activities as much as possible.

After playing around and doing some "seat of the pants" comparisons, I've come up with the following configuration.


1. COMPRESS THE DRIVE.
I know folks have said uncompressed drives have faster performance, but that's not true.
Compressed drives write slower (because they have to compress on the write which is a lot of CPU work), but compressed drives read much faster because decompression takes much less work, and the overall throughput for the combination of reading compressed data then decompressing it, is faster than just reading uncompressed data.

2. ENSURE KEY FILES ARE UNCOMPRESSED.
To mitigates the slower (compressed) write speeds by uncompressing key files & directories that have frequent write activity. eg. registry configuration ( C:\WINDOWS\System32\Config ).
There is a lot of reading, writing and copying of registry + hive information at startup and shutdown. Leaving those big files uncompressed will optimize performance. Do the same for any other files/directories that fall into this category. You can find out which files normally get written to by using the "Search" in XP and asking the computer to show you what files were changed in the past day. (There shouldn't be many)

3. DISABLE THE FILE ACCESS DATE STAMP
Do you really care what date+time a file was last opened? I don't, especially if it means having to write the access data stamp to that file. Disabling the access date stamp does not affect the date stamp for the creation of the file, nor for the updating of the date stamp for subsequent writes (updates) to the file. You files will still show the most recent write date + time.
To do this, at the command line, type:
FSUTIL behavior set disablelastaccess 1

4. SET TEMPORARY FILES TO THE (UNCOMPRESSED) RAM DRIVE
If you have 2 GBs of RAM, create a RAM drive and set the TEMP, TMP, and IE Temporary files to the RAM DRIVE.
(See http://mydellmini.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=6669 for details).
Again, this mitigates the slower compressed SSD write speed by moving more write activity to the uncompressed RAM DRIVE which is MANY times faster than SSD.
Also, disable the SWAP DRIVE.

RESULTS:
This benchmark result below may be a bit misleading because the benchmark program is likely writing a very compressible sequence to the SSD (then reading it back). In real world situations the amount of compression is not going to be that high. For compressed files, expect about a 50%-100% increase in read speeds on average (~120-160MB/s).

When my 2nd Mini 9 arrives (ie. Vostro A90), I will do a back to back comparison of compressed vs uncompressed performance. For now, I will say that after these changes, my Mini 9 loads MS Word 2003 faster than my desktop (which is a 3.2GHz Quadcore Extreme with 4GB RAM and 2 WD Black 640GB HD).

(Note the scale: Writes are almost 100MB/s and reads 600MB/s. Also notice the 0.5kb block read is already at ~28MB/s)
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HandHeld HandHeld is offline
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Default Re: How to get the ULTIMATE performance from your SSD! - 04-19-2009, 01:08 PM

Thanks for posting this. Your read/write speeds are amazing. I'm going to try it out.
The logic for decompressing certain frequently accessed files seems questionable.
Another benefit of using a compressed drive is that you will be writing fewer bytes every time you create or modify a file so the SSD will last longer.
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g-nome g-nome is offline
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Default Re: How to get the ULTIMATE performance from your SSD! - 04-19-2009, 02:55 PM

I am having a hard time believing that you can go from +/- 15/70 r/w to 100/600 via compression and removing date info. I am already doing about half of these items....ram disk items disable swap etc.
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TobyRhino TobyRhino is offline
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Default Re: How to get the ULTIMATE performance from your SSD! - 04-19-2009, 03:03 PM

Either you've discovered something amazing, or you got the best SSD Dell have shipped! :P
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teeth_03 teeth_03 is offline
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Default Re: How to get the ULTIMATE performance from your SSD! - 04-19-2009, 04:12 PM

I'm not really an expert on such things,however,doing the benchmark shouldnt even take into account what you did to your OS files. Its reading and writing sectors of the free space on the SSD. The only thing that would effect it would be the compression of the drive. I'm thinking the benchmark software probably reads and writes stuff to the TEMP folder, so im gonna guess that benchmark is probably actually testing your RAM Drive,not the SSD.


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gospeed.racer gospeed.racer is offline
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Default Re: How to get the ULTIMATE performance from your SSD! - 04-19-2009, 04:17 PM

he stated his Mini is not even in his hands yet, so the graph we are seeing above is likely a 2.5" drive, not a PATA Mini 9 drive.
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D0rk D0rk is offline
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Default Re: How to get the ULTIMATE performance from your SSD! - 04-19-2009, 05:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by gospeed.racer
he stated his Mini is not even in his hands yet, so the graph we are seeing above is likely a 2.5" drive, not a PATA Mini 9 drive.
Well, he said 2nd Mini. But I agree, we don't have explicit confirmation that the benchmark he attached was actually a Mini 9.

Quote:
When my 2nd Mini 9 arrives (ie. Vostro A90),
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HandHeld HandHeld is offline
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Default Re: How to get the ULTIMATE performance from your SSD! - 04-19-2009, 06:29 PM

I did it. Went from 3.27gb used to 2.39gb. Boot time is the same.

My Crystal Disk Mark scores for sequential read/write are 105/100 - WOW! They used to be 69/10 ~approximately. So there is some goodness to this mod.

TrueImage seems to be broken, it runs but it won't do the backup... it acts like you didn't want it to do anything.
I was able to run trueimage from the rescue disk successfully. I'll try reinstalling it to see if that fixes it.
I tested Firefox and it works fine. Don't have time for any more right now.
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ubiquityman ubiquityman is offline
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Default Re: How to get the ULTIMATE performance from your SSD! - 04-19-2009, 06:32 PM

I do currently have 1 Mini 9.
I'm waiting for the 2nd one to arrive then I can show both Mini 9 starting an operation at the same time (and finishing at different times) so people can get a better idea of the speed.

And yes, the benchmarks were on the stock STEC 8GB drive that came with the Mini 9, on a Mini 9.

As I indicated on my original post, the benchmark is skewed (not indicative) of real world performance.
For real world performance, you'll only get a 50%-100% increase in speed (not a 800% increase as the benchmark shows).
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gospeed.racer gospeed.racer is offline
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Default Re: How to get the ULTIMATE performance from your SSD! - 04-19-2009, 07:18 PM

wow, thats crazy! :shock: Numbers dont mean much unless it is backed up by performanceso i am glad to hear it feels faster, I will put it on my list of things to do when I get a chance.
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