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Re: (Problem Solved) Performance Issue On Intel 520 240GB SSD

Community Manager


Last night I upgraded the SSD on our home server from a 120GB 320 to a 240GB 520 and have not been able to properly tweak the 520 to enable normal performance. I noticed the hard drive Windows 7 WEI score of 7.1, realized there may be a problem, ran the bench mark to confirm the problem. See attached AS SSD Benchmark result.

1) Windows 7 Professional 64bit was migrated from 120GB 320 to 240GB via Intel Data Migration Tool.

2) While secure erasing the 520 because it was pulled from my ASUS notebook, the SSD was secure locked and I had to do one of those power cycling moves (unplug and quickly plug back the SSD power cord).

3) I manually allocated about 20GB for over provisioning purpose.

4) Migration took an extremely long time (close to 30 minutes).

5) Motherboard on this PC is the MSI 890FXA-GD70, 520 hooked up to the number 1 SATA3 port (AMD SB 850).

6) Have tried other SATA3 ports without improvement.

7) AHCI mode in BIOS.

8) Manually checked to confirm TRIM and AHCI .

9) Have tried a few SATA cables.

10) Did full diagnostic scan and trim via Intel tool box, no problem found.

11) Have closed all programs and log out for an entire afternoon, test again and no improvement.

12) Firmware on the 520 is 400i

13) Capacity 86.2GB free of 178GB, still plenty of space

14) Should I also upload the 520's SMART detail?

Have I missed anything? The computer does not feel any slower than when it still had the 320 and the 320 was almost full with only 10GB free space left.



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2 Replies
Community Manager

Your benchmark results, given the sequential read speed, looks like SATA I speeds, which would be a bit under the theoretical 150MB/s of SATA I. The question is why that SSD is apparently operating at SATA I speeds. A 7.1 WEI with that benchmark? I don't doubt you, just interesting.

Did you try clearing the BIOS/CMOS on your board? That can be important with any new drive. Be sure you know what your BIOS settings are BEFORE you clear it, if you use anything besides the defaults. You really should check you are in AHCI mode after the BIOS clear just in case. Any SATA or chipset settings in the BIOS that may be significant? There have been many BIOS updates for your board, what version are you using now?

Do you have a benchmark of your 320 on that board?

Your AMD board has the SB850 SATA III chipset. I see you are using the msahci driver, which may not provide the best performance with your chipset. You could try the AMD AHCI directly from AMD. I have read that some AMD boards don't perform at their best unless the AMD RAID driver is used.

You said your 520 was removed from an ASUS notebook, which worries me somewhat. Was the 520 the OEM drive in that notebook? What is the model of that ASUS notebook?

This may lead nowhere, but start the SSD Toolbox, select the 520, and then click on Drive Details. Scroll down to Work 76, and check bits 3, 2, and 1, they should all be set to 1.

The freeze lock power cycling thing should not have bothered the SSD. The SMART data won't tell us anything applicable to this situation IMO.

Community Manager

Thanks for all the helpful suggestions. Just want to let everyone know there is nothing wrong with the Intel 520 SSD, the problem was due to my mobo's BIOS setting, rather unstable motherboard, the speed problem has nothing to do with the SSD drive.

The RAID setting on this mobo has to be set to IDE otherwise you won't get any good speed out of the SSD. I remember it was set up correctly when I first built the computer 2 years ago, but after re-starting the computer a few times last night, I realize the motherboard can have trouble remembering the BIOS setting after each re-start. I didn't to bother check this part when the compuer still had the Intel 320, no benchmark was done either as it wasn't build for speed, rather reliability.

Everything is working now and the 520 scores 7.9 under WEI. As far as the speed goes, it is good enough for my work load and I am going to just leave it like this for the time being. Will try the AMD RAID driver if I have the chance.

Here is a snap shot for the 520 SSD's benchmark.