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Finally I decided to move from HDD to SSD. I'm waiting for the third generation of Intel SSDs G3 to become available to purchase one.

In the meantime I'm reading articles, user reviews etc and I see that the general recommendation is to align partitions to match drive's erase block size right after I format the drive. This will supposedly increase the performance and lower drive wearing.

My question is: is it really required to align partitions on a modern (like Intel G3) SSD?

If there are no physical heads/sectors in the drive why can't SSD firmware handle the alignment issues itself? I know that Windows7 does SSD alignment automatically, but I'm on Gentoo and not interested in automatic stuff.

Thanks

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  • As SSD uses its own wearing algorithm, and since they're so stupidly fast in the Intel range, I wouldn't bother. That 15% - 20% performance increase is only relevant (in my opinion) on rotating storage.
    – user3463
    Nov 19, 2010 at 16:42

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It's not required, but it's still a good idea. The reason for this (to summarize a LOT, because I don't have a good link handy) is that reads and writes aren't the same size, so files overlapping block boundaries will require more operations than not, which hurts performance and decreases the lifetime of the drive.

Windows Vista/7 and I believe the newest Linux kernel already do this for you by default when they format a drive, so it's not really a concern so much anyway. (Not sure about OS X).

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  • I'm not sure how can Linux kernel do alignment, but the rest seems to be true.I was hoping to hear from someone who knows SSD internal logic, but it seems to be unrealistic. Nov 21, 2010 at 15:14
  • @Oleg - How can you not be sure how it does alignment? I think perhaps you have the impression alignment is an active, constant process. This isn't the case - you do it once, when you create the partition.
    – Shinrai
    Nov 23, 2010 at 15:26
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Intel still recommends it, you can read it here : http://www.intel.ph/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/technology-briefs/ssd-partition-alignment-tech-brief.pdf

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