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Intel 530 180 GB SSD questions

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
So I got an Intel 530 SSD, 180 GB model from NCIX. smile.gif I decided to get that one after looking around and asking some folks I knew. smile.gif



(Not a bad price, I think....)









After unboxing it, and looking at Sean's SSD guide and the Intel manual I need to really make sure I sit down and do this properly.

So, first, according to the pamphlet that came with this SSD, there is an "Alignment tool" from Intel which is apparently only needed for Windows XP. Should I use it anyway with Windows 7?

Second, in terms of all the prep-work, how much attention to detail do I really need to have here? There is discussion of aligning the partition to a certain number, there is talk of formatting it a particular way, and so on and so forth. It would be helpful to distill it down to the basics.

Third, should I use any of Intel's speciifc drivers beyond the chipset software installation tool for the X58 chipset?
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post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum Reality View Post

So I got an Intel 530 SSD, 180 GB model from NCIX. smile.gif I decided to get that one after looking around and asking some folks I knew. smile.gif



(Not a bad price, I think....)









After unboxing it, and looking at Sean's SSD guide and the Intel manual I need to really make sure I sit down and do this properly.

So, first, according to the pamphlet that came with this SSD, there is an "Alignment tool" from Intel which is apparently only needed for Windows XP. Should I use it anyway with Windows 7?

Second, in terms of all the prep-work, how much attention to detail do I really need to have here? There is discussion of aligning the partition to a certain number, there is talk of formatting it a particular way, and so on and so forth. It would be helpful to distill it down to the basics.

Third, should I use any of Intel's speciifc drivers beyond the chipset software installation tool for the X58 chipset?

 

Wait. Formatting in a particular way?

 

As for drivers: it's just a drive with a different design. It doesn't need any special drivers. It's a storage drive just like a hard drive. However, I do recommend Intel's Rapid Storage Technology driver because it can improve performance and it can result in a noticeably shorter Windows startup time.

 

(if your camera has a Macro lens, then you can use it for those extreme close-ups to get crystal-clear photos)

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post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
With overprovisioning working differently for each drive, there is the question of whether to tell Windows's partition/format manager during install to use the entire HD or to use a smaller portion thereof. Then, too, I seem to recall that at one time you needed to format to a size divisible by some number for optimal performance. My memory could be playing tricks on me, though, as regards that last.
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post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum Reality View Post

With overprovisioning working differently for each drive, there is the question of whether to tell Windows's partition/format manager during install to use the entire HD or to use a smaller portion thereof. Then, too, I seem to recall that at one time you needed to format to a size divisible by some number for optimal performance. My memory could be playing tricks on me, though, as regards that last.

 

I've never heard of either of these two. The latter sounds to me like it could be a confused memory issue (perhaps you're thinking of something that's done for hard drives; it might be "short stroking"), but the first one sounds kind of silly to me at the moment (this is directed at those who are recommending that it be done). I mean, if there are different over-provisioning setups for each drive, then perhaps that's because the manufacturer knows what's best for the drive that they're making.

 

Let's say that the over-provisioning is only 5% for one drive, but 10% for another. Perhaps the manufacturer of the first drive with 5% over-provisioning found that anything more than 5% is unnecessary and anything less is not enough. Likewise, perhaps the manufacturer of the 2nd drive with the 10% over-provisioning found that 10% is all that's needed, but anything less is not enough. So, if there is any truth to my speculations, then I would see no benefit to worrying about it. I mean, if there's any truth to this, then I would just install Windows 7 as though I'm installing it on a hard drive instead of a solid state drive. According to some of the true SSD experts on here, Windows 7 aligns SSDs properly to 1024K, so I'm not going to worry about it. ;)

 

In other words, I think we need to learn the reasoning behind the recommendation to be concerned about manually over-provisioning on top of the factory-set over-provisioning.

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post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum Reality View Post

So I got an Intel 530 SSD, 180 GB model from NCIX. smile.gif I decided to get that one after looking around and asking some folks I knew. smile.gif



(Not a bad price, I think....)
snip

After unboxing it, and looking at Sean's SSD guide and the Intel manual I need to really make sure I sit down and do this properly.

So, first, according to the pamphlet that came with this SSD, there is an "Alignment tool" from Intel which is apparently only needed for Windows XP. Should I use it anyway with Windows 7?

Second, in terms of all the prep-work, how much attention to detail do I really need to have here? There is discussion of aligning the partition to a certain number, there is talk of formatting it a particular way, and so on and so forth. It would be helpful to distill it down to the basics.

Third, should I use any of Intel's speciifc drivers beyond the chipset software installation tool for the X58 chipset?

The alignment tool from Intel, fixes the misalignment created by XP, after XP has been installed. Vista, Windows 7, and beyond all align the partitions correctly, so that tool is not needed or serves any purpose beyond XP.

Alignment is important for a SSD, but only in the sense that user partitions begin on even numbered addresses, that are evenly divisible by four.

1024K (basic MBR formatting) meets those requirements, but so does 132096K (basic GPT formatting) or 103424K (RAID 0 OS installation.)

AS SSD checks alignment and reports that in its display, where we can see several alignments besides 1024K that are just fine.

A source I trust suggests creating OP space after the OS is installed. Most SSDs with SandForce controllers (like the 530) have more factory OP space than SSDs with other controllers. That is why they are 240GB rather than 256GB, or 120GB instead of 128GB.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hmm! What about this suggested method of creating a base OS install + updates and then imaging it over to the SSD? (I know it's for Vista but Win7 is not that much different. I just really want to make sure I get this done right the first time, so sorry for all the noobish questions.

Also, why disable boot tracing? As I understand it Windows 7 uses this to make boot times faster, so unless an SSD is so fast that enabling it makes no difference, then the only other reason I can see to disable it is to cut down the number of writes.
Edited by Quantum Reality - 1/1/14 at 3:29pm
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post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
(if your camera has a Macro lens, then you can use it for those extreme close-ups to get crystal-clear photos)

Aside:

I've tried using the macro function on my HP E327 and it's useless. madsmiley.png
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post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum Reality View Post


Aside:

I've tried using the macro function on my HP E327 and it's useless. madsmiley.png

 

Aw man.

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250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (C:\) 250 GB Samsung 840 EVO (D:\) 150 GB WD VelociRaptor Samsung SH-S243N 24x DVD Burner 
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post #9 of 15
I wouldn't sweat additional OP for a 180gb 530. As with the 520's, the 530's do pretty good even when 75% full. Unless it's gonna see some very heavy usage, I wouldn't worry too much about op.

Edit: Just realized you'll be stuck with sata2 speeds with the X58. You may want to check out a HighPoint 640L sata3 card for $70...runs like a champ and you can add another 530 in the future for smokin' raid0.
Edited by Zaxx420 - 3/3/14 at 12:54pm
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hey all! So I finally actually opened the package and put it in my computer tongue.gif

Windows 7 installation times did seem faster, as did Win7 updates. I've done all the tweaks recommended in the SSD guide, but now I am wondering how on earth I get an "Accelerate" or "Performance" tab on my Intel Rapid Storage Technology diagnostics when I had to make the partition in the Win7 installer to start with. (Also, I found that the partition IS indeed aligned; my thanks to whoever told me WIndows 7's installer will make sure of this)

Other than that I'm pretty much rocking and rolling smile.gif



Also, new WEI! smile.gif
Edited by Quantum Reality - 4/7/14 at 6:38pm
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