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Question My SSDs are extremely slow! Please help

ibex333

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2005
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I am running an HP Z400 Workstation. All SATA III ports Gen 2

My boot drive is an ADATA SU 650 480GB

The computer takes around 120 seconds to boot every single time. Excruciatingly slow... Bench-marked the SSD and got 260 Read and 267 write with CrystalDisk which is WAY below the advertised 520mb read and 450 write for this SSD.

SSD is NOT damaged. Tried it in another system and getting advertised speeds.

There are NO settings in BIOS that I can see that would affect this.

ALL Chipset patches downloaded and installed....


What am I missing?


Thanks so much!
 

Campy

Senior member
Jun 25, 2010
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Looks like you're getting roughly half the MB/s you're expecting, so perhaps the motherboard ports are SATA2 not SATA3? As for why your boot takes 2 minutes, I have no explanation for that.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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I don't know what you mean by "SATA III Gen 2". There's SATAII (3Gbit/sec), and SATA6G, often incorrectly referred to as SATAIII (6Gbit/sec).

It sounds like the SSD is in a SATAII port. However, that matters very little for most general use-cases of an SSD, where latency is more important than sequential transfer burst speeds. That's where you screwed up, and bought the very cheapest Adata bottom-of-the-barrel SSD that you could. That SSD is DRAMless and cacheless, and slow as (use your imagination).

Replace it with a decent SSD, like even an SU800, and things might be a bit better. Or get a SATAII SSD, like the Intel 320 Series.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
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Agree, the SU650 is pretty low end. That said, the board may take a while to initialize anyway, as it is an old HP workstation. Turning on AHCI if possible, or RAID if there is no AHCI setting, could help. Disabling features on board that you don't use could also help it boot faster.
 
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Steltek

Platinum Member
Mar 29, 2001
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The Z400 only has six SATA II ports and no SATA III ports, which is starving the SSD for bandwidth. And, as @VirtualLarry and @Shmee have both stated, the SSD you have is already a really bad one for an older system as it is DRAMless and cachless (on top of the bandwidth issue).

An interim workaround might be to add a PCIe HBA controller card to the system. This is true even though your motherboard only has PCIe 2.0 slots available.

A SATA II port only has an effective throughput of about 300MB/s, while even a PCIe 2.0 HBA adapter should provide 500MB/s per PCIe lane. So, while an SSD might not quite hit full potential on an x1 PCIe 2.0 controller card, it would be far less data bandwidth limited on a PCIe 2.0 HBA controller than it is on a SATA II port.

The kicker here is that, with your Z400, you are dealing with HP Enterprise equipment. You'll have to search around and find an HBA card that the Z400 can boot from.
 
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IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
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2 minutes for a boot on an SSD is bad, real bad.

The sequential speeds matter jack for boot times. You could have an SSD with 80MB/s and it'll be fine. Actually my X25-M SSD allows loading to desktop within 30 seconds and that's with 250MB read/70MB writes.

The issue lies elsewhere. DRAMless seems like a good explanation. Although I also have a DRAMless SSD elsewhere with the Silicon Power S55 and while it gets the system noticeably sluggish after a week, boot times were never slow. Then again, I suspect the newer DRAMless SSDs are better.

Here's a video review of the SU 650 SSD for boot time comparisons:

Yup, something else is wrong. Maybe the SSD, or other parts of your system are dying? A serious driver issue? And by serious I mean nuke the installation and start fresh.
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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One thing that OP hasn't mentioned, I don't think, is how FULL the SSD is. That can make a BIG difference in performance as well.

(*) Though, I would think, no so much with bootup, as that would mostly be random reads?
 

IntelUser2000

Elite Member
Oct 14, 2003
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(*) Though, I would think, no so much with bootup, as that would mostly be random reads?
Yea me neither. I never tried filling up my SSD though. The S55 was used as a separate Eth mining rig. Even then, it would slow after a week. Proper SSDs are good, because the 11 year old X25-M never had that issue.
 

ibex333

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2005
3,961
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The Z400 only has six SATA II ports and no SATA III ports, which is starving the SSD for bandwidth. And, as @VirtualLarry and @Shmee have both stated, the SSD you have is already a really bad one for an older system as it is DRAMless and cachless (on top of the bandwidth issue).

An interim workaround might be to add a PCIe HBA controller card to the system. This is true even though your motherboard only has PCIe 2.0 slots available.

A SATA II port only has an effective throughput of about 300MB/s, while even a PCIe 2.0 HBA adapter should provide 500MB/s per PCIe lane. So, while an SSD might not quite hit full potential on an x1 PCIe 2.0 controller card, it would be far less data bandwidth limited on a PCIe 2.0 HBA controller than it is on a SATA II port.

The kicker here is that, with your Z400, you are dealing with HP Enterprise equipment. You'll have to search around and find an HBA card that the Z400 can boot from.

Such a controller card is not an option, since the slot is taken by a USB 3.0 controller card as the PC does not have USB 3.0 ports.

So my thinking is, since SATA II only gives 300Mbps, then my 260Mbps ballpark is right around that max limit. So what I don's get is, how would getting a better SSD improve things in any way? And if you think it still would, can you please link an example SSD such as that? $50-100

An no, just to answer other questions in the thread, my SSDs are nowhere near full. Only about 30% full.
 

Steltek

Platinum Member
Mar 29, 2001
2,617
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Such a controller card is not an option, since the slot is taken by a USB 3.0 controller card as the PC does not have USB 3.0 ports.

So my thinking is, since SATA II only gives 300Mbps, then my 260Mbps ballpark is right around that max limit. So what I don's get is, how would getting a better SSD improve things in any way? And if you think it still would, can you please link an example SSD such as that? $50-100

An no, just to answer other questions in the thread, my SSDs are nowhere near full. Only about 30% full.
Personally, I don't think any SSD is going to totally solve the problem due to being connected to a SATA II port on a relatively slow system. However, @VirtualLarry and @Shmee are right that the problems are almost certainly being exacerbated by using a DRAMless drive. Even on a SATA II port, a quality SSD should provide much better real-world performance in comparison to a regular hard drive simply due to its lower latency (i.e. the ability to get your data to and from storage faster). Spinner drives have high latency due to the need to move its read/write heads, and latency increases/decreases depending upon where the data is on the spinning disc (but is always higher than a good SSD would be).

In this case, the drive you have (being DRAMless and cacheless) cannot function without using OS and slower DDR3-based system memory resources. This in turn is causing the SSD latency to be consistently high like a hard drive would be though in a different manner. The situation is even far worse with the SSD write side of the equation. The only review of the SU650 480GB drive I could find states that (and this is using a SATA III port on a modern motherboard, no less, so your situation is even worse) its write speeds for the first 96GB of capacity were consistent with advertised speed. It then suffered a small slowdown in write speeds for the next 24GB of capacity. Then, the write speed drops very significantly to 80MB/s between 120GB and 360GB of capacity before plummeting to 60MB/s at 360GB and beyond. The write performance is so bad after 120GB because the system is literally having to write directly to and from the drive without benefit of cache (since the drive doesn't have any and the limited memory cache it uses has been exceeded).

In your stated use case, at 30% utilization you have already passed that 120GB boundary where you are seeing slow write speeds. And, as the drive continues to fill, the write speed situation can only get worse over time.

If you have a better drive, the bandwidth is still going to be limited by the SATA II port. However, the latency should be better because the drive will have its own DRAM cache and won't be dependent upon limited slow DDR3 memory based-caching. This is the best you can hope for unless you can free up a PCIe slot for an add-in SATA III HBA card.

There are PCIe cards that have both USB3 and SATA III ports on them. However, they will require at least an x4 PCIe slot and I have no clue whether your system will even boot from one. I also suspect that performance will suck in a PCIe 2.0 slot if you run a SSD on the SATA III port and try to do a USB3.0 data transfer from a port on the card.

You didn't say what version of Windows you were running, so I'm assuming it is Win10. Are you sure you have the BIOS configured to use AHCI mode and not IDE mode (which would make things even worse)?
 
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ibex333

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2005
3,961
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Just want to update all those who helped.

I found the culprit. The reason this happened is because I cloned the boot drive from another computer. I did this many times before and never had issues, but his time, the new computer didn't like something. I wiped the boot drive and installed windows from scratch. Now everything works great and boot times are reasonable.
 

Jimminy

Member
May 19, 2020
80
32
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Just want to update all those who helped.

I found the culprit. The reason this happened is because I cloned the boot drive from another computer. I did this many times before and never had issues, but his time, the new computer didn't like something. I wiped the boot drive and installed windows from scratch. Now everything works great and boot times are reasonable.
@ibex333

I just wanted to thank you for this post.

Much of the time people just disappear after they solve the problem. In the future, folks with the same problem only find that others had this problem, but no solutions are there.

Thank you sir (or ma'am).
 

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