PerfectDisk 12 Professional SSD Defrag Software Review

When it comes to defragmenting your SSD drive there is a lot of bad information floating around the internet. Some people say you don’t need to defragment an SSD as SSDs don’t lose speed, other people say don’t defragment as it causes unnecessary writes to your SSD hard drive, and yet other people absolutely recommend to defragment SSD drives. I absolutely recommend to defragment SSD drives, and the purpose of this review and article is to offer advice for people who use Solid State Drives why they should use defragmentation software.

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Perfect Disk 12 Defrag – Download Free Trial

As Microsoft is known mainly for Operating Systems, Raxco is known for producing some of the highest quality Defragmentation software on the market. I’ve personally used several different versions and builds of PerfectDisk 11 and 12 for defragmenting SSD drives, and have never had a single issue with the software. In fact, it can make a noticeable increase in your system performance, this is more noticeable with older SSD drives.

Runcore T50 mSATA SSD with 11% File Fragmentation. Click for Full-size Image.

PerfectDisk 12 Professional

Does Defragmenting Shorten an SSD Drive lifespan?

The short answer is yes, however some defrag programs have been optimized to be SSD aware to minimize the additional writes to your drive. SSD aware software will minimize the number of writes required by moving less data, by utilizing more efficiently placement of the data. Also, remember that most SSDs have something called Over Provisioning which means not all of your SSD’s flash is available. This unavailable memory will eventually be used as you start writing to the disk to reduce wear to any one part of your SSD over time (different drives, controllers, manufacturers will implement this SSD feature differently). That being said there are SSDs that are rated for 7+ Petabytes of lifetime writes, so a 60-240GB defrag is a very small fraction of the total lifespan.

Does Defragmenting an SSD speed it up?

Yes if you defrag SSD drives there will be a speed increase, but it will be nowhere near as dramatic as on rotational hard drives as SSD drives have nowhere near as much latency for seeking data (6-16ms vs 0.05-0.3ms per seek). Some people claim that you won’t see a speed increase but this just isn’t true, there is a reason whenever you look at the SSD specifications the read and write is always quoted for sequential reads / writes speeds.

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*If your hard drive doesn’t natively support TRIM, defragmenting your drive in conjunction with Free Space Cleaner can simulate a mass trimming of your free space. Users without TRIM will see a much larger speed increase.

How Often Should I Defrag my SSD?

As even SSD optimized defrag programs create additional writes on your drives I would recommend only defragging SSD disks once or twice per month. You will generally find that fragmentation degrades SSD performance slower than it does with rotation hard drives because there is next to no latency for seeking data on SSDs.

PerfectDisk 12 Performance Increases & Statistics

One of the things I really like about PerfectDisk Defragmentation Software versus other commercial defragmentation software is the reporting and analysis it provides to the user. The statistics reporting includes Drive Details (GUID Cluster Size, Drive Size, Used Space, Free Space, Drive Type, Thin-Provisioned), Drive Performance (this is a funny statistic), File Statistics (Number of files, Number of fragmented files, Number of excess fragments, Average number of fragments, Percent file fragmentation, Percent data fragmentation), Metadata Statistics (Number of excess metadata fragments, Percent metadata Fragmentation), MFT Statistics (MFT size, Number of excess MFT fragments, Percent MFT Fragmentation), Free Space Statistics (Number of free space fragments, Average free space fragment size, Largest free space chunk, Percent free space fragmentation), Most Fragmented Files, and System Excluded Files.

When you defragment SSD drives it does two things to increase the speed of your SSD drive. The first thing the software does is to make sure that all the blocks a file occupies are grouped together, and the second thing it does is to maximize the number of large blocks of free space available. Making sure the files are together on the SSD removes the file fragments (files that are broken up in more than one place on the disk), this gives you the benefit of reading the files sequentially at higher speeds. Assuring large blocks of free are available increases the likely hood that when a new file is written to disk most of the file won’t be fragmented (this can’t always be avoided).

PerfectDisk SSD Defragment Modes

PerfectDisk 12 has 5 different methods for optimizing hard drives, but not all methods are appropriate for all types of disks. The different defragmentation methods are SMARTPlacement, Defrag Only, Consolidate Free Space, Prep for Shrink, and SSD Optimize (SSD Only). PerfectDisk has two different methods of defragmenting drives that I use on my SSDs.

The first defragment method is called SSD Optimize, which I am not a big fan of as all it does is optimize the free space for write performance. Just clearing the free space minimizes the number of writes required, but fails to assemble all the fragmented files on your drive so you get a write speed increase but no read speed increase. If you have files that are continually written to they will proceed to get more, and more fragmented (example my Thunderbird SPAM mail folder has 2,414 fragments, and a Windows 7 log file has 2,207 fragments).

The second defragment method is called SMARTPlacement where it fully optimizes the drive and places older files near the start of the drive, and newer files towards the end of the drive. The advantage of the SMARTPlacement method is both your fragmented files are assembled, and the free space is optimized for write speed. Not only do you get both speed increases but because the older files are closer to the beginning of the drive next time you defragment these older files are less likely to be fragmented or have been deleted, so it may reduce the amount of data writes required to defragment the drive.

Conclusion

Raxco PerfectDisk 12 will definitely increase the speed of both reading and writing data on your SSD. On extremely fast drives such as Sandforce SF-2281 drives with reading speeds of up to 565MB/s you aren’t going to see much difference with your reads, but you may with your writes. If you own an older SSD drive that doesn’t support TRIM or use older rotation hard drives for mass storage or a download drive than PerfectDisk is a must for drastically increasing the speed of your drive. My old Corsair X64 which didn’t have TRIM showed a speed increase from 120MB/s to 150MB/s for reading speeds in HDTach! Raxco offers a trial version of PerfectDisk 12 so download it today, and defragment your SSD and increase your performance for free.

Perfect Disk 12 Defrag – Download Free Trial

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PerfectDisk 12 Professional Defragmenting SSD Drives
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