[Windows] Optimize solid state drives with SSD Tweaker

SSD TweakerThere was a time when SSDs were considered to be too unreliable and expensive to be a viable option for persistence data storage by the general population. People aren’t willing to sacrifice disk size, money and certainty for speed and silence. As Samsung corners the market with it’s new range of extremely large (in disk space) 840 EVO SSDs for consumers, this eliminates the ‘it doesn’t have enough disk space’ argument. Their 1 TB offering costs about $530 which is not bad, considering that five years ago, 80 GB SSDs were going for $595. If you’re a millionaire and what the great poet and businessman, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs describes as a ‘baller and shot caller’, you can splurge on the LSI 4 TB SSD for $29,000.

Since I’m not of the Donald Trump variety, I own a measly 120 GB SSD from Samsung and I’m yet to suffer any failures or inconsistencies in read and write operations(but there was this one time….Ahhh forget about it). My PC blinks awake at boot up and I don’t feel as if any tuning or tweaking is necessary but for us who do, SSD Tweaker should be able to cater to your obsessive compulsive needs.

WHAT IS IT AND WHAT DOES IT DO

Main Functionality

SSD Tweaker offers a set of tools that are built to optimize your Solid State Disk and ensure that it runs smoothly. It’s like a gym for your SSD.

Pros

  • It comes with an auto tweak feature.
  • Operations are sectioned out and separated by tabs, this creates cohesion in the user interface
  • It performs update checks on each start up

Cons

  • Its not system tray minimizable
  • It advertises it’s paid counterpart at every turn
  • Though there is some cohesion in its design, some of its controls are sloppily placed on each tab and panel
  • It feels incomplete – if you try to bring up the change log on the latest version of the application, you’ll more than likely be met with an error
  • Advanced tweaks can only be accessed after you purchase the paid version and register
  • You shouldn’t defrag SSDs and this has a built-in defrag — one that does it automatically

Discussion

SSD Tweaker2The installation file weighs in at a scale of 599 KB. From this, you can expect the setup to be fast and painless – and it is. It’s one of the few painless things about this application. On application start up, it will check for updates, whether you like it or not. I searched high and low for a place or an option to disable this feature and I came back with nothing. No journey is in vain and what I gathered from this particular one is that this application does not come with any real mutable settings or options. What you see is what you get, unless you’re looking at the Advanced Tweaks tab without a license, then you’re just window shopping. However, lets look at the features that come standard with its free version.

On startup, the application opens up to the SSD Tweaker tab. Under this tab, you’ll find a giant application logo, along with a button labelled ‘Start Auto Tweak’. Auto Tweak performs 4 base operations (6 if you have the professional version) from an SSD optimization wizard screen. It checks for software updates, creates a system restore point, gathers configuration data and applies optimized settings. These are all done in steps. If you have a registered license key, advanced system application and trim optimization are made available to you. What I absolutely hate about this application rears it’s ugly head in the SSD Optimization wizard screen as well. It blatantly advertises the Professional version of the application and it even has the audacity to place a text field and button for registration on this screen.

SSD Tweaker3

The application’s functionality is sectioned out into five different tabs. Only four work if you’re a cheapskate who’s using the free version like me. You get the SSD Tweaker home tab, the standard tweaks tab, the advanced tweaks tab, the options tab and the log tab. Under standard tweaks, you get operating system specific tweaks. You get Windows XP/Vista/7 tweaks and other tweaks. You’ll have to note that these aren’t specific to the operating system you’re currently running, they are tweaking methods developed and built from older operating systems. This means that they will all work for Windows 8 but don’t quote me on that, I got this information from their website. Under the windows XP/Vista/7 panel, you get an array of tweaks that range from Prefetcher type selection to enable boot tracing selection. Under the other tweaks side of things, you get to select what type of Superfetching you want to use, whether you want to disable the Windows Indexing service or enable the Windows 8 Autostart delay. It comes with a quick defrag tool as well. What I also discovered was that it does a check and defrag on application start up and auto tweaking. There’s also a button that links you to system restore settings on Windows. The nice thing about this screen is that it comes with a panel that displays more information about the item, you are hovering over. This increases the usability and intuitiveness of the application.

SSD Tweaker1All the items under Advanced tweaks are greyed out unless you have registered license key. Under the options tab, you can Check for updates, visit the SSD Tweaker website, view the version change log, and restore to defaults. There’s also a small registration section where you can view the license agreement and register the application. The log section consists of nothing but a giant text area that displays all the operations the application has performed since it’s start up and run.

Conclusion And Download Link

I don’t have much of an issue with the functionality of this program. My biggest problem with this application is that it doesn’t feel like a free version, it feels like a trial version.

At every turn, from the home screen, to its dialogue screens, to the help menu items, to the bottom of the screen and even after you close it, it reminds you to buy the full version. It’s like a giant billboard or a used car salesman, who is way too desperate and sweaty to be taken seriously by any customer. This problem is so overbearing that I’d suggest that the user should steer clear from this application and any software from Elpamsoft unless you’ve paid for it. Though I do have my reservations about buying anything this developer has to offer.

If you want an alternative, there are plenty of standard hard drive tweakers that have the same tools available. In my opinion, this application is trying to carve out a niche by riding on the back of a piece of hardware that is increasing in popularity. If you’re inclined to, comment and tell me what you think. A little feedback goes a long way.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 3.1

Supported OS: Windows XP , Vista, 7 and 8

Download size: 599 KB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0 / 46

Is it portable? No

SSD Tweaker homepage

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6 comments

  1. Bub

    It does a defrag automattically? While I’m not sure that it is true, I’ve read that defrag is worse than useless on SSD drives. The idea is that you aren’t slowed down by forcing a drive head to scan across different parts of the disk, and since SSDs have limited numbers of writes, a write-intensive operation like defrag shortens their life.