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Upgrading from HDD to SSD questions.

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#1 RezaMilford


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Posted 20 October 2017 - 02:05 PM

I've read what they are and the differences between the two, but I still have a few questions before whether or not I make the upgrade. I've been using HDDs for all my life and they never failed me yet. Believe it or not my drive from 2006 is still working without any problem even until now so I want a new and bigger drive that would at least last me 10 years as well. In fact all my HDDs that I've bought then on are alive and kicking.


Here are some of my concerns:


1) From researching various sites it said that SSDs have a limited write limit so will that be a big problem? I play with data a lot; not as much as a data center would, but I would say I go around 100GB per day. Knowing this how long will the SSD last me?


2) Once I've reached the write limit they say that the drive becomes something like a read-only USB. In that case wouldn't it mean my SSD is now worthless since I can't write in it anymore?


3) I also read that SSDs never actually erase data so in that context isn't it insecure to store important files in it? Unlike with HDDs where it's easy to nuke a file to oblivion.


4) Price obviously is going to be a big concern. I saw that SSDs come in either MLC or SLC where SLC would last me the longest(?) but wow that price. Is it worth the extra buck for an SSD that will stop writing in the "definite" future vs getting the cheaper HDD that will last me an "indefinite" long time?


I had other concerns but I lost them in thought while writing this so I may update the list in the future.


So assuming that everything just works and no kind of failure happens to either drives which would be better getting? Of course there's the option of getting an SSD for OS and then an HDD for everything else but the above concern still stands either way.



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#2 Drillingmachine


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Posted 20 October 2017 - 02:27 PM

1. Depends on how much writes manufacturer promises. For example 400TB host writes means around 3 years with 100GB per day 365 days per year. And that limit is usually just for warranty (there are exceptions). Just make sure you avoid TLC drives.

2. SSD can broke down entirely and then it's esentially brick (cannot read or write data) regardless amount of data written. Basically if there are too much writes but drive still works, then you either cannot write anymore to certain cells (lower capacity), drive goes into read only mode, data is harder to read so drive slows down considerably or something else.

3. Erasing data is harder on SSD because OS cannot directly handle drive. Still that is not major problem unless there is risk you lose drive to someone who wants to use deleted data.

4. I'd say you're good with MLC drive. Just don't except it to necessarily last for 10 years.

Basically if you want speed, you get SSD. If you want reliability in terms of able to write a lot and don't care about speed, you get HDD. SSD for OS is option I would take.

#3 Kilroy


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Posted 20 October 2017 - 02:33 PM

1.  Writes were an issue with early SSDs.  Here is a link to the SSD Endurance Experiment.  While this test does not include long term data retention as part of the testing methodology it does show even the worst drive tested should last you three years before you experience write issues.  (using your 100GB a day and considering you do it 365 days a year)  The first drive died seven times that and went into read only mode, or about 21 years of your usage.  As with anything these are not guarantees, you could put a drive in and write your data to it and then it could fail, no matter what drive you select. 


2.  The main thing about a drive going read only is that you can still get to your data.  You would be able to replace the drive and recover your data.


3.  SSDs use proprietary algorithms for wear leveling.  While it may be possible to recover the data, it isn't easy.  If you really need your data to be secure you should use encryption.  However, once you go down that path back ups become mandatory as encryption can also prevent you from accessing your data.


4.  Only you can make the call on how valuable your data is.  With a proper back up it should not matter if the SSD fails.  There is no guarantee on how long a drive will last.

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