Before we begin, we need to clarify several critical points. There is a big difference between the methods to get better performance and the methods to achieve maximum SSD durability, and it is that they are not the same.
How to optimize the performance of an SSD in Windows 10
There are textbooks which deal with the second with the first, others which mix them up and others confuse them directly and we will be precise. Techniques like disabling defragmenter, removing hibernation, indexing, paging file are totally counterproductive for what we’re looking for here: maximum performance. That said, we are going with whatever little we can do to improve and guarantee precisely that, the maximum performance of our device.
Keep the unit’s firmware up to date
It seems like a no-brainer, but we have to stress it: the firmware of each drive is the key to achieving maximum performance and maximum security for data and integrity of the SSD.
As each manufacturer opts for a different method of updating the firmware of their units, we recommend that you follow the manuals that each has for users and most importantly, make a copy of the data before each update.
Keep defragmentation up to date
Not that it will affect SSD performance too much, but the truth is, it does help in some aspects.
We’re not going to explain where Windows Defragmenter is at this point, just saying that Microsoft’s standard options are enough to not lose performance at all times.
Leave free space on the SSD
It’s not a myth, SSDs need to have a minimum of free space in order to run at maximum performance. Depending on the manufacturer and the SSD controller, as well as to a lesser extent the motherboard or the platform controller (NVMe), it will be necessary to leave more or less free space as a percentage.
The normal thing for high performance SSDs and from such reputable brands as Samsung or Corsair is to leave between 10-20% free if we don’t want to face read or write issues.
Check the status of the AHCI and its drivers
Normally this does not happen anymore, but it is possible that if we are dealing with SATA SSD we have another mode like RAID or RST so it is convenient to go to device manager and check that we are running the operating system in AHCI.
Besides, the updated controller driver will also help ensure maximum performance every time.
Check that TRIM is working
For that we will go to the command prompt, the old MS-DOS, and we will place these parameters:
- fsutil DisableDeleteNotify behavior query
If the values for NTFS and ReFS are zero, TRIM is enabled and functioning correctly. If the values are 1, that means it doesn’t and so we’ll have to enter the following command:
- Fsutil DisableDeleteNotify Behavior Set 0
Once done, we check again with the first parameter that it is now zero, after which we will have to restart the PC to make sure it is working properly.
Maintain SSD Temperature in Windows 10
Another key point is the temperature, especially with the new high performance PCIe 4.0 SSDs. These speeds are so tight that your pilots suffer a lot from the stress associated with these performances.
Opting for an SSD heatsink if our motherboard doesn’t come standard is a great option, especially so that they never go above 60 degrees Celsius.
And so far the optimizations to get the best performance. Don’t be fooled by techniques like removing paging files and other “optimizations”, as they don’t work in all cases, since for example paging file is used a lot by game developers to export textures when RAM is insufficient.
In terms of pure performance, there is nothing more to do than what is exposed in this guide, there are no more secrets, or moving temporary folders or something similar, at least in normal use of an SSD for work or play.