Given the high price of SSD drives, users will want to make sure they get the most from their investment, and Diskeeper's Hyperfast technology appears to do just that. How much it will help is very dependant on the system involved and the way in which the drive is used.
Keeps SSDs running at top performance.
Additional cost on top of an already expensive storage device.
Using Flash memory as opposed to spinning platters and moving heads, SSDs offer a range of benefits including very fast access times, improved robustness, reduced noise and less power consumption than their mechanical counterparts.
SSDs are not without their drawbacks, however, and questions remain over longevity and performance over time.
Basically Flash memory has a limited number of write cycles, which can limit the lifespan of an SSD. This problem is being addressed at a hardware and software level, primarily through the design of high endurance cells, better wear levelling algorithms and other improvements.
The idea behind Diskeeper's Hyperfast is to help improve the performance and extend the lifespan of SSDs by essentially forcing the file system to write sequentially rather than randomly. This cuts down on free space fragmentation, and reduces the aggregate erase-write cycles that would normally occur.
To test the Hyperfast technology we used an Asus S101 netbook with a 16GB Ultra ATA 100 solid state hard drive, running on an Intel Atom 1.6GHz CPU with 1Gb of DDR2 RAM.
The major architectural differences between SSDs and traditional hard drives mean that many hard drive benchmarking tools are inaccurate for testing SSDs, but because we're not comparing different drives, we settled on using HDTune and HDBench in our review.
Without having months to use the drive normally, we simulated the effect by filling the drive almost to capacity and creating a batch file to copy files of various sizes haphazardly on and off the drive which, after a few overnight runs, left us with a very fragmented drive.
In all cases we ran the benchmarks three times and averaged the results. We ran the benchmarks at four intervals: before doing anything to the system; after our simulated usage batch run; directly after installing and running Diskeeper; and after running our batch file again with Diskeeper running.
For our tests we were provided with a copy of Diskeeper 09 Premier Pro with Hyperfast. Installation and registration was quick and easy and the interface is quite straightforward. Users are presented with a list of available storage devices and each one can be individually configured to be defragmented in real time, using its Invisitasking system.
Hyperfast also provides the option to perform a defrag during the next reboot of the PC, allowing Diskeeper to access system files and other data that can't be moved while Windows is running.
The Hyperfast option is turned on automatically when the program detects an SSD drive, but there is the option of toggling it on or off in the event that it is not automatically or possibly incorrectly detected. While running, Diskeeper didn't seem to impact system performance at all and has a fairly modest memory footprint of around 18MB.