OCZ Solid State Drives Benchmark

I decided to play around with SSDs (Solid State Drives) and while I have a couple of older Crucial SSDs they don’t have the latest firmware’s and compatibility with TRIM in Windows 7, so I bought two new SSDs and the ones I went for where the OCZ Vertex 2 drives, which have a very good controller as in the Sandforce 1200, which defaultly will give you

Max Read: up to 285MB/s
Max Write: up to 275MB/s
Sustained Write: up to 250MB/s

Now I did a complete re-install of Windows 7 x64 SP1 and setup the drives in Raid0 format, installed the latest Intel Chipset and Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver.

Software/Hardware used

Windows 7 x64 SP1 (6.1.7601)
Intel i7 920
6GB Corsair Dominator
NVIDIA GeForce GTX570
2×80 GB OCZ vertex 2 SSDs (1.27 Firmware)
1x 1TB WD Green HDD
1x 2TB WD Green HDD

HDTune was the test application

I did install these two drives in a Raid0 array and know that at present TRIM is not supported in Raid arrays, but I do hope the Garbage Collection (GC) of the Sandforce controller will help clear the old deleted blocks to free up them in order to keep the speed of the drives stable.

HDtune

Not too bad and boot time is sub 30sec as the CDROM controller holds up the boot a tad, shutdown is near 7secs. I was getting +/- 200mb/s with two 80GB WD Raptors in Raid0.

Add Windows 7 Taskbar Preview to Firefox

It was only the other day that I noticed that in Windows 7, Firefox (or the beta that I run of Minefield) does not show multiple tab previews that Internet Explorer 8 (or Internet Explorer 9 beta as I’m running on my netbook) does.

Preview 01

So a quick search of the internet and looking down the about:config list in Firefox holds the clue, the taskbar preview option is set to false (disabled), so toggling this option to true (enabled) sets the preview in the taskbar.

I took a few screenshots of the steps as a very quick guide below, do be warned that editing the about:config menus in Firefox can wrongly can cause Firefox to fail.

Open Firefox (or Minefield) and in the address bar type about:config and hit enter

Preview 02

Once the list of options are open, its best to filter the list down and to do this in the filter box type browser.taskbar.preview and the list will narrow down to only three, the one you need to highlight is browser.taskbar.preview.enable and then right click it to give you the option to Toggle the setting from false to true

Preview 04

Once set to true, restart Firefox and now when you have a few tabs open you will get the mini previews of the open windows in the taskbar.

Preview 07

Windows 7 SP1 due soon??

Windows 7While I maybe A Microsoft MVP in Windows Operating Systems I don’t always know the release dates to a new Windows version or the Service Packs, but this weeks (11/01/2011) Windows updates aka Patch Tuesday included an update (KB976902) to allow other updates to install ok.

This can signify that a major release is due and the only one I know of of late is for Windows 7 and SP1. SP1 has been in beta for a while and I will say I have not had to report any issues at all with the beta on my test PC, so this Service Pack I feel is bomb proof, although it will depend on your PC setup and applications installed as not all PCs update ok.

Microsoft does have a Service Pack blocker HERE for those in business who wish to block this Service Pack until tested on their networks or the home user who wishes to wait a bit to see if there are any issues.

So expect to see Windows 7 SP1 very soon, my guess March-ish time.