Windows 7 HD and SSD Performance Analyzed - HotHardware
ACCESSED: Fri May 29 2009 12:00:57 GMT-0400 (EDT)
PAGE URL: http://hothardware.com/Articles/Windows-7-Disk-Performance-Analyzed/?page=4
If the drive broadcasts itself as a solid state drive (which can be done through the latest ATA specification), Windows 7 can make adjustments to ensure that the drive performs at its best. For example, if Windows 7 can verify that you're running a solid state disk, it will disable defragmentation for that drive (as defragging puts un-necessary wear on SSD's and doesn't help performance). Windows 7 will also enable support for "TRIM", also known as DisableDeleteNotify, an add-on to the ATA specification which allows for enhanced performance and decreased strain on the drive. According to Microsoft, here's what TRIM brings to the table.
* Enhancing device wear leveling by eliminating merge operation for all deleted data blocks
* Making early garbage collection possible for fast write
* Keeping device’s unused storage area as much as possible; more room for device wear leveling.
Basically, Windows 7 will send TRIM commands down the storage chain, but it's up to the drive to accept the commands and utilize them. In order for TRIM to work, you not only need Windows 7, but you'll need a solid state hard disk which has support for TRIM via its Firmware. Currently, these drives are few and far between, but we were able to test OCZ's new Vertex 120 GB SSD, which has support for TRIM in its latest firmware. We ran benchmarks with an older, non-TRIM supported firmware along with the latest version with TRIM support. Here's what we saw.