TRIM is released...

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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TRIM is released...

Post by JVM » Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:12 am

Intel has released TRIM

[Mod: Link seems to be busted...]
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Post by Pendan » Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:35 am

Anantech takes a look at performance with new firmware:
http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=3667

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Post by Vicotnik » Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:50 pm

Will WinXP ever support TRIM?

I will have an Intel X25-M G2 80GB probably before the end of the year but I will not touch Win7 (ideological reasons 8)).
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Post by DaveLessnau » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:26 pm

Since XP is no longer being maintained, I doubt you'll ever see support for TRIM added to the OS. But, you can schedule TRIM run in XP, Vista, and Windows 7 with Intel's SSD Toolbox software:

http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_ ... ldID=18182

That assumes you have the G2 version of the drive and the latest firmware (1.4) installed. A manual TRIM run takes only seconds.

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Post by JVM » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:53 pm

I don't know if you can use TRIM without Microsoft drivers. You should read the Readme and all. Also, when updating the new firmware, you probably have to change the BIOS to IDE or Compatibility. I had to take it off AHCI.

I just checked Anand's review and he says you must have Microsoft drivers installed for TRIM to work; they should be updating that in 3-4 months to include Intel Storage Manager driver.
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Post by CA_Steve » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:43 pm

JVM wrote:I don't know if you can use TRIM without Microsoft drivers. You should read the Readme and all. Also, when updating the new firmware, you probably have to change the BIOS to IDE or Compatibility. I had to take it off AHCI.

I just checked Anand's review and he says you must have Microsoft drivers installed for TRIM to work; they should be updating that in 3-4 months to include Intel Storage Manager driver.
re: AHCI...Anand went the other way and said for Win7 and Intel chipset to set the BIOS for AHCI and use the MS WIN7 storage mgr driver.
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Post by JVM » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:48 pm

CA_Steve wrote:
JVM wrote:I don't know if you can use TRIM without Microsoft drivers. You should read the Readme and all. Also, when updating the new firmware, you probably have to change the BIOS to IDE or Compatibility. I had to take it off AHCI.

I just checked Anand's review and he says you must have Microsoft drivers installed for TRIM to work; they should be updating that in 3-4 months to include Intel Storage Manager driver.
re: AHCI...Anand went the other way and said for Win7 and Intel chipset to set the BIOS for AHCI and use the MS WIN7 storage mgr driver.
I am fairly certain he said TRIM only works for Microsoft drivers, not Intel or Intel Storage Manager driver.

I am using the Microsoft AHCI driver that came in Windows 7 and had to set BIOS to non-AHCI--and this is in the Readme for firmware update.
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Post by JVM » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:50 pm

This is what Anand said:

"There’s a major problem with TRIM today. The only Windows storage drivers to support it are written by Microsoft. The Intel Matrix Storage Manager (IMSM) driver will not pass the TRIM instruction to your SSD. This means you can't use anything but the drivers that ship with Windows 7. To make matters worse, if you enable non-member RAID on an Intel motherboard the default Windows 7 driver is an older version of IMSM so TRIM won't work there either - even if you don't have a RAID array created. Your best bet is to install Windows 7 with your I/O controller in AHCI mode (for Intel chipsets) and don't install any storage drivers. Intel is working on an updated IMSM that will pass the TRIM instruction to SSDs but it won't be ready for at least a couple of months."
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Post by CA_Steve » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:19 pm

yep - it was your decision to go IDE and not AHCI that I was posting on...we agree on the driver.
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Post by aztec » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:40 pm

some users on [H]ard forum and Intel Community site are reporting bricked SSDs after firmware.

might want to be a little cautious with this flash.

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Post by JVM » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:50 pm

CA_Steve wrote:yep - it was your decision to go IDE and not AHCI that I was posting on...we agree on the driver.
I didn't go IDE, I set BIOS to AHCI before installing Windows 7.
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Post by JVM » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:52 pm

aztec wrote:some users on [H]ard forum and Intel Community site are reporting bricked SSDs after firmware.

might want to be a little cautious with this flash.
I did the firmware update on two SSD drives without any problems.
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Post by JVM » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:18 pm

I just tested my Intel SSD after TRIM and quite a difference!

Before TRIM and just 2 days of Windows 7 installation:
Image

And now with TRIM installed:
Image
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Post by JVM » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:31 pm

And now with HD Tune before and after:

Before TRIM:
Image

After TRIM:
Image

Hooray for TRIM!
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Post by AZBrandon » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:41 pm

I suspect it will be a few years before SSD's, their firmware, and the OS drivers are as solid as magnetic hard drives. The technology is superior in everything but cost and stability at this point, and the stability is rapidly getting there.

EDIT: As for your Intel X25-M boost, it's the firmware itself that provides the boost, not just TRIM.
Anandtech wrote:Alongside TRIM there’s one more surprise. If you own a 160GB X25-M G2, Intel boosted sequential write speeds from 80MB/s to 100MB/s
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Post by JVM » Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:47 pm

AZBrandon wrote:I suspect it will be a few years before SSD's, their firmware, and the OS drivers are as solid as magnetic hard drives. The technology is superior in everything but cost and stability at this point, and the stability is rapidly getting there.

EDIT: As for your Intel X25-M boost, it's the firmware itself that provides the boost, not just TRIM.
Anandtech wrote:Alongside TRIM there’s one more surprise. If you own a 160GB X25-M G2, Intel boosted sequential write speeds from 80MB/s to 100MB/s
Yes, but TRIM is what restored my 4K write--take a look!

The firmware boost you mention is only for 160GB drives. TRIM makes a huge difference--more than that little boost in Seq writes. Without TRIM the drive degrades in performance.
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Post by aztec » Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:12 pm

Firmware is down from Intel's site.

again...be careful!

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Post by CA_Steve » Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:45 pm

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Post by JVM » Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:57 pm

But why are only some affected and not everyone?
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Post by Erssa » Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:51 am

JVM wrote:But why are only some affected and not everyone?
Hard to say, but it's really embarrassing for Intel. It's already the second the firmware they screwed up. I'm glad my upgrade worked just fine. Still I wouldn't have done it, had I known about the issues. I guess I won't be an early adopter with the next firmware update.
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Post by JVM » Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:55 am

Erssa wrote:
JVM wrote:But why are only some affected and not everyone?
Hard to say, but it's really embarrassing for Intel. It's already the second the firmware they screwed up. I'm glad my upgrade worked just fine. Still I wouldn't have done it, had I known about the issues. I guess I won't be an early adopter with the next firmware update.
I have to say I am absolutely thrilled my update went well because I updated two Intel SSD drives!

What I don't understand is if we need to run the Optimizer with Windows 7 and Microsoft AHCI driver installed:

"When using the latest Microsoft Windows* 7 operating system with Microsoft AHCI storage drivers the OS will contain native support to execute the Intel® SSD Optimizer on an Intel SSD without requiring any user interaction."

"Microsoft Windows* 7
Microsoft* AHCI
Native OS support (Intel® SSD Toolbox not required)"
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Post by Erssa » Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:45 am

JVM wrote:What I don't understand is if we need to run the Optimizer with Windows 7 and Microsoft AHCI driver installed:

"When using the latest Microsoft Windows* 7 operating system with Microsoft AHCI storage drivers the OS will contain native support to execute the Intel® SSD Optimizer on an Intel SSD without requiring any user interaction."

"Microsoft Windows* 7
Microsoft* AHCI
Native OS support (Intel® SSD Toolbox not required)"
I don't think we do. I ran it once to clean the hard drive. The drive is supposed to handle it automatically on the fly from now on.
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Post by JVM » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:07 am

Erssa wrote:
JVM wrote:What I don't understand is if we need to run the Optimizer with Windows 7 and Microsoft AHCI driver installed:

"When using the latest Microsoft Windows* 7 operating system with Microsoft AHCI storage drivers the OS will contain native support to execute the Intel® SSD Optimizer on an Intel SSD without requiring any user interaction."

"Microsoft Windows* 7
Microsoft* AHCI
Native OS support (Intel® SSD Toolbox not required)"
I don't think we do. I ran it once to clean the hard drive. The drive is supposed to handle it automatically on the fly from now on.
Is it clear to you whether or not we need the Toolbox? Are you saying run it once without scheduling and Windows 7 or SSD will execute it automatically?

Would be nice if Intel was more clear on this procedure. I know they say "the OS will contain native support to execute the Intel® SSD Optimizer on an Intel SSD without requiring any user interaction."

But then also say Toolbox is not required. If Toolbox is not required, then optimizer is not needed, right?
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Post by CTT » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:26 am

I think Intel is a bit confusing about this, so here's how I see it (I sure hope I'm not confusing anybody more than I need to :D):

TRIM is a command sent to the SSD drive by software; this software can be the OS or an application. The command specifies what sectors are free from the "software" (file system) point of view, so the drive can erase them when/as it sees fit to speed up writes when writing is actually required.

Windows 7 sends this command to SSDs by default every time you erase a file or format a partition (for the corresponding blocks occupied by that file or that partition), hence "Native OS support".
You need Microsoft AHCI drivers because these drivers let the command pass through from the software to the drive; seems drivers designed before TRIM was implemented in Windows 7 were not aware of this command and discarded it instead of sending it to the drive.

Now, if you're in a "typical" situation where you had data activity on the drive (e.g. Windows 7 installed) before you had TRIM enabled in the firmware, each time you deleted a file the drive didn't had any way of knowing that the corresponding space was freed and as a consequence it still thinks it contains valid data and will not delete it until you actualy overwrite it.
Running SSD Optimizer once will send the command to the SSD for all free blocks on the drive (the SSD Optimizer, unlike the drive firmware, is aware of the file system and can identify all areas of the drive that are empty). At this point the firmware on the drive has the same knowledge regarding empty areas as the file system.
After this step there's no need to run it again, as every time you delete a file the command will be sent (by Windows 7) to the drive accordingly and the firmware and file system will always be "in sync". Therefore there's no need of Intel's SSD Toolbox/Optimizer anymore.

If you have Windows XP, which does not send the TRIM command at all, you can still benefit from it (TRIM) by running SSD Optimizer every now and then (read "scheduled"). This means that the space will not be cleared immediately a file is deleted, but it will be cleared eventually and, unless you do it very seldom or write a lot of data, you'll still have actual free space on the SSD and enjoy the fast writes.

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Post by JVM » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:33 am

You are close, but I think missing one point. You do not need the Toolbox when having Windows 7 and MSAHCI storage driver. Therefore, you do not have to run Optimizer at all, not even once.

"Microsoft Windows* 7
Microsoft* AHCI
Native OS support (Intel® SSD Toolbox not required)"
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Post by CTT » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:17 pm

You don't "have" to run SSD Optimizer, but it improves performance in the short run.
Imagine the situation where you have written two 40 GB files before the TRIM firmware update (just for the sake of argument, I'm not considering here the real user capacity of the drive or file system overhead).
At this point you have the drive full. Now if you delete one of the files (let's call it "file_x") the SSD drive still thinks you have the drive full but from a file system point of view you have the drive half empty.
When you update the firmware and get TRIM capability:
- If you run SSD Optimizer, the space previously ocupied by "file_x" will be actually freed on the drive and when you write another file in its place you'll get the full speed.
- If you do not run SSD Optimizer, when you try to write another file where "file_x" used to be, the write will be slower because the drive will have to erase the corresponding cells before actually writing to them.
Fortunately when you delete this last file, now TRIM being supported, the space will be freed and from now on everything works as expected.
Obviously this is a very minimalistic model of what can happen.

The point is that if you ever had "dirty" blocks (blocks empty in the file system but still marked as valid in the drive) there's no magic that will clear these up: it's either the OS or another piece of software. And since the OS (Windows 7) will only do it when you erase a file written to that part the only straightforward way is to use the SSD Optimizer. I say straightforward because you can force the OS to do the job by filling all the empty space with one or more files and then delete it/them.

Of course it's not a big deal if you don't use SSD Optimizer, because after you overwrite the "dirty" space once (and most probably, at a certain point, you will), it will be cleared correctly; it's just that first write that will be slower.

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Post by Erssa » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:22 pm

CTT wrote:I think Intel is a bit confusing about this, so here's how I see it (I sure hope I'm not confusing anybody more than I need to :D):

TRIM is a command sent to the SSD drive by software; this software can be the OS or an application. The command specifies what sectors are free from the "software" (file system) point of view, so the drive can erase them when/as it sees fit to speed up writes when writing is actually required.

Windows 7 sends this command to SSDs by default every time you erase a file or format a partition (for the corresponding blocks occupied by that file or that partition), hence "Native OS support".
You need Microsoft AHCI drivers because these drivers let the command pass through from the software to the drive; seems drivers designed before TRIM was implemented in Windows 7 were not aware of this command and discarded it instead of sending it to the drive.

Now, if you're in a "typical" situation where you had data activity on the drive (e.g. Windows 7 installed) before you had TRIM enabled in the firmware, each time you deleted a file the drive didn't had any way of knowing that the corresponding space was freed and as a consequence it still thinks it contains valid data and will not delete it until you actualy overwrite it.
Running SSD Optimizer once will send the command to the SSD for all free blocks on the drive (the SSD Optimizer, unlike the drive firmware, is aware of the file system and can identify all areas of the drive that are empty). At this point the firmware on the drive has the same knowledge regarding empty areas as the file system.
After this step there's no need to run it again, as every time you delete a file the command will be sent (by Windows 7) to the drive accordingly and the firmware and file system will always be "in sync". Therefore there's no need of Intel's SSD Toolbox/Optimizer anymore.

If you have Windows XP, which does not send the TRIM command at all, you can still benefit from it (TRIM) by running SSD Optimizer every now and then (read "scheduled"). This means that the space will not be cleared immediately a file is deleted, but it will be cleared eventually and, unless you do it very seldom or write a lot of data, you'll still have actual free space on the SSD and enjoy the fast writes.
This is exactly like I think it is. You explained it really well.
JVM wrote:You are close, but I think missing one point. You do not need the Toolbox when having Windows 7 and MSAHCI storage driver. Therefore, you do not have to run Optimizer at all, not even once.

"Microsoft Windows* 7
Microsoft* AHCI
Native OS support (Intel® SSD Toolbox not required)"
I think this is true only for new installations. Like CTT, I think you need to run the toolbox once, if you already had data on the drive, before you upgrade the firmware. Even if you don't need to do it once, there's no harm in playing safe. I think the toolbox in itself is worth the installation because of the diagnostic tools.
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Post by JVM » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:45 pm

I agree the Toolbox is useful for Smart data and diagnostic tools.

I do not agree you need to run Optimizer with Windows 7 and MSAHCI driver; this is stated quite clearly in Intel's white paper.

When using the latest Microsoft Windows* 7 operating system with Microsoft AHCI storage drivers the OS will contain native support to execute the Intel® SSD Optimizer on an Intel SSD without requiring any user interaction.

Microsoft Windows* 7
Microsoft* AHCI
Native OS support (Intel® SSD Toolbox not required)

I ran a test after TRIM was installed via the firmware update with AS SSD and HD Tune and you can clearly see the difference from before and after update--without using Optimizer, and it just doesn't get any better running Optimizer.

Before TRIM
Image

After TRIM
Image

Before TRIM
Image

After TRIM
Image
Antec Solo, Intel Core 2 Duo E8400, Gigabyte EX38-DS4, G.Skill RAM(8GB), Ninja Plus, ECS 9600 GT, SB Audigy Fx, Enermax MODU82+ 625W, (2)Intel (SSD) X25-M G2 160GB, Intel SSD 180GB, Scythe Slipstream "L" rear, Nexus 92mm front, Samsung SH-224FB SATA DVD, HP LP1965 19" LCD, Windows 10 64-bit, CyberPower CP1500AVRLCD UPS

efcoins2
Posts: 40
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:19 am

Post by efcoins2 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:03 am

I just clicked the link in the first post, got to the Intel web site and it said
"This download is no longer available"

Presumably the download did something bad and intel withdrew it.

mkk
Posts: 687
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:51 pm
Location: Gefle, Sweden
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Post by mkk » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:01 pm

It sure TRIMmed some drives, lol!
One should always back up an SSD before upgrading the firmware. I prefer to let the products mature for a good while longer.

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