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  • Wasn't expecting that (SATA-SSD Drives)

    Posted on bbearren Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support PC hardware Wasn't expecting that (SATA-SSD Drives)

    This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by

     mn– 1 month ago.

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    • #1846703 Reply

      bbearren
      AskWoody MVP

      In this thread I described my motherboard replacement and concurrent rebuild into a new case. During that rebuild process, I remembered a 240GB Kingston SV300 SSD that I had taken out of service. The new case had a handy mounting tray for the SSD, so I put it in, thinking that I would figure out what to do with it later.

      I’ve always configured Windows into separate partitions for the main system folders, OS, Program Files, and Users. In Windows 10 the individual Users subfolders that can be moved have a Location tab, which I used.

      The OS and Program Files folders I have always located on separate hard drives; when I first started doing this with IDE/PATA drives, the controller could read/write two separate drives concurrently, and this enhanced boot times, as well as load times for programs. On the other hand, I rarely shutdown, because I have Task Scheduler taking care of routine maintenance for me.

      With the Kingston SSD in place, I decided to locate my Users folders there, just to see if it made any difference. I simply restored a drive image of my Users partition to a partition on the Kingston SSD, ticking the box to use a new GUID. I then used Disk Management to swap drive letters around, so that when I rebooted, the SSD would be used rather than the original Users partition.

      My setup has the OS in a 250GB Samsung mSATA drive, Program Files in a 250GB Samsung M.2 NVMe SSD mounted in a PCIe adapter, and now Users in the Kingston SSD. After getting the Users drive letters swapped around I rebooted and walked away for a few minutes to do something, so I didn’t really notice anything.

      But then yesterday, I booted into the B side of my dual boot (same type of configuration using different partitions) to do the drive letter swap for that side, and when I rebooted, I was still sitting in my chair. I was surprised at how quickly the system booted. I did a shutdown so that I could see that again, and time it with my wrist watch. It was under 50 seconds.

      I opened the Stopwatch app on my phone, and went through the routine again a couple of times. 42 to 43 seconds, consistently. I tried the A side of my dual boot and got the same results, 42 to 43 seconds from a cold shutdown to having File Explorer loaded on the monitor. I had to figure this out.

      From my reading of a couple of Intel pdf tech files, Intel’s DMI controller borrows from PCIe a bit, and uses X4, or four independent lanes between the northbridge and southbridge (with speeds up to 2GB/s). Further, each SATA port (my board has 6) has its own dedicated DMA controller. This leads me to believe (and correct me if I’m wrong) that up to 4 SATA drives can be read from/written two simultaneously, and if those SATA drives also happen to be SSD drives, that’s pretty quick, as well as large, data transfer.

      Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!
      "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow
      "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns

      "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

    • #1847389 Reply

      mn–
      AskWoody Lounger

      … Yes.

      Disk parallelization has been a thing for performance for a long time. High-end systems may have lots of independent buses exactly for that…

      So. SATA3 can transfer up to 6 Gbit/s, which with coding is 600 MBytes/s theoretically (and payloads reasonably expected to reach 550 MBytes/s). To not bottleneck that at the next level bus, you need to use at least PCIe 3.0 1 lane, PCIe 2.0 2 lanes, or PCIe 1.0 4 lanes for that.

      NVMe devices can transfer at PCIe link rate, at least PCIe 3.0 4 lanes to not bottleneck some of those today, maybe even faster.

      In the old days you could run several disks on the same bus simultaneously at max rate… back when, disk sustained transfer rates were about a fourth of the SCSI bus max rate, so you’d get parallelization advantages with up to 4 of disks per SCSI. I/O optimized systems might have 4 disks to SCSI adapter, 2 SCSI adapters to PCI bus, and…

      Configuring your software to use that parallelization optimally was always the harder part.

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