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Herzog
13-02-2013, 12:22 AM
Got a question here. I have a new notebook with a Samsung 840 Pro SSD 120 GB as the only harddrive. I can recall reading somewhere on the net that it is not advised to use torrents with a SSD as it will reduce the longevity of it. I cant find the forum post anymore where I originally read it. So does anyone know anything about it or shouldnt I worry about it?

Heliocentric
13-02-2013, 12:23 AM
Reads and writes, all drives have a limited amount of each before they start breaking, SSD's have less than traditional hard drives, and torrents use up alot.

That's pretty much it, I'd suggest buying a cheap stable HDD for your torrents.

TheIronSky
13-02-2013, 12:46 AM
Yeah, SSDs have a very limited amount of write cycles (usually about 10,000), but unless you're a super power user, you probably won't experience too many issues immediately.

Still, the more stuff you read/write off of that drive, the faster it'll go kaput. Seconding Heliocentric's recommendation to stick with a standard HDD. SSDs are typically used for software or games that you don't plan on erasing or rewriting, so that users can enhance their longevity - so downloading and unpacking .rar and .zip archives that you're immediately going to erase is probably not the best idea.

Sakkura
13-02-2013, 01:23 AM
Would be more of an issue with the plain 840 than the 840 Pro, which uses more durable memory.

soldant
13-02-2013, 01:36 AM
Even then the number of writes are still pretty big, the drive is more likely to fall over and die before you actually screw it up. It's not necessarily something I'd recommend just on the principles of best practice but will you kill your drive? It's highly unlikely.

Since SSDs are so new people can only guess at how long they'll practically last with constant writes based on what hardware is inside, but unless you're planning on using that laptop for many years to come (e.g. 8 years) I wouldn't worry. It's probably going to fail (or you'll get rid of it) before it's dead.

trjp
13-02-2013, 02:40 AM
Whilst they're 'new', there's plenty of SSDs which are smoking ruins to suggest that they're not, particularly, longevenous (sp?!)

It's really just a common-sense thing tho surely, I mean you shouldn't be storing media (music, films, installers etc.) on an SSD anyway - so why download to one?

Unless you have a laptop with an SSD - in which case you're effectively playing Russian Roulette with your data anyway and so - hey, why not!?

Sakkura
13-02-2013, 03:18 AM
SSDs have been widely available since 2007-2008. There haven't really been any major issues with write endurance AFAIK, despite the problems with TRIM support.

The SSD problems a lot of people have had are related to poor firmware and problems with chipsets and OSs.

soldant
13-02-2013, 04:20 AM
Whilst they're 'new', there's plenty of SSDs which are smoking ruins to suggest that they're not, particularly, longevenous (sp?!)
Yes, but...


The SSD problems a lot of people have had are related to poor firmware and problems with chipsets and OSs.
What he said.


SSDs fail horribly well before they exceed their maximum number of writes. I've had four SSDs in the last 4 years, three were Sandforce-based and all three of them met with premature ends long before they should have so much as scratched the surface of their maximum writes, and this was doing all the "best practice" stuff with SSDs. My current SSD, which uses a different controller, is still kicking after 1.5 years operation. SSDs have only recently become affordable so actual, practical lifespan when it comes to write limits still haven't really been demonstrated except outside of lab tests.

There's no practical reason he can't store media on an SSD, there's no practical reason he can't download to an SSD (unless it has issues with random read/write performance I guess?). An SSD in a laptop is fine (no moving parts for storage, much better speed versus a conventional HDD) and if he wants to download to it he can do so without fear of maxing out writes. If it was a server then obviously an SSD isn't going to be good for storage, and I'd recommend against SSDs for storage mostly because of their small capacities. There's too much fear over using SSDs, they're storage devices, they're made for storage.

You should be much more concerned about the SSD going tango uniform for reasons entirely outside of your own control.

Danny252
13-02-2013, 05:15 AM
I thought SSDs were meant to fail after a number of writes, but not be affected by reads? In which case I can't see a torrent being too horrible - a normal download is going to need just as much writing to save all the data, and after that the torrent is just reading data to upload again.

soldant
13-02-2013, 05:38 AM
I thought SSDs were meant to fail after a number of writes, but not be affected by reads? In which case I can't see a torrent being too horrible - a normal download is going to need just as much writing to save all the data, and after that the torrent is just reading data to upload again.
I think the implication is that it'd be used frequently for torrenting versus installing apps every so often and then just running then + general system tasks. Just installing apps and then not touching it out of paranoia would result in less writes than using it as a torrent or download drive... but it's not even worth worrying about.

Danny252
13-02-2013, 05:49 AM
I think the implication is that it'd be used frequently for torrenting versus installing apps every so often and then just running then + general system tasks. Just installing apps and then not touching it out of paranoia would result in less writes than using it as a torrent or download drive... but it's not even worth worrying about.

Oh indeed - what's the point of buying one if you're not going to use it? The fact most people stick their OS on it means it's being written to/read from most of the time anyway.

trjp
14-02-2013, 06:30 PM
I think that fact that someone is impressed an SSD has lasted 18 months says a lot - I have HDDs here which are over 5 years old and still report no issues.

In fact an HDD failing within 5 years is exceptional - I've seen a few fail VERY young (within warranty) - I assume that's a manuf. fault perhaps - but otherwise most make it past 5, so 18 months isn't really all that great (I tend to keep most of my systems for at least 2 years!)

Sakkura
14-02-2013, 06:44 PM
I think that fact that someone is impressed an SSD has lasted 18 months says a lot - I have HDDs here which are over 5 years old and still report no issues.
You're twisting his words. He didn't say anything about being impressed, it's just a counterexample to the "SSDs blow up after half a year" nonsense.

trjp
14-02-2013, 10:50 PM
You're twisting his words. He didn't say anything about being impressed, it's just a counterexample to the "SSDs blow up after half a year" nonsense.

It's still a bit unimpressive tho isn't it? It would be like being surprised your car made it to 40,000 miles without anything going wrong (Ford TDCi owners are crying at this point).

Sakkura
14-02-2013, 11:07 PM
It's still a bit unimpressive tho isn't it? It would be like being surprised your car made it to 40,000 miles without anything going wrong (Ford TDCi owners are crying at this point).
What, as in "psh, lame-ass soldant didn't even buy that SSD until 18 months ago"? That a car makes it to 40,000 miles isn't unimpressive, it's just non-news. In the same way, an SSD working for 1 years isn't that remarkable UNLESS you assume SSDs are time bombs waiting to go off in the guts of unsuspecting computers.

trjp
15-02-2013, 02:50 AM
I've mentioned this before, but as someone who just fixes PCs (I don't build them) my ENTIRE experience of SSDs is removing them, smoking, from other people's PCs :)

This obviously gives me a negative association with them - I don't have one in any of my PCs (although it went from 'because they're fragile' to 'because my motherboard won't really work with one properly' and my next laptop, coming soon, will have one)

I should also say tho, if you buy one then it's perhaps daft not to use it for fear of it breaking (same with a car - unless it's a Citroen CX which is more useful stationery as a piece of art than moving which it won't do for long!!) UNLESS it's a laptop and it's your only PC, in which case you are madder than several boxes of frogs!!!

soldant
15-02-2013, 03:30 AM
It's still a bit unimpressive tho isn't it? It would be like being surprised your car made it to 40,000 miles without anything going wrong (Ford TDCi owners are crying at this point).
Sure, it's unimpressive. I've got an old Quantum Fireball 8GB HDD kicking around here somewhere from the 90s which is still in working order. But I'm just pointing out that the technology is getting better (the Sandforce controllers were rubbish, but they ended up being cheaper). Also the other point was that SSDs die well before reaching the write limit for other reasons. The tech in the consumer sector is still relatively new but it's starting to mature.


I've mentioned this before, but as someone who just fixes PCs (I don't build them) my ENTIRE experience of SSDs is removing them, smoking, from other people's PCs :)
You're right, because they're still pretty unreliable. But the write limit isn't worth worrying about.


UNLESS it's a laptop and it's your only PC, in which case you are madder than several boxes of frogs!!!
If the SSD dies within the warranty period, send it back for replacement. Though I think SSD reliability is now on the upswing since the days when the SandForce controllers were total rubbish. If he's torrenting or not won't make a difference - if the SSD is going to fail due to a controller issue or just because someone rolled a six, it will fail, and there's nothing you can do about it. There's no madness in using your drive.

trjp
15-02-2013, 09:52 AM
If the SSD dies within the warranty period, send it back for replacement. Though I think SSD reliability is now on the upswing since the days when the SandForce controllers were total rubbish. If he's torrenting or not won't make a difference - if the SSD is going to fail due to a controller issue or just because someone rolled a six, it will fail, and there's nothing you can do about it. There's no madness in using your drive.

You missed my point - where you're using a laptop and it's your only PC, using an SSD is a bit daft (and yet it's becoming quite common).

That means someone has their music collection, videos, games - everything, basically - on an SSD.

It's a lot more than just returning it for warranty replacement when it fails, even if most of your stuff is backed-up to the cloud or an external drive or whatever, your only PC using a fragile storage medium is mildly bonkers :)

soldant
15-02-2013, 12:32 PM
You missed my point - where you're using a laptop and it's your only PC, using an SSD is a bit daft (and yet it's becoming quite common).
It's common because it provides a much needed performance boost versus tiny little HDDs. As for reliability - although the earlier SSDs do seem to be fairly unreliable they have become much better in recent times, particularly as OS support improves. A conventional HDD with moving parts really isn't a good solution for a mobile device either - arguably an SSD is safer since there are no moving parts so it's unlikely to be damaged if it's dropped while in operation (the SSD I mean, not the rest of the device).

If your only PC's HDD fails, then you're screwed regardless whether it's an SSD or a HDD. There's nothing wrong with SSDs in laptops, and solid-state drives are going to be the future. You're right to be suspicious, I mean I sure am because of my experiences with them in the past, but that's the past.

Sakkura
15-02-2013, 01:18 PM
Backing up important information is necessary regardless of the type of storage. HDDs do fail. And I've experienced more HDD failures than SSD failures, that's for sure.

Boris
16-02-2013, 09:06 AM
Backing up important information is necessary regardless of the type of storage. HDDs do fail. And I've experienced more HDD failures than SSD failures, that's for sure.

You've probably had more HDD's than SSD's.

But yeah, backups backups backups.

Logical Increments
19-02-2013, 08:10 AM
As someone who has built and serviced thousands of PCs, as well as worked at a company that makes NAND that goes into SSDs... anyone that's buying a hdd because they think it's going to be more reliable. . . is doing it wrong.

There have been some overhyped high failure rate drives (OCZ + Sandforce), but overall, modern SSDs are more reliable than HDDs. In a laptop it's much more so. A mechanical hard drive is by far the most likely component to fail in a laptop, because those delicate moving parts *really* don't like to be dropped.

If you're worried about NAND endurance, a modern 128GB SSD with MLC NAND (most of them these days) will last about 35 years when writing 10GB per day. If you torrent really a lot and write 20GB per day, cut that in half to 17 years. See Anandtech for more details (http://www.anandtech.com/show/6459/samsung-ssd-840-testing-the-endurance-of-tlc-nand).

That said, there is a common bit of logic that applies to all new parts: If you're concerned with reliability, wait until it's been out for a few months so that any potential reliability issues will show up. Brand new complex things always have unanticipated issues. It's unavoidable with cost-competitive consumer products.

tldr; modern ssds are more reliable than hdds. Particularly Intel, Samsung, and Micron.

Sakkura
19-02-2013, 11:31 AM
tldr; modern ssds are more reliable than hdds. Particularly Intel, Samsung, and Micron.
Consumer info: Micron sell many of their SSDs (and much of their memory) under the Crucial brand.

Sic
19-02-2013, 05:10 PM
As someone who has built and serviced thousands of PCs, as well as worked at a company that makes NAND that goes into SSDs... anyone that's buying a hdd because they think it's going to be more reliable. . . is doing it wrong.

There have been some overhyped high failure rate drives (OCZ + Sandforce), but overall, modern SSDs are more reliable than HDDs. In a laptop it's much more so. A mechanical hard drive is by far the most likely component to fail in a laptop, because those delicate moving parts *really* don't like to be dropped.

If you're worried about NAND endurance, a modern 128GB SSD with MLC NAND (most of them these days) will last about 35 years when writing 10GB per day. If you torrent really a lot and write 20GB per day, cut that in half to 17 years. See Anandtech for more details (http://www.anandtech.com/show/6459/samsung-ssd-840-testing-the-endurance-of-tlc-nand).

That said, there is a common bit of logic that applies to all new parts: If you're concerned with reliability, wait until it's been out for a few months so that any potential reliability issues will show up. Brand new complex things always have unanticipated issues. It's unavoidable with cost-competitive consumer products.

tldr; modern ssds are more reliable than hdds. Particularly Intel, Samsung, and Micron.

... and, to add to this, I have half a mind to speculate that a lot of the problems people have had with SSDs are related to the fact that most of the early ones didn't like being turned off abruptly. I've lost at least a couple of drives to SSDs losing power when they're not supposed to.

trjp
19-02-2013, 10:01 PM
... and, to add to this, I have half a mind to speculate that a lot of the problems people have had with SSDs are related to the fact that most of the early ones didn't like being turned off abruptly. I've lost at least a couple of drives to SSDs losing power when they're not supposed to.

That isn't really an excuse is it? Sometimes a desktop or even a laptop will lose power without warning, the hardware needs to be able to cope with that 999 times out of a 1000.

I just spent a day shoehorning an SSD into someone's laptop and they've now seen the result, read about SSDs (I didn't suggest that bit) and tomorrow I will therefore spend the same time replacing the SSD with an HDD!!

The laptop isn't anything special (2 year old Dell 1545) but it was SLOWWWWW and a look at the SMART stats on the HDD suggested they were bolloxed (4441 power-on days -44trillion CRC errors!?) so I reckoned it was the HDD that was dying (and Seatools agreed). I didn't have another HDD handy but I did have a Sandisk Ultra 120Gb SSD and so I said I'd clone their HDD over to that, which worked brilliantly (cloned and aligned with Partition Expert in no time - booted first time!).

Tested it with a few benchmarks, speed is decent and definately SATA2 (the old HDD was just SATA), powered-up in about 8 seconds (before it was almost a minute!!) and much nippier overall.

They saw this and said "but it's going to fail isn't it"? I pointed-out that their HDD was less than 2 years old and it was knackered but they ummmed and ahhhed and when they realised the SSD owned them a bit more than a new HDD they decided against it - so I've now ordered a boring 320Gb SATA2 HDD for them and tomorrow I do the same shit again...

So, that Sandisk Ultra is spare for my shiny new (to me - old to everyone else) X200 then - yummy :)

Logical Increments
19-02-2013, 10:29 PM
A good SSD is the single biggest upgrade I've made in years. The difference in overall system responsiveness is huge. (Well, actually fairly small, measured in seconds - but it feels big!)

Using a computer with a plain old HDD now feels like using 56K dial-up.

And thanks Sakkura - you're right, Crucial brands and sells Micron's consumer SSDs and RAM.