So I installed TWRP 18.104.22.168 and used it to do a complete wipe. It started the format but had several errors about not being able to mount /data and then it said it was formatting Data using ext4fs. I've read that it should only take 5 minutes or so, so you can imagine my worry when 5 minutes past and then 10 and so on until it finished up after a little over 30 minutes, so if it's just sitting there, there's a good chance it is actually doing something, so leave it be for awhile and don't forget to check your battery, you don't want your tab to shut off suddenly!
I reinstalled CROMBi-kk and let it boot. Much to my surprise it booted and the resulting performance was nothing short of shocking!
So far this thing is running like it NEVER has before! The lag so far is so much less than ever and things open and close very quickly!
The long time it takes for formatting and the performance gains are actually related. Creating the filesystem takes probably less than 5 minutes, but then the recovery does a "trim" on the free blocks - telling the eMMC that it may discard the data in these blocks and erase them. Erasing flash memory is slow. But following write requests by the booted ROM will be much faster because they can be written directly without prior erasing and shuffling data around.
Using f2fs should increase the time until the eMMC has to shuffle data around because it does less random writes. But when all blocks have been written once, something must be erased to rewrite more. The permanent solution is to run fstrim regularly (I've seen some comments in the Android source code that runs it automatically from time to time) or to mount with the discard option, and to leave a reasonable amount of space free (10 to 15%).
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