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Experiment: Can Adding RAM Improve Your SSD's Endurance?

Test System And Benchmarks

System Hardware
HardwareDetails
CPUIntel Core i7-3770K (22 nm, Ivy Bridge, D2), 4C/4T, 3.5 GHz, 4 x 256 KB L2 Cache, 8 MB L3 Cache, w/ HD Graphics 4000, 95 W TDP, 3.9 GHz max. Turbo
Motherboard (LGA 1155)Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H WiFi, Chipset: Intel Z77 Express, BIOS: 1504
Memory2 x 8 GB DDR3-1600 CL10-10-10-27, Corsair Vengeance CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10
GraphicsSapphire Radeon HD 7870 Flex, GPU: Pitcairn (1000 MHz), Graphics RAM: 2 GB GDDR5 (2400 MT/s), Stream Processors: 1280
System DriveSamsung PM810, 256 GB, SATA 3Gb/s, MZ5PA256HMDR
Power SupplySeasonic X-760, SS-760KM Active PFC
Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
Drivers and Settings
AMD Radeon DriverATI Catalyst 12.8 Suite for Windows 7
Intel Chipset DriverChipset Installation Utility Ver. 9.3.0.1019
Performance Benchmarks
Adobe Photoshop CS 6Version: 13 (64-Bit), Photomerge 7x JPG 18 Mpx images generated with Canon EOS 7D auto-mode
Autodesk 3d Studio Max 2010Version: 10 x64, Rendering Space Flyby Mentalray (SPECapc_3dsmax9), Frame: 248, Resolution: 1440x1080
FilezillaDownload OpenOffice 15 files 148 MB from FTP
Microsoft Visual Studio 2010Compile Chrome project (1/31/2012), with devenv.com /build Release

Benchmarks

We ran the following three benchmarks on our test system, first with 4 GB of RAM and then with 16 GB. After each run, we measured the amount of data written to the SSD using hIOmon.

  • Autodesk 3ds Max 2012: Ten pictures are rendered, each of them sporting a resolution of 1440x1080 pixels.
  • Adobe Photoshop CS6: The well-known editing app is run in automatic mode and stitches together seven partial pictures of 18 megapixels each, resulting in a huge panorama.
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2010: Google Chrome is compiled from source code.

  • lunyone
    How is RAM at "Historic Lows"?? RAM in 2012 was about half the price today. I bought 32 gb's of RAM in late 2012 for $100 on sale. Today it's about >$200 for similar set.
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    11135305 said:
    How is RAM at "Historic Lows"?? RAM in 2012 was about half the price today. I bought 32 gb's of RAM in late 2012 for $100 on sale. Today it's about >$200 for similar set.

    Considering that 4GB of DDR2 used to cost ($250) you can easily get 32GB of DDR3. And it will go down again with DDR4 since DDR4 should have 16GB sticks in mass.
    Reply
  • CommentariesAnd More
    I did feel the difference when I added 8GB RAM to my rig. It was in my pocket , not the SSD though. :P
    Reply
  • agnickolov
    I've happily been running with 12GB for over 2 1/2 years now, upgraded from initially only 6GB. I probably won't be going for 24GB though, since my system is rather old running an i7-920. However, 16GB or maybe even 32GB is definitely in the cards for the next build. If only Intel were to release a CPU worth upgrading to, 4.5 years later the current Haswell i7s are not even twice faster...
    Reply
  • rdc85
    IMO more test needed to see better picture, like test when gaming, light browsing office, watching movie, etc..

    I think the test in this article all high memory usage apps, the average reduction of disk write may be lower/none in light workload...

    And also what the effect if the page/swap files is moved to hdd (not in the ssd) in some computer configuration (like mine)....
    Reply
  • lunyone
    11135315 said:
    11135305 said:
    How is RAM at "Historic Lows"?? RAM in 2012 was about half the price today. I bought 32 gb's of RAM in late 2012 for $100 on sale. Today it's about >$200 for similar set.

    Considering that 4GB of DDR2 used to cost ($250) you can easily get 32GB of DDR3. And it will go down again with DDR4 since DDR4 should have 16GB sticks in mass.
    How does this relate to my statement? I know RAM was expensive when they first came out, but over the last 6-8 months time frame RAM has more than doubled in price, so your point is just moot as far as this article is concerned, IMHO.
    Reply
  • Soma42
    Is this not just reflecting the reduction of the page file? I would think that by reducing the page file down to a minimum size you would achieve the same effect. You can probably turn it off at 16GB ram, maybe even at 8GB and really increase your SSD life.
    Reply
  • vinhn
    Yeah, last year, 2x4GB RAM were around ~$45, not it is ~$70. Not that I am complaining, it is low but not historic low.
    Reply
  • smeezekitty
    I don't suggest putting your swap file on your SSD. It will eat up the write cycles as well as valuable gigabytes.

    Put it on your data drive instead. Although it is slower if you have enough RAM it won't be a problem.
    Reply
  • smeezekitty
    Maybe this article will make 16GB not be considered such overkill now.
    Reply