Question: SSDs, writing files

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bigwig, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. bigwig macrumors 6502a

    Sep 15, 2005
    One of the problems I have with flash thumb drives is that when you've been using them for a while, all the memory cells become "dirty". When that happens, writes to the drive become slow as molasses as the drive is forced to do reset-empty-cell-then-copy operations on every memory cell you write to. Since SSDs are also based on flash, do they also have this problem?
  2. Zortrium macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2003
    Yes -- SSDs degrade over time as you write to them. The degree of this, however, depends greatly on the particular drive selected, since the disk controllers can be quite different. A quality drive like the OCZ Vertex 2 will show much less degradation than a lot of the cheaper and older SSDs like those that shipped in the original MBAs.

    Do some googling and you'll find much more info on this topic than you're looking for.
  3. bigwig thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 15, 2005
    Is the dropoff extreme? It was like dropped off a cliff on my thumb drives.
  4. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    As already being said, it all depends on the specific controller the drive uses. There is no general number.

    For example, Intel and Sandforce based drives do not degrade at all (at least not to an extent that would affect the use of the drive, it is recognisable in benchmarks, not in real world applications, though).
    The old Indilinx based drives (still used by Apple these days) degrade quite much, though. You should check for specific numbers on the drives you're looking at.
  5. grooveattack macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2008
  6. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    Indilinx drives were the best non-Intel drives from a couple years ago. it was the old JMicron drives that were crap, and what Apple was using.

    right now most drives use Micron, SandForce, or the newest Indilinx iteration. all of them are good, though Indilinx is the slowest. not unexpected since it's last-generation technology. the next-gen Intel SSDs are supposed to be released sooner or later, too.

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