SSD Degradation?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Dr.Seuss, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. Dr.Seuss macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2010
    I've been researching the topic since I intend on purchasing a new 13" MBP in the next few days. Does anyone know how quickly you can expect the performance of an SSD to "degrade?" Are we talking weeks? months? years? If it's relatively short, I might want to just go with a HDD because SSD's aren't necessarily "cheap" right now.

    Also, I'm still waiting for early adopters to confirm the brand of SSD Apple is using in the latest MBP's.

    Thats all.
  2. billgates99 macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2010
    my understanding is that there are no disk errors, they don't degrade and they don't need defragging. I've had mine for about 1 month and I tried some disk checking utils to test it but i found 0 errors.

    I have been told that SSDs will operate exactly at the same level from the day you buy them up until the day they fail

    According to OWC, their Mercury Extreme SSD life expectancy is as follows:
    2,000,000 hours MTBF Mean Time Before Failure (MTBF) this is equivalent to 228 years. (although it is interesting to note that their warranty is only 5 years)

    Disk Error Rate:
    Unrecoverable Read Errors: Less than 1 sector per 10^16 bits read
  3. Sneakz macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Performance degradation doesn't result in disk errors. If you have disk errors, then your drive is simply failing.
  4. bugout macrumors 6502a

    May 11, 2008
    is everything!
    Very wrong. Time to do some reading to understand exactly what happens.
  5. Kcissem D macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2010
    SSD drives do degrade overtime depending on use. SSD have limited ammount of write cycles as with all flash based drives but it is nothing to worry about as they typically last longer than mechanicle drives.
  6. JerseyBill macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2010
    That article is over one year old. The first thing I look for when giving credibility to an article I find on the net is how old it is.

    Is it reasonable to think that the state of the SSD art has advanced in the past 12 months?
  7. billgates99 macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2010
    Wow, thanks for that link - fantastic article!
  8. chopper dave macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2007
    Not if you buy a drive with a controller design over a year old (Apple's SSDs, intel G2, Indilinx) The solution for the degradation (TRIM) doesn't work on OSX so only a select few controllers work well with OSX, strangely it doesn't include the drives sold by Apple!
  9. therealseebs macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2010
    Yes, it is -- but it hasn't advanced to the point of "no degradation". No one is offering or advertising that, because no one has it. The better designs have reduced degradation. But it's only "reduced"; it's not gone. It won't be a factor of 3 penalty, but there will presumably be a noticeable penalty, same as always. The basic design of the technology hasn't changed in the last year or two; firmware improvements mitigate the issues somewhat, but only somewhat.
  10. joelcsf macrumors member

    Jun 30, 2007
    Bay Area
    After 6 months with a X25-M G2 in my MBP, there is degradation (the Xbench stats are off, at most, by 15% of the fresh-install benchmark).

    Is it noticeable? No. Absolutely not. I use my machine mainly to cut code (C++/Java), couch surf and occasionally play Monkey Island :) I don't run benchmarks every day or beat my machines up.

    In my work machine I have an OCZ drive that I recently installed the 1.41 firmware on to. I didn't XBench before upgrading, but my stats are off, at most, by 1% from fresh-install OCZ benchmark.

    Long story short: I would buy OCZ, personally, right now. But unless you're doing anything seriously IO bound, this "degradation" is in the eye of the beholder.
  11. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Feb 26, 2008
    Degradation happens when the drive is completely full, and new writes have to erase old date first. The drive can fill up even if the OS doesn't show it as full, since stuff you delete doesn't actually get erased (unless you have TRIM support). Once every block is full, the speed will be constant for the rest of the life of the drive, unless you reformat/wipe the drive to restore the full speed (sometimes this takes a special utility, although a pass of zeros should do it). If you keep the SSD somewhat full and you are frequently writing and rewriting large files (video, disk images, etc), it will not be very long before the SSD "degrades." After that, speed should be stable no matter how much you write to it.

    I don't know how much drives slow down when they "degrade." Look for benchmarks that compare a "new" drive to a drive with simulated use. My guess is 10-20% slower for writes and little change for reads, but of course that will depend on the drive. Even with that, the SSD should still be faster than any mechanical disk.

    I'd say just get a SSD, use it, and don't worry about it. Don't worry about turning off indexing or deleting the sleep image (unless you need the space), and don't worry about what you are writing to it or the number of write cycles. In a few years they will be bigger, faster, and cheaper, and you will probably want to upgrade again anyway.
  12. Lyshen macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2008
    Since TRIM isn't support by OSX next best thing is to get a SSD with Garbage Collection feature.

    I know in previous firmware version of OCZ Vertex, that the end-user could choose between having TRIM or GC. Haven't kept up to date with the newer firmware revisions, so no clue now.

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