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Intel Solid-State Drive FAQ: Read This First!

SSDelightful Community Member
Currently Being Moderated

Intel Solid-State Drive FAQ Table of Contents

  • Basic Information
  • SSD Optimizations
  • SSD Communities FAQs
  • How-To Videos
  • Resources

 

Basic Information

What do the digits in each SSD product code designate?

(Click on image to enlarge)

product_code.png

The last two digits labeled "Ordering Information" refer to what comes in the box you've purchased and how many SSDs were shipped in the same box ie

C# drive shipped in a brown box

R# drive shipped in a retail box without a desktop cloning kit

K# drive shipped in a retail box with a desktop cloning kit

The “#” simply states how many SSDs were shipped out together

SSD Optimizations

If you’re using Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system, please utilize these system settings to ensure compatibility, endurance, and performance. If you’re using Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system, please disregard the Superfetch setting.

Make Sure Your SSD Isn’t Scheduled for Disk Defragmentation

•If you’re using an SSD with Microsoft’s Windows 7, the operating system will automatically disable scheduled defragmentation.

•If you’re running Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system, navigate to “My Computer”.

•Right click on your SSD and choose properties from the drop-down menu.

•Navigate to the “Tools” tab and click “Defragment Now” in the “Defragmentation” menu.

•Near the top, there is a “Schedule” menu. Click “Configure Schedule” and ensure that there is no check next to the “Run on a schedule” option.

•If you’re running Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system, you must run disk defragmentation automatically. Simply make sure not to run the utility.

•Due to the design of SSDs, disk defragmentation is unnecessary and can even have a negative effect on the endurance of the drive.

 

Disable Superfetch (For Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows 7)

•On your “Start” search menu, type “services.msc”. Scroll down and find the “Superfetch” line, and double click it to open up its properties.

•Change the “Startup Type” to “disabled”.

•Superfetch is designed to open your frequently used programs more quickly. However, this technique doesn’t speed up an Intel SSD’s performance significantly and can ultimately have a negative effect on the performance of the drive. Superfetch is not a feature on Microsoft Windows XP.

 

Ensure You Have the Proper Drivers Installed

Intel recommends using the Intel® Rapid Storage Technology v.9.6 driver available here:

http://downloadcenter.intel.com/detail_desc.aspx?agr=&ProductID=&DwnldID=18859&strOss=&OSFullName=&lang=eng

This driver enables your Intel SSD to receive the TRIM command natively and automatically. Additionally, it is optimized for performance and endurance.

Intel® SSD Communities Frequently Asked questions General SSD FAQs

 

Visit this link for a more broad SSD FAQ:

http://www.intel.com/support/ssdc/hpssd/sb/CS-029623.htm

Are there any known issues with regards to compatibility or performance?

Known issues are located in the Intel® Solid-State Drive Toolbox Read Me and Firmware Update Tool Guidelines found here:

http://downloadmirror.intel.com/18455/eng/README%20rev11.rtf

http://downloadcenter.intel.com/T8Clearance.aspx?sType=&agr=Y&ProductID=&DwnldID=18363&url=/18363/eng/SATA_SSD_Firmware_Update_Tool_Guidelines_322570.pdf&PrdMap=&strOSs=&OSFullName=&lang=eng

Intel® Solid-State Drives have not been validated on systems using PATA to SATA or USB to SATA interface adapters as these interfaces don’t take advantage of the Intel® SSD’s increase in performance

Why can’t Microsoft’s ® Trim command be passed to Intel® SSDs configured in a RAID array?

Intel ® 34nm SSDs with the latest firmware release are able to receive the TRIM command, and will execute TRIM when issued. If two or more Intel® SSDs are configured in a RAID array and the TRIM command is not received, this is a constraint of the RAID controller rather than the drives or their firmware.

How-to Videos

Intel SSD How To Series -Updating Firmware

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpYEIwPXDXk

Intel SSD How To Series -Data Migration

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xE7yGQbSplU

Intel SSD How To Series -Using the Intel SSD Toolbox

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8owkFF-AZ0

 

 

Resources

Check your PC’s SSD Compatibility:

http://download.intel.com/design/flash/nand/whichssd/320956.pdf

Where to Buy Intel Solid State Drives:

http://www.intel.com/buy/components/ssd/embedded.htm?fmlid=-1&sSKU=-1

Intel SSD FacebookPage:

http://www.intel.com/go/ssdfacebook

Intel SSD Twitter Feed:

http://twitter.com/intelssd

 

 

Let me know if you guys want anything else added to this bad boy!

-Scott, Intel Corporation

  • 1. Re: Intel Solid-State Drive FAQ: Read This First!
    DuckieHo Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thanks Scott.  Would you be able to update and include this picture of the model numbers?

     

    Redux found it in one of the Intel docs.

    http://communities.intel.com/servlet/JiveServlet/showImage/2-109033-28321/Untitled.png

  • 2. Re: Intel Solid-State Drive FAQ: Read This First!
    PeterUK Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Just to extend the reason why for “Why can’t Microsoft’s ® Trim command be passed to Intel® SSDs configured in a RAID array?”

     

    Is it that there is a Trim command being sent from the OS to the array/volume but if got duplicated and passed on to the two or more SSD's in RAID it would corrupt the data on the array/volume by passing the command like that?

  • 3. Re: Intel Solid-State Drive FAQ: Read This First!
    parsec Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    The model number coding all makes perfect sense to me, except for "Ordering Information".  What the heck is that? 

  • 4. Re: Intel Solid-State Drive FAQ: Read This First!
    redux Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    This thread is a great step in the right direction. I’d like to suggest a matrix showing chipset and driver configurations that will or will not enable TRIM and Toolbox functionality.

     

    I appreciate that this will venture into the domain of non Intel products and will change over time, but I think it would be very helpful for new users moving to SSD.

     

    Advice on how to set up in AHCI mode would also be helpful for new users. This does not appear to be covered at all by Intel.

  • 5. Re: Intel Solid-State Drive FAQ: Read This First!
    DuckieHo Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    parsec wrote:

     

    The model number coding all makes perfect sense to me, except for "Ordering Information".  What the heck is that?

    Scott had the explanation up but replaced it with the chart.  I've asked him to add it back.

     

    From what I recall, it has to to do with how many units were packaged together and what type of packaging/accessories are included.

  • 6. Re: Intel Solid-State Drive FAQ: Read This First!
    SSDelightful Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Guys,

    I've added an explanation to the "ordering information" part of our product code. As for other things you guys would like:

     

    PeterUK asked a question about TRIM in RAID. I'm working on potentially responding to this, but this could be tricky to address...can't promise anything

     

    Redux would like a matrix showing chipset/driver information that will or will not enable TRIM. No problem. Look for this soon.

     

    And finally, Redux would like info on AHCI. Have you read this?

    http://communities.intel.com/message/97380#97380

    Perhaps I should incorporate this into the sticky....

     

    Keep it coming guys.

     

    -Scott, Intel Corporation

  • 7. Re: Intel Solid-State Drive FAQ: Read This First!
    PeterUK Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Do Intel® SSDs support all NTFS cluster sizes other then 4 KB and works with or without TRIM support? If so can a smaller/bigger cluster size increase/decrease performance or endurance?

  • 8. Re: Intel Solid-State Drive FAQ: Read This First!
    parsec Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thanks for the info on Ordering Information (OI), but it doesn't have much if any significance regarding the SSD's operation, which is what I was curious about.  I have Intel SSDs with OI's of "GC" and "GN", and wondered if there is a real difference between them.

     

    Thanks for you efforts, much appreciated!

  • 9. Re: Intel Solid-State Drive FAQ: Read This First!
    willemijns Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    TRIM under XP,

    If SSD Toolbox refuse to launch "Intel SSD optimizer"

     

    * changing  the Nvidia driver to the Microsoft one. Go  to Device Manager -> IDE  ATA/ATAPI controllers. You should see the  device 'NVIDIA nForce Serial  ATA Controller', or maybe a few of them  depending on how many devices  you have installed. Go to properties on  each one and for every ******  drive, do the following. Go to Driver  -> Update Driver ->  'Install from a specific list or location  (Advanced)' -> 'Don't  search. I will choose the driver to install.'  Select 'Standard Dual  Channel PCI IDE Controller' and click 'Next'.  Click 'Finish' and  reboot.

  • 10. Re: Intel Solid-State Drive FAQ: Read This First!
    pwertz Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Greetings,

     

    I want to install an Intel 80gb SSD (320 series) for use as a system drive with a DH67CL motherboard, an i7-2600k CPU , one other hard drive and WIN 7 O/S. My BIOS was set to AHCI (NOT RAID) when I initially installed the O/S.

     

    The above FAQs state "Ensure you have the proper drivers installed" and references RST v.9.6. It is also goes on to say this will ensure the intel SSD will receive the TRIM command natively and automatically, etc.

     

    A close reading of the latest Rapid Storage Driver downloads (v.10.5.0.1027) indicates to me that RAID must be selected in the BIOS and then a clean reinstallation of the O/S must be accomplished to be able to receive the TRIM command natively.

     

    Is my perception correct? What am I missing? Thanks in advance for your comments!!

  • 11. Re: Intel Solid-State Drive FAQ: Read This First!
    Currently Being Moderated

    i have a SSDSA2M160G2GC but forever my system will say its just a 80GB harddisk

     

    i am pretty sure its a 160GB

     

    help!

     

    thx

  • 12. Re: Intel Solid-State Drive FAQ: Read This First!
    DuckieHo Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Peter Wertz wrote:

     

    Greetings,

     

    I want to install an Intel 80gb SSD (320 series) for use as a system drive with a DH67CL motherboard, an i7-2600k CPU , one other hard drive and WIN 7 O/S. My BIOS was set to AHCI (NOT RAID) when I initially installed the O/S.

     

    The above FAQs state "Ensure you have the proper drivers installed" and references RST v.9.6. It is also goes on to say this will ensure the intel SSD will receive the TRIM command natively and automatically, etc.

     

    A close reading of the latest Rapid Storage Driver downloads (v.10.5.0.1027) indicates to me that RAID must be selected in the BIOS and then a clean reinstallation of the O/S must be accomplished to be able to receive the TRIM command natively.

     

    Is my perception correct? What am I missing? Thanks in advance for your comments!!

    TRIM is supported by the RST driver in ACHI or RAID mode.  The SSD just cannot be a member of an array.  You can actually switch between AHCI and RAID mode fine since RAID drivers is a superset of Intel's AHCI driver.

     

    A clean install of the OS is not needed for TRIM support.  Windows 7 should detect a disk with 0RPM and enable the TRIM function.  You can run "fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify" on command line and make sure "DisableDeleteNotify = 0".  This will confirm the OS is passing the TRIM function to the disk driver.  If you are using Intel drivers, your SSD supports TRIM, and the SSD is not in an array, TRIM will work.

     

    Would you be able to quote the misunderstanding?  Maybe I can help clear it up for you or get the document updated if is ambiguous.

  • 13. Re: Intel Solid-State Drive FAQ: Read This First!
    DuckieHo Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Guest wrote:

     

    i have a SSDSA2M160G2GC but forever my system will say its just a 80GB harddisk

     

    i am pretty sure its a 160GB

     

    help!

     

    thx

    I assume Windows?

     

    Post a screen shot of the "Intel SDD Toolbox" and Control Panel->Administrative Tools->Computer Management->Storage->Disk Management.

  • 14. Re: Intel Solid-State Drive FAQ: Read This First!
    parsec Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Just an addendum to to Duckie's post, Windows 7 has a native AHCI driver that provides TRIM.  It's called msahci, and if you set the SATA mode to AHCI in your BIOS before you installed Win 7, that driver would be loaded.  Intel's RST driver has proved to be a bit superior in speed to msahci in benchmark testing, but msahci is very good and would also work very well with your SSD.  Given what you said in your post, you have it installed now, unless you have installed RST.

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