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  1. Dos101's Avatar
    In an effort to get a little more speed out of the Surface 3 I did some testing to see if encryption (which is enabled by default) had much of an impact on disk performance or not. I also tested with Superfetch disabled. Here's the results.

    I tested with CrystalDiskMark 3.0.4 and 4.0.3. The reason I tested with both versions is that I've had some weird results before with 4.0.3, but 3.04 has been pretty stable. This way we cover our bases by testing with the latest version, as well as stable version.

    CrystalDiskMark 3.0.4
    s3-304-test.jpg


    CrystalDiskMark 4.0.3

    s3-403-test.jpg

    It's not a massive increase, it's definitely significant enough to consider turning off encryption and Superfetch. If you have some sensitive data on your Surface 3 then you may want to leave it on. As far as everyday operation, I haven't noticed much of a difference, except when booting up, definitely a little snappier when I boot to desktop. Usually it took a second or two before I was able to launch an application such as Chrome. With encryption and superfetch off, I was able to open Chrome right away once it booted to the desktop.

    For those interested I also did a benchmark of my MicroSD card, a 128GB Sandisk Ultra class 10.

    CrystalDiskMark 3.0.4
    sd-card-304.jpg

    CrystalDiskMark 4.0.3
    sd-card-403.jpg

    I've seen a couple threads on here about using a MicroSD card as the Windows drive, or as a drive to install games on. Aside from the technical limitations with installing Windows on a removable drive, I wouldn't recommend it anyways. The built in eMMC disk is much faster. For installing applications it is definitely feasible though. Lightweight applications and old games would be ideal as you probably wouldn't notice the slower disk speed. As faster cards come out I'm sure the situation will improve, but right now, at least with this type of card, there is a very large performance difference between a MicroSD card and the built in storage.

    This was all mostly quick and dirty testing. I'm sure someone with far more time and technical knowledge will put together a more comprehensive benchmark, but for now I hope this helps anyone who's interested.
    05-13-2015 10:07 PM
  2. realwarder's Avatar
    So if I'm reading that right on my phone it's about a 10% hit, which is definitely worth it for the benefit encryption brings. Even for personal use banking logins and things may be on the laptop if stolen.

    Thanks for the test.
    James Doan likes this.
    05-13-2015 10:21 PM
  3. Dos101's Avatar
    Depends which test you're looking at. Sequential read gets about a 25% boost, which is more than I was actually expecting.
    05-13-2015 10:31 PM
  4. Dymanix's Avatar
    Thanks for this. How do you turn it off btw and is it easy to turn back on if you change your mind?
    05-14-2015 03:39 AM
  5. Dos101's Avatar
    Thanks for this. How do you turn it off btw and is it easy to turn back on if you change your mind?
    Go to PC Settings - PC and devices - PC info. Scroll to the bottom and there's the option to turn encryption on or off. It's easy to do, just takes a while,
    so prepare to do some waiting.
    Dymanix and Internaut like this.
    05-14-2015 09:21 AM
  6. simbadogg's Avatar
    Thanks for this, especially the testing on the sandisk 128GB class 10 (same thing I have on my surface 2).

    That's one thing I've always been disappointed with on the Surface 2, the transfer speeds both read and write (on both this 128GB card, and the older 64GB card I had before it). It seems like you're getting about double the read and around 1.5x the write that I'm getting right now.
    05-14-2015 09:55 PM
  7. Dos101's Avatar
    Thanks for this, especially the testing on the sandisk 128GB class 10 (same thing I have on my surface 2).

    That's one thing I've always been disappointed with on the Surface 2, the transfer speeds both read and write (on both this 128GB card, and the older 64GB card I had before it). It seems like you're getting about double the read and around 1.5x the write that I'm getting right now.
    I was always pretty disappointed with that as well. I didn't run any on my Surface 2 when I had it (was there any disk benchmarks in the Store for Windows RT anyways?) but microSD cards in the Surface 2 always felt slow to me.
    05-15-2015 06:31 PM
  8. vaderag's Avatar
    I know what encryption is, but what is superfetch? If I turn off, what am I losing?? Thanks
    05-16-2015 05:07 PM
  9. Dos101's Avatar
    Superfetch is a feature in Windows 7 and 8 that tries to learn your behavior and predict what applications you're going to launch. It was mainly intended to help mechanical HHD's "seem faster" by preloading an application into memory so that when you go to use it the application loads significantly faster. With SDD's, because of how much faster they are than mechanical hard drives, Superfetch has a negligible performance increase on application performance. I was curious if turning it off yielded any performance increase on the Surface 3, and it does seem to increase the read speeds a bit. Windows is technically supposed to be smart enough to disable it when it detects an SSD, but from personal experience (and from many other people reporting the same on various forums) that doesn't seem to always be true.

    EDIT:

    I should note I am still testing various scenarios while enabling/disabling various options. There's a lot documentation to support leaving Superfetch enabled, but some real world tests seem to contradict that. I'll be updating my original post with any additional information and results that I find.
    Last edited by Dos101; 05-16-2015 at 06:04 PM.
    cygnus11 likes this.
    05-16-2015 05:39 PM

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