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trmaurice51

Defragmenting Ssd Drives

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I recently installed a Kingston 128 gb SSD V+ drive in my Lenovo T400 Core 2 Duo CPU T9400 2.53 GHz with 4 GB memory laptop and did a fresh install with Windows 7 (was using Vista Business before). I have seen conflicting information about the dangers/virtues of defragmenting an SSD drive. My questions are as follows:

1) Does conventional defragmenting cause deterioration of SSD drives?

2) Is PC Matics defrag utility designed to maintain the health of an SSD drive?

 

My observations about performance and defragging with PC Matic leave me conflicted. I don't want to damage my drive but I like the apparent results. I have a fresh install and have been adding programs, moving files and generally trashing (fragmenting) files. When this accumulates I start seeing PC Matic performance scores in the range of top 25%-27% when I have run all the fixes and allowed defragmenting I get scores between 11 and 13. I have seen this type of improvement 2 or maybe 3 times. This would seem to indicate that there is a real performance improvement although I must admit it is little difficult to tell as I wasn't focused on this prior to now.

 

The speed of this machine now with my $300 drive and windows 7 pro is nothing less than jaw dropping. Quite frankly, when I was running a broken Vista installation and my old hard drive I could hardly tell the difference between it and my prior laptop a Toshiba Satellite M115 running XP with a core Duo 1600 GHz with 2 GB memory. I am not talking about a major increase in speed but an order of magnitude.

So my dilemma is…. performance, long life or are both possible?

 

Just so there is not confusion ... should anyone try to take my SSD away it would cost them their ????

 

I hope someone has some real facts and not just speculation about this topic.

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Using a conventional defragger on an SSD is not necessary and will not result in any performance gain. The controllers and algorithms for SSD's are completely different than a spin up drive. The controller knows exactly where every piece of data is stored on an SSD, and there is no time lost at all if the file is spread around on the drive, which is done intentionally by the SSD controller to even out the wear on the chips.

 

Although the fragmentation reports may improve, the performance of the drive itself will not. As every chip on an SSD has a limited number or read/write cycles before it dies, then techically defragging is using up some of the limited cycles and shortening the life of the drive. The drives I own list a MBF of 1.5 million hours, or 171 years, so I'm not sure at all that it matters. However, newer drive can sustain many more cycles than first generation SSD's.

 

You can open PC Matic and click on Options>Scan options to exclude the drives from the defrag.

 

I personally have 12 SSD's from different generations used both singly and in various RAID arrays on four different computers that get defragged from time to time as part of our software testing, and my experience has been that there is no benefit from defragging them. At the same time, neither have I seen any unusual degradation, just the normal slowing as the drives fill up. On the two Windows 7 boxes, which I understand natively support the TRIM command to clean up and consolidate the free space on an SSD, I ave not seen any degradation in performance.

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1) The answer is yes in the sense that each cell has a limited amount of total cycles. The other answer is that it doesn't matter because you life expectancy is so long that it won't make a real difference anyway.

2) Fragmentation does not have any effect on a SSD so no Defrag utility out there is going to be set up for it.

 

 

Defragging is done so that two main things happen. 1) the files are not spread far apart physically on the HDD so that the needle does not have to move very much when reading. 2) It moves the files as far to the outer edge of the drive as possible because the spin speed is faster out there and subsequently so are the search times.

 

A SSD does not spin so it does not have faster seek times in any physical area. A SSD also has no need to keep files grouped because the search time from any single cell to any other single cell is the exact same.

 

I hope that all makes sense.

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