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SSD limited number of writes

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May 10, 2012 9:17:02 PM

Hi

I read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid-state_drive#Comparis...
that SSD has a limited number of writes, much more limited than the one on a HDD.

does this mean a HDD will last me longer than a SSD?
which one is more likely to still be serving me after 8 years of daily use?
a c 98 G Storage
May 10, 2012 9:26:09 PM

To go over the writes limit, you have to do something like 5GB of writes a day for 5 years.

Go SSD, once you do you won't go back.

And don't baby it, use it for what it's for: speedy reads!

Once you get one, there are some tips & tricks to do to it to "save" it:

The SSD Review - SSD Optimization Guide...

OCZ Blog - SSD Tips & Tweaks

But due to cost vs size, we always recommend a HDD to go along with an SSD for storage.

SSD - boot/OS/Programs/Games
HDD - Data & Media Storage (i.e. Libraries = My Documents, Download, Music, Picture, Videos, and Gaming Data)
HDD - Back Ups of both above
May 11, 2012 6:49:40 AM

foscooter said:
To go over the writes limit, you have to do something like 5GB of writes a day for 5 years.

Go SSD, once you do you won't go back.

And don't baby it, use it for what it's for: speedy reads!

Once you get one, there are some tips & tricks to do to it to "save" it:

The SSD Review - SSD Optimization Guide...

OCZ Blog - SSD Tips & Tweaks

But do to cost vs size, we always recommend a HDD to go along with an SSD for storage.

SSD - boot/OS/Programs/Games
HDD - Data & Media Storage (i.e. Libraries = My Documents, Download, Music, Picture, Videos, and Gaming Data)
HDD - Back Ups of both above


thanks for the recommendation but I'm asking in the range of 8 years as I posted.
I only throw away a computer after 8 years.
this is how it goes:
I buy a new computer.
after 3-4 years that computer is considered old and I buy a new one, BUT I don't throw that one away, I put it along with my new computer and use it to do other tasks.
at the 5-6 years mark , the "new" computer turns to an "old" one too so on my "very old" computer I install some kind ubuntu or fedora on the old computer and put it in a different room where I use it for internet only mostly.
at the 8 years mark I throw the "very old" one away.

can SSD as the booting storage device handle this ride?
and yes, I still have computers with 40GB IDE that work great.
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a b G Storage
May 11, 2012 10:14:34 AM
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There aren't a lot of stats available for SSDs lasting 8 years+ because SSDs have only been around a little less than that and have reallyonly become popular in the last 2 years or so as prices have dropped. 8 years is a long time for HDDs to last and HDDs life expectancy has more to do with time than number of writes. HDDs have moving parts, grease than dry up, bearings that can go bad. I wouldn't be concerned with the limited number of writes for an SSD as they have wear leveling and you would need to write the equivalent of of hundreds if not thousands of times the SSD's capacity to even come close. In short, go with the SSD, there is no garentee either HDDs or SSDs will last 8 years, but I can garentee you'll be very happy with the performance and SSD will give you versus an HDD.
a b G Storage
May 11, 2012 10:27:48 AM

What they are trying to say is if you need something to last 8 years, your best bet is a hdd. They just can't type the words for some reason.
a b G Storage
May 11, 2012 10:51:25 AM

Depends on which SSD you get. Obviously one using SLC last longer the one using MLC. There are enterprise grade SSD thats guarrenteed to work for 5 years, pretty much on the same level as HDD.

What you could also do is go with two drive, one SSD for boot and a HDD for data and use it if SSD ever fails.

I personally wouldn't worry about it. The chance of HDD failling is about just as much as SSD. SSD being more limited by write number while HDD limited by the number of spin cycle it does. Its also easy and cheap to replace a drive after a few years.
May 11, 2012 12:42:07 PM

4745454b said:
What they are trying to say is if you need something to last 8 years, your best bet is a hdd. They just can't type the words for some reason.


I'm not sure of that, the opinions here seem to differ
a b G Storage
May 11, 2012 2:29:18 PM

SSD's right now are somewhat too newish to find out whether or not they might last 8 years.

I suspect the longest lasting storage device should be a HDD with a single platter design.

Less weight, less heat, less chances of failure. That should last you 8+ years. Just keep it cool, dust free and do not move it at all.

I would reccomend going with a HDD with a 5 year warranty - so that for those 5 years you know your safe. For the last 3 years...well hopefully if it lasted the first 5 years fine, it should last the last 3 fine as well.

Seagate 1 TB single platter HDD: 3 year warranty

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I just did a quick search and found that one.
a b G Storage
May 11, 2012 3:54:26 PM

Intel 320 120Gb, $199.99 Not the fastest drive, 200Mbish read/write, faster then HDD but slower then a SATAIII SSD
MTBF: 1.2million hour, 5 year limited warranty.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel 330 120Gb $149.99, Twice as fast
MTBF: 1.2million hour, 3 year limited warranty.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel 710 100Gb $399.99, enterprise grade product, better endurance at high cost
MTBF: 2.0million hour, 3 year limited warranty

I would take MTBF with a grain of salt but 5 year warranty does say something about its liftspan.

Its going to be a trade off between reliability, performance, price and maturaty of techonology. But luck is going to play just as large a role once you get to the 5+ years time period.
a b G Storage
May 11, 2012 11:36:07 PM

4745454b said:
What they are trying to say is if you need something to last 8 years, your best bet is a hdd. They just can't type the words for some reason.



I think what everyone is trying to say is that SSDs haven't been around 8 years to know and 8 years is a lot to EXPECT out of an HDD. I personally think SSDs offer the best chance for longevity , no moving parts but there is no data to back that up yet.
a b G Storage
May 12, 2012 1:10:01 AM

I and others have spoke of 8yrs being nothing for a hdd. My OS drive is sitting on a Seagate 7200.10 250GB drive that I bought back in 2005. 7 years now? No issues at all with this drive. (I have lost a couple of WD AAKS drives (both were 320GB) and I no longer use those.) From what I've read I don't think an SSD would last 7 or 8 years as an OS drive with the swap file still on it. OP asked which is most likely to last 8 years and everyone is still saying SSD. HDDs have the proven ability to do it, why are we still talking SSD?
May 12, 2012 1:31:15 AM

I've had HDD's fail in less than 4 years so I wouldn't even count on an HDD lasting 8 years anymore.

Getting 8 years out of a PC is really going to be a stretch going forward, things are advancing at an incredible speed now. PC's are outdated in 2-3 now even if you went super high end where as not long ago you could go 5+.

SSD's are such a MASSIVE leap in performance over an HDD that it is not even funny. I could never, ever go back to HDD as a primary drive again. Its just awful. Get the SSD, the prices are dropping so fast lately that in a few years they will be dirt cheap anyway and just get another if it starts giving you issues. 6 months ago I bought a Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 240GB SSD that was almost $500 and today it costs $240, prices are dropping insanely fast. Unless you are hosting a data center on it it should last for at least 5 yrs or more.
May 14, 2012 9:25:27 AM

but now I read that SSD performance degrade overtime, so I guess I won't expect a SSD to work faster than a HDD after 5 years
a b G Storage
May 14, 2012 11:02:29 AM

Is the oerformance degrade that you are talking about the one that any new drives takes a few month to drop down to the stable level of performance? A new drive fresh out of box are faster because it is blank and as it get used the performance degrades slightly until it eventully levels. I think HDD has similar behaviour. Incidentally a drive would also be more likely to fail in this period due to infant death syndrome.
SSD rewrite works by flashing an entire block of data then write the entire page back with the changes bits. Think the size of a block is something like 512kB so write thats less then that would still require write of 512kB.

What happens is that when a SSD is mostly empty and you want to change a file, instead of doing the flashing and write, what it does is just mark the current page as junk to be deleted later and write to somewhere else thats blank (it is faster this way as you don't have to wait for an entire block to reformat). As your drive fills up, the blank space get used up and when OS run out of "blank" spaces it does the above thing that takes slightly longer to write. Hence the performance drop.

There is the trim function you have to consider as well. Its nothing major, your SSD is still going to be faster then a HDD cause you talking about 10x performance difference right now.

Here is an artical to read:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2738/8
a b G Storage
May 14, 2012 2:03:06 PM

If your so worried about SSDs, why bother getting them? Seems like your dragging your feet now!

For all the time you spent going back and forth deciding which to get - you could have gotten a job (or extra job) and paid for either an SSD or HDD.

Just go with a HDD.
a b G Storage
May 14, 2012 2:18:59 PM

+1 chainsaw

The facts are that SSD is fast and are just likely to fail as HDD. If you really want to trade speed for maturity of technology that HDD offers then no one can argue with you.

Quote from wikipedia "SSD testing must start from the (in use) full disk, as the new and empty (fresh out of the box) disk may have much better write performance than it would show after only weeks of use."

Yep thats what I was talking about. If you read some of the test methodology they use at anandtech when they test ssd they mentions that. Almost no impact on read and slight impact on write depend on how certain things are implimented.

The other plus of SSD is that they have longer data retention period after disk write fails, you can still read your file once the flash is worn out, you just can't write to it anymore. The negative is that any firmware glitch will trash your data (some company doing better job at firmware then other)

You be the judge on that.
a b G Storage
May 14, 2012 2:34:36 PM

Guess what following your link to another tom'shardware forum post which leads to wikipedia then follow the footnote 63 leads back to another tomshardware article that I remember reading. You should read it too.

This article
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-reliability-fai...

The graph on that page shows avarage failer rate of HDD at 20% for 4 years and growing at least quadraticly.


The footnote follows this quote, which in my option is badly worded.
"researchers at the Center for Magnetic Recording Research "are adamant that today's SSDs aren't an order of magnitude more reliable than hard drives"
May 14, 2012 9:54:39 PM

dude get a ssd with toggle nand. it is faster than your regular sata 3 ssd and is top quality nand. it has a much larger amount of write cycles and is more reliable. a good one is a mushkin chronos deluxe. it has a good price-to-performance ratio and is often 1$ per gigabyte
a c 351 G Storage
May 14, 2012 11:14:41 PM

If you are concerned that 10,000 writes per cell are a problem for you, o that's 10,000 x 128 gigs or to put it simply 1 x 10 to the 4th power x 128 x 10 to the 9th poweris a Problem.
THEN just go out an buy a Quality SLC SSD and be done with it.
Todays HDDs do NOT appear to last as long as Drives made back 8-> 10 years ago.
They have increased the magnetic domain density, they have decreased the distance between the Head and the Medium.

So the SSD dies in 6 years, buy then you should be able to replace it for 1 Dollar and 295 cents and 10 minutes time to restore the operating system.

Would also be simpler if you could have possed your questions in a single post.

Between your post you have been given the pros and cons - Do use a favor and make up your Mind and just buy IT, be it a SSD or a HDD !!!! - if your Irish and luck is with you either or will last.
May 27, 2012 7:50:22 PM

Best answer selected by yifat.
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