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I recently got an SSD, and I was wondering if should still continue using Windows Hibernation. My fear is that hibernation would cause significant wear-and-tear on the drive.

I have about 8GB of RAM, and I was worried that constantly writing this amount of data can wear out the drive much faster, since SSD's have a limited number of writes.

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closed as not constructive by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, random Jan 14 '12 at 4:49

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The boot time of an SSD should be fast enough that you won't need Hibernation.. At least in theory. ;) –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Jan 13 '12 at 22:33
@techie007: The main benefit of hibernation is that you can leave all your apps open and running and switch off the power, and continue from that point on later. –  haimg Jan 13 '12 at 22:48
closed as not constructive? what exactly is wrong with this question? –  Sonic Soul Oct 26 '12 at 2:51

2 Answers 2

Limited number of writes is relative. Say, if you have an SSD with 100,000 write cycles and no wear-leveling, this means that if you hibernate 10 times a day, this drive will serve you over 27 years before the hibernation will wear it out.

However, most modern drives use wear-leveling, which means data is dynamically moved around so the cells wear out equally. See the specs of your SSD disk and judge for yourself if the hibernation ok or not. For example, Western Digital's consumer SSD drives are spec'd as follows (PDF):

Service Life 3 years
Maximum GB written per day: 17.5 GB (64 GB drive) 35 GB (128 GB drive) 70 GB (256 GB drive)

So, if your total RAM is 8GB, and actively used RAM is 5GB (rest is used as cache etc.), that 5GB is written each time you hibernate. Judge for yourself if that affects your drive in a significant way or not, based on its specs.

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Don't regular hdd's have a limited number of writes as well? (Just as any other type of memory) –  Simon Verbeke Jan 13 '12 at 22:20
100 000 write cycles is way more than what your typical SSD has these days. The ratings are more like 3000-5000 write cycles. –  Mr Alpha Jan 13 '12 at 22:21
@MrAlpha: Can you provide any source for that info? –  haimg Jan 13 '12 at 22:22
@SimonVerbeke: Anything in this world eventually wears out. However, for regular hard disks, the number of rewrite cycles is so large, that other components of the hard disk always fail before you'll wear out the magnetic layer by re-writing. –  haimg Jan 13 '12 at 22:27
@haimg I would say 90% of the consumer drives on the market today uses flash with 3000-5000 write cycles. Now, of course, it is true that the quality of the drives wary in WA and such. And that the size of the drive is quite essential as well. –  Mr Alpha Jan 13 '12 at 22:58

It depends on the size of the SSD. The number of writes an SSD can handle increases exponentially with size. If your SSD is a 32 GB drive you might want to worry, but with anything 100 GB+ there is nothing to worry about.

When you hibernate you don't write the full 8 GB to drive, only the amount that is actually in memory. So if you are using 4 out of 8 GB you will only get 4 GB of writes.

For example: a good quality 128 GB SSD with MLC NAND rated for 3000 write cycles, can usually handle something like 720-2520 TB of writes before it gives up. This is because in typical desktop load an SSD usually can to 2-7x the rated number of write cycles. Assuming typical memory usage of 4 GB that means you can hibernate it around 400 000 times or once a day for 1000 years. Other usage will produce more writes than this so in reality it will be lower, but still nothing to worrying about.

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Intel says you can take their 320 series drives and write 22GB a day to them for 10 years without exceeding the write cycles. –  Shinrai Jan 13 '12 at 22:40
Why does the number of writes increase exponentially with capacity? Does it not increase more or less linearly? –  sblair Jan 14 '12 at 19:01
The number of write cycles a flash cell can handle depends on the frequency of writes. So if you double the amount of flash you have twice the amount of flash to wear out, but, because of wear-leveling, you also halve the frequency of writes. So combined you end up with a more than linear increase in write-endurance. The increased size also helps write amplification a bit which also adds to the write endurance. –  Mr Alpha Jan 14 '12 at 22:46

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