Brian

How To: Improve Low SSD Performance in Intel Series 5 Chipset Environm

Recommended Posts

Forums member StamatisX has created the following how to guide and analysis of what appears to be a commonly reported problem - SSDs are not reaching their full performance potential in many notebooks and some desktops using the Intel Series 5 chipset. While not a definitive study on the issue, StamatisX does provide a detailed look into the problem and provides tweak options that help alleviate the performance issue until the concern is addressed more soundly by the OEMs, Intel or both.

Full Story

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reminds me a of Cool & Quiet on Phenom I CPUs, which made real world performance (e.g. Matlab) drop by >30% unless all cores were stressed. The reason was that it took far to long to switch CPU power states and the OS would keep shuffling the threads around, so that they'd alsways be moved to a core running at a lower clock speed.

Here it seems to be different in the way that the CPU is sent into idle states quickly but doesn't wake up quick enough to properly serve the SSD.

MrS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for revealing this StamatisX. :)

I have one question though, and if I'm not mistaken this wasn't mentioned in the article. Doesn't this registry tweak lower the battery times? (Maybe it can be applied for only the profile that is in use when the laptop is on a charger? Some pictures show that in the energy schemes but it's not clear to me if it applies only to those profiles.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MrSpadge' date='12 September 2010 - 09:30 AM' timestamp='1284301822' post='263972']

Here it seems to be different in the way that the CPU is sent into idle states quickly but doesn't wake up quick enough to properly serve the SSD.

MrS

Yes that what I suspect too especially from the access times

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for revealing this StamatisX. :)

I have one question though, and if I'm not mistaken this wasn't mentioned in the article. Doesn't this registry tweak lower the battery times? (Maybe it can be applied for only the profile that is in use when the laptop is on a charger? Some pictures show that in the energy schemes but it's not clear to me if it applies only to those profiles.)

Hello AceTom, unfortunately this tweak cannot be applied for a specific power plan (ie High Performance) like the tweak that prevents the CPU from idling.

Concerning the battery time the answer is not definitive. Not every laptop will behave the same way after this tweak is being applied. Take a look at my example below

Running wprime 32M

without tweak------>with the registry tweak

wprimeturboonnotweak.th.pngwprimeturboonwithtweak.th.png

As you can see in every case, with or without the tweak, my CPU is beyond the 3.33Ghz Turbo Boost. Moreover, this enhanced CPU speed is active in more than one cores, contrary to what Intel specifies for Turbo Boost (which should run on only one core).

This is happening because of the BIOS. I currently have the A07 BIOS, but, if I install the next one A08, I will loose this enhanced performance.

Which means that the BIOS of the system plays an important role in this situation.

If you run wprime and have the hwinfo32 to monitor your CPU multipliers with and without the tweak there is a very good chance to see after the tweak, Turbo Boost to be deactivated.

This is something you have to try and see, along with the battery times and the temperatures. Higher temperatures means higher CPU activity which leads to lower battery time. How much, I cannot really tell you and it will vary from laptop to laptop.

I have to mention also that for this tweak you need to reboot in order to become effective. For the idle CPU tweak that applies on a specific power plan you don't have to.

My suggestion is to export those two parts of the registry to a file, before the tweak and after the tweak so you can apply them without having to use the registry editor. It will only take a reboot.

Edited by StamatisX

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely Need this discussion.

I tried this hack and although I didn't get the same results they were illuminating never the less.

I just bought an OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 40GB and was getting abysmal performance on my Asus N71jq-A1. I am not exaggerating when I say abysmal. I spent the time to analyze benchmarks linked to from the OWC product page and on average I was receiving only about 50% read performance and no more than 40% write. As you can imagine I was wild! B)

So Googling around I stumble on StamatisX excellent post. I tried the intelppm and processor reg hacks. For me in CrystalMark 3.0 strangely it only increased reads by about 2-3%. However with the 4k Random (not the Q32) it increased reads by 50% and writes by 100%, which unfortunately isn't saying much as that only brings them up to 50% of the benchmark averages as that test was exceptional bad before.

One big CAVEAT though: I also test by doing a recompile of the system I am developing. The time for that jumped from 2:09 mins to 3:27 !!!!!!!! WTF! that there is a can of worms.

This leads me to my next thing: I once heard a definition of business that True Business wasn't selling people things they need (anyone can do that) but things they don't need (or I guess things they think they need a la MadMen). Consequently I wonder if they are manufacturing SSD's in a manner that satisfies bench marking programs and people are buying them in a placebo like manner :P

Certainly this escapade has demonstrated to me that SSD's are a waste of money for the average and above average player. More can be achieved by installing additional RAM, to wit: with the SSD the recomp occurred about 9% faster but only the 1st time thereafter most of the stuff is cached. The only people who would benefit from SSD's (given even now their absurd cost) are people with work datasets larger than can reasonably fit in memory and you know who they are: the very corporations that are trying to sell you stuff that isn't cost effective for you. Bragging rights cost a whole lot of moolah :D

ooh I forgot! Gaming! those cats will never be satisfied even worse when their limbic system is linked in too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One big CAVEAT though: I also test by doing a recompile of the system I am developing. The time for that jumped from 2:09 mins to 3:27 !!!!!!!! WTF! that there is a can of worms.

One question, is this time mentioned after the tweak?

could you try to run wprime with and without the tweak to see if your CPU performance is affected? ie Turbo Boost and mention your hardware

Edited by StamatisX

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried "argus monitor" to monitorize the activation of turboboost on my i5 520 (Sony Vaio Z11 2x64Gb Raid0)...

the SSD has improved its performance but i've seen that with this patch (processor/intelppm) the CPU rest on a 1.4GHz of frequency... arghhhhhhh

I immediately returned to default settings... :-(

There is a way to optimize SSD maintaining the Turboboost?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried "argus monitor" to monitorize the activation of turboboost on my i5 520 (Sony Vaio Z11 2x64Gb Raid0)...

the SSD has improved its performance but i've seen that with this patch (processor/intelppm) the CPU rest on a 1.4GHz of frequency... arghhhhhhh

I immediately returned to default settings... :-(

There is a way to optimize SSD maintaining the Turboboost?

Yes there is, you use the other tweak that prevents the CPU from idling and you modify the rest of the registry settings for further tuning (they are not mentioned in this article), this way you keep the Turbo Boost but you might loose SSD speed in order to keep temperatures low as well

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes there is, you use the other tweak that prevents the CPU from idling and you modify the rest of the registry settings for further tuning (they are not mentioned in this article), this way you keep the Turbo Boost but you might loose SSD speed in order to keep temperatures low as well

What is the other tweak? Is this [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power\PowerSettings\54533251-82be-4824-96c1-47b60b740d00\5d76a2ca-e8c0-402f-a133-2158492d58ad]?

You write: "The tweak that prevents the CPU from idling can be further tuned for much better results concerning temperatures (and real world performance) but you need to try too many combinations and those results will vary according to the CPU (it has to be fine-tuned by the user)".

So... it's better to leave everything as is?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is the other tweak? Is this [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Power\PowerSettings\ 54533251-82be-4824-96c1-47b60b740d00\5d76a2ca-e8c0-402f-a133-2158492d58ad]?

You write: "The tweak that prevents the CPU from idling can be further tuned for much better results concerning temperatures (and real world performance) but you need to try too many combinations and those results will vary according to the CPU (it has to be fine-tuned by the user)".

So... it's better to leave everything as is?

Yes with that tweak you get the option under the power plan to disable CPU idle and only with that tweak, you get the best synthetic benchmark results (not real world performance though due to temperatures), in order to fine tune it there are at least 7 other registry settings that you need to change (core parking overutilization threshold, performance decrease/increase threshold, idle demote threshold, etc...) I didn't mentioned them cause they will vary in every laptop and I would create more confusion rather than help.

In case you had an extreme processor like i7 920XM or i7 940XM on your Vaio with a BIOS that supports them, you could disable the CPU drivers as suggested and use the ELEET as a work around in order to restore the Turbo Boost. This way you would have increased SSD performance without sacrificing your Turbo Boost.(this worked on Asus laptop)

It's up to you if you can further tweak the registry or leave it as is, in every case you will have to balance CPU performance over SSD performance, consider temperatures, battery life, etc...

Edited by StamatisX

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mmmm i have an i5 520 core... no bios settings are possible...

so... i think that is better don't try this tweak...

also because I don't know how to further tuning the registry!

I wait for a easier way...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've been doing some additional testing in house and have pretty much confirmed the problem with a series of different SSDs. This doesn't get us any closer to being able to point to the extra problem though, it's quite frustrating. We'll be posting our data soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've been doing some additional testing in house and have pretty much confirmed the problem with a series of different SSDs. This doesn't get us any closer to being able to point to the extra problem though, it's quite frustrating. We'll be posting our data soon.

is this with the 2006 or 2009 chipset drivers. i've found that with my h55 board and a few installs windows 7 the driver set will never update to the latest unless u create a shortcut to the inf utility and in the properties of the shortcut u insert -OVERALL command.

to confirm you have the latest you can check h55 express chipset lpc interface controller or one of the 5 series pci express root ports. driver should be dated 2009 either version 9.1.1.1022 or 9.1.1.1025 if either are a 2006 driver then the latest are not currently being used. i doubt this is the solution however it would be another factor to rule out for missing performance of ssds on 5series.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

is this with the 2006 or 2009 chipset drivers. i've found that with my h55 board and a few installs windows 7 the driver set will never update to the latest unless u create a shortcut to the inf utility and in the properties of the shortcut u insert -OVERALL command.

to confirm you have the latest you can check h55 express chipset lpc interface controller or one of the 5 series pci express root ports. driver should be dated 2009 either version 9.1.1.1022 or 9.1.1.1025 if either are a 2006 driver then the latest are not currently being used. i doubt this is the solution however it would be another factor to rule out for missing performance of ssds on 5series.

I have updated all the drivers under the device manager one by one manually, tried as many drivers possible I could find, the same performance.

If it was a driver issue, the results should be different, even when using the default MS drivers, but they are not, they are very similar so it can't be the drivers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One question, is this time mentioned after the tweak?

could you try to run wprime with and without the tweak to see if your CPU performance is affected? ie Turbo Boost and mention your hardware

Amazing research...I am the not-as-proud owner of an M15x. When Dell and/or Intel step up is this something as *simple* as a chipset/driver/software fix or are we owners screwed b/c it will be a hardware fix.

Edited by on3eighteen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any news on this? My CT256m225 is experiencing the same problems with Intel Series 5. Disabling idle state is unacceptable (very high power consumption), but couldn't you make the idling to be executed only after, say, five second or so? Also, i have noticed that the performance decrease is not necessarily unavoidable. When my system starts, the first 15 seconds or so are still performing good (not enough time to get a proper benchmark though), and then the performance suddenly drops.

See here:

hdd1.jpg

This happens after my system completely loaded as far as i can tell, and i could not track it down to any windows services or 3rd party sw or anything (yet). Any ideas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i totally forgot to mention: When i replace the intel s 5 driver with the one that comes with win 7, i get better benchmark scores (possibly the way they are supposed to be), but my system gets unstable (hangs for no reason), and what is very apparent is that when more than one application is using a single disk (regardless if it is ssd or hdd), performance drops very low (e.g. playing a video file and copying in the background will result in ~70% decrease from intel driver, while video will not play properly), and hibernation always fails.

Seems to me it really is a driver problem. Better than a hardware design error (as if that never happens).

Edited by Addl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To Stamatis and everyone

I recently installed a Vertex II 180 on my P55 board (ECS P55H-A) and its not performing any much better than the G.Skill Falcon 64 i had from 2009. In fact neither exceed 180 at the best of cases... So it wasn't the Falcon's fault for such low numbers as i thought. It was only just a few days ago that i thought if maybe there's an issue with P55 chipsets and SSDs and so i stumbled on few resources like this here. Disabling all power saving options it only added about 10 mb/s more .... ( Is there a chance the sata cables are sata 1 or something? i think theres no such limitation, all sata cables allow any tranfer rate ?) Any ideas ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now