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I have heard some nasty comments about the constant use of P2P like software would seriously damage the normal hard drive, would it have the same level of negative effect on SSD? Thanks.

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Any links to that? SSD could wear out faster than normal HDD in such situations, but I really don't see how P2P would affect a normal HDD in any significant way. – AndrejaKo Dec 10 '11 at 7:10
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I am not an engineer or a storage expert, so definitely take this appropriately, but here's my understanding:

SSDs do not have any practical (or even actual?) concerns when it comes to read operations, which means that no matter how many times you read from the drive, it will not degrade its performance or reliability. In terms of P2P applications, that would mean for example that you can seed or upload indefinitely without ever running into any problems.

SSDs do have a write limitation though, and today these limitations are measured in millions of write cycles. According to my Internet research, this is a non-issue for the vast majority of non-enterprise users. This page, for instance, refers to effective life spans of 51 and 85 years for two modern drives given calculations based on relatively heavy usage.

According to that, then, you have nothing to fear even if you are constantly downloading with your P2P application.

However, from what i've heard, most modern SSD failures are caused by dying or malfunctioning controllers, not issues with the storage chips themselves. That means it is still possible for the drive to die in spite of the fact that the memory storing the data itself is still OK. The parts in the drive are rated for hundreds of thousands of hours (i.e. dozens of years), so this is not supposed to happen either, but i guess controllers are still maturing.

In short i would speculate that there is not any practical issue with it unless you are an extraordinarily heavy user or the drive has a bad controller (in which case it'd eventually die anyway).

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An SLC based flash drive has prroximately 100,000 write cycles per cell, while MLC based devices have only 10,000 so your estimation needs to be pared down quite considerably depending on which type of SSD is used. Write endurance has gone down considerably in the quest for higher capacities and higher performance. – Mokubai Dec 10 '11 at 14:01
Ah, you are right :| – kine Dec 10 '11 at 16:27
This is great, thanks a lot kine – Will Dec 13 '11 at 3:18

I guess it's possible to tax a hard drive when seeding (providing to others) multiple large files, as the memory cache would fill up to capacity and the drive would be seeking a lot to read random chunks of those files. It's also possible that disk sleep settings and the level of disk activity are such that the drive is turning off and on relatively often, shorting its lifetime.

Neither of those reasons apply to an SSD. SSD mostly wears out due to writes, and P2P seeding doesn't incur a lot of writing (maybe logs, at most). P2P downloading would not wear an SSD out any faster than just downloading those files in an ordinary fashion.

If anything, your problem is likely to be running out of disk space, as P2P programs will quickly consume tons of disk space while SSDs are still very expensive per-GB.

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