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I got a Samsung 840 EVO mounted in a Mini late 2012. Now, this is the SSD affected by the notorious performance degradation problem.

Searching samsung site, I was able to find an upgraded firmware "for mac users", but you know that a firmware alone does not solve the issue: data have to be re-copied from decayed cells to fresh cells. This is what Magician software for windows does.

Edit: But look at this page:

http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/us/html/support/downloads.html

Under "840 evo firmware for mac" I read: Supports Advanced Performance Optimization in Magician 4.6, wich should be the performance restoration function. Can someone explain?

Has someone found a way to do performance restoration on a mac?

Thanks.

  • I'm still waiting til I'm absolutely forced to, as I got nowhere trying to get Samsung's Mac tool to work. Best I can come up with is… Clone Drive; format NTFS; put in PC; update; move back to Mac; copy clone back :-((( – Tetsujin May 15 '15 at 14:38
  • Opening my mini and installing the drive was a journey of pain, I don't want to redo the entire process again.. I suppose I'll wait for some functioning tool from samsung. Meanwhile, is there any tool to check the health status of my 840 evo? I'm a bit worried having bought it used.. – MadHatter May 15 '15 at 15:15
  • Apparently, the reason there is no tool to do it on Mac is that Apple will not release the AHCI driver to do it. So it's PC or nothing, afaik. ref: cindori.org/trim-enabler-and-yosemite – Tetsujin May 15 '15 at 15:19
  • This might be a dumb question. Why not just install windows on your mac? – David Anderson May 15 '15 at 15:26
  • Installing windows is not a bad idea, I have a mechanical drive on my mac and can use it for windows. Problem is: SSD got to be NTFS fomatted? If so, this would mean to erase OSX. – MadHatter May 15 '15 at 23:05
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First of all, as you already mentioned, the firmware can be updated on a mac, too. So you do not need windows for that. Here is a Manual. It does not mention 840 EVO, but it should be fine. (Maybe EVO isn't mentioned just because the EVO update came out 30 days later than the non-EVO update and the manual wasn't updated after that?)

Secondly, not the cells are decayed, only their content is decayed. And this can be fixed by a rewrite of the data. The first firmware update (from October 2014) only modified the algorithm used to read data (trying to compensate the aging of files). As you indicated, this alone does not completely solve the problem. A refresh of the old data was necessary. This is where the Performance Restoration Software came into play. It just does this (a full rewrite) in order to ensure that there are no old files.

As it seems, the first firmware update wasn't sufficient and the reading of files got again slower the older the files became.

With the second firmware update (in case of 840 EVO it is EXT0DB6Q) Samsung again modified the algorithm but also introduced a recurring (hardware performed) rewrite of all data. Thereby data does not grow old and the explicit Performance Restoration process is not necessary anymore. Instead, the Performance Restoration will be done by the new firmware recurrently when the drive is idle.

If you really want the data to be rewritten immediately, you could clone the drive and copy the clone back to it, I guess. But there should be no need for that.

Source: Various websites, primarily the ssd review. I suggest to give it a read for a deeper understanding. :)

To your question regarding the Advanced Performance Optimization let me quote anandtech:

The new Magician 4.6 also includes an Advanced Performance Optimization feature, which is similar to the performance restoration tool that Samsung released earlier. Basically, it's a command that tells the SSD to rewrite all of its internal data, which resets all cell charges and hence recovers performance. It's merely a supplementary tool as the firmware upgrade itself should be enough to restore performance, but in case the performance isn't fully restored after the firmware upgrade (and some idle time to let the drive refresh the cells), the tool can be used to force a cell charge refresh.

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