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SSD in a Non Intel Laptop?


CablDeViL
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After listening to the podcast I was very interested in breathing some life into my older laptop. It is a Toshiba Satellite L series. This has a Duron Dual x64 AMD Chip with an ATI chipset.

 

My questions is that since I do not have a ACHI setting in the Bios am I stuck using third party tools to clean the drive after it gets dirty?

 

 

Thank you again!

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Trim is supported in IDE, as well as AHCI. What you mainly lose when using IDE is speed, because it doesn't support Native Command Queuing. But even with the loss of NCQ, you're still way faster than a mechanical drive.

 

So I'd say the answer to your question is 'no'. Your drive should be able to maintain a fairly high level of performance/speed over the life of it. Sure, you'll see drop-offs, but those will be followed by recovery periods over a span of days, depending on your use.

 

However, if your SSDs performance feels like it's been too slow for too long, you may want to do what is known as the 'image-SE-reimage' thing. But check with the drive manufacturer's support before using Secure Erase (SE), just to be sure. And try to limit SE's to a couple/few times a year. The point being that each SE uses up one P/E (program/erase) cycle in a limited lifetime of writes cycles, so you want to avoid using it too much.

Edited by dvn
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CablDevil,

 

DVN is right in all counts. I think I mistakenly said that trim would not work in IDE however it does. Depending on the MFG, you can tools from them that allow you clean the drive with a re-install or imaging. I use the version 1 Vertex from OCZ and use their wiper utility periodically in addition to trim to keeps things in peak performance. Unless you are gong to do what DVN does, get the utilities from the MFG. Companies like Intel have a great toolbox that perform these tasks nicely. You will definitely get more kick from the SSD even in IDE mode.

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Thanks Guys, Love the support and suggestions. When I see a 60 SSD go on sale this month I will let you know how it goes.

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I want to reiterate what I said about limiting the use of Secure Erase's to a couple times per year. This is something I recently became aware of while reading in OCZ's forums, and I double-checked this with my SSDs manufacturer, Mushkin. They confirmed it. Sean from technical support wrote:

 

"A SE is fine to do, on occasion, like once or twice a year. SE every week will cause problems, it'll wear out the drive.

 

Under normal use, a single drive with a TRIM-capable OS, you install the drive and forget it. The drive will take care of itself. There would be no need whatsoever to do a secure erase."

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I'll second Intel's SSD Toolbox. It works beautifully! It's also been said that if you plan on running a non-TRIM enabled OS (some flavors of Linux, Windows XP, etc.), then you should also consider one of the newer generation Sandforce controllers...Vertex 2, Corsair Force, etc.

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I'll second Intel's SSD Toolbox. It works beautifully! It's also been said that if you plan on running a non-TRIM enabled OS (some flavors of Linux, Windows XP, etc.), then you should also consider one of the newer generation Sandforce controllers...Vertex 2, Corsair Force, etc.

Looks like a good app provided by Intel. Out of curiosity, Mike, do you use Intel's SSD Toolbox for the SSD Optimizer capabilities? If so, are you using the scheduler? Daily?

 

This is interesting. Intel® SSD Optimizer is the feature that handles deleted files on the drive. Intel's own drivers do not yet support this without the Intel SSD Toolbox, though they expect to shortly. So the toolbox, for those who need it, provides a way to manually wipe free space on the drive, and you can schedule this as often as daily according to Intel.

 

Here's the description of the toolbox features:

 

Intel® Solid-State Drive Toolbox

The Intel® Solid-State Drive Toolbox (Intel SSD Toolbox) provides the following functional
capabilities:

-  Accessing Intel SSD management features (Intel® SSD Optimizer, System
   Configuration Tuner and Secure Erase)
-  Reporting the drive identification data for Intel SSDs, as well as other drives.
-  Accessing the Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (SMART)
   attributes for Intel SSDs, as well as other drives.
-  Checking the SMART thresholds and viewing recommended actions for Intel
   SSDs, as well as other drives.
-  Running diagnostic scans on Intel SSDs to check for any READ or WRITE
   errors.

 

IntelSSDOptimizer.png

 

Secure Erase as provided in this toolkit is a Windows-based program. That is, if you want to SE your SSD, you'll need to boot up with another drive so that your SSD is a secondary drive. If you don't have luxury of that option, you can use Parted Magic as I previously mentioned.

Edited by dvn
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I use two tools out of the Toolbox. The Optimizer, I run during normal maintenance (about once a month). Newer versions of the toolbox (>2.0) also include utilities that verify OS settings. So, if you're having a hard time making heads or tails of all the articles available on the internet concerning Superfetch, pagefile settings, etc, Intel's SSD Toolbox will check the most important settings for you.

 

This is why I consider the Intel SSDs more of a mainstream option than the current Sandforce choices.

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