Tweak-SSD Free: optimize your Solid State Drive - gHacks Tech News

Tweak-SSD Free: optimize your Solid State Drive

Solid State Drives (SSDs) have come a long way ever since the first generation appeared on the market. I remember that the first SSD I bought was not really that much faster than the computer's platter-based hard drives, and that its performance deteriorated quickly after weeks of use. At one point it started to slow down the PC that much that I had to replace it with another drive.

New generation Solid State Drives are a lot faster than regular hard drives, their performance does not deteriorate that much anymore, and their storage capacities have also improved significantly. While they are still more expensive than regular hard drives and do not come near the top capacities either, they are a valid option for a variety of purposes. Both my PCs use Solid State Drives as the system drive and the performance boost that they bring along is noticeable.

SSDs may benefit from changes to the system that you are making. It may for instance still be a good idea to limit the writes on the drive, or reduce them at least, to extend the drive's lifetime.

Tweak-SSD free is a free to use program for that task. It is somewhat limited in comparison to the licensed version, more about that later. I suggest you download the program from a third party download site such as Major Geeks and not the official site as the official site asks you to enter an email address prior to the download of the application.

Tweak ssd free

An optimization status is displayed when you start the program that indicates how well your system is optimized for Solid State Drives. Note that the status is only based on the tweaks that the software offers.

You can click on the start SSD optimization wizard button right away to go through a screens of optimization suggestions. Here is the list of suggested optimizations for your convenience:

  • Turn Windows Prefetcher and Superfetch OFF
  • Turn Windows Indexing OFF
  • Keep system files in memory ON
  • Use a large system cache ON
  • Don't limit NTFS memory usage ON
  • Windows hibernation OFF
  • File date stamping OFF
  • Boot time defragmentation OFF
  • Page file OFF (if 8 GB or more of RAM)
  • Clear page file on shutdown OFF
  • Send delete notifications to SSD ON
  • 8.3 Name Creation on NTFS partitions OFF
  • Program compatibility assistant OFF

Each item is listed with a short description that explains the reason behind the suggested setting. The program features a TRIM performance optimization module as well, but that is only available in the registered version that is available for about 10€. It is not really clear how TRIM is optimized by the feature though.

Verdict

Tweak-SSD free is a handy tool to make a couple of system modifications that improve the performance or longevity of Solid State Drives on Windows. Knowledge about the optimizations is not required as every single one is explained in the program window. All in all a nice little program that you run once on a system to make the modifications.





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    Comments

    1. Daniel said on March 20, 2013 at 9:56 am
      Reply

      As soon as I saw “Page file OFF” in the list, I thought to myself: this is yet another SSD application, that doesn’t really know what it’s doing.

      Most of the stuff that is changed, is not an issue with modern solid state drives anymore. As soon as the Windows System Assessment has been run, Windows will know, if your system partition lies on an SSD or on a conventional hard-disk. It will then automatically disable stuff like SuperFetch or defragmentation, because they’re not needed anymore.

      In the end, you may indeed be able to reduce the number of written data by some margin – largely due to things like the complete removal of the page-file – but it can come back and bite you in the behind. Some software out there necessitates the existence (and use) of a page-file and if it is missing, the application may crash or not even start properly. If you disable the ability to defrag completely, then Windows will not be able to take care of any HDD units in your computer. With SSD space as limited as it still is today, more often than not, the user still has a conventional hard-disk as well.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 20, 2013 at 10:16 am
        Reply

        I too would not necessarily turn off the page file in Windows and I agree with you that modern SSDs are not really that prone anymore to large performance or lifetime reductions. Still, if you are running a first or second generation drive, or want to tweak the SSD to the max, you may find a couple of settings here that help you achieve that.

    2. ilev said on March 20, 2013 at 1:05 pm
      Reply

      Why on earth such an app need be installed ? Not portable , failed.

    3. fokka said on March 20, 2013 at 1:29 pm
      Reply

      i think it’s good to have 3rd party options like this when it comes to ssd-tweaking. sure, with newer (post XP?) OS any ssd will run fast as long as it’s supported by the hardware, but here even novices can see (and learn!) what every setting does, so it’s also a nice alternative to bundled software like samsungs ssd magician.

      although daniel’s point is valid never the less and it’s the same reason i see this sort of utilities from a critical point of view, but for the average user who seeks more options than just plug and play, this could be a good starting point.

      but here are two questions i personally have regarding the tweaks above and i can’t test it out because of my old, ssd-less hardware:

      – sure, ssds have incredible IOPS compared to hdds, but is the windows-search really fast enough (~1s), if you disable indexing?

      – and like here i often read to disable hibernation when using an ssd, since the boot times should be fast enough to just shut the computer down, when you want to safe power. but in my opinion power saving isn’t the only thing hibernation is good for since it also saves/pauses your complete session. not that i’d use the feature very often, but my laptop is at least set up to hibernate as a last resort when the battery runs out. without it, i’d lose my data in this unlikely but possible scenario.

      is there something else to this topic, or do others just not bother like i do?

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm
        Reply

        Good questions, can’t really answer them as I’m not using Windows Search or Hibernation. Maybe someone else can chime in and help us out here?

        1. ilev said on March 20, 2013 at 2:50 pm
          Reply

          I never use indexing or Windows search on my SSD. I use portable Everything app which is very fast even on regular hard-disk. I don’t use Hibernation as well, Sleep mode is enough.

    4. jasray said on March 20, 2013 at 4:17 pm
      Reply

      Don’t know much about the SSD. Martin’s earlier article on Sandra Lite informed me that my motherboard could only use the 3GB, not 6GB. So I purchased an Intel 160GB. A tool that came with can be found at the following:

      http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?DwnldID=18455

      Maybe I’ll try Tweak SSD, but my laptop is now “instant on.” Boot times and program response times are negligible, so . . . not much to tweak.

    5. Paul(us) said on March 20, 2013 at 7:21 pm
      Reply

      Martin, You wrought “Turn Wiundows Prefetcher and Superfetch OFF”
      Whats a Wiundows ? ;-)

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 20, 2013 at 7:24 pm
        Reply

        Corrected, thanks.

      2. Lindsay said on March 21, 2013 at 4:58 am
        Reply

        What’s a “wrought”?

        1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 21, 2013 at 5:06 am
          Reply

          He meant wrote.

    6. Taomyn said on March 21, 2013 at 8:03 am
      Reply

      You may also want to mention that this is totally unnecessary if you’re running Windows 8 as it properly detects SSDs now and does what is needed to run them properly – it even changes the “defrag” job into a “trim” job rather than just disabling defrag for all SSDs. I suppose that’s why they renamed it “Optimisation”.

    7. KRS said on March 21, 2013 at 8:21 am
      Reply

      I have an Ivy Bridge i7 system with a 7500 rpm system disk on a SATA3 interface. I do very little gaming. When I asked on Metafilter last month about performance improvement with an SSD, I was told that any improvement would be imperceptible. Also, my motherboard has only one SATA3 socket, so I would lose SATA3 access to my former C: drive if I install an SSD.

      1. Kneyfield said on March 21, 2013 at 9:08 am
        Reply

        First off, there is no reason at all, why your mechanical hard-drive would _need_ the SATA3 connection at all. If you don’t have the strangest motherboard ever, with only one single SATA connection available in total, then I don’t see any problem. All conventional HDDs out there work just as fine on SATA3 as they do on SATA2 – it is only solid state drives, that are able to power past the old SATA2 limitations. So you would be free to move your present drive to a slower SATA2 connection and let the SSD use the faster SATA3 connection.

        If it’s only hardware considerations, that stop you from buying an SSD, then don’t worry.

        On the imperceptible remark: that’s completely untrue, whoever said that must not have much experience using an SSD! The improvements can be felt with many different tasks, beginning with much better boot times and faster application starts. In total, your system feels more responsive and snappier. It has to be said though, that not every application can utilize an SSD in the same manner, so if you are not buying the drive for its enhanced system and desktop performance, then you should ask about your exact user profile and the applications you use the most.

    8. NKT said on March 21, 2013 at 8:53 am
      Reply

      This is a good read for comparing between SATA2 & SATA3 SSD performance – http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sata-6gbps-performance-sata-3gbps,3110-8.html

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