Saturday, July 6, 2013

SSD Why and How to use

A high-end SSD is the pinnacle of computer storage today. SSD read times are insanely fast. SSDs can produce a four- or fivefold jump in speed, meaning using one will make your boot times and application launches super short. SSDs are the perfect storage medium—until things go pear-shaped. Or until you seek hard information about the technologies involved. According to cnet "One reason you hear so much fuzzy information about SSDs is that the companies that design and build one of the key components—the memory controller—guard their technology secrets more carefully than Coca-Cola protects its soda formula. It's a very competitive and lucrative market". 

the gist is that SSDs are more reliable than hard disks, and should last a good 20 years at least not counting performance degradation.

Consider the read/write longevity of SLC (Single-Level Cell) and consumer-grade MLC (Multi-Level Cell) NAND memory, the storage media used to build SSDs: The former is typically rated to last 100,000 cycles, but the latter is rated for only 10,000. Relax—you’d need to write the entire capacity of the drive every day for 25 years or so to wear out all the cells. The latest TLC (Triple-Level Cell) NAND that Samsung is shipping is rated for only a few thousand writes, but you’d still need to write the entire drive’s capacity for something less than ten years to use up the drive. An SSD failure typically goes like this: One minute it's working, the next second it's bricked. The latest drives are supposed to alert you when they’re nearing the end of their useful life span, but what happens if the warning pops up and you’re not there to see it? The solution, of course, is to back up your SSD in advance. 

All NAND chips have more memory than their stated capacity—about 4 percent. This is used by the controller for operations, and to take the place of worn out and defective cells. If you've ever wondered why some SSDs come in rounded sizes such as 120GB and 240GB, when other SSDs and memory in general is sold in capacities that are powers of two (128-, 256-, 512GB, etc.), it's because many vendors set aside even more NAND to extend the drive's useful lifespan. For example, a 240GB drive is really a 256GB drive with 16GB set aside for over-provisioning.

You should place things that really require to load faster on your SSD. This includes mostly your programs and games. Placing a video from your SSD will not give a noticeable speed-up in comparison with your HDD, nor will other personal documents result in faster performance.

Some final SSD tips

All SSDs have a limited number of writes before they wear out. As we've pointed out, mostmodern SSDs will become outdated before they die, but that doesn't mean you can't make a few adjustments to maximize the life of your SSD

  • Buy the highest capacity you can afford. You’ll get better performance, although the benefit declines rapidly beyond 256GB.
  • If you’re running an OS that doesn’t have native  TRIM ;a command [that] allows an operating system to inform a solid-state drive (SSD) which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be wiped internally"; support, check the manufacturer’s website for a driver that will force garbage collection. You might also look for a utility that you can run occasionally to perform the same task. The easiest way to learn if your SSD supports TRIM is to run an application like CrystalDiskInfo (Windows). It will tell you if your SSD supports TRIM.
  • No SWAP Partition, Journaling Filesystems, … on a SSD. Our operating system has some features that write to the disk when the memory can't hold it for some reason(SWAP memory), alongside tricks that speed up your computer in case you have a HDD but are no longer necessary on an SSD
  • Windows' built-in hibernation feature can be a pain for your SSD. If you really don't need this feature, consider using sleep or shutdown instead, because hibernate writes your memory to the hibernation file every time you hibernate. If u really want this feature add a HDD and make OS write hibernate content to HDD instead.
  • Disable Disk Defragmentation. SSD manufacturers suggest that you turn off both SuperFetch and Defrag features for your drive, as your SSD doesn't need defragmentation at all and it's excellent speed makes SuperFetch useless. Both of those features make small, excessive writes to your drive, which are unnecessary.
  • Most people find Windows' built-in search indexer necessary, because it speeds searching up a lot for data that's on your hard drive.If you only have an SSD, you might want to consider disabling the Search Indexer. If you have both an SSD and regular HDD, you should move the Search Indexer cache to your HDD. This will spare out a lot of writes so that whenever a file is being saved in one of your indexed locations the search cache is no longer updated.
  • There are a lot of temporary files, caches and logs on your computer. These also result in a lot of excessive writes! However, if you'd like to try moving these, the method depends on which browser and what software you use.
  •  Hunt down more applications that frequently write to your disk and  try disabling them. Built-in Resource Monitor in the newer versions of Windows come handy in such cases or use junction points. Junction points tell the system that when it's accessing path X that it should access path Y instead.
  • Use your SSD for the computer’s operating system and application software. Store your movies and most of your other data on a mechanical hard drive. Hard drives stream media just fine, and they’re often better suited for simultaneous recording and playback. They're also at least ten times cheaper per gigabyte.