I just built a new PC the other day.

Processor: Intel i7-930 quad core CPU CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212
Motherboard: AsRock X58 Extreme 3
RAM/Memory: 6gb G-Skill triple channel DDR3 memory (3 sticks of 2gb planning to get another kit to make it 12gb total soon)
Operating System Hard drive: Intel X25-M 80GB Mainstream SATA2 Solid State Drive
Video Cards: 2 XFX ATI Redeon HD 4650 cards to run 3-4 monitors
Case: Lian Li PC-B10 Midtower case
Power Supply: Antec TruePower New TP-750 Blue 750W
Operating System Windows 7 Pro 64bit

Not sure if the specs are helpful at all but I posted them just in case.

So I got everything put together and running great so far but I need some advice/ideas/help/tips.

I got the SSD drive in hopes of using it strictly for my windows 7 install along with all my other programs I install. I am then going to get another drive or 2 just for data (video,music,photos, etc).

So my plan is to just install the new data drives and then in windows 7 I will change my "My documents" "My Music" "My Video" "MY Photos" libraries to be located on the data drives instead of the OS SSD drive.

I would ultimately like to install all my programs with my windows install on the SSD drive and then create an IMAGE of the drive and then 6 months down the road if things are sluggish I can just wipe the drive and restore my IMAGE with all my programs and settings in tact still.

So here are some questions:

  1. How can I verify that TRIM is working on my new SSD?
  2. Is there anything above that I missed that I should be doing? I think I once read that there is a page file or some sort of file that windows changes a lot and that it should be moved off of the SSD and onto my data drives. Does anyone know what I might of heard? If you do, can you explain the pros and cons of doing such a thing as well as how to do it?
  3. Any tips or advice to get the best performance from all this, I built a pretty nice system and I just want to make it stay that way as long as I can.

1 - To verify that TRIM is working, run the following at a command prompt (as admin):

fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify

If it returns 'DisableDeleteNotify = 0' then TRIM is enabled.

2 - The pagefile is used to provide Virtual Memory in the eventuality that you run out of available RAM. As such, as soon as your system begins using it it will be reading and writing to it quite a lot. From the point of view of Windows, its great to have the pagefile on an SSD because its much quicker than running virtual memory from a magnetic HDD. More details can be found over at the Engineering Windows 7 Blog.

From the point of view of your hard drive however, you will be reading and writing to the same section of disk often, which doesn't help its longevity.

Depending on what you intend to use your machine for will somewhat dictate the approach you take. If you're going to be running lots of memory intensive apps, and filling your 6 (or 12) GB of RAM then you're going to be using the pagefile quite a lot.

There's a good discussion thread on neowin about the different approaches to this issue.

Personally, since I don't use up lots of RAM during my day-to-day use, I moved the pagefile off my SSD onto a fast HDD (Spinpoint F3) and have never seen any performance issues.

One final point is that some applications will refuse to launch if it cannot find a pagefile. Even if you never get anywhere near filling up your RAM its prudent to keep at least a small pagefile around to prevent these apps from complaining.

3 - You should get pretty dam good performance with that spec, so other than the standard advice (don't install crapware, run antivirus software, always update your drivers etc etc), you shouldn't need to do much to get good performance out of this machine. That said, there are plenty of sites out there full of advice on specific topics (e.g. this one), so if you have particular performance concerns there's almost certainly an answer out there for you, or somebody here that will know the answer :)

  • 1
    One other thing; If you don't intend to use Hibernation with your computer, disable it. MS KB Article 920730 explains a bit more about hibernation and how to disable it. – afrazier Apr 23 '10 at 14:06

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