Question about the SSD

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Bocaj, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. Bocaj macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2010
    From what I know about SSDs, you should try to keep the "writes" to a minimum as it's not healthy for the drive.

    So in the case of a MBP, if I were to edit pictures, etc, is it safe with Mac's PCIe SSDs? Or should all edits and saves be made to an external drive?
  2. Fondaparinux macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2013
    Even if you read/write your SSD as much as you can imagine, you can never break it for 6+ years.

    By then you should have gotten a replacement laptop.
  3. Bocaj thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2010
    Okay, good enough for me then.

    I have an SSD for my desktop PC and got paranoid with all the "read/write" articles and thought about the MBP and their PCie SSD and wondered if there was any difference.
  4. Bocaj thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2010
    Things you shouldn't do with SSDs.
    Here's what I read and wondered in regards to the MBPs.

    Don’t Write Constantly To Them

    To increase your SSD’s life, you should try to minimize writing to the drive as much as possible. For example, you can do this by tweaking your program’s settings and having them write their temporary files and logs elsewhere, such as to a mechanical hard drive if you have a mechanical hard drive in your computer.

    Tweaking such application settings will be going overboard for most users, who shouldn’t have to worry about this. However, you should nevertheless bear this in mind — don’t run applications that have to write temporary files to the drive constantly. If you do use such applications, you may want to point them at a mechanical hard drive where you won’t have to worry about the drive being worn down.

    Don’t Store Large, Infrequently Accessed Files

    This one is fairly obvious. Solid-state drives are smaller and much more expensive per-gigabyte than mechanical hard drives are. However, they make up for it with reduced power consumption, less noise, and increased speed.

    Ideal files to store on your solid-state drives include your operating system files, programs, games, and other files that must be accessed frequently and quickly. It’s a bad idea to store your media collection on a solid-state drive, as the speed isn’t necessary and you’ll use up much of your precious space. If you don’t have enough space on your SSD, store your large media collection on a mechanical hard drive. If you use a laptop, consider getting an external hard drive for your media. Mechanical hard drives are still very good at providing a very large amount of storage at a low cost per-gigabyte.
  5. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    If you're using an SSD such that it'll hit its write limit, you would probably be putting a HDD with the same usage under such stress it would be more likely to fail mechanically.

    Anyone who has had several computers over several years has had HDD failures - my family's computers have had three since 2005, all from the first generation of Intel Macs. People have anecdotes about HDDs that have lasted a decade or more, but the chances are most people will replace their computers before a failure happens. SSDs, especially the cheaper ones, also fail, but mostly due to controller failures rather than the storage medium itself.

    Don't worry about the SSD. HDDs are more likely to fail mechanically. SSDs haves a limit on the number of writes but you won't reach that limit.
  6. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    It is true all flash storage devices have a finite number of write cycles. Thing is, even if you are a very very heavy user and write to the drive a lot, you will likely have moved on to a new computer before the flash storage NAND cells wear out. Couple good articles here and here.
  7. Fondaparinux macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2013
    I'd bet my left nut that even if you violate all those warnings, you'd still be able to squeeze 6+ years on that SSD.
  8. dmccloud macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Anchorage, AK
    The low end estimates on SSD lifespan are based on rewriting every block on the drive. Since most people will only rewrite blocks on occasion (especially if they don't fill the drive in the first place), the lifespan can easily exceed the life of the machine it's running in. The first generation SSDs (which were basically USB thumb drives with SATA connections) were a different type of flash memory than what is in use today. To put it into perspective, at 1000 read/write cycles (the predicted lifespan for TLC-based SSDs), you'd be looking at about three year's usage if you rewrote the entire drive each day. If you're only rewriting to half the drive each day, that jumps to around 5 1/2 years. But since most people write significantly less data to the drive on a daily basis, that lifespan extends dramatically.
  9. TProd macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2014
    Just clone it to keep your data safe. Use Super Duper and any other drive for backup. SSD prices are falling, if you ever reach the end of its useful life you'll get a new one for very little money.

    I ordered two Samsung 500 GB SSDs at about six months interval, the price had fallen by about £60 in that time, which was a 25% fall (approximately £240 to £180).

    The speed benefits are too great to resist, but clone it and update the clone frequently! That advice, actually, is valid for any drive not just SSDs.
  10. Bocaj thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2010
    Here's another article.



    But 6 years?
    They certainly make running a laptop with SSD a scary sounding propisition when it comes to read & write life.
  11. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    How about this, just use your SSD and enjoy it. Don't worry about its lifespan.

    For instance, I could tell you now that our environment is full of radiation from RF waves like wi-fi, cellular (3G, LTE, etc) and even from light bulbs. Does that mean you'll stop using all these? Their impact is negligible to your health, so don't worry about it.

    Same logic applies to SSDs, don't worry about writes :D
  12. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    You obsess with it too much. I mean, look at the article you quote. So they estimate that a 128GB SSD with P/E limit of 100,000 would last halt a year under constant 6GBPs writes to it. For a consumer-grade SSD with 3,000 P/E limit (like the one used in a rMBP) its 1/33 of the time, or only 6 days! That sounds terrible, right?

    Well, not really. 6GPPs is 45 GB per minute. This means overwriting the drive completely every 2.8 minutes. These makes 21 complete overwrites per hour. In the total of 6 days you would have written 388800 GB or 380 TB to make the disk fail.

    Let's, for the sake of the argument, assume that you are editing full 4K pictures and that you are storing them uncompressed. Lets, to make things even more interesting assume that they are HDR pictures, giving them 16 bytes of storage per pixel. Such image would take your 128MB on disk. Now, to spend all the reserves of your SSD, you would need to save such an image 3110400 times. If you produce a result every minute which needs saving, and work non-stop 24/7 without taking any breaks at all, you will be done after 3110400/60/24 = 2250 or... 6.3 years.

    So yeah. Just relax and write as much to your SSD as you can/want. It will not reach its limit any time soon.
  13. Bocaj thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2010
    Negligible? Not so sure about that. Science isn't out on that yet.

    However, it has an impact on wildlife.


    Not an obsession or I would have replied immediately to it but it's been a month or just under. I'm not on here daily like everyone else obsessing over what new products or slightest little rumor upgrade there is. THAT'S obsession. ;)
  14. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Everybody needs a hobby :p
  15. Barney63 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2014
    Bolton, UK.
    I'm a self-confessed obsessee :D

  16. Bocaj thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2010
    Volunteering at the local animal shelter is always good, to my surprise, tons of hot girls/women volunteer as well. ;)

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