OS Neutral To game on an SSD (hours a day)

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by ventuss, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. ventuss macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2011
    I hear a lot of people telling me that I shouldn't be gaming so much on an SSD or else I'm going to ruin the lifespan of it. Other people say it is ok. I really don't know what to believe anymore, so please, is there anyone here who can help me with some logical and scientific ecidence about it?

    I'm starting to believe that i should just install an external HDD and be gamming on that, since i can't understand who is telling the truth..
  2. Pakaku macrumors 68000


    Aug 29, 2009
  3. Janichsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 23, 2006
    The way SSDs work, they are very prone to deteriorate relatively quickly (relative to classic HDDs). There's also still a considerable amount of SSDs simply failing without much advance warning.

    However, I don't see that gaming from a SSD could aggravate the problems in any way. There are quite a few other tasks that put as much or more strain on the storage device than gaming.
  4. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    I've owned 5 SSDs, never had any issues.
    I have however had several 2.5" HDDs die on me.

    In the start SSDs were hampered by performance degradation with usage.
    However with TRIM and garbage collection this is now a non-issue.

    SSD endurance tests show SSDs last much longer than earlier anticipated and I'm sure most SSDs will outlast a HDD in most cases.
  5. tomvos macrumors 6502


    Jul 7, 2005
    In the Nexus.
    As far as I understood the discussions about the reliability of SSD the biggest factor is the amount of write operations. I have not (yet) heard that read operations have any significant effect on the SSD duration.

    So, I would say that gaming does not place a lot of stress on the SSD since mostly games are about loading data from storage and pushing this data to the RAM and from there through CPU and GPU.

    Of course, there is still the initial installation, but unless you install huge games like Elder Scrolls Online every day, this single big write operation should not pose any problem for a modern SSD. During their runtime most games store only tiny amounts of data on the disc. Usually this consists only of savegame data and configuration data.

    Finally you should remember that SSD like to have some free capacity for their internal cleanup and optimization processes. So if you plan to store many games on a SSD you should keep a few GB free for maintenance. But then, this is true for any kind of data on a SSD, not just for games.
  6. Janichsan, Mar 11, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014

    Janichsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 23, 2006
    Well, 3 out of 5 SSDs I owned are dead (two Crucial, one Samsung), in part after only a couple of months due to dead controllers.

    Anecdotal evidence doesn't proof much, for both standpoints.

    The main problem is that especially MLC SSDs - and that is still the majority of end-customer sold SSDs, due to their relatively low price - start to deteriorate after 3,000 to 5,000 write cycles. That number can be reached pretty quickly depending on the use, depending on who you ask even after 1 or 2 years.
  7. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Sep 19, 2003
    Have a time machine backup, of course, but don't worry about it. There is no way you are
    going to use up all the write cycles of the SSD in your computer's lifespan:

    Here's the full article: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-reliability-failure-rate,2923.html
  8. Janichsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 23, 2006
    I don't know. While the one year lifespan estimation I found elsewhere is surely overly pessimistic, this seems to me the other extreme. At least when the SSD is used as boot drive, there is a lot of subliminal read/write activity on it. Data get cached, RAM content gets paged to virtual memory, programs write all kind of temporary data, and so on and so forth.

    Also, to cause problems, the cells do not have to fail completely at the same time. I guess you will find that the available capacity of the SSD significantly dwindles long before the cited 18 years have passed.
  9. Dirtyharry50 macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2012
    AppleCare. There's three years you don't have to worry about it at all. And I don't think Apple would deliberately take a losing gamble on unreliable technology so I would not expect a sudden massive increase in failures just over 3 years either.

    It would be interesting to see MTBF figures for SSD versus traditional hard drives though.

    In any case, I trust no data storage ever and I never will. Back it up redundantly!
  10. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    My gaming computer has been running on SSDs for ages.
  11. hiddenmarkov macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2014
    I don't think there can be a tie into ssd or classic drive here tbh.

    My ssd has been fine for a while now. In addition to gaming (native and parallels with windows) I have moved most moved files to exteral storage. So I either work on raw files there or move files back and forth often as my ssd is a bit smaller if I'd prefer them on system drive.

    I have had my share of fun with classic HDD's however. I had several die in months. Others lived long and prospered.

    basically ymmv meets random chance of being the say very small percentage of failures (startup or delayed after some use) you will get in any mass produced scenario. it just so happens that with say 500,000 drives even 1% failure is a decent sized number.
  12. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    The SSD in my gaming computer has been working just great for longer than the last HDD in there did.
  13. ventuss thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2011
    Do you guys constantly delete games? Is there much of a difference if I just use a 5400rpm drive? Got an external drive that has around 100MB/s read/write. My SSD has like 600/700MB/s, still, I don't mean loadings.

    I have no idea of how much SSD to use on Bootcamp besides the external.. =/

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