Why Your SATA SSD Slows Down When You Download and Play Games – And How to Fix It


How to improve SATA SSD performance under concurrent workloads?

I recently replaced my old SATA HDD with a Crucial BX500 SSD, which has improved my system performance significantly. However, I have noticed that the SSD struggles to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, especially when one of them involves downloading data from the internet. For example, if I launch a game or play a video while downloading something, the loading times become extremely slow – even slower than they were with the HDD. This is puzzling, because the download speed is only a fraction of the SSD’s bandwidth, and the Windows task manager does not show any resource bottlenecks. I have searched online for a solution, but I have not found any clear explanation or advice. I would appreciate any expert input on what might be causing this issue and how to fix it.


Solid state drives (SSDs) are faster, quieter, and more reliable than traditional hard disk drives (HDDs). They use flash memory to store data, which eliminates the need for moving parts and reduces power consumption. However, SSDs are not perfect, and they may face some performance issues when dealing with concurrent workloads, such as downloading files while playing games or watching videos. In this article, we will explore some of the possible causes and solutions for this problem.

Why does SSD performance degrade under concurrent workloads?

One of the main factors that affect SSD performance is the way data is written and erased on the flash memory. Unlike HDDs, which can overwrite data directly on the magnetic platters, SSDs have to erase data before writing new data on the same location. This process is called garbage collection, and it can take some time and resources to complete.

Garbage collection is usually done in the background, when the SSD is idle or has low activity. However, when the SSD is busy with multiple tasks, such as downloading and playing games, garbage collection may not have enough time or space to operate efficiently. This can result in fragmentation, where data is scattered across different blocks of the flash memory, and increased write amplification, where more data is written than actually needed. Both of these factors can slow down the SSD’s performance and reduce its lifespan.

Another factor that can affect SSD performance is the type of interface and protocol used to connect the SSD to the system. Most SSDs use the Serial ATA (SATA) interface, which was originally designed for HDDs and has a maximum bandwidth of 6 Gbps. However, some newer SSDs use the Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) interface, which is optimized for flash memory and has a much higher bandwidth of up to 32 Gbps. NVMe SSDs can handle more concurrent workloads and deliver faster speeds than SATA SSDs, especially for random and small file operations.

How to improve SSD performance under concurrent workloads?

There are some steps that you can take to improve your SSD performance under concurrent workloads, depending on the cause and severity of the problem. Here are some of them:

  • Update your SSD firmware and drivers. Firmware is the software that controls the SSD’s functions and performance, and drivers are the software that allows the SSD to communicate with the system. Updating them can fix some bugs and improve compatibility and stability. You can check the manufacturer’s website for the latest firmware and drivers for your SSD model and follow the instructions to install them.
  • Enable TRIM support. TRIM is a command that tells the SSD which blocks of data are no longer needed and can be erased. This can help the SSD perform garbage collection more efficiently and reduce fragmentation and write amplification. TRIM is usually enabled by default on Windows 10, but you can check and enable it manually by running the command `fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify` in the Command Prompt. If the result is 0, TRIM is enabled. If the result is 1, TRIM is disabled and you can enable it by running the command `fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 0`.
  • Optimize your system settings. There are some system settings that can affect your SSD performance, such as power options, indexing, prefetching, and defragmentation. You can optimize them by following these steps:
  • Go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options and select the High Performance plan or create a custom plan with the minimum processor state set to 100%.
  • Go to Control Panel > System and Security > System > Advanced System Settings > Performance Settings > Advanced and make sure that the Adjust for best performance of option is set to Programs.
  • Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Services and disable the Windows Search service, which is responsible for indexing files for faster search. This can reduce the unnecessary write operations on the SSD.
  • Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Services and disable the Superfetch service, which is responsible for prefetching files for faster loading. This can also reduce the unnecessary write operations on the SSD.
  • Go to Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Defragment and Optimize Drives and make sure that your SSD is not scheduled for defragmentation, which is not needed and can harm the SSD. Instead, you can run the Optimize option, which can trim the SSD and improve its performance.
  • Upgrade to a faster SSD. If none of the above steps help, or if you want to get the best possible performance from your SSD, you may consider upgrading to a faster SSD, such as an NVMe SSD. However, this may require some additional hardware and software changes, such as installing a compatible PCIe slot and adapter, updating the BIOS settings, and cloning or reinstalling the operating system. You can consult a professional or follow some online guides for more details on how to do this.
  • Conclusion


are great devices that can boost your system performance and reliability, but they may face some challenges when dealing with concurrent workloads, such as downloading and playing games. This can result in slower speeds and reduced lifespan of the SSD. However, there are some ways to improve your SSD performance under concurrent workloads, such as updating the firmware and drivers, enabling TRIM support, optimizing the system settings, and upgrading to a faster SSD. By following these steps, you can enjoy the benefits of your SSD without compromising its performance.

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