Basic knowledge, purchase, use, and maintenance of solid-state hard disk

Table of Contents

I will avoid some professional words here and explain it to you in a popular and understandable language. The article is a little longer, Please arrange your time reasonably

一,what is a solid state disk?

1.What is a solid state disk

What we usually use is a mechanical hard disk, which is composed of parts such as the disk surface and magnetic head, and is physical-mechanical equipment. The solid-state hard drive, like the flash drive we usually use, is made up of a flash memory chip plus a master and a cache. The difference with flash drives is that USB drives generally use only one or two flash memory chips, so they usually focus on reading and writing, so the life of USB drives is not very long, especially when they buy low-quality products, while there are many flash memory chips on solid-state hard drives. if you distribute the data evenly to each flash memory, the life will be much longer than the U disk.

Solid-state drives are generally 2.5 inches, which is the size of notebook hard drives, there are 7mm thickness and 9MM thickness (notebook solid-state friends should pay attention to oh); there are also MSATA and PCI-E interfaces.

2. Solid-state hard drives are more expensive than mechanical hard drives. What are the advantages and why do you want to buy them?

Just said that the mechanical hard disk is a mechanical device, composed of one or more disks, just like the old records, the disk rotates at a high speed at any time, you have to read the data from a certain position, and the head has to be moved to that position. While the solid-state hard disk has no mechanical part, it is all electronic. When CPU sends out instructions, it needs to take the data of a certain address, and the main control can directly reach a certain address. The biggest advantage of SSDs is that there is no need to seek. In terms of continuous read and write performance, the mainstream solid-state disk has reached more than 500m, which is also incomparable to mechanical hard drives. Also, there is almost no noise in solid-state, and the energy consumption is much lower than that of the mechanical hard disk.
The main differences after switching to solid-state drives are:

The time to turn it on and off is faster.

No matter how much software and games you install, as long as you enter the desktop, you can use it.

The mechanical hard drive will take a while to use.

Software installation runs faster, especially for developers.

A lot of software can be used immediately after double-clicking, but the mechanical hard disk has to wait a long time. I am not used to the mechanical hard disk when I go to repair the computer now.

The game is also more smooth, entering the game and loading the progress bar is obviously much faster.

System score, software running score is higher.

3. I don’t understand SSD clearly, why there so many shortcomings after searching?

Many of these articles are early when solid-state technology was not perfect, and it was inevitable that many “conservatives” worried that solid-state drives would have a short life and easy to lose data like USB drives. At that time, the performance of solid-state drives was not as good as that of high-end mechanical hard drives.
Concerning longevity, I don’t think there is any need to worry about it now.
From my use, the solid-state hard disk can fully reach the life of the mechanical hard disk under normal use and maintenance.
Several organizations have tested and analyzed the life of SSDs, and the results are consistent with what I thought.
Data is easy to be lost, mainly because many solid states have a large capacity of DDR cache, which, like memory, will disappear after a power outage.
The solid-state with a cache will write the data to the high-speed DDR cache first, and then write it to the flash memory. If there is a power outage before writing to the flash memory, this part of the data will indeed be lost, but the probability is also quite low. I have never encountered it before.

二, How to look at the parameters of solid state disk

1, brand: for new friends, I think the brand is the most worthy of consideration.

Good brand research and development ability are stronger, master and flash chip technology is also more mature, the after-sales ability is stronger.

For example, INTEL has five years of global joint guarantee and strong performance, which is incomparable to many small brands. at present, brands with independent research and development capabilities are INTEL, Magnesia, Samsung, and so on. In China, there are so many foundries located in Shenzhen, Here we also help some global brand to do OEM, So we’re also one of your choice,

2, master control: master control is equivalent to a CPU, master in a computer. To be honest, there is not much we ordinary users can learn about.

At present, it is to look at the information released by manufacturers, compare the actual performance, listen to the feedback of other friends, and so on.

Now many websites of all kinds of solid-state news, evaluation under the most common is the main control of the war of words, we can take a look around.

At present, the more common main control brands are:

Sandforce series, INTEL and other high-end products are commonly used, relatively stable, strong performance.

Samsung MDX, MEX series: Samsung independent research and development of the main control, currently Samsung solid state in use, can play the TLC flash memory to SLC performance, it seems that Samsung’s main control is still quite reliable.

JMF master control: often seen in the low-end solid state, JMF is also one of the established master control manufacturers, the performance price is relatively high.

Judging from the current data, the solid-state performance of brands such as Yingchi, which is controlled by JMF, is in the middle position, which is not too bad. This main control is particularly unpopular in the eyes of many netizens.

Marvell master control: relatively stable, many netizens even call it “server level”, and many middle and high-end solid-state products also use this master control.

3, flash memory: we usually choose a flash drive to know, in terms of performance and life, the most is TLC, and then MLC, is the best SLC, currently uses MLC flash memory chips for more solid state drives.

Flash memory type product introduction is generally noted (most of what is not specified is TLC), it is best to choose the solid state of MLC and SLC chips, rather than the solid state of TLC.

At present, the mainstream flash memory particles are as follows: INTEL, magnesium light, Toshiba, Samsung and so on. The quality of flash memory directly affects the life and performance of the whole solid state hard disk.

The same brand of flash memory particles also have advantages and disadvantages, so we can only see whether the flash memory particles are good or bad from the actual performance of the solid-state hard drive.

4. Interface type:

IDE: used to be a common hard disk interface for old computers, which is suitable for friends who do not upgrade the whole machine, but only for the experience of solid-state.

However, limited by the IDE interface, the performance of the solid state disk with IED port is very poor, and the improvement is not obvious after replacement.

Note that the IDE interfaces of old laptops and desktops are different, so make sure before you buy them.

SATA: is the most commonly used interface. At present, the mainstream solid-state disk is sata3.0, and the read and write speed can reach 550MB/S.

Of course, SATA is backward compatible, if your motherboard is SATA2.0 interface, you can still buy SATA3.0 solid-state drive, but the speed can only reach the speed of SATA2.0.

MSATA: now many new notebooks and desktop motherboards have reserved MSATA ports to facilitate users to install solid-state drives, network cards, and other devices.

The main excuse of PCI-E: in the future.

Now limited by the current SATA3.0 speed, the current sata solid-state disk speed can only reach 550MB/s or so, but for other demanding applications, this speed is not enough, so there is a PCI-E interface solid-state disk, but the price of such solid-state disk is high, ordinary users are difficult to accept.

5, size: at present, the more common solid state drives are 2.5 inches, pay attention to the distinction between 7MM and 9MM, if your laptop is 7MM, then buy 9MM can not be installed, pay attention to before buying.
6, reading and writing speed: the fastest continuous reading and writing speed that can be achieved in theory.
7, cache: mechanical hard drives and solid state drives generally have a cache chip, which is used to provide high-speed buffering when reading and writing.

Theoretically, the larger the cache capacity, the stronger the performance?

This is true for mechanical hard drives, but for solid state drives, I think it can be ignored.

The performance of SSDs mainly depends on the master and flash memory particles. If the reading and writing speed is very slow, what’s the use of giving you a big cache?

At present, there are many solid states that do not have cache, and the data is read and written directly without cache, and the performance is also very good.

When choosing and buying, it is mainly based on the overall performance.

8, random read and write rate IOPS: the number of read and write operations per second, which is the most important parameter to measure the performance of SSDs. The higher the value, the better.

三, How to choose and purchase solid state hard disk

1, when choosing and buying, we should have a certain understanding of the brand of the solid-state hard drive, the after-sale, the main control of use, and the flash memory chip. These three items have been introduced above, so I will not repeat them anymore.

2, choose the appropriate size and interface type, see the second part of the parameter introduction. The shell is best to choose a metal shell, some manufacturers use the plastic shell in order to save costs, although the impact is small, the metal shell can effectively prevent electromagnetic interference.

3, pay attention to the balance between price and performance. If the budget is sufficient, it is recommended to choose high-performance products; if the budget is insufficient, it is recommended to choose cost-effective products. How to choose the performance, please read on:

4, choose the appropriate capacity. I would like to give you a suggestion based on your experience:
60-64G: don't play games, just install the system and some common software (not enough? There is an introduction below).
120-128G: used to install systems and some common software, and occasionally play games (tossing between mechanical hard drives when there is not enough space).
240-256g: install systems and software, and often play a variety of games (in fact, 256g is still not enough for today's games).
512G: buy it if you need it.
In addition, you should pay attention to the speed while choosing the capacity. At present, the larger the capacity of the hard disk under the same model and brand, the faster the speed of the hard disk.
5, performance comes first. If it wasn't for performance, there would be no need to pay more for SSDs. Here's a look at the performance of solid-state drives:
Continuous reading and writing speed: SATA3.0 is pretty good at about 500m. It doesn't matter if it's a little lower, after all, the capacity of the hard drive is so large. For example the difference between 500m and 400MB/s. In theory, it takes 10 seconds for 500M/s 's hard drive and 11.1 seconds for 450M/s 's hard disk to copy a 5G file. The difference of one second doesn't mean much to most people.

4K performance, which is the most important, is the value of solid-state drives, and 4K read speed is even more important in 4K performance. Under the native interface of SATA3.0, the 4K read speed of middle and high-end SSDs is higher than 30MB/S, the 4K write speed is higher than 100MB/S, and the random read and write speed is above 80000IOPS. The 4K read speed of the middle and low-end solid-state disk should also be about 20MB, and the 4K write speed should be above 50MB/S, so don't consider it if it is too low. The 4K read and write speed of the mechanical hard drive can not even reach the 1MB/S, which is the biggest advantage of the solid-state hard drive.

6, summary: at present, the market of the solid-state hard disk is very deep, so we should pay attention to the choice. Try to choose a regular brand and avoid greedily buying low-quality solid-state drives such as white film; when choosing and buying, you should first understand the type of flash memory used in this section of solid-state, refer to the buyer's order first, and have a certain understanding of the general performance; then compare the performance and price of other brands.

四, Use and maintenance of solid state hard disk

1, When installing a solid state disk, the data cable must be plugged into the native SATA interface in order to maximize performance.

A friend of mine has been using solid-state disk for a year.

I asked him how he was, and he said that was all.

Later, I took a look at it: ASRock Z77 motherboard, he plugged in the third-party SATA3.0 port.

Generally speaking, the first SATA3.0 port on the motherboard is the native SATA port (please refer to the instruction manual for special cases). There are sata2.0 ports on some motherboards in addition to SATA, which must be connected correctly during installation. The performance of the third-party SATA port will be much worse.

2, the use of high-quality SATA data lines.

SATA data cable is generally sent with the motherboard, some small manufacturers send data cable quality is very poor, it is recommended to buy another high-quality sata3.0 data cable, high-quality data cable joint is more stable and durable, the wire also has aluminum shielding layer.

A few years ago, I had a hard drive, but the data cable connection was so poor that it was burned.

3, the first step after installing the hard drive: check whether the AHCI mode is turned on.

At present, most motherboards turn on AHCI mode by default, but there are also some friends who are still using IDE mode.

You must use AHCI mode to achieve the maximum performance of the SATA interface.

The method to enable it is to enter BIOS, find the Integrated Peripherals option, and set SATA RAID/AHCI Mode to AHCI.

Different motherboards may display different settings, please refer to the instruction manual.

Note that the original system may not be able to enter after the IDE mode has been changed to AHCI mode. It is recommended to reinstall the system.

4, the second step after installing the hard drive: confirm whether to partition and align the partition.

Misalignment of partitions is also one of the culprits that affect the performance of SSDs. If you are going to partition the hard disk, you must pay attention to partition alignment. For those who are not partitioned, please bypass this step.

There are the following methods for partition alignment:

a. Use the existing win7 and win8 systems to partition, and you can divide it at will, and after dividing it, it will be in a state of partition alignment.

Press the Win+ R key, enter compmgmt.msc to confirm, and then click disk Management.

b. Make a PE boot disk such as old peach and partition it with diskgenius.

After entering disk genius, select the solid-state drive you want to partition, click New Partition, and then check “align to the whole number of the following sectors.”

Several times “, and then select 1024 below. Note that each sub-district should be checked!

c. How to check whether the partition is aligned?

五, is it better for me to partition or not to partition?

How much is it?

It is recommended not to partition the solid-state disk below 1.64g. Of course, it is OK to partition. Remember to align the partition.

I have a NAS that is 64G solid-state, divided into two zones, one zone 40G installed system, one zone 20G installed software.

I personally think that the partition of the system should not be too large. For example, in the era of XP, I only divided it into 20 GB, Win7, win8 and 40 GB, and then allocated the virtual memory and temporary files to another area of the solid-state disk.

The advantage of this is that C disk is small and easy to manage and backup.

Of course, it is better for friends who have developed the habit of installing NEXT all the way, otherwise, 40G will burst in a few times.

128G solid-state is recommended to be divided into a separate system area to facilitate backup and management.

You want games and software as well as windows to be packed on disk C, so it’s not convenient to back up and reinstall.

If divided into two areas, reinstallation and restoration after the system crash will not affect other data.

As for partition size, I think people like me who keep good habits, cache, temporary files, virtual memory are not on the system disk, software and games are not installed on the system disk, C disk 40G is fine; and friends who like to install the software on C disk together, it is recommended to score more than 60G.

If you install two games in 128G solid state, it will be full.

六, What system should I install?

For solid-state drives, you can use systems above win7 and win8.
The main reason for XP is that it does not support TRIM. Win7 and Win8 have been optimized specifically for SSDs.
Although some people in XP have made mandatory TRIM tools, some people have tested that they are not as reliable as the native systems that support TRIM.
I recommend that win7 had better install the original IOS system to give full play to the performance of SSD as much as possible.

七, The first thing to do after installing the system: run points and see if the merchants have tricked me.

After installing the system, install the drivers of the motherboard, graphics card, and other devices, and then run As SSD Benchmark to see if it deviates greatly from the advertised data.
A large deviation means that there are some problems.
For example, as mentioned before: is AHCI enabled?
Is the partition aligned?
Is it plugged into the native SATA3.0 connector of the motherboard?
At this time, you can check it item by item.

八, Optimization of solid State hard disk

1, Find out if there is a dedicated optimization tool for the solid state drive you bought, and if so, install it.

It is usually convenient to detect the status of the hard disk, and there is also a relatively simple optimization wizard.

For example, INTEL has SSD TOOL BOX, to execute INTEL SSD Optimizer to make the solid-state drive work at its best.

2, If you don’t have a dedicated optimization tool, let’s optimize it manually: (note: various SSD optimization methods are mentioned in many magazines and tutorials, but many of them are completely misleading, and the performance is even worse after optimization. So I’ll also find out the anti-optimization here.).

Check to see if TRIM is enabled (very important): this feature is enabled by default, but some systems, you know, under Win7 are click start-programs-attachments, right-click “Command prompt”, “run as Administrator”

Under win8, press the win+ X key, then select “Command prompt (Administrator)”, enter fsutil behavior QUERY DisabLEDeleteNotIFy, enter at the command line prompt, if the returned value is DisableDeleteNotify = 0, it means that TRIM is on; if the return value is 1, it means that TRIM is not activated, if not activated, enter fsutil behavior set disable-delete notify 0 to activate.

Turn off Prefetch (pre-read) and SupeRFetch (Super pre-read) and indexing?: this is recommended for many tutorials and they think that SSDs are fast enough and that enabling pre-reading will affect performance and lifespan.

It’s actually misleading.

After the overall shutdown, it will have a great impact on the performance of the mechanical hard disk, and also have a certain impact on the solid hard disk.

In fact, all we have to do is turn off the index of the solid-state drive partition, because the solid-state drive has almost no seek time.

As shown in the figure, right-click the solid-state partition, select “Properties”, and cancel the bottom “except file properties.”

DiskMFR Field Sales Manager - Leo

It’s Leo Zhi. He was born on August 1987. Major in Electronic Engineering & Business English, He is an Enthusiastic professional, a responsible person, and computer hardware & software literate. Proficient in NAND flash products for more than 10 years, critical thinking skills, outstanding leadership, excellent Teamwork, and interpersonal skills.  Understanding customer technical queries and issues, providing initial analysis and solutions. If you have any queries, Please feel free to let me know, Thanks

DiskMFR Free Sample Application
  • Still worried about storage product quality?
  • Current suppliers can’t provide perfect after-sales service

  • Get our free sample for testing now

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

seventeen + twelve =

Please let us know what you require, and you will get our reply within 24 hours.

  • Our team will answer your inquiries within 24 hours.
  • Your information will be kept strictly confidential.

Let's Have A Chat

Learn How We Served 100+ Global Device Brands with our Products & Get Free Sample!!!

Email Popup Background 2