Hello friends. In this publication, we will talk about Samsung’s technology to accelerate the speed of its SATA SSD – about the Samsung Rapid mode. The technology is based on the use of the computer’s RAM resource, it is a software caching of requests to the drive in the RAM. Provides the operation of SATA drives in certain operations at the speed level of PCI-E drives. If you have a Samsung SATA drive, and if you have a certain amount of RAM idle, using Rapid mode is a good optimizing solution to speed up your computer. What is Samsung Rapid mode in general, what performance gain does it give, in what user tasks it can be useful let’s figure it out.
Samsung Rapid: How to Make SATA SSD Work at PCI-E SSD Speeds
What is Samsung Rapid Mode?
So, friends, Samsung Rapid mode is a software technology for increasing the speed of SATA drives, developed by Samsung to once again prove the superiority of its products to the world. And to give users of SATA drives who cannot yet upgrade their computer to the modern generation of hardware with support for NVMe drives and use, for example, the fastest such in the user segment Samsung 970 EVO Plus on PCI-E 3.0 and Samsung 980 PRO on PCI-E 4.0, at least ghostly feel the effect of working with NVMe drives. The technology is based on the use of the free resource of the computer’s RAM as an intelligent cache. And the speed of data processing by RAM, as you know, is several times higher than the speed of hard drives. So, the sequential speed of reading and writing modern DDR4 can reach 13-14 thousand MB / s, and random small data – 1200-1600 MB / s. For example, here are the CrystalDiskMark tests for a RAM disk based on DDR4 3333 RAM.
For less efficient DDR4 memory and DDR3 memory, the test results for RAM disks will, of course, be more modest, but still in sequential data processing – up to 5-7 thousand MB / s. So, friends, Samsung Rapid is a mode of operation of a Samsung SATA SSD with RAM used as a cache, the bandwidth, and speed of which is much higher than that of SATA drives. And they are limited by the bandwidth of the SATA III interface up to 600 Mb / s. Only the best representatives of SATA SSDs sequentially read and write data at a speed of more than 500 MB / s, but even rare of them can give a random processing speed of small pieces of information of more than 50 MB / s and with a large queue depth more than 200 MB / s.
In Rapid mode, the SATA SSD will have at its disposal a resource of RAM and by caching data in it, it will increase the speed of their processing. Moreover, with a significant increase in the case of large files, where the “RAM” will be able to reveal its potential. The Samsung Rapid service processes will monitor the operation of the operating system associated with drive activity. Thanks to intelligent caching, they will analyze the use of programs and data. And based on the analysis, dynamically optimize the I / O of the drive data. This will not affect user copying of data in any way, Samsung Rapid is not for this operation, but this mode will have a positive effect on the performance of Windows and resource-intensive programs, especially when reading data. Samsung’s Rapid will also have no effect when Windows boots:
In its principle of operation, Samsung Rapid is similar to using a RAM disk, only here we get intelligent technology that organizes the use of a RAM disk and worries about saving cached data, writing information from the cache to the drive between computer starts.
Samsung Rapid may require from 1.5 GB to 3 GB of idle RAM to work, therefore, on PCs and laptops with 4 GB of “RAM” or less, using this mode will be meaningless. Well, if you have 8 GB or more of RAM, but it clogs to capacity for your tasks, it also makes no sense to use Rapid mode.
Check the detailed guide on What Is Samsung Magician?
Samsung Rapid Terms of Service
Rapid Mode is, as mentioned, Samsung’s SATA SSD-only technology. Currently, this technology is supported by internal storage models:
- Samsung 850, 860 PRO, 860 EVO, 860 QVO, 870 EVO, 870 QVO .
The mode has its own characteristics and limitations. So, Samsung Rapid:
- Works in Windows starting from version 7;
- Doesn’t work for RAID arrays;
- Does not work for disk partitions with file systems other than NTFS;
- Can only be applied to one Samsung SATA SSD. If the computer has other Samsung SATA SSDs, the mode will not work for them. If there are two or more SATA SSDs from Samsung, the mode will be applied randomly, we will not be able to choose a drive for Rapid;
- Does not allow you to create Windows restore points, you will need to make full backups of the operating system.
- And yet, friends, when Rapid mode is active, you cannot hot-swap SSD. It is also undesirable to terminate programs by removing their processes in the task manager.
How to enable Samsung Rapid
To enable Samsung Rapid, you need to use Samsung Magician, a dedicated SSD program from Samsung. You can download it on the Samsung website…
Let’s turn on Samsung Rapid, friends, and see how this mode works on the example of the Samsung 860 EVO drive on an old computer with DDR3 RAM and on a new computer with good modern DDR4 memory. But first, let’s open the Windows Task Manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc), go to the “Performance” tab in the memory section and look at the “Non-paged pool” information block. This is RAM data that is used by the kernel and Windows drivers, it is always in memory and is never paged out. Among these data, i.e. after enabling Samsung Rapid, the non-paged pool will contain cached data used in the operation of the mode. Typically, the non-paged pool does not exceed 200-400 MB of occupied memory. In our case, 308 MB.
We fix this data, we will need it for further comparison with the volume of the non-paged pool – after we enable Rapid. Well, let’s turn it on. In the Samsung Magician program, go to the Performance Optimization section. Turn on the mode slider.
Click “OK” in the dialog boxes to warn of checking the compatibility of the mode and the need to restart the computer to enable the mode.
Further, Samsung Rapid will warn us that the system function of creating restore points cannot be used in its operating conditions. And he will ask you to make sure that the computer will not lose power in the near future using the mode. If you have a laptop, monitor the battery charge. We press “Yes“.
And we press “Restart now“.
After restarting and restarting the computer, the Rapid mode will be enabled. Friends, this mode is a software technology that runs at the operating system level. Accordingly, you need to enable Samsung Rapid in every Windows, if you work with several, and every time after reinstalling Windows.
We turned on Samsung Rapid, now let’s launch the task manager and take a look at the non-paged RAM pool. Now its volume is 1.5 GB. We remember that before the mode was turned on, the pool occupied about 300 MB of “RAM”, therefore, from the start, 1.3 GB of “RAM” is used for the needs of the mode.
Again, this mode may require up to 3 GB of RAM during Samsung Rapid operation.
And let’s take a look at the processes behind Samsung Rapid. In the CCleaner program, which shows the details of startup objects, we see that an entry has appeared in the Windows registry about the launch of the SamsungRapidApp application,
and in services, the Samsung Rapid Mode Service.
And, like ordinary programs, the Rapid software has its data in the system folder “Program Files (x86)”, which, of course, it is advisable not to go into.
Synthetic tests of Samsung Rapid
Well, friends, let’s see how the Samsung 860 EVO SATA drive with Rapid mode behaves in synthetic tests. On an old computer with DDR3 memory in the CrystalDiskMark tests, the drive with active mode received almost everywhere advantages in data processing speed.
Especially important is the advantage in the tests of radio reading and writing of 4K files (RND4K Q1T1): the mode accelerated reading 8 times, writing – 2 times. Sequential reading and writing with the mode got 5 times faster, and in reading without queue depth – as much as 9 times. Those. even on DDR3 memory in principle, we can say that with the Samsung Rapid, the SATA drive works at the level of a good NVMe PCI-E 3.0 drive. If we compare our Samsung 860 EVO with Rapid mode on an old computer and a PCI-E 3.0 Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe drive with 250 GB, we get somewhere a lag, somewhere an advantage. But, what is important, we will get the advantage of Samsung Rapid in processing 4K files (RND4K Q1T1), this is the potential that is revealed not only in synthetics and individual user tasks but in the real work of Windows and for each user.
In the Samsung Magician benchmarks, our Samsung 860 EVO without Rapid showed sequential read speeds of 558 MB / s and writes of 532 MB / s.
With Rapid mode, it delivered a sequential read speed of 1928 MB / s, writing – 2326 MB / s.
Performance with Samsung Rapid has increased 3-4 times. If your memory is newer and faster, the performance gain from Samsung Rapid in synthetic tests will be much larger. So, on a new computer with DDR4 RAM, operating at a frequency of 2666 MHz, the Samsung 860 EVO with Rapid mode significantly outperformed the PCI-E 4.0 Samsung 980 Pro 250 GB SSD in data processing speed.
How does Samsung Rapid behave in real user tasks? On the catch, I do not have a particularly resource-intensive task, but we can see how the drive and Rapid mode behave in the operation of saving a virtual machine in the VMware Workstation Pro program. We save the car.
We record on video the behavior of the drive and the mode in the system task manager. When storyboarding the video, we find the peak speed of the drive – 831 MB / s.
Very good, as we can see. But this, friends, on an old computer with DDR3 memory. On a new computer with DDR4 memory, while saving the virtual machine, the Task Manager recorded a speed of 2.8 GB / s. More speed simply could not develop due to the short duration of the operation.
This, my friends, is the feature of SATA drives from Samsung – Rapid mode. Of course, software technology doesn’t make your SATA drive a PCI-E NVMe drive in any way. When actually copying data, we will still be faced with the limitations of SATA. And if we need to copy a large file, say, a movie, this operation will not take place in a matter of seconds, like on an NVMe drive. But if we have an extra amount of RAM, we can use it and get the acceleration of the computer in individual operations related to the work of Windows and programs. The performance provided by any method of data caching is clearly visible in resource-intensive programs, in particular, those geared towards working with the cache. It is especially noticeable when re-accessing previously performed program tasks. And, perhaps,