Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Flash drive write cycles vs hard drive write cycles

Last response: in Storage
January 25, 2010 2:11:38 AM

i am running xp on 4 gb kingston flash drive how much will be the life expectancy of my flash drive compared to a regular 80 gb Seagate Barracuda 7200 rpm SATA HDD?
a c 415 G Storage
January 25, 2010 4:13:36 AM

Flash memory cells can only accept a limited number of writes, hard drives have no limit. Flash drives minimize the issue by doing "wear levelling" - they distribute writes to different memory cells rather than always writing to the same place. Most flash drives can last for at least a few years under even moderately heavy write loads, but it's prudent to avoid using them in situations that are very write-intensive.
January 26, 2010 11:40:37 PM

Usb sticks fail often, but not the CF cards I use intensively, so
- Take CF, not Usb sticks
- It's not related with Flash technology

Intel gives several years life expectancy at 1GB/hour write rate for its Flash SSD. Just try to write as much on a mechanical disk: it will fail much earlier.

You may try the DisableNtfsLastAccessUpdate in the registry. It reduces the number of writes to the disk, which also improves speed on older Flash disks. And of course, use Xp's improved write filter, and align the volumes.

Anyway, a 4GB drive is cheap now, so use it, backup, and observe.