But what about hybrid drives that combine the speed of an SSD with the inexpensive storage capacity of a traditional hard drive? Can you defragment and optimize disk performance (and lifespan) for solid-state hybrid drives (SSHD) or dual-drive hybrid systems?
The short answer is yes.
Solid-State Hybrid Drive (SSHD) Defrag
On SSHDs the SSD part of the drive is used as cache to accelerate I/O. Data is not written to the SSD, so running a defragmentation pass on the drive only defragments files and free space on the HDD component of the drive.
Dual-Drive Hybrid Systems
For dual-drive hybrid systems, the answer would be based on how the drives are set up.
Since Windows sees the HDD and the SSD components as two separate drives, if the operating system is installed on the SSD and Windows recognizes this drive, then PerfectDisk would assign it the SSD Optimize method which only consolidates free space and entirely avoids file defragmentation. This allows for more effective TRIM operations, reducing write amplification, improves write speeds and extends the life of the drive.
If Windows does not recognize the SSD, you will need to override the drive type in PerfectDisk to set SSD Optimize as the default method for this drive:
Some drives types can be displayed improperly due to how they report themselves to PerfectDisk. To override the drive type manually, in PerfectDisk, right-click on the drive > select Drive Preferences > select SSD in the “Treat drive as” drop-down menu > click the OK button to save your changes.
SMARTPlacement is a patented algorithm of Raxco Software, providing the most complete defragmentation of your drive possible and it minimizes refragmentation.
Boot files are placed at the beginning of the drive, followed by directories, followed by files organized by their modified dates.
The theory is that files that have not changed recently are less likely to change in the future. These older files are grouped together so that once PerfectDisk has SMARTPlaced them, future defragmentation passes are less likely to move them again. This shortens the amount of time needed to keep the drive at peak performance.
Free space is consolidated next to the newer files since these are more likely to change or be deleted. Consolidating the free space makes the creation of new files contiguous and therefore minimizes refragmentation of your drive.
*SSD Optimize should not be confused with the Consolidate Free Space defrag method for HDDs. The Consolidate Free Space method defragments all the files and consolidates free space, however file locations are not optimized (grouped together by modification date). This is the default optimization method for non-system drives – drives other than where Windows boots from. When you select the Consolidate Free Space option, the software will seek to create the largest possible extents of free space, and does not optimize file placement. This process can involve moving large files to reclaim relatively small amounts of free space (a maneuver that PerfectDisk omits when using the patented SMARTPlacement method), and explains why this mode sometimes takes longer to complete. Free space consolidation is best for shrinking or growing disk partitions, when seeking to re-size virtual machines, or to provide a boost to lagging Windows performance when PerfectDisk itself recommends running this defragmentation algorithm. Do not use Consolidate Free Space on SSDs.