SSDs (Solid State Drives) are the fastest storage device available to consumers today. SSDs are considerably faster than traditional hard drives due to their lack of moving parts and their use of semiconductor chips.
SSDs are expensive, but that hasn’t stopped computer users all over the world from upgrading their devices. Unfortunately, many of these SSD users are being duped by bogus SSD optimization tips that are useless or harmful for their expensive new storage devices.
Today, we’re going to explain what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to SSD optimization:
Defragmentation doesn’t work and can be extremely harmful
If you’re ever read a PC optimization tips list, then you’ve probably seen the word ‘defragment’ at least a dozen times. On traditional hard drives, defragmentation moves your important data closer together, decreasing the time it takes to access data and improving computer speed. However, since SSDs operate in a completely different way from traditional hard drives, defragmentation has no effect on SSD performance.
In fact, defragmenting an SSD will actually reduce the lifespan of your storage device. The more times you write and rewrite over an SSD, the shorter its lifespan will be. There are a limited number of times that data can be written to a particular flash memory cell before that cell expires. When you defragment an SSD, you use up more of those times in exchange for no performance improvement. Stop doing it.
Free space consolidation software is useless
Free space consolidation software is used to maximize the amount of free space you have on your hard drive – your traditional hard drive. Traditional hard drives see free space differently, and computers may inadvertently see a cell as ‘full’ when there’s actually only a byte of data within. By running a space consolidation software program, you can see the real amount of free space on your computer.
An SSD has a built-in controller that intelligently maximizes free space on the drive. You don’t need special software to do it for you. Free space consolidation software is absolutely useless for your SSD.
Like defragmenting an SSD, free space consolidation software can sometimes be harmful because it uses more flash memory cells. However, it’s generally not as harmful as defragmentation software – but it’s certainly as useless.
Special erasing tools are useless
Remember up above where we told you that each SSD cell has a limited number of rewrites before it expires? Special erasing software programs will unnecessarily use up a bunch of those rewrites. On traditional hard drives, where data is stored in physical locations, special erasing tools can make sure the data is completely wiped out. With an SSD, your operating system – including Windows 7 – tells the SSD to delete the file after you’ve deleted the data and emptied it from the recycling bin.
So what does work for optimizing SSDs?
When you first buy your SSD, it’s already about as optimized as it’s going to get. If you use Windows 7 or Windows 8 and a relatively new motherboard (within the last 3 to 4 years), then there are built-in features that maximize the performance of your SSD without you having to do anything.
The only two legitimate ways to improve SSD performance is to:
-Update SSD firmware (can be dangerous and provide little to no benefit; is not available for most SSDs)
-Buy an SSD from a reliable brand in the first place
The second tip is the most important. SSDs are a relatively new technology and a wide range of low cost manufacturers have risen up to address the budget market. Unfortunately, these drives tend to have a high failure rate.
Buy from reliable, well-known manufacturers and you can ensure near-flawless SSD performance without having to do anything yourself. The top 3 SSD manufacturers today tend to be Samsung, Crucial, and SanDisk, with Samsung widely recognized as being the leader of the pack.