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  1. #1
    Network Hub Herzog's Avatar
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    SSD and Torrents

    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?

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    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.
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  3. #3
    Activated Node TheIronSky's Avatar
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    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.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Would be more of an issue with the plain 840 than the 840 Pro, which uses more durable memory.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    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.

  6. #6
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    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!?

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    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.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    Whilst they're 'new', there's plenty of SSDs which are smoking ruins to suggest that they're not, particularly, longevenous (sp?!)
    Yes, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    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.

  9. #9
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    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.
    "Swans are so big, they're like the Ostriches of the bird world"

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny252 View Post
    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.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    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.
    "Swans are so big, they're like the Ostriches of the bird world"

  12. #12
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    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!)

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    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.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    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).

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    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.

  16. #16
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    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!!!

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    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.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    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 :)

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    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.

  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    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.

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