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What does “fast search” in xplorer² Ultimate mean

Posted: 2015 May 12, 23:09
by pschroeter
Can you tell me what “fast search” means in xplorer² Ultimate? Does it mean the results show as I type as I have seen in some search engines? To me xplorer² Professional is already pretty fast, but live updating would be better since I would only need to type enough until what I want turns up. It would give me incentive to upgrade too.

Update May 17
Since people are still responding to this I thought I would mention as home user I didn't think I would benefit enough to warrant a switch. I am thinking that later near Christmas when I'm feeling generous I might switch as a way to support Nikos.

Re: What does “fast search” in xplorer² Ultimate mean

Posted: 2015 May 13, 07:24
by nikos
this should make things clear

Re: What does “fast search” in xplorer² Ultimate mean

Posted: 2015 May 17, 16:00
by lank
As I understand it, Ulitmate heavily relies on Windows indexing to help in the fast searches. Is that correct?

I have an SSD and some recommendations I've read say indexing should be turned off, which I've done. Do you agree with the recommendations? If so will the speed improvement be as great as shown in the video?

Re: What does “fast search” in xplorer² Ultimate mean

Posted: 2015 May 17, 18:52
by Kilmatead
Many of the "optimisation hints" that people dig up regarding SSD's actually originate from a few years ago when the technology was not fully understood by real-world users, and people were paranoid about the concept of "limited writes". (Popular misconceptions such as: "Oh my god, move the paging-file off the drive you idiot!", etc.) Unfortunately, pseudo-tech site after pseudo-tech site has copied that same list of flawed suggestions over the years without revision, leading to a great deal of misinformation being accepted as truth by new SSD owners desperate not to do something "wrong" with their new toy.

Not only has the technology matured, but it's also debunked many of the over-reactions that people made originally, such as the "disable indexing" suggestion. While read-speeds of SSD's are significantly faster than mechanical drives, the processing of large-amounts of data itself is still a bottleneck in most instances, such as "content search". The original idea behind disabling indexing was not to "save the drive" but it was wrongly assumed that it was simply no longer necessary, as "speed itself will solve everything". Indexing by its nature reduces any given set of matchable data into more practical subsets, and the system is designed to take advantage of this. For example, searching through a PDF of War and Peace for every occurrence of a particular word will always be improved by the use of an indexing layer, as the alternative is to physically search/compare every single word in a document, and no matter how fast the SSD, it won't help the CPU throughput by dumping that much "raw data" directly into the stream (never mind the poor struggling iFilter).

x2 search will of course function either way (with or without indexing) but it will always be faster and more efficient with it enabled. Essentially, there is no "down-side", as the indexing service (when used on an SSD) is harmless and (onboard controllers vs. storage cells being asynchronous) cannot interfere with user-activity in the traditional sense - which was one of the "performance fears" promulgated in the old days.

Most users these days have hybrid systems anyway, with a mixture of SSD's and internal mechanical drives (usually the ones the SSD's themselves replaced) and those will always benefit from indexing, as they're mostly used for dedicated storage anyway (which is exactly what indexing is best at).

The best advice for using an SSD is also the most obvious: treat it exactly as you would any other drive. Naturally, you must have it AHCI enabled and using Trim, etc, but aside from that (and if you're squeamish. a bit of "over-provisioning"), it should not be handled with kid-gloves. The only bit of advice that should be followed from those "popular information" sites is to disable/uninstall all defragmenting services/programmes. They may still be used on mechanical drives, but never on an SSD.

Whatever you do, please do not listen to the naïve and self-important scare-mongers who will endlessly tout statements like "it will wear-out faster" if you use it excessively (which is something they read themselves online from an outdated source and took it as gospel). Technically, it is true, SSD's do have a limited number of "write-cycles" built into them (theoretically unlike mechanical drives), however as a normal user you will not saturate that limit in your lifetime (nor even in the proposed lifetime of the drive) unless you actually rewrite the entire storage area of the drive continuously every day (all day long) for years on end. If you actually do that as part of your daily workload, you would be working with server-grade architectures in the first-place and so would have upgraded accordingly, so it's a non-issue (yes, there are server-grade SSD's as opposed to consumer-grade).

So, long story short: while SSD read-access is relatively instantaneous, it will still benefit from indexing even for silly things like plain old file-name searches - but obviously indexed structures contain far more than that kind of simple reference, and so the benefit becomes exponential if recognised for what it is.

Other common misguided suggestions also include moving the location of the indexing-file itself, not to mention the location of temp-directories, paging-files, etc, etc, etc - all of that is nonsense, as (with instant read-access) the SSD is precisely where such objects should reside in the first place by their very nature.

As stated above, the only truly important thing is AHCI and Trim (they are inter-related), and (especially if you cloned an old mechanical drive onto an SSD to save you re-installing windows) some extra steps may be required to sort that out properly, but if it's a new install or a new system, then you don't need to worry about that at all.

But to the point in hand: Indexing is as important (if not more-so due to the index-itself being zero-latent) for an SSD as it is in any mechanical medium. It's that simple. :shrug:

And lastly, when reading any articles on the web relating to SSD hardware, do not give them any credence if they are more than 2 years old. Just ignore them. There are many valuable, contemporary/certified sources of information available that will give you far more accurate information than any of those old sites/threads/"tech-comparison articles" leftover from bygone days. Of course, if you do choose to read up on these things, you should always research for yourself how the hardware actually works in the first place (it is somewhat technical), and you will be better armed with common-sense rather than falling prey to the pseudo-educated gurus out there who know nothing but their own fears and the lies they themselves were originally told.

Oh, and unrelated to your question, but topical for everyone else: Do not buy cheap SSD's off of Ebay thinking you got a great deal. Just don't. Cheap is bad. Refurbished is bad. "Slightly used" is bad. "Product may not be in its original packaging, but is guaranteed new" is bad. There are no deals. Do not listen to your cousin Larry. The girl in the office who is dating the guy in IT does not know what she's talking about. It's all just bad bad bad. I always feel the need to mention that. I don't know why. I just do. Humans can be so dumb when it comes to the schlock and hokum of marketing and tech. :wink:

Re: What does “fast search” in xplorer² Ultimate mean

Posted: 2015 May 17, 21:21
by drac
Kilmatead, you make some very good and important to know points about SSD's. Though possibly you come across a tad heavy handed. About half way through you say "to make a long story short". Then you continue on with the long story. I think if the points you made were presented as bullet points they may have been clearer and more easily absorbed then that literary genre known as "the rant" :P

Re: What does “fast search” in xplorer² Ultimate mean

Posted: 2015 May 17, 22:23
by lank
Thanks Kilmatead for the information.

You've verified some of the more recent articles I've read. Besides, I doubt I'll have this drive when it reaches it's maximum life even with indexing enabled.

Re: What does “fast search” in xplorer² Ultimate mean

Posted: 2015 May 18, 07:24
by Kilmatead
drac wrote:Though possibly you come across a tad heavy handed.
Curiously enough, that was aimed directly at you. :D

I can't link to it for some reason, but the 7th post (yours) from the top in this thread tells all.
Drac144 degrades the SSD operation faster than if the SSD was used for normal files [...] because they tend to be large files, they do not allow the SSD to efficiently spread a file out to cells that have not been used as often, so the drive is likely to fail sooner.
That is exactly what I'm talking about (and against). Many many well-meaning people repeating things on non-tech forums that don't match any demonstrable condition, and which can be easily disproven with an understanding of how the onboard drive controllers work when managing the underlying physical layers. Unfortunately, 99% of users won't make any attempt to fully understand something before they buy it, and thus they'll listen to anything that "sounds true".

There wouldn't be anything wrong with this sort of thing if it wasn't always applied to impressionable users. These people are already insecure (after spending what to them seems like a lot of money on a new toy), and throwing around the one phrase that will scare the bejesus out of them ("it will fail sooner") is absolutely guaranteed to stick in their minds.

It's not just you personally, it's everywhere (if I had my way, I would destroy all derisible pseudo-tech sites like C-NET and every word of pap ever printed on them - nothing but fool's cesspools).

I am firmly in the belief that people should always educate themselves (autodidact) about everything. And that means the hard to understand tech stuff too. But, I suppose, there aren't enough hours in the day, so they substitute it with anything that sounds good.

Thus, a rant. :D

Bullet-points are for white collar criminals - my crime spree [when it happens] will be much more theatrical. Remember that Kevin Spacey was Keyser Söze. I am not a kindly old retired gent out to help the world by passing on his silly computer knowledge. I want to shove it down the throats of the wolves who stole my young so many years passed and watch their eyes bleed in horror when the illusion that is their world is revealed unto them in its true finality. :wink: (Hey, I'm easily amused.)

Re: What does “fast search” in xplorer² Ultimate mean

Posted: 2015 May 18, 08:35
by nikos
I'm thinking of renaming this forum general "αμπελο-φιλοσοφία"

Re: What does “fast search” in xplorer² Ultimate mean

Posted: 2015 May 18, 08:49
by Kilmatead
But did you notice I actually said something nice (if not downright positive!) about indexing for once? Maybe the first time ever? That was really hard for me. I thought you'd appreciate the effort that took. I'm feeling vulnerable now. The world is a scary place. Will I ever find love? :cry:

  • (1) Do not listen to your cousin Larry

    (2) The girl in the office who is dating the guy in IT does not know what she's talking about
...are words to live by. Listen to me and you may yet go far, young Jedi.

I am just a gardener after all. :shrug:

Re: What does “fast search” in xplorer² Ultimate mean

Posted: 2015 May 18, 22:35
by drac
Kilmatead, Some of what I said was correct - not filling an SSD to capacity. So if I, as someone looking for info on a subject (like SSD's), check several sites (and C-NET is one I would normally consider credible) and they tell me the same thing, how would I know that it is not true? How do I know that YOUR info is more accurate than normally credible websites? Without knowing where you got the info and that you did the necessary level of research to validate your info, yours could be the incorrect data.

When I did research prior to getting an SSD on my new computer, the issue that concerned me most was the limited number of writes that an SSD can do before failing. I did run across an article on the PC World site that basically said "don't worry about it your SSD will last many years". So I stopped worrying and added the SSD to the system.

I, for one, would be happy to pay a small fee (either monthly or per use) if there was a website I could use to ask a question and get a well researched, accurate answer. One that I know I could trust. Sounds like a great opportunity for YOU to make some money doing what you seem to do already. You can even choose to reject an assignment if you are not interested in the question. Questions would be limited to specified topics. Are you interested?

Re: What does “fast search” in xplorer² Ultimate mean

Posted: 2015 May 19, 06:50
by Kilmatead
drac wrote:How do I know that YOUR info is more accurate than normally credible websites?
You don't. That's the point!

Considering that over-provisioning is handled almost wholly within the drive itself these days (it was not years ago in original models), it's virtually impossible for people to intentionally "fill to capacity" even if they wanted to. The same goes for mechanical drives, too, but for completely different reasons. While SSD's may walk and talk just like mechanical drives, they are a complete paradigm-shift underneath (never mind the coming switch to PCIe, or what's left of the old PCIe standard), and so pop-reviews and inherited-knowledge is a waste of time when applied to them. Besides, over-provisioning is more palliative care for heart-attack victims than it is a philosophy of long life. (To mix a few metaphors.)

One could make the argument that since most users don't fully understand how mechanical drives work either, and few users ever died because of that dearth, the same applies here. They're just tools to use and ignore. If that's how people wish to "understand their world", then indeed, C-NET is the hip hop place to be.

C-NET is not a real tech-site and it never was - nor is it considered particularly reputable since almost everything is watered-down (dumbed-down) and package-made for selling to a populist audience. That's exactly what it's supposed to be, and its how they make money. It's rather like the Fox News of tech - it looks and acts the part, but its too shiny to be taken seriously and tells users "what they want them to want to know" [sic], rather than what there is to actually know. The problem is, of course, users have no idea what they "want to know", they just "know what they want". There is a seismic difference between these four states of intellectual matter. (All you have to do is compare the headlines for the last few years and you'll get the idea that something just doesn't smell right.) I'm sure it's wonderful for phone-reviews, and telling you which SSD they think "comes out tops" in their studious tests (which tend to be farmed out, as many are), but that's not going to give you the dust-mite's view of understanding what makes anything tick. Their "reporters" attend Apple Press Conferences for Julian's sake - and think that passing on that "information" is somehow helping consumers. Again, perhaps people just don't care anymore? Quite possible. And the world is apparently made just for them now. :shrug:

At least it's good for ranting about. :wink: Kind of like old what old newspapers do for cleaning up after puppies. Aren't they the ones that started infecting all their downloads with (what the rest of the world calls) maleware, or more innocently "adware", and don't apologise for it? I don't think they've changed that policy. "I wonder why?" he ponders sarcastically.
drac wrote:I, for one, would be happy to pay a small fee (either monthly or per use) if there was a website I could use to ask a question and get a well researched, accurate answer.
Great, more walled-communities. That's rather anti-internet (and curiously American) in its belief (paid-for-but-not-earned elitism). What is trust? Quid est veritas? Same old question, same new world. I advocate learning for yourself and your reply is to ask me to tell you what is true? Descartes is spinning - oh how he's spinning. The mind boggles.

Exactly which part of my forcing Autodidacticism down the throats of the wolves didn't make sense? It's (pardon the pun) rather self-explanatory, and anathema to those types of suggestions. :wink: (Or did I just miss the larger overall pun you were really making? Methinks I may have.)

Re: What does “fast search” in xplorer² Ultimate mean

Posted: 2015 May 19, 21:12
by drac
You may have missed the "pun" (I am not sure the word applies here) though I would think sarcasm is more appropriate. I have a very difficult time conveying sarcasm via text. Either it is too concealed or too obvious. I guess it is all in the look or vocal inflection and I should just give up trying to use it in text.

I am not as down on C-NET as you. They are good for providing a point of view that, when in line with other sources, is helpful in finding and confirming info. If they recommend a product and PC Mag and/or PC World and other review sites (when possible Amazon customer reviews) also recommend it, then I am satisfied. Even Fox news gets it right (pun intended) at times.

Mechanical drives are simplistic enough that they do not take a lot of understanding - and do not come with all the restrictions that accompany SSD's. SSD's have so many caveats, warnings and restrictions that one wonders whether the speed is worth the limitations. Even though I am an electrical engineer by degree, I never had any employment where it was a significant part of my job description. I started my post university career at Univac and software was my main focus. But even my education and job experience with electronics (yes we had IC's back then), which is very helpful from time to time - even for a programmer - is not enough when it comes to SSD's. And if it is daunting for me, what must people without my background think? I tend to go with the majority when there is contradictory information. I check enough sources that I am aware of the inconsistencies and enough so that I have an idea of what the more credible sites say (I understand that this could lead to discarding the truth in favor of the accepted - as would be the case if I were determining the shape and size of the earth in 1491). Then it is up to me to go that final yard and decide what I am going to believe. Sometimes the answer is: there is not enough information to make an informed decision. If I have to make a decision anyway, I do the best I can - but if possible I defer the decision until better info is available. That is what I did with SSD's.

Re: What does “fast search” in xplorer² Ultimate mean

Posted: 2015 May 19, 21:36
by pschroeter
I wonder if there is a term for when the person who originally started the thread in a forum comes back and can no longer recognize it as his. They do seem to take on a life of their own at times.

Re: What does “fast search” in xplorer² Ultimate mean

Posted: 2015 May 20, 00:49
by pj
Yes ... HIJACKED! :roll:

Re: What does “fast search” in xplorer² Ultimate mean

Posted: 2015 May 20, 03:05
by pj
Ahem, however, Seagate is adding fuel to the "SSDs are bad" frey with this...

I still believe this is FUD, because of some of the hidden agenda items:
  • "... some NAND management algorithms ..." which any modern manufacturer is NOT using because of the retention hit
  • The way UBER is defined
  • "...A sector containing corrupted data is to be counted as one data error ..." which means even if the controller detects a write failure, flags the sector and moves the data to the next spare sector, this still counts as an error...
As said before, there's no bigger liar than one who lies with statistics.

PJ in (how did I get drawn into this discussion anyway?) FL