This topic occasionally comes up and then I never really pursue full understanding. But now that I'm more and more thinking of getting a new laptop, I think this is a good time to dig deeper.
If I load a new laptop up with all SSDs (M.2 and 2.5", or a combination thereof) and I also want to turn on disk encryption (Bitlocker, "other"), what is the realistic impact to the SSDs, their ability to effectively execute TRIM, and their write durability / life expectancy?
It's time for me to get with the times and use encryption. I'd just like to better understand the potential side effects and intangible costs.
Thanks in advance!
In theory, if the SSD controller is using compression then encryption will shorten the lifespan of the drive because encrypted data is not as compressible, because the data is essentially random. As a result you are writing more data to the drive, since it's not being compressed. How much more depends on the type of data, your usage patterns, etc.
That being said, odds are your SSD is still going to outlast a typical laptop by years, so it's probably not an issue except in very rare cases. In short, encrypt your laptop.