8 Replies Latest reply on Dec 20, 2011 1:16 PM by Lophiomys

    Partition Alignment neccessary?




      I have an Intel 320 running an Windows XP and Ubuntu system in Dual-Boot with GRUB.

      The first partitition starts at sector 63 ( one sectors has 512bytes)  or 32256 bytes.

      This is a fresh clone from a HDD and performance measurements are satifactory after

      a few days of moderate usage. There are also no hangs or freezes until now.


      Therefore my question:

      Is a partition alignment to 4096 byte boundaries strictly neccesary or does the

      SSD-controller inside the 320-models already cope with any partition offset/boundaries

      without causing any extra wear and tear?




        • 1. Re: Partition Alignment neccessary?

          4 days, 170 views, no answers?

          Hello Intel experts! Do you have an opinon about this matter?


          I could send you an offer to investigate this for you,  since this is not a free Open Source Project here... :|

          • 2. Re: Partition Alignment neccessary?

            Reportedly SSD has to work upto 3 times more if partitions are misaligned, so it's always recommended to align them. I haven't been able to find any benchmarks though.Perhaps you can do us a favour and post hard numbers by doing a benchmark before and after.

            (If you're going to do so, please secure erase and do a fresh install of windows 7. From what I hear, using gparted and such to move the partitions around doesn't actually help at all)

            • 3. Re: Partition Alignment neccessary?

              Hi Goose,

              I am out here to get a answer from a qualified Intel expert, who knows by heart

              how the controller inside the 320 series works. That should not be hard thing to state,

              and would be appropriate in this Intel forum.


              I am very disappointed about the silence from the side of expert Intel staff, and that

              even in the FAQs nothing is clarified about the pro and cons of partition alignment.


              • 4. Re: Partition Alignment neccessary?

                From what I have been told (coming from an Intel engineer), the controller handles the partition misalignment.


                HOWEVER, I have seen benchmarks where there is noticable performance gain from alignment.


                That being said, you can still realign the SSD even after an OS is installed.  It just takes a few extra steps... just Google "aligning SSD".  Just remember, always back up your data before disk migrations.

                • 5. Re: Partition Alignment neccessary?

                  Thanks, I have already studied all I could find about partition alignment on the internet.

                  A lot of information there is either inconsistent or wrong, or simply superseeded by new technologie.


                  So, just to avoid a misunderstanding,

                  you are saying that there is no extra wear on the live span of memory cells,

                  if you do not partition-align an Intel 320 SSD, because the controller internally cares for proper aligment

                  to memory cell boundaries?


                  Where does the performance gain come from after the partition alignment, if the controller handles the aligment internally already?


                  Could you post links to the benchmarks, that you have seen? (its the internet after all)



                  • 6. Re: Partition Alignment neccessary?

                    More than 1200 hits, 3 weeks gone and

                    still no definite and unambigous answer to the questions in the original post.


                    • 7. Re: Partition Alignment neccessary?

                      Benchmarks and Discussion right here: http://communities.intel.com/thread/20042

                      • 8. Re: Partition Alignment neccessary?


                        In your first answer you say that "the controller handles the partition misalignment".

                        So external alignment should not be necessary?


                        As opposed in the thread, you are linking to,  there is a clear advice to do manual

                        partition alignment. Whereby I see that the published benchmarks there, do not

                        show any significant improvement in speed, except for the 4k writes.(delta is 10MB/s)


                        Additionally this in contradiction to the timings I did on my own Intel 320 before and after alignment.

                        On my system the 4k-measurements did not change, but the sequential wirte values improved by

                        about 10MB/s after deleting some GB of data and performing partition alignment.

                        (As a reminder: I never had a speed problem.)


                        The intitial question remains open:

                        If the partitions are not aligned on an Intel 320, does it cause extra internal wear and tear in the long term?