SSD Degradation?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Thalin, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. Thalin, Nov 4, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013

    Thalin macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    #1
    The last few days I have ran into problems installing and using Windows 7 and 8 on Bootcamp, it's one of the reasons i've fallen in love with OSX so much as it's so much simpler. Needless to say I have had to install and remove Windows 7 twice and am now going to install 8 for the second and final time. On the Mac side of things I have also formatted and done a clean install of Mavericks to streamline it and get rid of all the stuff i'm never going to use. It cleared a surprising amount of space.

    Anyway I ask because i'm new to SSDs and I hear about them degrading over time. As installing and removing Windows through Bootcamp requires formats, partitioning and then removing the partitions back to single volumes, will this have affected the drive at all having done this this many times over such a short space of time? It's a new Macbook Pro which is why i'm being paranoid, as everyone is with a new piece of kit!

    I'm sure this new SSD technology can handle a large amount and by the time any loss of quality is noticed it will be time to upgrade anyway years later, but I thought I would ask. I'm used to Windows and having to format to clear out crap so it has become a habit.
     
  2. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #2
    Partitioning a drive only means something to the OS for the SSD it is nothing more than a couple Bytes written. Pretty much nothing.
    Partitioning works by writing a few numbers into a small table at a special place on the drive. The OS then knows that from LBA0 to LBA 256059 is partition 1. LBA 256060 - LBA some number is partition 2 and so on. All that is written is the LBA numbers and the partion name and type. Then a telephone book for the file system NTFS/HFS whatever. That parts (called formatting) is way more than the partitioning part.

    If you have Trim enabled, your SSD will likely outlive the rest of your notebook.
     
  3. Thalin, Nov 4, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013

    Thalin thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 30, 2010
    #3
    Ah right, so it's only formatting that would degrade it over time. Could you elaborate on what trim is?

    Also, a few more questions. Firstly, why does Bootcamp go through the procedure of setting up the disk, but then on booting to install Windows you need to format it again as it needs to be in NTFS format. I've read that this is a common problem, and granted the format literally takes seconds, but I just find it a bit odd.
    And the recovery disk that I see when looking at the different drives on boot, is this safe to remove to clear a bit more room? Or is it not worth it.
     
  4. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #4
    Formatting doesn't mean a lot of writes either.
    It basically write the MFT (Master File Table). That is basically a sort of address book which say which file is where. When a new NTFS partition is setup it is a more or less empty MFT. Ergo not very big. Still bigger than a partition table.

    I think the bootcamp issue is just because Windows doesn't like the NTFS apple writes too much. NTFS is closed source, so all external drivers are suboptimal. OSX diskutil probably just doesn't do it right. There are also other issues with the GBT that Windows doesn't like because Apple does it wrong ;).

    Trim is something that is automatically active in Windows when it detects an SSD but OSX only activates it for its own SSDs. So unless you bought your SSD and built it in yourself, you need not worry. From how tech savvy you appear I doubt that is the case. If it was, there is a way to enable it on 3rd party SSDs.
    Basically Trim helps keep write amplification (data written on falsh vs intended data stored by the OS can be a factor of 10 times) low and by telling the SSD which blocks are deleted. Otherwise the SSD never learns what is empty and eventually fills up to the max which makes the garbage collection algorithms (which you need to keep performance up) hugely inefficient issueing lots more writes than if there was more free space.
    So Trim helps SSD NAND life time. Though even without Trim most people that exchange their notebook after 3 years should be fine, even with heavy workload.
     
  5. jetlitheone macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 16, 2012
    #5
    The SSD in the 2012 macbook and early 2013 have a lifespan of about 100 years , and if you're a hardcore user you'll get about 10 years and thats constant usage all day long.

    The new PCIe SSD's pretty much last forever.
     
  6. orangezorki macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    #6
    Really? I thought that creating a new partition with bootcamp needed to move all of your main partition data out of the space of new partition?
     
  7. dusk007, Nov 4, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013

    dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #7
    Only if there is data in those LBAs. Obviously that data would have to be moved as partitioning is very simple in going from a to b and everything between a and b is a partition. Usually you have to have enough free space anyway and usually that free space is at the end. If it has to move lots of data out of the way it is also only done once. The op worried about repeatedly partitioning.
    The process of partitioning itself is not very write intensive as one can notice by the amount of time it takes.
     
  8. Thalin thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 30, 2010

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