According to many sources Windows 8 does not require any SSD optimization or tweaks. Windows 8 will optimize the SSD for you however there are a few things you can do to fine tune the optimization for maximum performance.
When installing Windows 8 on a solid-state drive, the operating system will run the Windows System Assessment Tool. This tool will identify that you have Windows 8 installed on your SSD and it will automatically make the appropriate setting adjustments.
This tool can be used to optimize your solid-state drive anytime there has been a major change to the operating system like an upgrade to Windows 8. This tool also comes in handy if you have modified any settings that are not working out in terms of SSD performance and you need to get the drive back to the original optimized state.
4 Ways To Run Windows System Assessment Tool:
Eric (a.k.a. TweakHound):
- Use the Windows + R shortcut key combo to get to the Run dialog box and type WinSAT.exe formal then hit OK.
- Run the assessment tool in System Properties:
- Hit the Windows + R keys for the Run dialog box then type control /name Microsoft.PerformanceInformationAndTools and hit OK. Now you can click Re-Run the assessment.
- Via the Control Panel click Performance and Information Tools then hit Re-Run the assessment. Now you can use the Windows + Pause/Break keys at the same time to get to the System Properties dialog box then click on the Windows Experience Index and finally click Re-Run the assessment.
Windows 8 Built-In SSD Configuration
Defrag and TRIM
The Defrag function should be left on. Windows 8 does not defrag SSDs it optimizes them by running the trim command.
SSDs use flash memory and this technology unlike the traditional mechanical hard disks uses block erasable devices. The trim function was introduced in the Windows 7 days to find regions of the SSD that were not being used and then work to perform a cleanup in the background called ‘reclaiming’ that helps prepare these blocks for the next writes.
In Windows 8, the Storage Optimizer will detect that the volume is mounted on a solid state drive and it will send a complete set of trim hints for the entire volume, finding and reclaiming unused blocks. This process is done during idle times and helps allow SSDs that were unable to perform the cleanup at an earlier time a chance to reclaim and prepare the SSD blocks and optimize the drive for the best performance.
Superfetch / Prefetch
The SuperFetch service should be ENABLED which is the Windows 8 default.
According to Microsoft:
“In Microsoft Windows 8, Superfetch functions differently than in previous versions of Windows, and should not be disabled for an Intel SSD.”
SuperFetch is a ram management service that optimizes the way your PC uses RAM, it preloads commonly used applications to speed up your system’s performance. This service manages the use of the data cached in the RAM to make sure the system has quick access to it whenever it is needed.
SuperFetch also reduces boot times by tracking the files that need to be loaded at specific times during the boot process. This information is then stored in a trace file, enabling it to use your RAM to make these files more accessible during the times they are needed.
- Go to the Run dialog box with the Windows + R keys then: type services.msc
- Click OK
- Double-click the Superfetch service
- Set Startup type: to Automatic
Optimizing Your Solid State Drive In Windows 8
“Optimizing” the SSD is actually just running the trim command.
You can do this manually or schedule it a couple different ways:
- You can do a Windows Search and type defrag then choose defrag on the left side of the screen.
- Use the Windows + R keys to get to the Run dialog box and type dfrgui then hit OK.
- Highlight your SSD, click Optimize, then when this completes, if the schedule is set to Off then change the setting to Turn on.
Pick whatever schedule suits you, and then select your SSD drive and click OK to exit out of the screens.
Pick a schedule, and choose your SSD drive then click OK to exit out of the service screens.