SSD's on Long Term, Should I Get One?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by BaronStein, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. BaronStein macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2010
    Hi Everyone,

    I've got a question which I wasn't able to find the correct answer at all. Solid State Drives are claimed to bring performance increases compared to hard disk drives. There are benchmarks on the net that proves this, especially high end ones definitely increases overall performance. However, people say that their performance degrade over time due to the nature of their read/write processes.

    The question is, with the development of new technologies such as TRIM and improved controller chips in SSD's, is this performance degradation is still inevitable?

    I'm going to buy a new MBP as soon as they refresh their line up, however, I haven't decide whether to include an SSD on it(the point is having ssd's, not whether it could be cheaper to get it from apple or install it manually). My concern is about performance. I usually download lots of things, and I torture my hdd everyday as I download and move them to my external drives. For me, I do perform lots of write/delete sequences, which is claimed to be the thing that decrease their performances. Should I get an SSD drive on my future laptops? Could the performance degradation be noticeable? I'm talking about very excess amount of read/write processes, not like a mainstream computer user.

    I hope someone can advise me about this situation. Thanks You...
  2. stonyc macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2005
    Snow Leopard does not support TRIM, so short answer, in the foreseeable future you will experience performance degradation. Anandtech has had a series of great articles on SSDs and TRIM, I would suggest reading some of those to supplement your knowledge of SSDs.
  3. Thiol macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008
    1) The performance degradation will not be noticeable by the average user.
    2) Hard drives degrade too as they fill up, so it's not a "new" problem per se.
    3) A degraded SSD is still much much faster than a HDD.
  4. Nein01 macrumors 6502


    Dec 1, 2009
    i've been debating this too..

    maybe the best thing to do is have the OS installed on your SSD and replace the optical drive with a large 7200rpm hdd, to which you can direct all of your downloads.

    would that greatly reduce or eliminate the long term "slowing down" of the SSD?
  5. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    I have been debating this and almost made another post as well. I'm glad you did.

    I've read an article recently (I dont think its from Andtech) but I remember that they concluded even without trim, the intel x25-m only had a 2% degradation after a full day of extensive abusing of the drive.

    Compared to the 1st gen of the intel x-25m, the 2nd gen intel SSD has a new algorithm that supposedly fixed this flaw.

    When we reviewed the OCZ Vertex EX 120GB SLC SSD that costs $1299.99 shipped we saw an 11% performance drop in the average read speed and a 65% drop in the average write speed. This performance drop happened just from benchmarking the SSD as these synthetic benchmarks really tear up a drive by repeating the same task across the entire drive. The Intel X25-M with the 34nm MLC Flash has an algorithm in the firmware along with a larger cache, new MLC NAND Flash chips, and a new controller. It would appear that after a day of doing nothing but benchmarks on the drive, it doesn't suffer from degradation issues like the rest of the drives we have tested on Legit Reviews over the years. When the drive was brand new and just installed it was seen having 230.5MB/s read and 99.7MB/s write averages. Now that the drive has been through our benchmark gauntlet the performance has decreased down to an average of 225.6MB/s read and 89.8MB/s write. This means we lost just 2% of the original read speed and 9.9% of the original write speed due to drive degradation. Since the Intel SSDSA2M160G2GC firmware doesn't yet support TRIM or the wiper utility, there really is no way to get the drive performance back, but once the TRIM support comes out, it is likely that most of this slight performance drop can be restored. The second generation Intel X25-M 160GB SSD is hands down one of the best drives on the market today due to how well their algorithm has been written.

    It really makes me want one!!
  6. rumpus macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2010
    What do you do when your SSD has "degraded" ? Do you 7-pass erase it and it comes back to its original performance ?
  7. vant macrumors 65816

    Jul 1, 2009
    'Degraded' is the wrong term. I would call it a 'natural' state as the majority of most SSDs will be in this zone. You can erase it via tools released by SSD manufacturers, but this would be pointless because it will become 'natural' in a few days.
  8. BaronStein thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2010
    Thank you for your responses everyone.

    I've tried to read the reviews online about them but I wasn't able to find a conclusion. Even though the newer drives suffer less degradiation, I'm talking about cycles of 3-5 days that I fill them completely and then erase the data back again. This is what I do on my current 320 gb laptop hdd, so on a few months I may lose significant amount of performance from an ssd. I'm concerned about that and I don't know whether it could happen.

    Also, is this degradation reversable? I mean could it be returned back to it's brand new performance by formatting etc.? I think the answer is no?

    This issue is very important for me as I use computer mainly for intensive rendering and audio editing/recording.
  9. CTechKid macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
  10. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    I just went ahead and picked up a 80GB intel x25-m ssd today.

  11. Thiol macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008
    The benchmarks testers do worse to the SSDs. Your treatment won't result in lower performance than what is reported. I wouldn't worry about it.
  12. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    The 2nd generation intel SSD drives has a totally new algorithms along with a bigger DRAM that allows it to minimize degradation over time.

    I believe 2% degradation over the long run in read and 8% for writes and thats without TRIM.

    So I went ahead and bought one. WOW super fast!!!
  13. FieryFurnace macrumors 6502


    Sep 19, 2008
    Berlin, Germany
    Also, OCZ's Vertex and Agility have OS independent Garbage Collection (does the same what TRIM does) when the system is sleeping.

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