SSDs, particularly of the common MLC variety, have a limited number of writes before the memory cells wear out. Through the use of wear leveling algorithms this is effectively worked around so that the drive has a useful lifespan. The other side of the wear leveling is that it improves performance by writing to unused blocks rather than the much slower operation of reading, erasing, writing to an existing used block. But these algorithms rely on their being unused blocks available.
So the question is what happens if you encrypt the entire drive with something like BestCrypt or TrueCrypt? Both of these will write what looks like random data to the entire drive. Will this effectively put the drive into a fully used state and how will this effect the wear leveling and performance of the drive?
I know that some drives do reserve some of their capacity for this very reason. Where you see a drive advertised as a 60 or 120GB drive it is probably a 64 or 128GB drive with some of its capacity reserved and unavailable for your use. But do the drives that advertise themselves as 64/128/256GB also reserve space in this way or do that rely purely on the drive never being completely filled to have available blocks for wear leveling?
I am probably worrying about something that really isn't going to be a problem in practice. But I am rather curious about how smart the wear leveling algorithms are. Do they allow for continuous read/modify/write to a drive that appears to be completely full?