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Let's say you have an 8GB solid-state hard drive, which has a limited number of writes by nature (I think). If you have swap space for your Ubuntu installation, will the lifetime of your solid state drive decrease because of the swap space? If so, would disabling the swap space increase the lifetime of the drive? Would there be any downside to not having swap space to cover those situations where you run out of RAM space (like computer freezing or crashing)?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

would disabling the swap space increase the lifetime of the drive?

that is fairly easy to answer: yes, any write operation avoided will increase the life span of a solid state disk.

but will your computer live long enough to tell the tale? hardly. :)

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Amen on your last sentence, when was the last time you actually something long enough for it to break? – Ivo Flipse Jan 28 '10 at 7:24

Yes, as I understand it, SSDs are not recommended for storing pagefiles or swap space. They'd be really fast at it, but it will be detrimental to the device's overall lifetime.

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So what? I know I would certainly prefer faster swap at the cost of device lifespan. Nothing lasts forever. – micmcg Jan 28 '10 at 2:15
so what? spend your budget however you like. i know i'd certainly prefer replacing equipment as seldom as possible. nothing lasts forever, but toys last longer when you take care of them. – quack quixote Jan 28 '10 at 2:35
Yeah but does it make a difference over a sensible lifespan? Like is it the difference between 6 months and 3 years, or the difference between 10 years and 15 years? The first is relevant, the second is a total "so what". If the drive would still get 3+ years of use as a swap, to me the speed boost is worth the shortened life span. The speed boost may extend the life of your computer as a whole, postponing the replacement of that "toy" – micmcg Jan 28 '10 at 4:37
hey, if you wanna buy me two SSDs, i'll be happy to try it out and tell you when the one with the swapfile breaks. – quack quixote Jan 28 '10 at 7:01

In theory.

In practice, it isn't that much of an issue. The drives are ratted for years of continuous full bandwidth writing (granted, that is the whole of the drive, rather than a few GB of swap).

Go read up on the articles on them.

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