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Hi I have recently bought a new PC with a SSD. Because of this I have been looking around at stuff in the resource monitor more than I usually would I have noticed that there always seems so be some amount of disk activity. Even if I boot the computer, let it sit for a while doing nothing, there always seems to be at least 4-50kB of disk activity.

I was wondering if this would be a problem in terms of the the longevity and performance of the drive.

Also I believe that most modern SSD drives only run their GC after a certain ammount of idle time, and i believe this would prevent that.

I could be (and am probably am) compleately wrong about the implications of this but any comments or links would be appreciated.

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4-50 kB in what period? And are you sure Windows itself is causing these reads/writes and not some program that is running? Use Process Monitor from Sysinternals to find out more details: technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896645.aspx –  Gurken Papst Jun 24 '12 at 13:09

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

The low level of background writes is quite normal. Windows has various process that works in the background the keeps things moving along smoothly, like updating the index used for search.

The effect of this is quite negligible, on both performance and longevity.

The SSD does not need to be idle for GC to run. Sooner or later it will run anyway. The need to be idle to run thing was mostly an issue for Indilinx based drives because they're GC implementation was so slow they tried to avoid doing it while the drive was doing anything. Modern drives will either run the GC occasionally even though you are writing to the drive. I saw this lovely screenshot of a write benchmark that had written continuously to a Crucial m4, where the write speed would drop by 80% every once in a while when the GC routine was run, and how the frequency of the GC routine picked up as the writing wore on. This was while writing full speed to the SSD, with only your background writes the GC will run occationally, and you won't even notice. Sadly I can't find the picture. I has disappeared in some forum thread somewhere.

As for longevity, most small SSDs can handle a couple hundred TiBs of writes. Bigger SSDs can pass the PiB barrier. A few kiB here and there won't add up to much even over several years.

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Thanks thats good to know my drive is an OCZ vertex 4 the controller for this is a descendant of Indilinx though isnt it? If so have these bugs been stamped out in the most recent iteration? –  Hugoagogo Jun 24 '12 at 13:25
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The Vertex 4 is based on the Marvell controller, but with custom firmware from OCZ. The issue is not present in that controller/firmware. –  Mr Alpha Jun 24 '12 at 18:45

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