Users who crave more performance from their system would consider investing in a pretty decent SSD to speed up their PC, but if you are specifically looking for SSD optimization because your gaming expeirence is lagging so you are in the wrong place, then you should know our best gaming laptops under $1,500 list to improve your gaming expeirence more. Unlike hard drives, SSDs work differently. Users who upgrade from hard drives to SSDs often get confused with whether they need to do the required maintenance, which they might have been doing with the hard drives, to speed up SSD and optimize its performance.
Table of Contents
- Speed Up Your SSD
- 1) Enable Write Caching in Windows 7
- 2) Speed Up SSD by Using RAM Cache
- 3) Enabling TRIM Command to Optimise SSD
- 4) Should You enable hibernation while using an SSD in Windows?
- 5. Disable Drive Defragmentation in Windows 7
- 6) Turn Off Super fetch, Prefetch in Windows
- 7. Placing the Page File on SSD
- 8. Drive Compression
- 9. Disabling Drive Indexing to Optimise SSD
With Windows 7 came the Windows Experience Index, which gave a numerical rating for your system performance. The hard drive was responsible for getting low WEI scores for most systems. But things changed when an SSD (Solid State Drive) replaced the slow-moving hard drive. Though expensive, they are super fast and deliver superior performance gain over traditional hard drives. Although they excel over the hard drives in speed, power consumption, noise, and shock resistance, they have some cons that could be taken care of if we could use and maintain them properly.
You could use many techniques to take full advantage of your SSD. In this guide, we’ll see the steps and their explanations, including speeding up your SSD, Optimizing its Performance, and maximizing its life span.
“We’ve spent hours researching and collecting the information on this guide that would undoubtedly be beneficial in optimizing your SSD. So, make sure you take the time to read out the complete guide if you wish to get the best from your expensive drive. While most of the steps to speed up SSD targets windows eight and Windows 7 users, some steps are common for all platforms. We’ve included much general information to know when and where to use these steps once you’ve finished reading the guide.”
Speed Up Your SSD
Playing a video file from an SSD doesn’t make a noticeable speed difference, and this is the same case with documents, PDFs, etc.
You’d see the speed and performance of an SSD when you try to read/write large files from your drive. This is the case when you load games, load many images in Adobe Photoshop, load video files in Adobe Premiere, etc.
1) Enable Write Caching in Windows 7
This tweak would enable the Write caching on your SSD, which helps speed up SSD by a small margin. This tweak would force windows to cache the written commands sent to the SSD to be stored in the memory, which is many times faster and thus would result in a much faster operation.
- Navigate to Computer > Properties > Device Manager >Disk Drive to do this.
- Now, right-click and select Properties of your SSD and click on Policies tab and select the Enable to write caching in Windows option, Click Apply > OK, and you’re
For Users who have plenty of Ram installed on their system, you may consider using your RAM as a cache for the SSD.
Note: Consider this only if you have a proper redundant backup power supply for your system and have much free memory (2 – 4GB free) after loading up your daily used programs on your system.
2) Speed Up SSD by Using RAM Cache
What it does is that the temporary read/write operations on your system would be done in the ram, which is many times faster than an SSD.
So here are the steps you need to follow for this;
- Begin the process by downloading Fancy Cache (~2MB) software.
- After installing and starting up the program, the software interface lists out the storage mediums connected to your pc.
- Select your SSD from the list and configure a cache size for it (Refer to the image). The cache size may be set to suit your needs. We’ve allocated 3192 MB of RAM as the cache, and the defer caching has also been enabled.
- After setting the cache size for your SSD and related options on fancy cache, click Start Caching, and you’re ready with the caching setup for your SSD.
A fancy cache is a trial software, and it gives you a 180 days trial period which is plenty to test it out comprehensively. This software really does provide a significant performance boost to speed up SSD and would make the file operations agile. The result is an experience of a much more responsive and snappier system.
The fancy cache can also speed up your hard drives, but things might get worse once you try copying files that are larger than the cache size, set for your traditional hard drive in a fancy cache. This happens because once the allocated cache memory in the ram has been filled up, the stored data needs to be transferred to the hard drive. So, you may notice a lag in performance when you copy a larger file than the cache size. It may seem like the hard drive is carrying out the file operations at its average speed without any speed boost via the cache, whereas small file operations would be carried out much faster.
We’ve used CrystalDiskMark to benchmark SSD performance before and after enabling fancy cache, and the results are as below.
Here are the results after configuring and setting up FancyCache for the SSD.
The software gives you an impression that the data operation has been completed on the drive, but it works in the background even after that to offload the data to the drive from memory. So, we recommend you have an uninterrupted power supply because, in case of a sudden power loss, the contents of the ram get erased, and the final result would be a data loss!
Note: You may turn off Write caching in Windows 7 if you are using fancy cache to speed up SSD performance.
Optimizing and Maintaining Your SSD
SSDs use flash memory which performs notably better at purchase time than after significant usage. There’s probably no way to avoid it other than to minimize its speed degradation by reducing the frequency of reading/writing cycles on the SSD.
The TRIM Command
After setting up an SSD, the first step is to enable the TRIM command in Windows. Windows 8 has the TRIM command already enabled if you are using an SSD. It is important to have the TRIM command enabled on your system as it helps maintain the SSD’s life by optimizing the garbage collection in windows.
When you delete a file from a normal Hard drive, it removes the address of the particular data, and the file will not be actually deleted, and windows just show it as free space. When you write new files, the data gets overwritten. Doing the same process won’t speed up SSD and degrade its performance over time. So, it’s essential to have the data appropriately deleted once it’s not needed. For this, we use the TRIM Command.
3) Enabling TRIM Command to Optimise SSD
- From the Start Menu, type CMD in the search box.
- Right-click the command prompt icon and choose Run as Administrator.
- Now type fsutil behavior query disable-delete notify and press Enter.
- If it shows you disable-delete notify = 0, the TRIM command is enabled in windows, and you don’t have to make any modifications. If not, it would display disable-delete notify = 1.
- If TRIM is not enabled, type fsutil behavior set disable-delete notify 0.
- The TRIM Command would now be set to enabled.
4) Should You enable hibernation while using an SSD in Windows?
The fact is that hibernation can be enabled on windows that are installed on an SSD, as it doesn’t cause much speed degradation since the read / write hibernation data is done sequentially as large blocks of data. Hibernation really saves you much time if you’re a productive Windows user. So, it’s illogical to compromise your productivity for just a matter of gain in the life span of an SSD.
Drive Defragmentation in Windows 7
Drive defragmentation helps organize the fragmented data and helps in improving the performance of a hard disk. But drive defragmentation doesn’t speed up SSD, as these drives don’t contain any rotating parts, and defragmenting a drive would involve the transfer of data, i.e., more read/write cycles which actually shortens the lifespan of the SSD. So, it’s always good to disable drive defragmentation in windows.
Using a windows system with an SSD and a hard drive, you could selectively implement drive defragmentation for the hard disk alone.
Windows 8 and 7 will automatically exclude the drives that declare themselves as SSDs or if they possess a random read speed of over 8 MB/sec. If it hasn’t done this automatically, here’s what you’d need to do.
5. Disable Drive Defragmentation in Windows 7
- Click on the Start Menu and type disk; the disk defragmenter will be shown under the programs.
- Click Configure Schedule in the Disk defragmenter window and Click on Select disks.
You’ll see the drives being listed out. Just exclude your SSD drive from the listed drives and proceed by clicking OK.
6) Turn Off Super fetch, Prefetch in Windows
All these tweaks would make use of the RAM to speed up the system’s performance, as in the case of Fancy Cache (mentioned above). When you enable these options in windows, frequently used files would be moved on to RAM for faster access, thereby avoiding seeking data from SSD. However, it compromises the system’s performance if you have significantly less memory available. So it’s better to disable them if you have 4GB or less memory. If you have plenty of RAM installed, enabling them might give an iota of boost and speed up SSD performance.
- Bring up the Registry Editor in Windows by Typing Regedit on RUN Window (WIN + R) and press Enter.
- Now go to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SessionManager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters“
- You’ll see Enable Prefetcher and EnableSuperfetch options listed on the right window pane.
- Double click each and set the value from 3 to 0.
- Now restart your system for the changes to be enabled.
Windows 8 would automatically optimize those options according to the SSD performance.
7. Placing the Page File on SSD
The page file in windows is used to improve the system reliability. When contents get filled in RAM, the unused data gets moved on to the secondary storage medium to pave the way for new data in the RAM.
While most guides on Optimising SSD Performance advise you to turn off paging on your system, the fact is that Page file read sizes are generally small, and writes are comparatively large.
Considering the pagefile reference patterns and the SSD’s favorable performance characteristics over the practices, there are few files better than windows pagefile to be stored on an SSD. So it wouldn’t make much of a performance impact in the long run of SSD.
8. Drive Compression
You might have noticed an option in your Drive Properties window to Compress your drive. If you are concerned with performance and not drive space, it’s better to have this option disabled. But if space is your concern, this might save you a few GBs, and remember, drive Compression uses your CPU when file modifications occur. So, file compression may be a good trade-off for infrequently modified files and data.
9. Disabling Drive Indexing to Optimise SSD
SSDs are speedier than hard drives and have an access time of 0.1 milliseconds. Drive indexing results in increasing the number of files write operations doesn’t speed up SSD, and it’s better to have it turned off.
- Open My Computer and just right Click Your SSD and choose properties.
- Just untick the Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties option. You’ll be prompted with warnings just after clicking Apply.
- Proceed by pressing Ignore All, and it would show you a processing window and take a few minutes for the changes to be applied.
Note: If you have a hard drive installed, it’s better not to disable the indexing and move the indexing location to the hard drive instead of the SSD. To do this, Go to Control Panel > Indexing Options. If you can’t see the Indexing option under the control panel, switch to the small icon view.
On top of all these tweaks, you must also make sure AHCI mode is enabled for your SSD. This setting is usually configured in BIOS/UEFI.
If you have gone thoroughly through the guide and implemented the required tweaks, be happy that you’ve optimized your SSD to its best Performance and Life. There had been a bit of controversy regarding the hibernation setting and placing the page file on the SSD. There’s nothing that you’d need to bother regarding those two settings for now, as what you’ve implemented is better and safer for your SSD and system.
“We could’ve made the guide much shorter and quick, but it won’t be complete unless there are explanations for the purpose and what these settings actually do to your system. We’ve exempted those tweaks which could tamper your system reliability, and almost all these SSD tweaks are safe to implement on your system, provided you read them well.”
If you like to appreciate the effort, we’ve put into it, please share this guide to reach it better to the masses.