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  #46  
Old 01-07-2010, 07:50 PM
Dusan123456 Dusan123456 is offline
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Gentlemen,

I understand that this is a somewhat trivial point,but I'm running five installations of Win 7 in my household (two Pro x64,three Home premium x86) and in all cases I've made an ATI 2010 image of my C partition,then wiped the disk completely and re-installed the images,so that C is the only partition on the drive. All of the computers are behaving extremely well and so far there has not been one misfire on reloading any backups. No issues with sector by sector recovery and I get to use the entire drive.Until one of my P128's died I ran the two of them in RAID 0 with ATTO benchmarks in the vicinity of 400K MB/s for reads and around 350K MB/s writes. So,I'm still not certain if that small partition set up by Win 7 is necessary at all. Certainly not being missed here.
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  #47  
Old 01-07-2010, 08:27 PM
Cadencia Cadencia is offline
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The little partition is of no relevance, except that it forces the alignment of the system or working partition. It may well not show up in a benchmark taken on a new(ish) disk.

Here's why it's important As we all know, the write-block size in the SSD is 4K. Which is why the sequential read/write performance of little records is not so hot - each successive 512byte write must cause a read/update/re-write sequence of the 4K block the data lives in. Each write of the 4K block should actually land up on a new 4K block somewhere in the device, the old 4K block should be flagged as 'dirty' and the tables maintained by the drive to link logical block addresses with physical SSD cells should be updated. That's the wear levelling in action.

Now, we've got our NTFS set up to use 4K blocks, which is a nice match. Ram Guy is urging 32K allocations, also a multiple of 4K. But what if your partition doesn't start on a 4K boundary? - and the pre-win7 default was to start on sector 63. If you leave it at that, our nice 4K NTFS block straddles two SSD 4k minimum-write-size blocks. So, each write must hit two 4K blocks. At the best this will use up the clean blocks at twice the rate, and, when there are no clean blocks left, may very well cause the system to need to clear 2 128K minimum-erase-size chunks before the write can happen.

Weird stuff.
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  #48  
Old 01-07-2010, 08:46 PM
Dusan123456 Dusan123456 is offline
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Well,you raise good points,can't say that I noticed any problems with things slowing down at all though. Here's a link I found,I'm presenting it not to argue incessantly,just as a bit of information:http://www.mydigitallife.info/2009/0...-installation/
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  #49  
Old 01-09-2010, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusan123456 View Post
Well,you raise good points,can't say that I noticed any problems with things slowing down at all though. Here's a link I found,I'm presenting it not to argue incessantly,just as a bit of information:http://www.mydigitallife.info/2009/0...-installation/
That is exactly correct. The first partiton has nothing to do with 4K boundries. I don't know where that idiot idea came from but I've seen it bouncing around on these forums. Of course all partitions are on a boundry but the partitioning software places it where it belongs, it doesn't need to create a special spacer partition. It's simply a recovery partition and many companies have been doing this for a long time. Now MS is doing as part of a normal install. It has nothing to do with forcing alignment at all. That's like saying any windows prior to 7 were all mis-aligned. If you want to delete that partition, you can, from within windoze 7 even and then expand your primary partition to use up the space you just freed up.
We all know, or should know that's untrue.

As for where the block of data will be written on a SSD, guess what, the controller figures it out. Due to wear leveling there is no such thing as a defragmented SSD, all the files are fragmented but with the speed and latency of a SSD, it is not a significant penalty.

As for the 32K allocation, yes, you format a hard drive to 2K, 4K, 8K, 16K, 32K clusters. I'm not sure why anyone would want to format for 32K unless you had a huge drive. I hear some folks are doing it to boost throughput but you take a hit in capacity for that little speed increase. One thing to note is, if you format to 32K clusters and you have something that need 6 extra bytes, guess what happens, you use up an entire 32K cluster on those 6 bytes of data. Leaving it native 4K on NTFS is probably the most efficient use of your SSD. Look up Slack Space on the internet. That is the unused space of a cluster. There are some programs out there that can produce a report on how much slack space a hard drive has. I'm sure there are people that would argue otherwise about what cluster size you should have and then you would make your own decision. Here is the link to the NTFS cluster sizes. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314878

Sorry to vent but some people put out false information as factual and it irritates me.

Randy,
You are going through a lot of pain for this one SSD. I think you need to ask yourself two questions:
1) Should I contact Corsair and obtain a replacement drive.
2) Is this really a major problem and can I just live with it until a better method comes out.

I know you paid damn good money for your SSD and expect it to live up to the specs without having to wipe everything out every month or so, but there is not a lot some of us can do about it. For instance, I have a P128. I thought getting the new firmware would fix everything, well I was wrong. I'm still getting poor write speeds. It was good for about a week but now it's crap. This is why I'm trying to find a non-destructive method to restore the write speed. I'm not there yet but then again, I can honestly live with my performance since the read speeds are at 220. Write is around 105. It not what I want but it's what I got. My next SSD will be something with ~500GB and I'm sure a few years down the road (maybe next year if I'm lucky), but I think the bugs will have been worked out by then.

Sorry to ramble on...

-Joe
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  #50  
Old 01-09-2010, 06:51 PM
Randy Myers Randy Myers is offline
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Hey Joe,

Another side of the coin for me is to learn and to understand this new technology. I have gone through great pains and trying everything out there (within reason) and feel I have finally actieved an optimal solution. Being that my drive is only 32 GB it can not achieve the speeds that your's does, but it in now a lot faster than it was and I now have a reasonably good handle on how this works.

In conversations with Ram Guy he made alot of sence as to why set the allocation size to 32k (I would not be able to repeat his reasoning but it doid make sense when he was saying it), however I have also discovered that this can only happen by rebuilding from scratch. Acronis deletes the partition if it differes from that of the image. However, I am also under the belief that the benchmark increases that 32k may give would probably be loose in translation in real world use.

Randy

Although my drive does not perform as well as most that I have seen posted in these forums, I do believe it will hold its own against other similarly sized drives.
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  #51  
Old 01-09-2010, 06:57 PM
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Of course you can force alignment without having a dummy partition. And the dummy partition isn't necessary for the system to work. And you can delete it.

But, if you take a virgin SSD and install XP on it, it will start the system partition such that a 4K block as allocated by NTFS will have some of its sectors in one SSD block, and some in the next. Vista and Win 7 don't do the same - they do align on a 4K boundary.

So, if you do as I did, and UPGRADE from XP to Vista to Win 7, without re-formatting the disk - and then Acronis image copy that from HDD to SDD - you get this minor problem.

So - I imaged it off again, re-aligned it all, and imaged it back. Guess what. Performance increase with small writes. Not much, but measurable. No real difference in the large sequentials, of course.

Your mileage may well vary.
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  #52  
Old 01-09-2010, 07:07 PM
Cadencia Cadencia is offline
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Randy and Joe,

I bought a couple of X32s to play with, because I really want to get to the bottom of it all, and I'm told the only way to really find out is experimentation - "down and dirty testing" he said.

Well, I'll write it all up later, but here's a couple of advance conclusions:

32K allocations makes NO measurable difference in benchmark speed, but does chew up disk space.

Performance CAN be restored via the linux hdparm secure erase route, but probably not by other means - still working on that.

Performance varies MASSIVELY from computer to computer - I've tried 4 separate motherboards so far.

tried wiper.exe, not managed to get it to find disks to wipe yet.

in RAID, stipe size makes a big difference - you have to decide whether you want small file performance or large file performance, read spead or write speed. For a system disk, it may well not be worth it.

Tests ongoing.
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  #53  
Old 01-10-2010, 12:02 AM
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Randy,
It's good that you are trying to learn about this technology but I recall you having a hard time justifying all the money you spent on Acronis and the SSD. I could tell you were frustrated with how much of a pain this SSD was giving you. I just don't want to see you guided down the wrong path, that's all. I don't see any benefit of using 32K clusters with your SSD. Like I said, you would be sacrificing drive capacity in the form of slack space if you do this. My recommendation is to stay with 4K clusters.

Cadencia,
I totally agree with you, different motherboards perform differently. You know what I'd like to find out is what constitues a cluster as being erased. Sure we've heard fill it with 1's, but how do you tell the FAT that the cluster is erased? I've googled it and just haven't found anything. I understand that a Secure Erase (a SATA command) will do the trick, but that takes down the entire disk. Or GParted does this as well. I think GParted is open source so maybe a look at what it does would lend an answer on how it does it. I can write 1's to every non-allocated cluster, but that does not seem to have the same effect as a secure erase. I wish I had a X-series SSD to play with but my money tree is dormant this time of the year.

Randy,
Sorry for getting off topic, maybe we should start another thread about this.

-Joe
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  #54  
Old 01-11-2010, 11:33 AM
boerenlater boerenlater is offline
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Acronis is a no go for me.
It can only save images to an empty hd...
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  #55  
Old 01-11-2010, 01:22 PM
Randy Myers Randy Myers is offline
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Hmmm... I never encountered that at all. I have never saved an image to an empty drive, in fact I was initially saving my images to an external WD drive, but I am now saving them to my third hard drive, where all of my documents and applications are installed. I have restored from these images on numerous occasions recently.
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  #56  
Old 01-11-2010, 02:19 PM
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Randy, did you get the drive working?
Please let me know how its running did you run ATTO on the drive?

boerenlater,
I would suggest you contact Accronis as I and many others have not had any problems with Images to another working drive.
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  #57  
Old 01-11-2010, 04:30 PM
Randy Myers Randy Myers is offline
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Hello Ram Guy,
I order to not be repetitive, here is the thread where I went over my results... including a screenie of ATTO...

http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthre...t=84112&page=2

I think it is working good... I did have a suggestion for you though in that thread :))))
"Ram Guy... thanks for your help and I certainly would not complain about getting a second x32 or a x64 for the effort is figuring this out."

:)

Hmmm I just noticed that that thread was closed... hmmm how curious... anyway my entire methods, what i went through during this final stage and what actually worked I think I detailed in that thread....

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  #58  
Old 01-11-2010, 05:26 PM
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The thread was closed because others were jumping in about something that did not do with the thread topic.

And Joe Have you seen this thread Raid Configuration and Performance You will see we tested several configurations and the settings I have suggested gave the best performance: Based on performance results not speculation.
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  #59  
Old 01-11-2010, 05:44 PM
Randy Myers Randy Myers is offline
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Oh, ok, Ram Guy, was just curious on closing... Did you see my results... what do you think... do you believe my drive is working normal?

Did you like my suggestion :)

I just saw your reply in the other thread... Ok, so it appears as if my drive is now working correct... I believe we can both agree on this, right? BTW- you impressed the hell out of my wife...

Last edited by Randy Myers; 01-11-2010 at 05:48 PM.
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  #60  
Old 01-11-2010, 07:22 PM
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Yes I would agree it seems to be with in spec and a bit slower I suspect because of the O.S. But no worries you should be enjoying the full performance now!

Quote:
BTW- you impressed the hell out of my wife!
I must admit I am afraid to ask but how did I do that?
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