Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In reference to this, I found the below in an ad:

http://i.imgur.com/JRUzvvN.png

I recently bought these drives a few weeks ago and then saw his picture. Do all SSDs suffer from such substantial performance drops over time and why?

share|improve this question
1  
This probably refers to continuous writing. That will almost never happen in day-to-day use. –  Daniel B May 24 at 16:30

1 Answer 1

It may seem a dramatic drop but that's not the case. Still, the chart is meaningless without knowledge of the underlying load of the drive, so mostly marketing drivel.

But yes, technically all SSDs suffer from a performance drop when faced with heavy write scenarios due to a fundamental limitation of the underlying technology itself(NAND flash).
The flaw is that data can be written on page level(e.g. 4KB) but can only be erased on the block level(e.g. 512KB).

And when you have no more free blocks, the controller is forced to perform an erase cycle(which is awfully slow compared to the other operations). This also leads to a phenomenon known as Write Amplification.
It's also why most drives come with a certain amount of over-provisioning that's hidden away by the controller, just for the purpose of maintaining a good performance level - it allows the controller more flexibility on when it performs its garbage collection routines, to minimize impact on performance.

On a historical note, this used to be a bigger problem earlier when the TRIM command wasn't as ubiquitous as it is now. It was a solution to a problem arising from the abstraction of logical blocks from the physical blocks that the drive's controller performed which itself was necessitated by the need for wear-levelling.

Source: Anandtech (I've come to regard them as THE resource when it comes to SSD technology and testing). If you wish a more in-depth take on the matter read THIS. It's a little bit old, but much of it still holds.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.