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I host all my files on a NAS device. I would like to know if I built an HTPC with a small SSD, will it write a lot on disk? I was under the impression that with enough RAM the disk would only read at boot time.

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Why do you care? –  David Schwartz Nov 26 '12 at 22:55
    
David raises a good point, because the reason you're asking may help inform a decent answer. –  Shinrai Nov 26 '12 at 23:42
    
The goal is to build a fanless HTPC with no moving parts to be noiseless. But as Nathan points out if there is too much write on disk, it will die dratically fast. –  lucian.jp Nov 27 '12 at 1:52
    
@lucian.jp: So why isn't your question about whether there is too much writing? It seems like you didn't ask the question you actually wanted to ask at all. –  David Schwartz Nov 27 '12 at 3:11
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@DavidSchwartz: ??? Question starts with "I host all my files on a NAS device". Files are not on disk... –  lucian.jp Nov 27 '12 at 3:43

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@DavidSchwartz and @Shinrai - SSDs have a limited number of read and writes. While this number shouldn't be reached in your life time - if it is constantly reading and writing then it will shorten the lifespan dramatically.

Depending on the software it should store the stream in memory. If you don't have enough memory then Windows may use virtual memory which will thrash the disk due the paging in/out of memory.

If you are just going to use this system to stream - then buy a normal hard drive. It will be cheaper, and you shouldn't notice any speed differences. This is of course assuming you are streaming all of your content - which then the bottleneck would be your network infrastructure/NAS not your hard drive.

If you are copying data to be read off the local disk, then a SSD may be faster though I personally never notice any speed issues on my 7200 RPM drives.

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Your answer kinds of goes off the rails. Sure, if it's constantly reading and writing, then that will affect the lifespan. But then your answer never addresses whether or not it's constantly reading and writing. Reads have no effect on SSD life. –  David Schwartz Nov 27 '12 at 3:12
    
I did address whether it's constantly reading/writing - the poster didn't specify what application they were using - so therefore I can't say for sure if a streaming app would do it or not because they are all programmed differently. And from research you are correct about write not reads degrading SSDs. –  Nathan Adams Nov 27 '12 at 5:59
    
There's no way you'll exhaust the writes on a modern SSD in any rapid amount of time in a properly-functioning non-server environment, so your initial paragraph is a non-sequitur. The question of "How many writes happen in a situation like this?" is perhaps interesting, but it's of no practical concern to the longevity of the hardware. I absolutely can't agree with "buy a normal hard drive instead" either, if only because of the higher risk of failure (which would be no major loss here in terms of data, but would be annoying). –  Shinrai Nov 27 '12 at 15:50
    
Also, be aware that you can't ping somebody in an answer like that (or at all if they haven't commented in the specific comments section you're in). I think we both only saw this because we looked back at the question. –  Shinrai Nov 27 '12 at 15:53
    
@Shinrai it all depends on the software/environment. If something is constantly writing out to the disk - like virtual memory - then it will fail sooner. Like you said though - if it "properly-functioning" system then it shouldn't fail in your life time. Constantly paging in/out is defiantly not a properly-functioning system. –  Nathan Adams Nov 27 '12 at 20:02

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