Longevity of SSDs?

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Re: Longevity of SSDs?

Postposted on Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:07 pm

I put an OCZ Agility 4 64GB (FW: 1.5.2) into my brothers PS3 this past saturday. So far so good. GT5 loads about 65% faster and GTA4 loads 4% faster. But after all saturday playing GT5, no issues yet.
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Re: Longevity of SSDs?

Postposted on Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:09 pm

ClickClick5 wrote:I put an OCZ Agility 4 64GB (FW: 1.5.2) into my brothers PS3 this past saturday. So far so good. GT5 loads about 65% faster and GTA4 loads 4% faster. But after all saturday playing GT5, no issues yet.

LOL, doesn't speak much to longevity, but OK.
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Re: Longevity of SSDs?

Postposted on Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:14 pm

It didn't die within hours, that's something!
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Re: Longevity of SSDs?

Postposted on Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:38 pm

MadManOriginal wrote:It didn't die within hours, that's something!


Being an OCZ, that was the point!
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Re: Longevity of SSDs?

Postposted on Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:45 am

We have 4 OCZ drives deployed for periods ranging from 2 to 3 years - none have died or experienced a singular issue.

I was pretty impressed by that eMLC drive in the review I linked to earlier, but it doesn't quite seem worth the extra cost for a consumer user. I don't see consumers keeping the drive long enough for it to need the extra durability.
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Re: Longevity of SSDs?

Postposted on Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:16 am

If anybody following this thread wants to really understand why your SSD is unlikely to live beyond 5-6 years on average, go read about write amplification. Basically, any time you rewrite or write non-optimally, your disk is going to do garbage collection and TRIM rewrites, behind the scene. Also, wear levelling sometimes triggers cells to be rewritten in a way that's non-optimal for flash lifespan, because it's good for performance.

There are a lot of moving parts.
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Re: Longevity of SSDs?

Postposted on Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:16 pm

XtremeSystems has a thread where people continuously write to various SSDs and see how much they can write before the SSD dies.

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/sho ... nm-Vs-34nm

Their experience with small SF-1200 based drives suggest a 120GB drive would be good to 500 terabytes of writes or more. There's also a 256GB Samsung 830 that's still alive after nearly 5 petabytes of writes.
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Re: Longevity of SSDs?

Postposted on Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:19 pm

Forge wrote:If anybody following this thread wants to really understand why your SSD is unlikely to live beyond 5-6 years on average, go read about write amplification. Basically, any time you rewrite or write non-optimally, your disk is going to do garbage collection and TRIM rewrites, behind the scene. Also, wear levelling sometimes triggers cells to be rewritten in a way that's non-optimal for flash lifespan, because it's good for performance.

There are a lot of moving parts.

I presume you meant, "if you do really heavy writing"? Because with a regular-Joe usage pattern, I see them lasting 10 years on more, controller/power problems notwithstanding.
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Re: Longevity of SSDs?

Postposted on Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:59 pm

accord1999 wrote:XtremeSystems has a thread where people continuously write to various SSDs and see how much they can write before the SSD dies.

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/sho ... nm-Vs-34nm

Their experience with small SF-1200 based drives suggest a 120GB drive would be good to 500 terabytes of writes or more. There's also a 256GB Samsung 830 that's still alive after nearly 5 petabytes of writes.

Unless they are also testing to see how long the drive is capable of retaining written data after being abused this way, the results are meaningless. As the insulators of the floating gates in the flash cells sustain damage from repeated writes, the flash cells' capability to store data long-term decreases. The drive may still be perfectly capable of retaining data for a few days or weeks, but will gradually corrupt the data over time.

Unless you're only using the drive for short-term scratch storage or as a swap partition, retention time matters!
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Re: Longevity of SSDs?

Postposted on Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:24 pm

just brew it! wrote:Unless they are also testing to see how long the drive is capable of retaining written data after being abused this way, the results are meaningless. As the insulators of the floating gates in the flash cells sustain damage from repeated writes, the flash cells' capability to store data long-term decreases. The drive may still be perfectly capable of retaining data for a few days or weeks, but will gradually corrupt the data over time. Unless you're only using the drive for short-term scratch storage or as a swap partition, retention time matters!

Yup, that's a pretty darn important point.
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Re: Longevity of SSDs?

Postposted on Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:05 am

morphine wrote:
Forge wrote:If anybody following this thread wants to really understand why your SSD is unlikely to live beyond 5-6 years on average, go read about write amplification. Basically, any time you rewrite or write non-optimally, your disk is going to do garbage collection and TRIM rewrites, behind the scene. Also, wear levelling sometimes triggers cells to be rewritten in a way that's non-optimal for flash lifespan, because it's good for performance.

There are a lot of moving parts.

I presume you meant, "if you do really heavy writing"? Because with a regular-Joe usage pattern, I see them lasting 10 years on more, controller/power problems notwithstanding.


No, I meant what I wrote. Very small changes (like updating most-recently-opened date metadata) causes garbage collection to kick in and rewrite that block. So on an idling Windows machine, with no programs opening or closing, you will see writes and rewrites to the disk. In fact, the number of rewritten blocks due to garbage collection on a little-used SSD can be higher than the number on an SSD that sees a few large files being changed on a regular basis.

Really, the best thing everyone could do to enhance their SSD health would be to find the block size their SSD uses for erase/rewrite, and make all commits to the disk in multiples of that size. For most disks, it's 256KB. That would eliminate the need for garbage collection and/or TRIM entirely. It's also wildly impractical.

Please, read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Write_amplification

In fact, Average Joe's usage pattern is going to be much worse than any of ours, since he has no concept of, nor does he care about overprovisioning, disabling indexing, TRIM, and more. He'll buy that SSD, partition the full visible space as one big NTFS partition, and jam it full of files, till it's 99% full. Then he's going to gripe about how it's getting slower, and if he's really Joe Average, he'll probably download a disk defragmenter and run it multiple times, willfully ignoring all the warnings each time.
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Re: Longevity of SSDs?

Postposted on Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:41 pm

Forge wrote:In fact, Average Joe's usage pattern is going to be much worse than any of ours, since he has no concept of, nor does he care about overprovisioning, disabling indexing, TRIM, and more. He'll buy that SSD, partition the full visible space as one big NTFS partition, and jam it full of files, till it's 99% full. Then he's going to gripe about how it's getting slower, and if he's really Joe Average, he'll probably download a disk defragmenter and run it multiple times, willfully ignoring all the warnings each time.

Hmm.... that's what I do.... :(

You really disable TRIM?
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Re: Longevity of SSDs?

Postposted on Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:03 pm

flip-mode wrote:You really disable TRIM?


No, I just read about it so that I know what it does, and don't just assume "SSD" == "magic". I don't think many here would make that assumption, but many Joe Averages do. I've heard of a number of horror stories very similar to the hyperbole I gave.

TRIM is good for you, on average. It does have costs to go with those improvements, though, and it's not magical, intelligent, or capable of overcoming stupid.

DON'T disable your pagefile
DON'T partition 100% of your SSD
DON'T keep the disk filled to 90%+ of capacity on any regular basis
DON'T run any defragmenter or "optimizer" on your SSD. These never help.
DON'T use an existing Windows install + Ghost/dd/PartitionMagic/etc on your new SSD, unless you are willing to invest some time in reconfiguration.

DO install Windows clean on an SSD, if you were on a HDD before. Windows will adjust a lot of things for you automatically. Alternately, you'll want to do a lot of legwork to make things right.
DO leave at least 2-3% of the SSD totally unpartitioned, preferably at the 'end'. This gives TRIM/garbage collection a working area that won't be used by accident.
DO disable all indexing services. Keeping a compact, quickly-accessed index of the data on your compact, quickly-accessed drive is kinda pointless, and generates a TON of I/O.
DO leave your SSD-equipped laptop or desktop powered on but totally idle a few hours a week or more. SSDs generally do their garbage collection and levelling when the PC is idle. If your PC sleeps after 5 minutes, maintenance never gets done, and your SSD gets slower.
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Re: Longevity of SSDs?

Postposted on Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:57 pm

It is unlikely that adjusting Windows Search will do anything meaningful or that it is having any sort of sufficiently negative impact.

The Indexing Service is incredibly complex and is very smart about when and how it writes to the disk. It even goes to great pains to minimize how much it writes to the disk and throttles (default) or disables itself on battery power based on policy! I'm not sure why people make it out to be such a monster.

Link

White Paper Case Stuy of Search Service

Edit:

Microsoft wrote:Indexing a new item can cause updates to thousands of indexes—one for every word found in the item. Updating all of the existing indexes would take a long time. Windows Search deals with this by creating indexes in memory and flushing them to disk as a single index when they are big enough.


Microsoft wrote:9) Each token is added to an in-memory word list. When enough in-memory changes are accumulated, they are written to a shadow index on disk, and the property store writes are also flushed to disk. This is done to minimize disk writes. Eventually the merger merges the multiple shadow indexes.


Just adding some quotes and tweaking a statement with regard to battery power.
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Re: Longevity of SSDs?

Postposted on Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:01 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:I'm not sure why people make it out to be such a monster.

Because in XP and Vista, I've personally seen it cause tons of I/O while people are working. It always got the kibosh. Maybe it's better with 7/8.
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Re: Longevity of SSDs?

Postposted on Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:08 pm

Because making an index in memory of an extremely fast SSD makes less sense than making an index of a slow mechanical HDD.

I didn't research this as deeply as other areas because Samsung explicitly stated that it should be done. I took their word for it, and the logic seemed plausible.
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Re: Longevity of SSDs?

Postposted on Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:28 pm

An index is still way faster than searching the drive though. It's the difference between searching a minute over all your files and finding the result instantly with the index.

The key is, of course, is that any file that's worth indexing should not be on an SSD in the first place! Your documents, music and archive videos (i.e., not stuff you're actively working on in which case having it on an SSD is useful) are the things that need to be indexed and there's little reason it shouldn't be sitting on a 2TB green drive instead of an SSD.
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