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SSD: Poor Boot Times and Low WEI

I just got an Intel X-25V and I installed Windows 7 Ultimate on it. It's currently taking up about 8GB. I've hardly installed any software other than the drivers and firefox.

When I ran that Windows performance test, my score came out to be 5.9, which is due to the SSD. I don't remember the numbers exactly, but I'll try to remember them:

  • RAM random access memory - 7.5

  • CPU central processing unit - 7.5

  • Hard disk - 5.9

  • General graphics performance on the desktop 7.4

  • 3D graphics capability - 7.4

I haven't run any benchmarks. I have done everything on this page except for RAMDisk. I tried that, but it caused too many problems so I installed it. Even though, I got the info from OCZ forum, it still applies to SSDs:

http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?63273-*-Windows-7-Ultimate-Tweaks-amp-Utiliti...*

So, I:

installed the latest firmware

bios and OS set to AHCI

SSD is connected through SATA Port 1

and lots of other tweaks that are found on the page above

I used this software to determine my restart/boot time:

http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/720-restart-time.html

When I used it, the result was 48 seconds. That number represents the restart time, which includes shutting down and starting up. It took my computer 7 seconds to shutdown, which means it took about 41 seconds, give or take, to boot up. I read about other people who said that it only takes their computer 12 seconds to boot up. Others have said about 17, and a few even said 6 seconds. One of the main purposes for me getting the SSD was so that I'd be able to boot up my computer within 15 seconds, like everyone else with SSDs.

As for the WEI, I thought that was low because the Intel's SSD X-25V had low read and write speeds. But others with the same SSD have reported getting scores around 7.7 and 7.8.

Someone mentioned changing the driver to RST (post # 9 and # 10 on this page):

http://communities.intel.com/thread/11286?tstart=0

So, do you people have any suggestions as to how I can improve my SSD to be like yours, faster, speedier, more impressive, and hopefully, so I can get my money's worth. So far, I fee like I got a "slightly" faster hard drive.

This is my current setup:

 

OS: Windows 7 Ultimate

 

CPU: Intel Core i7 860

 

MB: MSI P55 GD80

 

RAM: Gskill 4 GB

PSU: Corsair 650TX

Case: Antec Sonata Elite

 

Video: XFX 5770

 

Sound: integrated

 

HD: Samsung F2 500GB (storage)

 

Samsung F3 1 TB (storage)

 

Intel SSD X-25V (OS installed on SSD)

Update: This one applies to Windows Vista, but he says that when he disabled his 7200 RPM drives and only used his SSD, that cut his boot time by 10 seconds. Does the same apply to Windows 7?

http://social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/vistaperformance/thread/ea530723-c3fe-4817-9de1-68c...

Update 2: Well, by upgrading the RST driver, I managed to increase the WEI of the hard drive (SSD) from 5.9 to 7.7. Now my WEI score is 7.4. But I'm still not satisfied with the boot time.

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Re: SSD: Poor Boot Times and Low WEI

The boot IS highly dependent on your hardware, their drivers, other software you have installed, the network and probably some other things.

In my case, I just timed about 8s to shutdown, and once the Windows boot logo appeared, about 26s to the login screen, mid 30s to explorer probably working and about 51s until the network was working, as noted by the various gadgets that need network data updating.

I have every chipset SATA port in use, the JMicron SATA controller active, a USB hub in my monitor, a GTX260, a network port with two switches between this machine and the router, nine gadgets, mouse software, printer SW, MS Essential anti-virus. This all needs to be initialized.

As for the disk thing, I'm not sure, but I expect that Windows has to enumerate every disk attached to the system before it continues from that particular phase. It doesn't know which storage driver instance is going to come up with the boot drive, and there may be necessary things like paging files on other drives.

If you want to find your lowest boot time, install Windows fresh with only your SSD, as much HW as possible disabled in the BIOS, only a mouse and keyboard attached via USB and see what you get.

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Re: SSD: Poor Boot Times and Low WEI

Thanks for the info. You're last suggestion about unplugging everything sounds tempting, but I just spent a couple of days getting everything in order, and that's after I installed the WIndows 7 three times due to prior problems.

Damn, all those people/customer reviews misled me. They all said that it took 17 seconds or so to boot up their computer, but they weren't talking about the moment you push the power button to the moment Windows 7 finishes loading all the programs and settles down. Still, I guess it's partially my fault. I knew that the those first screens that appear had nothing to do with SSD, but I guess I just didn't want to admit it. Just the thought of being able to boot up my computer from beginning (hit power button) to the very end (CPU settles down) within 17 seconds -sounded so tempting. But there are other advantages to the SSD, it seems "slightly" faster, I guess I was just hoping for more.

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Re: SSD: Poor Boot Times and Low WEI

HDDErase 3.3

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Re: SSD: Poor Boot Times and Low WEI

How is erasing my drive going to help?

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Re: SSD: Poor Boot Times and Low WEI

If that post was not sarcasm, then it may refer to refreshing the space on your X25-V after files are deleted. But don't use that program for that purpose, be sure to download the Intel SSD Toolbox, to optimize your OS settings for your SSD and keep it in it's best condition. If you don't already use this, you really should although whether or not it will help with the boot or shutdown times is unknown to me.

In my experience with three PCs with the OS on SSDs, their boot and shutdown times all vary by 10 to 15 seconds, and they all are pretty different in their components as in CPU, motherboard, and even OS. Frankly, the fastest shutdown and going into sleep mode PC I have is the least fancy hardware-wise and is running Vista 32 bit!

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Re: SSD: Poor Boot Times and Low WEI

A few other things to keep in mind when considering your boot-time results:

Can we trust everything that is posted by random people on this or any topic? Some may post incredible numbers simply to be the "number one" or king of whatever for the bragging rights.

Given your overall WEI numbers, I'm guessing you have new, high performance hardware, perhaps an Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU? From what I've read, in general, motherboards supporting those CPUs tend to boot slower than other CPU/motherboard combos, for reasons I don't understand, but that is the reality.

It also looks like you have an above average graphics card, which also have their own BIOS that takes time to run, so that may be adding to the length of your boot time.

Since you are using Win 7 Ultimate, that may take longer to load compared to other versions of Win 7, not to mention different OSs.

The HDD you used previously for your boot drive may have been a particularly fast one, so you are accustomed to a fairly quick boot time. Don't forget that relatively speaking, your SSD is not supposed to be an ultra-performance SSD, so comparisons with other people are not valid depending upon what their SSD and PC consists of.

Then again, I found a review of your SSD and a few others, and yours did well in the boot time test. The link below will take you directly to the boot test results page, but you may also check out the rest of the review if you like:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/intel-kingston-wd-ssd_10.html# sect0 http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/intel-kingston-wd-ssd_10.html# sect0

While Intel SSDs may not be the winner or best in every test, if you take the time to study many different reviews, I have found that Intel has tuned their SSDs to function better in the long run and when used in the real world and over the long haul, not just when new with a freshly loaded OS. That is why I prefer them to other products.

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Re: SSD: Poor Boot Times and Low WEI

As people have already pointed out, boot time is dependent on the hardware, drivers and services that get loaded not just the storage system.

Your drive should however boot faster in a direct comparison with a HDD on the same system and it should be more or less instantly responsive when the desktop has first loaded…….unlike a HDD.

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Re: SSD: Poor Boot Times and Low WEI

To verify redux' statement regarding boot times of HDDs vs SSDs, we can check other articles on the website I provided the link to above.

In their tests using PCMark Vantage, with it's Vista Start Up benchmark, the Intel X25-V SSD was reading at 218 MBs, while new HDDs tested with the same benchmark were reading at 1/10 that speed, the top HDD at about 23 MBs.

I would characterized that difference as... extreme!

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Honored Contributor I
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Re: SSD: Poor Boot Times and Low WEI

Check your partition alignment, Paragon software has a great tool for doing this , When you install windows sometimes it does not do such a good job of aligning the partitions, they can be as much as 6-8 % OFF , Which can realy efect your performance.

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Re: SSD: Poor Boot Times and Low WEI

Windows 7 should automatically align the drive correctly on a fresh installation. If the OP's storage WEI is now 7.7 the SSD is performing correctly. The boot time must be to do with services, drivers or hardware.

Here are some tips to reduce boot time:

Disable any hardware in the bios that is not being used.

Unplug any USB drives not being used

Run "msconfig"

Start Up Tab

Disable services that are not required.

Boot Tab

Select the "Boot" tab. >Advanced Boot>Boot Advanced Options> Select the number of processors you have. (i.e. quad = 4) Select "Maximum Memory"

Select No GUI boot (you will lose the boot splash screen but Windows will boot faster).

You could also try out WinBootInfo, which will show you how long drivers etc take to load

http://www.clockmod.com/index.php?/products/view/winbootinfo_1.0/ http://www.clockmod.com/index.php?/products/view/winbootinfo_1.0/

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Re: SSD: Poor Boot Times and Low WEI

I've never tweaked the Win 7 Boot Options, so I tried it.

In Boot->Advanced options, I checked Number of processors, and set the value to 4. I have a Core i7-930, Hyper-Threading enabled.

After rebooting, I noticed instead of my usual 8 "cores", 4 real, 4 Hyper-Thread, I had 4 "cores" total. Whether or not I had 2 real and 2 HT, or 4 real and 0 HT, I am not sure, but I do know I had 4 total, instead of 8 as I usually have.

 

I could swear when I initially set the Number of processors, it only gave me a maximum value of 4, and when I went back in again to uncheck Number of processors (since I thought it was not working right), I noticed I could choose a maximum value of 8. Regardless, setting it to 4 gave me the results I described above, and setting it to 8 gave me 8 after rebooting, so that seems to be the correct value for a quad-core processor with HT.

I don't know if this is an idiosyncrasy of my mother board, or simply what Win 7 is intended to do. So just keep an eye on this if you set it, to insure you get the overall results you want. I would say that I did not notice a decrease in boot time after setting this option appropriately, but I use an SSD for the OS, and it boots quickly now.

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Re: SSD: Poor Boot Times and Low WEI

You can also try going into MSCONFG and turnoff any un-nessary start-up programs , or go into services and set programs from auto to auto-delay. That will improve the start up time.

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Re: SSD: Poor Boot Times and Low WEI

REDUX , I check two different OS installs with windows 7 64 bit and Both were off by 6-8% on the partitions , search on a post by James Walker and read the Link about Paragon software , this can correct the alignment even after the OS is installed . I did some benchmarks with this and using ATTO my SSD went from 235 read 105 write after alignment , it went up to 266 read and 115 write. It Does make a difference.

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Re: SSD: Poor Boot Times and Low WEI

As with all tweaks your mileage may vary.

When Win 7 boots on my system I can record around 53MB of read transfers. The read transfers consist almost exclusively of very small random reads.

An Intel SSD can read random 4k files at around 20MBs at queue depth 1 with incredibly low access times. Compare random access times for HDD and it's easy to see why SSD's (should) boot much faster.

The chart below shows the read transfer sizes I can monitor when I boot up. In total there were 2,772 read transfers. Less than 200 bytes = 920 read transfers. More than 200 bytes, but less than 400 bytes = 233 read transfers etc. Only 16 read transfers were above 1MB and the maximum was around 11MB.

Once Windows has "loaded" to the desktop multiple small read transfers continue for some time (at least on my PC anyway). This is due to program, user and Windows files being loaded. I haven't looked in to this too much yet but I suspect that real time AV plays a big part in this. Despite this however an SSD is responsive more or less immediately after the desktop first appears. With HDD it takes a while before the things become responsive.

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Re: SSD: Poor Boot Times and Low WEI

Hi Robert, I'm confused by what you say. A drive is either aligned or it is not aligned. Intel drives report the correct geometry to the OS and both Vista and Windows 7 will automatically set up the correct alignment from there.

I have not experienced misalignment on any of the countless OS installs I have done with Win 7 using Intel SSD's. I guess it could happen if you image a misaligned HDD on to a SSD, but on a fresh installation?

With regards to ATTO I would not trust it one bit for SSD performance. ATTO was developed for HHD not SSD. I know it is promoted by a certain SSD company, but that is because it uses 100% compressible data, which significantly inflates results).

I only trust AS SSD Benchmark for a quick way to check performance. (It also tells you if the drive is aligned).

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Re: SSD: Poor Boot Times and Low WEI

redux, very interesting, your chart of the "read data transfers". I've never seen this type of data before. While this thread has been sidetracked a bit anyway...

So would it be correct to say that when Win 7 boots, the amount actually read from the OS installation files to get a desktop running is around 53MB, with other files being read afterwards as you mentioned? Or is that an oversimplification?

Of course the entire OS does not need to be read in order to be basically functional, and there are likely plenty (many?) of files that few people ever use.

An interesting statistic IMO, seems small to me although I'm not questioning it, I have no data to indicate otherwise. As we know, so much more is going on during a boot besides simply reading data, but if all that is being read during a boot is, say, 60MB (the 53MB basic + others), then standard HDDs are not doing a very good job at all, as they crank away for ~30+ seconds during booting a PC.

People (and manufactures, or should I say marketing) seem so focused on sequential read and write specs, which does not happen much during booting a PC. If it did, most any good HDD should be done with my 60MB in a second or less, which is obviously not what is happening.

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Re: SSD: Poor Boot Times and Low WEI

Robert did you run each benchmark multiple times? A single run may not be good enough.

According to Intel, their controllers do not require alignment. I was a bit surprised at this and hope to get more information.

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Re: SSD: Poor Boot Times and Low WEI

The problem for HDD is access times when it comes to small random reads. HDD is ~ 8ms. SSD is 0.01ms. That is an order of magnitude difference. Most of the boot load is small random reads so there is a huge access time penalty with HDD.

Sequential speeds are not much use for most OS tasks. Even game loading, which uses a lot of sequential reads appears to be bottlenecked outside of the storage system. The fastest sequential read speed I have seen loading a game is ~ 90MB/s.

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Re: SSD: Poor Boot Times and Low WEI

In a word YES. I ran three before running the paragone alignment tool and run one every day since. with consistant results. I even did the same testing on another computer I have that has a RAID 1 set-up with reg HDs, And got similar results. Windows does not do such a great job of aligning the partitions. Go to Paragone's web site and read about the product It used to be free but now it's $10.00. Not alot of $$$ for a real good tool.

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