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watman

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#157190 22-Nov-2014 17:57
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Hi All

Iv got an aging HTPC which does the job but as an impulse buy, I saw a Crucial MX100 128GB SSD for sale thinking it would help with boot times and general snappiness.

The specs of my system are:
- Intel i3-2100 3.1ghz processor
- ASUS P8H61-M Pro motherboard
- Geforce 210 video card 512mb
- 1 x 4gb Ram
- 550w PSU
- Windows 7 Home Premium
- Replaced OEM SATA 160gb hard drive with SSD
- 320gb hard drive for other media

But as the title suggest I feel that the boot time is either the same or even slower than with the mechanical drive, it does seem to be snappier when in Windows.

I have just taken out the SATA cable from the old hard drive and put it on to the SSD.

A few things that I have done myself by looking on Google

- Set on AHCI mode in the BIOS
- Updated motherboard BIOS to the latest version from ASUS website
- General SSD tips found on the internet

The motherboard has 4 Intel x SATA 3GB connectors and 2 ASmedia x SATA 6GB connectors. The SSD is currently connected to the number 1 SATA port. I can't seem to see where to use the ASmedia connectors as a boot drive, the BIOS does not seem to recognize them as bootable and when I try Windows 7 install it says its unusable. The internet does say that generally ASmedia controllers are not very good.

Would I need a new SATA cable to get better bandwidth?

Am I doing something wrong? Any tips would be much appreciated, thanks.

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Jase2985
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  #1181379 22-Nov-2014 18:01
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Intel® H61(B3) chipset :
4 x SATA 3Gb/s port(s), blue
ASMedia® ASM1061 controller :
2 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s), navy blue

Plug the HDD into the Navy blue sata ports on the motherboard. AHCI wont make much difference in speed.

Batman
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  #1181385 22-Nov-2014 18:18
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didi u clean install on the SSD?
if you cloned the old HDD the clusters MUST align otherwise it will run like a 16 cylinder misfiring on the W16 veyron.

if you want to clone it with aligned clusters use macrium free - it will align for you.

otherwise i'm goign to say you need a clean install to get the junk out that's bogging down your OS

[i have 3 SSDs on 3 laptops - the more i use them the slower they get, as i install more and more stuff which i actually need *sigh - that's windows for you. not sure what macOS is like but with windows everyrhint slows it dowb, some a little some a lot.

and if you have a heavy antivirus that's your number 1 issue, apart from other junk




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


 
 
 
 


freitasm
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  #1181389 22-Nov-2014 18:24
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Actually AHCI makes a big difference in speed. Make sure you are using the Intel AHCI drivers and not the Windows default drivers.






 

 

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Athlonite
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  #1181391 22-Nov-2014 18:26
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when installing windows 7 do you load a driver for the ASM1061 controller 

the difference between an SATA 2 (3Gbps) port and SATA 3 (6Gbps) port is like night and day when it comes to boot time 

you can grab them from here un-rar them and put them on an USB stick http://www.drivers-download.com/en/downloadlist.php?id=214

surfisup1000
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  #1181396 22-Nov-2014 19:05
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watman: 

Am I doing something wrong? Any tips would be much appreciated, thanks.


Generally I reinstall the OS when changing the OS drive. 

I bought the mx100 512gb (they are so cheap now!), and it runs brilliantly on my p8p67 mobo with intel i3 2120 cpu. 

Small chance you could have a dodgy sata cable too. 

Jase2985
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  #1181401 22-Nov-2014 19:19
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freitasm: Actually AHCI makes a big difference in speed. Make sure you are using the Intel AHCI drivers and not the Windows default drivers.




i didnt notice much difference when i switched. but i have older hardware and still running sata2 so that could explain it

freitasm
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  #1181418 22-Nov-2014 19:44
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It makes a huge difference even on HDD. Fr instance I have a HP Microserver at home and switching from SATA to AHCI drivers (using Seagate 4TB NAS drives) had a huge impact. I have one SSD on this server and the switch improved speeds by 50%.







 

 

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lxsw20
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  #1181424 22-Nov-2014 20:49
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Interesting you say that. Everything I've read has said it makes little to no improvement.

freitasm
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  #1181425 22-Nov-2014 20:51
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It makes a difference. Also it is a requirement if you want to use a SSD and make sure TRIM works. No AHCI, no TRIM, reduced SSD life.





 

 

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Jase2985
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  #1181452 22-Nov-2014 22:11
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i think i got 25MB/s more sequential read and write with AHCI. so from about 225 to 250ish read using AHCI. AHCI also caused my 3TB hdd to drop 1TB of space and ended up corrupting about 2TB worth of data.

If i were to do a fresh install i would use it but at the moment i can see no practical gain from using it.

Batman
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  #1181453 22-Nov-2014 22:21
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watman:

But as the title suggest I feel that the boot time is either the same or even slower than with the mechanical drive, it does seem to be snappier when in Windows.



something is wrong. boot time should be UNDER 15 seconds




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


lxsw20
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  #1181471 22-Nov-2014 22:45
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freitasm: It makes a difference. Also it is a requirement if you want to use a SSD and make sure TRIM works. No AHCI, no TRIM, reduced SSD life.



Once again, I've read that the oppisite is true. 

https://forum-en.msi.com/faq/article/ide-sata-and-ahci-all-you-need-to-know here is one example. 


SSDs and the TRIM command
The TRIM command is dependent on the SSD itself, and the operating system supporting it. It is not dependent on the host controller, and AHCI is not a requirement. TRIM is natively supported in Windows 7, as well as Linux since kernel 2.6.33.



freitasm
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  #1181478 23-Nov-2014 00:07
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Withouth AHCI you don't have NCQ (Native Command Queueing). NCQ will give you better performance in multi-threaded environments. Also AHCI will allow parallel TRIM operations.

From a Samsung whitepaper:


It facilitates the functioning of all storage features, from basic input/output (or read/write) requests to advanced AHCI-enabled features like Native Command Queuing (NCQ), hot-swapping, power management, and RAID.

Released in 2009, SATA 3.0, also known as SATA 6Gb/s, is the third generation of the SATA specification. It is capable of communicating at up to 600MB/s, with overhead taken into account. In addition to its speed improvements, this revision also introduces NCQ management, improved power management features, and queued TRIM support (allowing TRIM commands to be queued with I/O requests, which was not possible on earlier implementations).

If AHCI is not properly configured on your system, the Random Read/Write performance of your SSD will be limited to a Queue Depth of 1 (QD1), severely limiting the performance improvements you will notice over a conventional Hard Disk Drive (HDD) while multi-tasking (by 80-90%). Since the latest versions of Windows, including Windows Vista and Windows 7, include standard AHCI drivers, there is no need to install AHCI drivers manually. Some older systems, however, may not support AHCI even if they are equipped with a SATA 3 (6Gb/s) interface. Samsung’s Magician software can help you determine whether or not AHCI is supported and/or enabled on your PC.

AHCI also affects the ability of Samsung’s SSDs to reach their maximum Random QD32 performance. This is because AHCI is required for Native Command Queuing (NCQ) to function. Because SSDs enjoy extremely fast speeds, storage is no longer the bottleneck of a PC system. NCQ helps an SSD deal with situations where it finds latency on the host, a phenomenon unheard of with traditional HDDs. Additionally, NCQ allows the SSD controller to process commands in parallel, improving performance and reducing latency.

If you have a system that does not support AHCI, or if you fail to enable it properly, your system will run in “IDE emulation” mode, a kind of compatibility mode that mimics the functionality of the older “Integrated Drive Electronics” ATA interface. While your SSD will not display its full performance potential or be able to take advantage of all of the latest SATA functionality, it will still be able to function on your system.




 

 

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watman

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  #1181669 23-Nov-2014 18:09
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Thank you very much gents for all your input. I have selected the clicked "set answer" on the 2 relevant posts which provided me with an immediate improvement/solution.

With I moved the SSD from the Intel 3G SATA port to the ASmedia 6G SATA port (navy blue) and installed the ASM1061 controller driver in Windows and there was a marked improvement in boot time.

So armed with this information, I put the ASM1061 controller driver on to my Windows 7 USB checked the ASmedia ports were set on AHCI. Then proceded to do another fresh install of Windows and pressed "Loaded driver" at the point where selecting the install drive. Now boot time is about 35 sec (about 3 or 4 breaths/beats...of the Windows starting logo compared to about 25 previously) from when I see "Starting Windows" till it opens up Windows Media Center.

I have also done various SSD optimization tips found all over the internet. Once all relevant updates were done.

Any tips regarding speeding up POST gents, otherwise all seems well, thanks

Batman
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  #1181673 23-Nov-2014 18:13
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disable auto defrag. that's all really, the rest the leave it be. lots of debates whether turning on/off other services will help but even if they do it's very minimal. keep at least 20% of drive free, otherwise it gets really slow.




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


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