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Old 09-05-2014, 03:53 AM   #1
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SSD drives - Wear & tear when not used?

General PC hardware question.

I don't use an SSD drive in my Tivo but rather in one of my desktops to manipulate video content from another source. It's on 24/7.

I may may go a month or two by not using the drive, will I expand the drives life by disconnecting it when it's not in use?

Would I be better off getting a external PC esata enclosure and run did only when I need it?

With the hard drive experts, what say you?

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Old 09-05-2014, 09:21 AM   #2
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Life expectancy of an SSD drive is probably as good or better than a standard hard drive. Read/write issues vs. life expectancy is highly exaggerated. There's no reason why you can't use it all the time. I've got SSDs in my PCs that have been running 24/7 for at least a couple of years and never had any isses with them.

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Old 09-05-2014, 12:06 PM   #3
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Also if you aren't using the drive then it isn't being written to which as I understand it is the only thing you might need to worry about.

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Old 09-06-2014, 04:00 AM   #4
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In general, the root cause for SSD failure has been power cycling - usually in the cheaper ones with little emergency power fail protection. Ones from vendors like Toshiba, Samsung, Intel (the ones commonly used by PC manufacturers when you buy a preconfigured system) are more reliable. OEM vendors hate doing warranty replacements so they pick parts not likely to cause warranty repairs. (And manufacturers like Apple means even if 1 out of 100,000 fail, it becomes page 1 news).

Lifetime wise, few have actually worn out an SSD - about the only known ones are those that people purposely stress test to find out how long they can last. And the good news is that the Media Wear Indicator on them generally is very conservative - if you replace the SSD when the MWI indicates it's all worn out, you have really only gone about halfway. (It's not the indicator's fault - the indicator just shows that the number of guaranteed cycles have been exhausted, so it'll start using up spare blocks as they wear out). So when it claims to be worn out, all you need to do is buy a new one and replace it - you have plenty of time.

In general, you're far more likely to replace it because it's full rather than when it wears out.

Of course, if you use the SSD to hold videos inflight during editing, it might not be the best use of the SSD's capabilities since modern hard drives, especially in RAID configurations (RAID-0 is often used in video production because the needs are basically streaming video off the disk, which is perfectly suited for hard drives). Large linear reads are still better suited to hard drives, while small random reads (typical desktop usage, for example) are more suited to SSD's strengths.

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