Friday, February 05, 2010

西数 EARS 绿盘使用心得

这周新配了台电脑,主板:微星 P55-CD53 / CPU:Intel i5 750 / 内存:金士顿 DDR3-1333 2G / 显卡:影驰 GTS250 黑将版 / 硬盘:西数 1TB/64M 绿盘(WD10EARS)。

买回来整体感觉非常好,除了这块西数的新技术 EARS 绿盘。从装 Windows 7 系统开始,到更新系统、安装驱动,系统反应都让人难以忍受。在我 06 年买的笔记本上装 Win7,仅花了不到半个小时,而在这台机器上花了一个多小时。另外用迅雷下载一个几十兆的驱动压缩包,点“开始下载”后,要过 2-3s 界面才会有反应。在使用过程中,硬盘灯大部分时候都长亮,开关机时间也很长,远比我的笔记本开关机慢,系统整体毫无性能可言。这完全不像一台 i 平台的电脑该有的情况。

经过多番搜索查找,到论坛上询问与讨论,做了如下改进和设置,现在虽然硬盘性能仍不尽如人意,但也算可以忍受。打电话到卖电脑的商家,说硬盘本身没问题不给换,要换也是同样型号的硬盘,因此也只能忍了。

这里分享一下我做的改进和设置,希望对同样使用西数 EARS 硬盘忍受暴差性能的朋友能有所帮助。

“高级格式化”技术和 WD Align 软件
从最近推出的 EARS 系列(有 1.0T/1.5T/2.0T 三个型号)硬盘开始,西数推出了一项称为“高级格式化”的技术,简单的理解,就是将传统硬盘每扇区 512 字节改为每扇区 4K 字节。由于 Vista / Win7 系统都能很好的管理 4K 的扇区,因此如果是在 Vista / Win7 下安装格式化,则不需要做任何特别的设置和操作即可发挥硬盘性能,而在 Windows XP 系统下,则需要用西数提供的专门的软件 WD Align。

西数官方网站 WD Align 下载页面详细给出了哪些情况需要使用 WD Align 软件的情况。我的这块硬盘当时装机时是装机师傅用 Ghost 分区然后克隆的操作系统,因此理论上并未发挥硬盘性能。所以特地在 Win7 下安装并执行 WD Align 软件。

安装和执行过程比较简单,根据提示操作即可。安装完开始执行,程序会自动检测系统中的 EARS 硬盘,确认执行 Alignment 操作后系统重启并进入 WD Align 软件界面。执行转换的过程不需要人工干预。我 1TB 的硬盘,只有 C 盘有大约 5GB 的数据,转换过程耗时约 30 分钟。转换完成后会自动重启,进入 Win7 系统,WD Align 软件自动启动,检查转换是否顺利完成,然后退出。

执行完 WD Align 的转换操作后,感觉系统性能有明显的提升。桌面窗口、菜单操作明显不像之前有那么多卡顿的感觉。

开启主板 AHCI 模式及 NCQ 功能
AHCI(Serial ATA Advanced Host Controller Interface / 串行ATA高级主控接口),是在Intel的指导下,由多家公司联合研发的接口标准。使用该技术可让 SATA 储存设备启用高级 SATA 功能,例如原生指令队列(NCQ, Native Command Queuing)及热插拔。

据 Wikipedia 资料:使用 NCQ 功能,通过硬盘固件、硬盘控制器以及操作系统三者的互相配合,改善硬盘内部磁区的读取顺序,可以提高硬盘效能约30%,亦能够轻微减轻硬盘损耗的速率。

从主板 P55-CD53 的说明书上可以看到该主板已经支持 AHCI 模式,而这块新出的硬盘以及 Windows 7 操作系统也理所当然的支持。于是我重启系统到 BIOS 中将 ATA 控制器模式由 IDE 改为 AHCI,重新引导系统,结果 Windows 7 蓝屏,并立即重启了。

纳闷之余搜索了一番,了解到 AHCI 必须在安装操作系统之前就开启,否则安装后 Windows 7 会认为没有使用 AHCI 模式而屏蔽相关的驱动。不过也搜到一篇文章,讲解通过修改注册表,再开启 BIOS 的 AHCI 模式,然后进入 Windows 7 后,系统就会自动开始安装驱动,从而开启 AHCI 模式。具体的注册表路径为:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Msahci
将值由原来的 3 改为 0 即可。

照此修改后确实可行,但 AHCI 开启后,HD-Tune、Everest 等软件均无法获取硬盘信息。想起在一篇论坛的帖子中有人提到,安装系统后再开启 AHCI,看起来好像是启用了,但实际对性能并无实际提升。想到目前反正系统也是刚装的,因此索性就在 BIOS 开启 AHCI 的状态下把 Windows 7 重装了一遍,顺便换上了 x64 的版本。

重装后 HD-Tune 和 Everest 都能顺利查出硬盘信息了,另外安装主板驱动提供的 Intel Matrix Storage Manager 软件后,可以查询到硬盘的 NCQ 功能已经开启。

至此,整个系统使用起来感觉比刚开始性能有不小的提升。窗口、菜单操作没有明显的卡顿,开关机速度也有非常明显的改观,至少比我笔记本上同样的 Win7 旗舰版要快。尽管从 HD-Tune 的读取测试,FastCopy 软件的文件拷贝测试来看,性能和速度比起网上给出的西数黑盘有较大差距,但这“较差的性能”已经到了一个可以忍受的范围内,毕竟绿盘的卖点是节能、低噪而不是性能和速度。

最后对于这块西数的新技术 EARS 绿盘,感觉买的比较后悔。或许作为仓库盘来用是不错的选择,但如果是系统盘,完全不值得推荐,价格相差仅几十元的 WD1001FALS 黑盘应该是更好的选择。

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