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SSD write endurance

post #1 of 64
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When the NAND cells were rated for 100K writes, or 10K writes, write endurance was basically a giant scarecrow for consumer SSDs, but now with TLC cells coming out being rated for a mere 1000 P/E cycles, I think it's a concern for regular users.

Let's say you have a 128 GB SSD (which is a fairly common size people buy). 1000 P/E cycles means you could write 128 TB of data before it wears out. However, with write amplification those cycles go a lot shorter. A typical # used for write amplification is 3X. So with 3X WA, that # is cut down to 43 TB of writes.

If you use up 25 GB of writes a day, the 43 TBs will last you 1720 days, or 4.7 years. There's a lot of people who have used their computers for more then 5 years, and that's a relatively conservative number.

If you use a page file, that can easily cause a lot of writes to your SSD. Also random temp files can cause a large number of writes. Those writes will be small but will have a huge write amplification (the smaller the file the higher the write amplification). If you download TV/movies that can use up a lot of writes. The tv/movies I download come in .rar files, so if that's the case for you, a 5 GB movie can cost you 10GB in SSD writes. If you play games and have a smallish SSD, you'll likely be swapping games on/off the SSD.

There's the argument that the NAND cells will last for far longer then they're rated for, but remember, this is a HARD DRIVE we're talking about. This isn't like overclocking the hell out of your GPU and riding it until it burns out. If your hard drive bricks you lose all your data. It's a huge pain in the ass. I'm not one to gamble on using a hard drive past it's expiration date.

I just recently got a samsung 840 pro. I decided on the pro version since the nand cells are rated for 3X the life expectancy of the other versions. I also did some optimizations like moving some of the temp directories to ramdisk & no page file. I also torrent to platter disks, though temp files for winrar go to my SSD.

It's kind of a disturbing trend though that newer SSDs are being made with LOWER write endurance per cell, and that lifetime assumptions are based off unrealistically low 10 - 20 GB of writes / day, especially considering the fact that people who buy SSDs at this point in time are likely power users who are more likely to have heavier hard drive usage. If you do any kind of software dev work that involves compiling programs, you can easily blow through a cheap SSD's 1000 P/E cycles in under a year.
post #2 of 64
This is why I don't write to my SSDs for anything that will easily fit in a RAM drive, or that won't be slowed down appreciably by an HDD.

My temp directories are on HDDs, while my web browser disk caches are disabled and the memory caches greatly enlarged. I keep small page files spread over my HDDs, and they are rarely used.

When I'm streaming or video editing, I can write a TB a day, but my SSD only sees 2-5GB of that.
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post #3 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post

This is why I don't write to my SSDs for anything that will easily fit in a RAM drive, or that won't be slowed down appreciably by an HDD.

My temp directories are on HDDs, while my web browser disk caches are disabled and the memory caches greatly enlarged. I keep small page files spread over my HDDs, and they are rarely used.

Well, temp files are something I'd put on my ramdisk or SSD, definitely not a platter disk.

Temp files are generally something you want FAST access to as they're created and being used immediately.

In order for SSDs to really become mainstream though, people shouldn't have to be concerned about whether their page file usage is wearing out their SSD or not. And this trend of cheaper, less durable NAND is going in the wrong direction.
post #4 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by demoship View Post

And this trend of cheaper, less durable NAND is going in the wrong direction.

It's unavoidable. There is great demand for lower cost per GB, and the only way to do that is to continually adopt NAND built on ever more dense and fragile processes.

I think it's going to take the adoption of something beyond NAND for this trend to change.
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post #5 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post

It's unavoidable. There is great demand for lower cost per GB, and the only way to do that is to continually adopt NAND built on ever more dense and fragile processes.

I think it's going to take the adoption of something beyond NAND for this trend to change.

Umm, platter disks have increased hugely in size and gotten much cheaper per GB, and have higher data density, but are not any more fragile then they were a decade ago (if anything they're more robust).

I don't see why they can't improve the technology for NAND in the same way, to be cheaper and denser, but without being more fragile.

I mean, if they start cramming 4 bits in per cell, it's not unrealistic to think they'll have a chip that's only good for 300 P/E cycles, which means after 100 actual writes (@ 3X amplification) the drive's already past it's expiration date.
post #6 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by demoship View Post

When the NAND cells were rated for 100K writes, or 10K writes, write endurance was basically a giant scarecrow for consumer SSDs, but now with TLC cells coming out being rated for a mere 1000 P/E cycles, I think it's a concern for regular users.

Let's say you have a 128 GB SSD (which is a fairly common size people buy). 1000 P/E cycles means you could write 128 TB of data before it wears out. However, with write amplification those cycles go a lot shorter. A typical # used for write amplification is 3X. So with 3X WA, that # is cut down to 43 TB of writes.

If you use up 25 GB of writes a day, the 43 TBs will last you 1720 days, or 4.7 years. There's a lot of people who have used their computers for more then 5 years, and that's a relatively conservative number.

If you use a page file, that can easily cause a lot of writes to your SSD. Also random temp files can cause a large number of writes. Those writes will be small but will have a huge write amplification (the smaller the file the higher the write amplification). If you download TV/movies that can use up a lot of writes. The tv/movies I download come in .rar files, so if that's the case for you, a 5 GB movie can cost you 10GB in SSD writes. If you play games and have a smallish SSD, you'll likely be swapping games on/off the SSD.

There's the argument that the NAND cells will last for far longer then they're rated for, but remember, this is a HARD DRIVE we're talking about. This isn't like overclocking the hell out of your GPU and riding it until it burns out. If your hard drive bricks you lose all your data. It's a huge pain in the ass. I'm not one to gamble on using a hard drive past it's expiration date.

I just recently got a samsung 840 pro. I decided on the pro version since the nand cells are rated for 3X the life expectancy of the other versions. I also did some optimizations like moving some of the temp directories to ramdisk & no page file. I also torrent to platter disks, though temp files for winrar go to my SSD.

It's kind of a disturbing trend though that newer SSDs are being made with LOWER write endurance per cell, and that lifetime assumptions are based off unrealistically low 10 - 20 GB of writes / day, especially considering the fact that people who buy SSDs at this point in time are likely power users who are more likely to have heavier hard drive usage. If you do any kind of software dev work that involves compiling programs, you can easily blow through a cheap SSD's 1000 P/E cycles in under a year.
Did you follow some endurance test before you post this "Donnie Darko" thing?Do you know that Samsung TLC is now on 600TB and still going?
We made here consensus that endurance is old story for scaring children.And we should close this subject forever or we scaring people that want to buy SSD without reason and its best thing that can happen to them in PC life.
Thanks good for TLC or SanDisk Extreme II(best ssd a.t.m.) would not cost 170$ for 240GB ,it would be 170$ for 120GB.
And by the way my PROs have only 1.7tb and i already want to change them for newer SSDs,what you can say about that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post

I think it's going to take the adoption of something beyond NAND for this trend to change.
+1
Edited by Unit Igor - 4/6/14 at 5:23pm
post #7 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unit Igor View Post

Did you follow some endurance test before you post this "Donnie Darko" thing?Do you know that Samsung TLC is now on 600TB and still going?
We made here consensus that endurance is old story for scaring children.And we should close this subject forever or we scaring people that want to buy SSD without reason and its best thing that can happen to them in PC life.
Thanks good for TLC or SanDisk Extreme II(best ssd a.t.m.) would not cost 170$ for 240GB ,it would be 170$ for 120GB.
And by the way my PROs have only 1.7tb and i already want to change them for newer SSDs,what you can say about that?

Like I said, actual lifetime might be significantly longer then rated lifetime, but I don't like gambling with my data.

And MLC is not 2X as expensive as TLC. It's about 30 - 40% more expensive. And I feel it's worth it, because I'm not using my drive (as a boot drive anyway) past it's 3000 P/E cycle rating.
post #8 of 64
Quote:
[BThe first SSD, the one you could follow live on the stream, had its first re-allocated sector on May 22, after 2,945 program/erase cycles and 707 TiB of written data according to the S.M.A.R.T. data. That's quite remarkable, as Samsung guarantees a lifespan of 1,000 cycles, while in reality their SSD last three times longer.[/B]

from http://us.hardware.info/reviews/4178/10/hardwareinfo-tests-lifespan-of-samsung-ssd-840-250gb-tlc-ssd-updated-with-final-conclusion-final-update-20-6-2013

They burned that TLC drive to death, and I'm using the same drive for a year I'm up to 56 write cycles without doing any baby things to the drive. I often move 20-30gb games to/from the drive. I use my PC for 10+ hours a day.



The price difference is closer now, but at the time I bought the drive it was $170 vs $230. If the price was within $20, I would probably go MLC, but I don't have any fears this drive is not going to outlast its usefulness.
post #9 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillychuck View Post

from http://us.hardware.info/reviews/4178/10/hardwareinfo-tests-lifespan-of-samsung-ssd-840-250gb-tlc-ssd-updated-with-final-conclusion-final-update-20-6-2013

They burned that TLC drive to death, and I'm using the same drive for a year I'm up to 56 write cycles without doing any baby things to the drive. I often move 20-30gb games to/from the drive. I use my PC for 10+ hours a day.



The price difference is closer now, but at the time I bought the drive it was $170 vs $230. If the price was within $20, I would probably go MLC, but I don't have any fears this drive is not going to outlast its usefulness.

Hmm, do bear in mind though, those tests are run with very low write amplification. They're writing large files over and over which results in less NAND writes per GB written vs small files. Also, the article is incorrect in the fact that a near full disk can handle just as many writes as a near empty disk.

A near full disk will have a higher write amplification due to the need to shuffle existing data around for wear leveling. A near empty disk will be closer to 1 NAND write per bit of data.

So in actual use, you'll probably get around the stated 1000 cycles.
post #10 of 64
Wait, so at 1000 P/E cycles, I would need to write 25GB per day for an expected 4.7 years? I don't see how this is a concern really, that's still a fair sized chunk of data to have to write every day for the next 4 years, I bet some people get nowhere near that figure. Besides, I reduced my page file size to 100MB about 3 years ago. I'm more concerned about one of my mechanical drives giving up the ghost randomly than I am about SSD wear.
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