SSD write endurance (aka longevity) vindicated

I found this chart earlier this week regarding SSD write endurance. Basically, it plots out how long an SSD would last if you set out to deliberately destroy it by writing to it continuously.

You could expect a mainstream 128-GB drive to last 4.7 years under those conditions, which is longer than a platter hard drive would last if subjected to the same kind of abuse. Other studies have similar results.

This is why I’m defiantly running a database-backed web site off an SSD. I’m actually more confident in the reliability of a quality SSD than I am in the reliability of a spinning disk, at this point, and this graph shows why.

Granted, I’m not done. I eventually want to move certain data, like cache files and logs, to tmpfs (RAM). It’s cheap insurance, but my main motivation for it is reducing latency even further. With the number of comments this site gets now that I’m blocking spam rather than filtering it, I expect this drive to run out of capacity before it runs out of time.

I’ve always thought SSDs were made for database and web servers. Now that I’ve seen it firsthand, I definitely recommend it.

3 thoughts on “SSD write endurance (aka longevity) vindicated

  • February 23, 2013 at 12:19 am
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    A little off topic – I am considering my first SSD. I’m looking around NewEgg’s site, and money considerations keep me in the 64G size. And yet there’s a Sandisk SSD for Notebooks, 128G for just a bit more. I would expect about 1.8x the price for 2x the size, not 1.1x the price.

    Questions: is there anything that would guide you away from a $90 128G drive and towards an $80 64G drive? (I’m taking your advice and staying away from OCZ). Next, is there anything wrong with using this in a desktop machine? I presume the Notebook designation refers to its size and where it can fit, not where it must fit.

    Thanks in advance!

  • February 23, 2013 at 9:34 am
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    No worries, Steve.

    I’m pretty sure that drive uses a Sandforce controller. Early Sandforce-based drives were problematic, but current reports are better. The reviews (both on the hardware sites and buying sites) are good. Sandisk does make their own memory, so they have that going for them. And the price is fantastic.

    I don’t have any firsthand experience with that particular drive, but I don’t see any red flags that would keep me from buying that drive if I were in the market for one right now.

    And yes, you can use it in a desktop machine. Get a 2.5″->3.5″ adapter and you’re set. Many will allow you to put a second 2.5″ drive in a single 3.5″ bay, which is handy for future upgrades. I have SSDs in a couple of desktop machines. Some drives bundle the adapter and some don’t. The SATA connection is the same on both, which is an improvement over the IDE days.

    Thanks for the question!

  • February 23, 2013 at 11:16 am
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    Thanks, Dave. I ordered the drive, and am looking forward to using it.

    I know you recommend burning in new components – does that apply to SSDs as well?

    I think maybe I picked the correct post for this question, given how long they last under constant use. I wonder if a couple days burn-in wouldn’t hurt the drive longevity, and would give me some assurance about it not failing immediately.

    After it passes burn-in, I will download Win7 64-bit to take advantage of the 8G I have (Thanks for having the links available https://dfarq.homeip.net/2011/09/what-to-do-when-you-need-to-clean-install-windows-7-and-all-you-have-is-a-restore-disc/) and use some of the memory to set up a ram disk (https://dfarq.homeip.net/2012/03/how-to-move-your-temporary-files-to-a-ramdisk/).

    You are helping so much on this one that I may have to name my next computer after you!

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