SSDs are fast, but do they last?

JMH

Senior Member
#1
If you use a PC for professional purposes, you need a solid-state drive. Period. The difference in performance is profound, as just about any SSD owner will attest. The difference isn’t just faster startup and shutdown times, either. There’s a noticeable bump in speed and responsiveness for just about every common computing task.
SSDs are fast, but do they last? | ZDNet
 


Eiler

Well-Known Member
#2
How long they last depends on how they are being used. If the SSDs are seeing a lot of rewrite cycles then their longevity will be significantly shortened. Outside of that if you have enough ram or have taken other steps to limit the amount of caching/swapping done to the SSD then a SSD should have a life time long enough for a particular unit to become obsolete/out of date long before it has longevity related hardware failure or write block problems.

Mileage on reliability is another issue and you will want to research the current state of SSDs (they are only in their third generation so the technology is still evolving rapidly) to see if they are suitable for your particular needs.
 


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catilley1092

Extraordinary Member
#3
That's what I'd like to know. I originally was going to buy one of those Seagate "hybrids" for my notebook, the one I was looking at has a 4GB Flash Memory, a 32MB cache (rare in 2.5" notebook HDD's), 7200rpm & 500GB of storage. But the reviews were so mixed (Newegg & Amazon purchaser reviews) that I just couldn't justify buying it.

Plus, SSD's are dropping in price while SATA HDD's are very high priced. I want a 128GB one, that will be plenty for me. It's going to be another 3 to 4 months, so that will give me time to research and choose a decent one. What I'm hoping for, is that the SATA 3 ones are backwards compatible with a SATA 2 MB. Although I realize that I can never attain SATA 3 speeds, I've read many reviews that SATA 3 SSD's outperform SATA 2 ones, even with the bottleneck.

RAM is no problem, the unit was shipped with 6GB, I upgraded that to 8GB (4GB x2) GSKILL DDR3 1333 (10666) a couple of months ago when Newegg was virtually giving it away ($29.99 w/free 2 day shipping). I really didn't need it, but at that price, who can refuse? I saved the original "just in case".

It'll be interesting to see just how fast a SSD will be in my notebook. Hopefully, it'll be very fast.

Cat
 


Joe S

Excellent Member
#4
Cat
The biggest reason for the price increase in HD prices is the flooding in Thailand and SE Asia.
Joe
 


catilley1092

Extraordinary Member
#5
Joe, luckily I had just bought the 2nd of my Samsung HD103SJ's from Amazon for $49.99. Before the HDD arrived, I noticed on Amazon when checking the shipment status of the package that the price doubled. I found out what happened a few days later. Hopefully, the situation will get better later in the year, although I don't expect 1TB HDD's to be that price for quite some time.

Whenever I would see a quality 1TB HDD for that price, I'd snatch it up, as one can never have enough HDD's around. That gave me 3 1TB's, plus the stock 320GB Caviar Blue (which isn't bad) and a 500GB Seagate FreeAgent backup drive. I would have to loved to had found a 32MB, 7200rpm HDD for my notebook, but except that Seagate hybrid, most notebook HDD's (even the WD Scorpio Black) has only a 16MB cache. I can tell the difference, because although my stock Caviar Blue runs at 7200rpm, it's slower than both my Caviar Black & the Samsungs.

I'm looking forward to the day when I get my first SSD, and hope that the longevity won't be a negative issue for me. Those drives costs too much to be dying after a year or two. The warranty length of the SSD will be a factor in my choice of one.

Cat
 


Mike

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
#6
Interesting. I have 6 SSDs in my main system, 3 in laptops, and 2 in backup systems. This is from having collected an enormous number of parts for assembling computer systems and hardware in 2010 and 2011. The 6 SSD's in my system have run at the longest, 17,623 power-on hours. That means constant operation, mathematically, since Friday, January 29, 2010, which roughly equates to 2 years 4 days and 7 hours of operation. For the majority of that time, all drives ran in a RAID-0 configuration, until such time that the RAID controller component of my motherboard no longer became reliable. I manually tested each drive during that time, updating the firmware of each, and determining that it was in fact a RAID controller failure. I have never lost data on a SSD. Granted, I am running with a UPS backup power supply, but even a drive manufactured 2-3 years ago is still going strong. The majority of the drives I have are constantly in use, storing something, and have never exhibited symptoms of data loss. My advice for most SSD owners would be to perform backups using eSATA or USB3 and avoid running in RAID-0 if possible. The speed gains do not really make it worth it, especially given the chance that one minor error will destroy the entire RAID.

For those interested, this is the CRUCIAL CT128M225 which is currently discontinued. I am running a SATA-3 Crucial SSD in my primary laptop, which has had no issues either. My main system currently runs on a Gigabyte X58A-UD7 motherboard, whereas the Intel RAID controller component is fried (probably from prolonged operation). I am still able to squeeze great read/write times out of these drives and I have noticed no degradation.

On this subject, I usually bring up the fact that we are using SSDs for this web server as well. We have never had any data loss from faulty equipment, and it was determined quite awhile ago that using SSDs as opposed to moving platter hard drives would be more likely to prevent long-term data loss.
 


catilley1092

Extraordinary Member
#7
That's great to hear, Mike. You've kept those drives running all this time, and they're still going strong, I should have no problem running one on my notebook 6 to 8 hours per week.

It's always good to hear from someone who has been there, as one cannot rely on reviews that are often biased by a company who spends advertising dollars in tech magazines. Actual user reviews are usually far more dependable & accurate.

Cat
 


#8
RAID-6 or, at least, RAID-5 FTW. Make sure your rebuild rate is 1% - then the system will function almost as if nothing happened while it is rebuilding the array with a spare disk. System engineers have a tendency to just set up RAID-5 without consideration for the fine details; then they wonder why the entire system is unresponsive after a disk failure and "Oh, what happened?" when a spare disk dies while the array is rebuilding. For some reason, HP engineers made or, at least, used to make (I don't know the current situation), 100% the default rebuild rate. First thing I did when I got a RAID-5 capable server is a simulation of a disk failure, even though that prolonged server installation for almost a day, with the rebuild rate lowered to 90% (this seemed fair) and determined that anything close to 100% effectively renders the system unusable while the array is rebuilding, obviously due to the RAID controller effectivelly using all disk I/O when the setting is close to 100%. A few months later, a colleague, who didn't pay attention to the fine details, had the previously-mentioned situation with the system being rendered unusable (the bank he worked for didn't function during this) and a spare disk dying. Pitty RAID doesn't have exponential backoff like TCP. RAID should really have a guaranteed rebuild rate setting, not an absolute one.
 


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Mitchell_A

Essential Member
#9
I've been wanting to upgrade my current notebook to an SSD for some time now as well. I'm with you cat, when you say you could live with 128 GB. I use mostly cloud storage and backups for all my space needs, so I really need no more room than enough for 2 partitions of Windows with some personal files here and there.

That being said, I want the upgrade to occur soon, and am wondering a few things:
Should I wait (it was mentioned prices are coming down)?
What brand should I go with, and what model? I'm trying to keep it in the sub-$200 range.

Your thoughts are appreciated :)
 


whs

Extraordinary Member
#10
I would suggest this one. I got this (the 60GB model) last year and really like it. I also have 2 Intels and 3 OCZ Vertex. They have never given me problems either. For the OS only, 60GBs suffice. But for a laptop you have to make provisions for data, so 120GB is probably a better choice.

Here is the life expectency of my oldest (4 year old) Intel:

 


catilley1092

Extraordinary Member
#11
whs, I'm a Newegg customer too, I just logged in and placed it on my wish list. I've been reading, and it looks like Intel is a leading brand of SSD's, just as they are with other components. Plus, my system is Intel based, besides the NVIDIA GPU. It has the Intel Rapid Storage Technology built in. I'll have to check if TRIM support is available for my notebook.

My main concern is whether SATA 3 SSD's are backwards compatible with SATA 2. I've heard it both ways, but in the instances where it did work, the users stated that the SATA 3 SSD was faster than the SATA 2 ones, even with the bottleneck. Honestly, being that my notebook is less than 1 year old, it surprises me that it is SATA 2. It was manufactured in 03/11, with the CPU manufactured in 01/11. Just barely before the Sandy Bridge was released.

Mitchell_A, I'm with you, I need to keep it under $200. If I were still working, it'd be no problem, but I'm living on a fixed income. That's why I decided on a 128GB one, 10GB for my recovery partition, 65GB for my OS, 30 for the 1 VM that I'm keeping, the rest for data. I have plenty of USB Flash drives around, about a dozen 4GB ones, then when the 8GB ones dropped to the former price of the 4GB ones, I snatched up 3 different ones from Newegg that was on sale. Surprisingly, the Transcend one reads/writes faster than my Kingston ones does. Anyway, data storage is no problem for me.

I should have sold that last Samsung HD103SJ that I bought on Amazon, that I got for $49.99, by the time it arrived at my door, the price more than doubled. Finally, it tripled in price. Could have gotten $100 + shipping easily (brand new in the box), and would have gone a long way towards my SSD purchase.

Oh well, I'll get there.

Cat
 


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