I just installed a new Intel 330 60 GB SSD into my HP Mini 2140 laptop.

But it's not going as fast as expected and my hdparm results aren't looking very good compared to SSD benchmarks at:

My results and info are below.

hdparm results:

    justin@justin-HP-2140:~$ sudo hdparm -Tt /dev/sda

     Timing cached reads:   1130 MB in  2.00 seconds = 564.50 MB/sec
     Timing buffered disk reads: 372 MB in  3.01 seconds = 123.53 MB/sec

hdparm info:

    justin@justin-HP-2140:~$ sudo hdparm -I /dev/sda


    ATA device, with non-removable media
        Model Number:       INTEL SSDSC2CT060A3                    
        Serial Number:      CVMP215107WW060AGN  
        Firmware Revision:  300i    
        Transport:          Serial, ATA8-AST, SATA 1.0a, SATA II Extensions, SATA Rev 2.5, SATA Rev 2.6, SATA Rev 3.0
        Used: unknown (minor revision code 0x0110) 
        Supported: 9 8 7 6 5 
        Likely used: 9
        Logical     max current
        cylinders   16383   16383
        heads       16  16
        sectors/track   63  63
        CHS current addressable sectors:   16514064
        LBA    user addressable sectors:  117231408
        LBA48  user addressable sectors:  117231408
        Logical  Sector size:                   512 bytes
        Physical Sector size:                   512 bytes
        Logical Sector-0 offset:                  0 bytes
        device size with M = 1024*1024:       57241 MBytes
        device size with M = 1000*1000:       60022 MBytes (60 GB)
        cache/buffer size  = unknown
        Nominal Media Rotation Rate: Solid State Device
        LBA, IORDY(can be disabled)
        Queue depth: 32
        Standby timer values: spec'd by Standard, no device specific minimum
        R/W multiple sector transfer: Max = 16  Current = 16
        Advanced power management level: 128
        DMA: mdma0 mdma1 mdma2 udma0 udma1 udma2 udma3 udma4 udma5 *udma6 
             Cycle time: min=120ns recommended=120ns
        PIO: pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4 
             Cycle time: no flow control=120ns  IORDY flow control=120ns
        Enabled Supported:
           *    SMART feature set
                Security Mode feature set
           *    Power Management feature set
           *    Write cache
           *    Host Protected Area feature set
           *    WRITE_BUFFER command
           *    READ_BUFFER command
           *    NOP cmd
           *    DOWNLOAD_MICROCODE
           *    Advanced Power Management feature set
                Power-Up In Standby feature set
           *    SET_FEATURES required to spinup after power up
           *    48-bit Address feature set
           *    Mandatory FLUSH_CACHE
           *    FLUSH_CACHE_EXT
           *    SMART error logging
           *    SMART self-test
           *    General Purpose Logging feature set
           *    WRITE_{DMA|MULTIPLE}_FUA_EXT
           *    64-bit World wide name
           *    IDLE_IMMEDIATE with UNLOAD
           *    WRITE_UNCORRECTABLE_EXT command
           *    {READ,WRITE}_DMA_EXT_GPL commands
           *    Segmented DOWNLOAD_MICROCODE
           *    Gen1 signaling speed (1.5Gb/s)
           *    Gen2 signaling speed (3.0Gb/s)
           *    Native Command Queueing (NCQ)
           *    Host-initiated interface power management
           *    Phy event counters
           *    unknown 76[14]
           *    DMA Setup Auto-Activate optimization
                Device-initiated interface power management
           *    Software settings preservation
           *    SMART Command Transport (SCT) feature set
           *    SCT Data Tables (AC5)
           *    Data Set Management TRIM supported (limit 1 block)
           *    Deterministic read data after TRIM
        Master password revision code = 65534
        not enabled
        not locked
        not expired: security count
            supported: enhanced erase
    Logical Unit WWN Device Identifier: 5001517bb28c2593
        NAA     : 5
        IEEE OUI    : 001517
        Unique ID   : bb28c2593
    Checksum: correct

In the HP Mini 2140 BIOS there are 2 options that from some other issues may have an impact:

  • SATA : Enable/Disable
  • Dual Core/CPU support: Enable/Disable

Both of these are enabled my default. If i disable SATA then the hdparm results show it is twice as slow.

Has anyone experienced slow SSD? Or seen an issue with the HD config? Or know how to fix this to get speeds that a new generation SSD should be capable of?

Note that this is with a fresh install on 12.04 LTS.

Note: by slow i mean 20 second boot to desktop (no login), 5 seconds to start terminal - was hoping that with ssd starting apps would be 1 sec

update: - thanks for all the answers - have applied TRIM and noop - helps a bit - but think the main problem as identified by john is the limitation of hp mini :(

  • One of the things suggested in the article AlMehdi linked is to enable automatic TRIM support. This is also covered in this question: How to Enable Trim?. Are you using the ext4 file system? May 24 '12 at 3:15
  • thanks will look at trim - am using ext4 - also no encryption May 24 '12 at 3:59
  • 1
    I think using encryption with an Atom N270 would be ... even less special. (I'd almost expect the poor little thing to start whimpering if you put that much of a computational load on it ... But then I'm not a rational person.) May 24 '12 at 4:41

I think the biggest bottleneck in the performance of your Intel 330 SSD is most likely your HP Mini 2140 laptop's SATA controller. My Googling around leads me to think that your laptop uses a Mobile Intel 945GSE MCH coupled with an ICH7M (82801GBM) I/O controller.

While the desktop version of the ICH7 supports SATA II, the mobile version, which is what I believe you have, does not.

In other words, transfers to/from your SSD will be bounded by the max SATA 1.0 transfer rate and will never be faster than ~150 MB/s.

The ~150 MB/s limit is from the SATA spec. In actual use, given that you have an Atom CPU, I would actually expect transfers to be noticeably slower than that.

You'd probably get better use out of your Intel 330 SSD in another system which could take advantage of its SATA 3.0 capabilities. An older SSD would probably work as well for you in your HP mini 2140.

Note: by slow i mean 20 second boot to desktop (no login), 5 seconds to start terminal - was hoping that with ssd starting apps would be 1 sec

This is just a wild guess, but a large factor of the 20 second boot time could be due to the Atom N270 and the 533 MHz FSB not being able to move data any faster than they already are. Even if you had faster transfers to/from your SSD than SATA 1.0, the CPU and RAM transfers are (I'm guessing) still bottle-necking total system performance.

(That's probably why the system designers saw no problem using an ICH7M. Faster SATA was not expected to result in a faster laptop. It would just cost more. Again, just guessing here.)

I think your mini 2140 is just running as fast as it can. (BWTHDIK?)

  • thanks john - great answer - was afraid that the CPU would be the culprit :( - if anyone can review the specs/configs above and see anythign else that can help would be greatly appreciated May 24 '12 at 4:46

Yes, your machine is indeed limited by SATA1. That said, I think it's not really a problem at all. For a netbook you are getting very good performance and, many of the smaller random reads will fit in the slower speed range anyway.


You could take a look here: http://www.howtogeek.com/62761/how-to-tweak-your-ssd-in-ubuntu-for-better-performance/

I would recommend some IO scheduling.. I am using the "noop" option which is a lot snappier than cfq.

Edit: Also a "dmesg" (by writing it in terminal right after boot) would be interesting to see. The log can show when different processes start and if something takes extraordinary time.

  • Care to explain why my answer got down voted? He wanted to improve performance... this will improve his performance.
    – AlMehdi
    May 24 '12 at 2:57
  • re noop - can you post the contents of your /etc/rc.local - wasnt downvoted by me May 24 '12 at 4:01
  • I didn't follow the above guide but have it set up in grub. I added elevator=noop on the kernel line. So if you want to test you could do that by hitting "e" to edit the grub menu during boot. It will not be persistent. So next boot it will go back to normal.
    – AlMehdi
    May 24 '12 at 15:30

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