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SSD  (Intel X25-M) is operating very poorly!  Read speeds are almost 1/2 Normal.  What are my options?

Posted on 2009-02-19
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Hello all-
I have an Alienware m9750 as my laptop.  When I got it about a year and 1/2 ago, it was one of the best rigs on the market.  Since then, I've made a few upgrades - well - any upgrade possible without forking over a ton of cash.  The biggest upgrade was going from a RAID-0 (Qty2 - 7200 320gig drives) to an Intel SSD X25-M 80 gig.  I've always been impressed with hard drive speed and love my Velociraptor in my desktop, but this is my first SSD.  When I first got it, I did a clean install of Vista x64 with all the updates, etc.  To streamline it a bit, I moved the page file over to the other hard drive I have that I put in the 2nd bay.  It's a 5400 500Gig WD.  I also turned off indexing and turned off scheduled defragmenting and never did defragment it (to my knowledge.)

This was about 3 months ago.  I use the laptop to do everything.  Here are examples:  Remote Desktop over VPN, Gaming (Steam mostly), torrent transfers (go straight to my plain 500gig), email, internet, etc etc.

When I first installed it, I looked everywhere for the latest firmware only to find out that they didn't offer firmware and that even though flash upgradable, the firmware that came with it was the only post production one.

Since, I have noticed it getting slower and slower.  I read an article today that made me think a bit.

http://www.engadget.com/2009/02/19/intel-x25-m-ssds-slowing-down-with-extensive-use/

I decided to do more research so I flew around Google for a while during lunch and found benchmarks of what it should be.  Needless to say, I know that part of it has to do with your BUS, CPU, and all, but I still decided to give the same software a go on my machine.  First,  here is the article that shows benchmarks from the site's tests.  

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/788/5/

I found a few other sites with benchmarks on different Motherboards and all of them were pretty much the same.   Unfortunatly, I did not run these upon first install so I couldn't exactly compare apples to apples.  

Anyways - after running the test, I was shocked how bad they were compare to what they are expected to be.  I read that a lot of it (don't know exactly how much) has to do with the capacity of the drive.  Turns out, this is a common problem for these drives and the only thing I found that would repair it, is to wipe the drive, low-level format it, and reinstall.  I also read that if you took an image of the partition, did a low-level format, then restored it, that it was not fixed by any means.  The forums I've read suggests that Intel is working on a fix possibly and maybe even an updated firmware.  Supposedly, they are working on software to optimize the SSD as well.  (I hope to see something to that effect in Windows 7!)

So - attached are my results.  My company owns HD Tune Pro so I used it, but will test with any other (free) software you suggest.

FYI - I did a test on the SSD and on my 5400 500gig in the same machine.  I attached those results in another attached file called olddrivebench.jpg for comparison

Someone......Please help me get this resolved.  Obviously, I could rebuild the system ,but I decided to post here first to find the magic answer.

Ammendment - After looking at the pictures side by side, I see that the CPU % of mine is about 68.4% and the one on the test machine is 3.2%  Perhaps this could be the culprit?  If so, I have a dual core 2.16.  Not the fastest out, but I wouldn't think the yeild would be that big of a margin. - Ben
x25mreadtest.jpg
x25mfilebenchmark.jpg
x25mdrivespace.jpg
olddrivebench.jpg
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Question by:BzowK
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maninblac1 earned 1500 total points
ID: 23703464
http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=669

This website's review offers some ways of handling the slowdown.  None of them are very system friendly.
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