Anyone worried about SSD degradation over time?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by superdudeo, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. superdudeo macrumors regular

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    Dec 7, 2010
    #1
    Considering the MBA just uses SSD, is anyone concerned about SSD degradation over time. Apple is still not using Trim which is slightly concerning. For those with a 1 year warranty, I would definitely think twice.
     
  2. Mac32 macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 20, 2010
    #2
    Well, as long as you leave some free space on the SSD, the only degradation should be in terms of writing speed. Reading speed stayes more or less the same. Still, Apple should have introduced TRIM a long time ago..it's old news now..
     
  3. Baycon macrumors member

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    May 10, 2010
    #3
    Not sure exactly what the cycle endurance is for the SSD apple uses, but you're probably looking at what...anywhere between 25 to 80 years endurance IF you do 100GB of erase/write cycle every day (AKA completely fill and then empty the drive every single day of the next few decades).

    As for performance degradation, you're looking at maybe a 3% to 15% in write speed from new to used, and barely any change in read speed (AFAIK).

    HDD degradation over time is much more pronounced...just not spoken of that much.

    The real importance of an SSD, is the low latency (high speed) of random access. While it may degrade over time, it is still MUCH faster than any HDD, and while you may notice if you're a number cruncher...you'll still have a very swift machine (whether its a MBA or any other computer with an SSD).

    My post isn't long enough ? Well here, read this : http://www.anandtech.com/print/2738

    Slightly old, but still relevant.
     
  4. dime21 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 9, 2010
    #4
    Yes, SSD's DO degrade over time. That's why I haven't bought an SSD yet. I don't want to be the early adopter. I'll wait a few years, let them work the bugs out, let it mature into a proven technology, then I'll buy a few.
     
  5. rpang macrumors member

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    So Cal...
    #5
    Honestly, by the time it degrades, you would have probably moved on to a updated model.
     
  6. Baycon macrumors member

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    May 10, 2010
    #6
    Exactly what this guy said.

    They do degrade over time. Will you notice? Maybe, maybe not.

    Meanwhile, I'll let all of you nay sayers use mechanical HDDs in laptops you are carrying and bumping around everywhere...let's see which lasts longer.
     
  7. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #7
    Yes, they degrade over time, but they are still faster than hard drives.

    Anyway, Digilloyd did a test recently on the 512GB Toshiba SSD that Apple uses in the MacBook Pro. It ought to perform similarly to the Toshiba SSD in th new Air. The drive is slower than an OWC drive, but it does hold up reasonably well to severe usage.

    http://macperformanceguide.com/SSD-RealWorld-BeforeAfter-AppleToshiba512.html
     
  8. tobiasvdp macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    #8
    my experience with the stock Samsung SSD in my Rev B Air: (Xbench used for testing)

    Out of the Box - 12/2008 - 10.5.6
    sequential uncached read / 256K blocks --> 85,83 MB / sec
    sequential uncached write / 256K blocks --> 64,27 MB / sec

    after 1.25 years - 04/2010 - 10.6.3
    sequential uncached read / 256K blocks --> 88,41 MB / sec
    sequential uncached write / 256K blocks --> 26,69 MB / sec

    after reconditioning - 10.6.5
    sequential uncached read / 256K blocks --> 90,83 MB / sec
    sequential uncached write / 256K blocks --> 50,67 MB / sec

    there have been approx 20 Gig free all the time, the machine has been my primary one and i was quite happy with it. The decrease in write speed was quite noticeable, but nothing to worry about. i backuped the ssd, deleted the whole drive, reconditioned it and there has been quite a difference in speed

    let´s wait and see how the new toshiba ssd in my rev c will perform, until now (4 months) there is no measurable decrease in speed, out of the box: read 185 mb/sec, write 152 mb/sec, right now 178/153
     
  9. yegon macrumors 68020

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    Oct 20, 2007
    #9
    When you say reconditioned it, what do you mean exactly? I'm curious as I've recently bought an 11" Air. I contemplated making a boot camp partition for the express purpose of the ability to trim it occassionally but I figured I'd just use it for a year, then worry about it. I have got in the habit of always leaving about 25gb free though (128gb drive). It's not my main machine, purely a mobile video/browsing/podcast machine, so I'm happy to only use about 100gb of it.

    Other than a boot camp partition, what are the alternatives to use trim? Any utilities you can run off usb?
     
  10. apparatchik, Dec 17, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010

    apparatchik macrumors member

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    Mar 6, 2008
    #10
    I bought a 2010 13" mba with the 256 SSD, after filling the drive up to 200 GB, the xbench test went from 240 to 237, anandtech reported aggresive gc abilities in these drives... maybe no need of TRIM? we'll see in the long run...

    taking a second look at the bench, my write speeds did went a little down but the read speeds went actually up, compensating the score... however I see it, and coming from a dell pc with a 5400 rpm drive, I just went from walking to flying...
     

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  11. tobiasvdp, Dec 17, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010

    tobiasvdp macrumors newbie

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    Dec 30, 2008
    #11
    i used disktester:
    http://macperformanceguide.com/Storage-SSD-Reconditioning.html

    some more insights:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=888129&page=2

    i.d recommend testing the drive as soon as the macbook gets delivered, so that there would be some sort of baseline, later tests could be compared to
     
  12. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #12
    DiskTester is an application that runs a "recondition" routine over an SSD. Essentially it is a "deep erase" that supposedly restores the read and write performance. Note that write speeds usually degrade more than read speeds.

    Note that Windows 7 will only be able to TRIM your Boot Camp partition.
     
  13. yegon, Dec 17, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010

    yegon macrumors 68020

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    Oct 20, 2007
    #13
    Thanks for the two responses. I'm completely new to ssd's as the cost/size ratio has always previously put me off. Not going to bother messing around with it for 6+ months or so, other than always leaving 25gb free. As much as I use my MBA a LOT, it's extremely light usage so I doubt I need to pay attention to any slight degradation for a very long time.
     
  14. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #14
    I just heard today on TWiCH (This Week in Computer Hardware - Ryan Shrout and Patrick Norton) that SSD's are generally rated to last 5 years writing 20GB a DAY! A mechanical hard drive probably wouldn't last that long and by that time a 2TB drive will seem small.
     
  15. superdudeo thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 7, 2010
    #15
    Rated to last 5 years maybe but from Tobias' results above, over 50% drop in write speed over 15mths or so. Remains to be seen if the Toshiba's are more resilient. I wonder if applecare covers this sort of thing.
     
  16. rkb macrumors member

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    Jun 22, 2010
  17. fswmacguy macrumors 6502

    fswmacguy

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    Aug 12, 2009
    #17
    Fun fact: Every hard drive in the history of forever will degrade over time. The hardware simply begins to wear out the second it's turned on- but it wears down so miserably slow, that it would take years of constant abuse- writing and moving hundreds of terabytes per day- to even see a slight percentage of a fraction of a change in performance.
     
  18. Btrthnezr3 macrumors 6502a

    Btrthnezr3

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    Aug 5, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #18
    Very interesting info in this thread. I too have been worried about this but will be in need of a new computer soon so I may take the risk. I'm awaiting the mbp refresh to decide but when that happens i'll either pick up a mbp or mba with an ssd most likely.
     
  19. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #19
    Put it this way. With 2 years of fairly heavy use, the SSD in my Rev B MacBook Air (which wasn't a very fast SSD to begin with) still booted in about 20-25 seconds and loaded applications pretty quickly. Sure, there was some speed degradation, and the read and write times are almost 4 times as fast on my Rev D, but they were still better than a hard drive.
     
  20. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    Oct 1, 2005
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    Colorado Springs, CO
    #20
    Exactly. SSD's are so much faster than tradition spinning disk drives it's really a non issue.
     
  21. Cerano macrumors 6502

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    Oct 28, 2010
    #21
    when are they gonna introduce TRIM?
    i know you apple fanboys are defending apple but still we all know how important trim is
     
  22. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #22
    Hopefully it comes with Lion this summer, if not sooner.
     
  23. WMuntean macrumors regular

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    Aug 23, 2007
    #23
    Issue an ATA Secure Erase from Linux if you feel any slow downs. It is the only thing that will restore an SSD to factory speeds. All other "reconditioning" tools are inferior to this method. Your worries about the lifeline of an SSD shouldn't be wagging the dog. You will be able to restore them.

    I also wouldn't worry about the degradation. SSDs are more robust that traditional platter drives and will last well over 5 years.
     
  24. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #24
    That isn't so easy on a MacBook Air since the SSD is a blade-type that can't easily be removed and placed into an external housing. You'd have to boot from a USB drive. Plus, either way, the operation requires cloning the SSD, booting into Linux, running the command, and then restoring it.
     
  25. WMuntean macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    #25
    No need to take it out of the MBA, you should be able to disable the freeze by putting it to sleep (like you can on a Mini and MBP). I agree, though, that it does require cloning or re-installing OS X, which some might find too undesirable. I typically do a fresh install every few years anyhow. I find that good organization expedites the process. Windoze on the other had, is a hassle to do a fresh install no matter how you dice it; the update process literally takes 3+ hours.
     

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