Not too long ago I grabbed an Acer Aspire One to get a feel for the device performance. I was happy with it under Linux, but found the low-cost Intel Solid State Disk module to be a bottleneck with Windows XP. On the surface, the write speeds really struggled, especially with random writes. I’m fairly certain that I formatted the SSD using NTFS, which many have suggested was part of the issue. Going with FAT or FAT32 might yield better results, but there’s also a number of tweaks available to optimize XP for the SSD.The OCZ Forum shares an in-progress list of optimizations that might help. Many approaches in the list involve ways to limit the amount and frequency of random writes to the drive: you can’t change how fast the drive handles a random write, but you can adjust the system to minimize them. Some tweaks in the list:
- Disabling the XP pre-fetcher and system indexing
- Removing unnecessary Windows components
- Turning off hibernation, system restore and disk caching
Remember that you might be turning off useful functions if you go down this path, but that might be a small price to pay for better performance. Ideally, I’d like to see an official Microsoft knowledge base article on this topic, but for now this list is a good start. Brian Jepson at Hackszine has followed some of the steps here and he’s pretty happy with the results so far.