questionsssd.. any tricks or tips i should know? what is…

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I got my first SSD and my son has it is his laptop.... I am using it without knowing what TRIM is.
When I looked into SSD I was worried I needed to do some work to get/keep it going but found nothing too important.
The laptop has been running for almost a year now.
Funny we have a few of the laptops in my house and I forgot he had the drive. When I used his laptop, I noticed the speed and asked why his laptop was so fast...then I remembered the SSD was in this laptop.

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The TRIM command allows an operating system to inform a solid-state drive (SSD) which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be wiped internally. This allows a significant speed improvement for future writes.

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Before you invest in a SSD invest in maxing out the memory on the system. Then, if you can, sit back and wait as long as you can before buying. SSD prices are dropping rapidly, I don't know how much lower they can go, but they're down more than 50% since they first started hitting the consumer market. Finally, know why you're buying and what you're buying. Among other issues, flash memory based SSD's have a finite limit to the number of write cycles they can manage and some vary greatly in how they perform on various work loads (eg. copying big files vs. many small files or reads vs. writes). For generic home use, you may not need them unless you're regularly do things that hit the hard drive, and if you do need them, you should try to match the drive design to the tasks you are performing or you're not getting the best bang for the buck...

(More to come)

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(part 2)

Just for background, I have 4 machines with SSD's. One laptop with a SSD performs worse than the other laptop without. The laptop without the SSD has more memory, a faster CPU and a better graphics chip. Our main home machine does not have a SSD, it's used almost only for web browsing and kids games. The old machine prior to it did have a SSD but for the tasks at hand it was not worth the price.

The one other reason to put a SSD in a laptop is shock resistance. If you are prone to abusing your laptops that alone might make a SSD worth the price...

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@phunsberger: it will just be used as the boot drive in my desktop.

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Been wondering the same thing myself. I guess I'll just eavesdrop on this one.

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@mickster1245: In that case, unless you have some reason to need to boot 40% faster on a regular basis it's not worth it. You boot once, and if you have enough memory the OS is then mostly all in memory and the disk isn't really hit again. The exception being system swap space. Again, if you have enough memory, swap isn't really an issue unless you're doing very memory intensive applications like video editing or moving between a lot of large apps (eg. running a complete development environment, on a single machine).

If you are running an app that causes a lot of I/O then you need to look at life time write cycles. Eg. things like databases aren't a good match with consumer grade SSDs. If you switch between apps a lot then having them on the SSD might be worth it (assuming you have space).

I do use a SSD for temp space for one case, it's a graphics rendering app that really benefits from being able to do heavy I/O quickly.

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TRIM is very important. Just to give a more detailed/simpler explanation, it makes writing data faster.

SSD's can only store data on empty blocks. When you "delete" a file, that space is marked as empty, but nothing is deleted. Before anything can be saved to that spot, the blocks that are marked as empty must be completely wiped blank. This is SLOW. To keep the SSD working quickly, the TRIM command is used to clear out these blocks long before you need to write new data to them.

This is also why you don't want to get an SSD nearly completely full. The only available space would be blocks that may not have been TRIMed yet, and so writes will be slowed down by needing to wipe the blocks first.

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In my opinion, there has never been a better time to get yourself a solid state drive. They're consistently below the $1 per GB mark now (like this deal today - $45 for a good 60GB drive - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227725 ).

For my money, it would be worth it as a boot drive alone. I play a lot of PC games so it makes it especially worthwhile for cutting down load times and game lag that sometimes comes when the program has to read files from disk. Not every program loads everything it can in to memory so there can be a lot of benefit to having a fast drive. There are, of course, more benefits for some applications than others.

On the topic of TRIM, if you're using an updated version of windows then you won't need to worry about whether the garbage collection operation is happening - it will automatically.

Flash cells (the storage mechanism on SSD) do wear out eventually, but it takes a lot of heavy use, even on a standard consumer model.

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I just got a SSD too.

Make sure defragging and hibernation are off(they might get automatically turned off by windows when it detects a ssd, not sure)

Run the Windows user experience index which will make windows detect the ssd

Change the SATA mode to AHCI. Here's how:

http://tweaks.com/windows/44119/improve-sata-hard-disk-performance-convert-from-ide-to-ahci/

Oh, also go to the manufacturer website for your ssd and update the firmware. One caveat though you can't update the firmware of an ssd that is currently running windows. You will have to update it from windows on another hdd or running an os on a flash drive.