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Each block on a SSD has a finite number of writes. This is mitigated on modern drives by "spreading" the writes around as you use the drive.

I'm wondering if you partition a SSD into several partitions (a Mac using Boot Camp, for example) if this measure is defeated somewhat - can the writes be spread across the entire drive? Or are they contained strictly within the partition boundaries? Any SSD controller engineers here :)?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

It shouldn't matter. The drive doesn't know about partitions or file systems. It deals with blocks of pages, with a giant map of which "disk sectors" are in which pages. It will cycle through all the available blocks, whether writing the same sectors over and over, or writing to never-used sectors. (When "overwriting" a sector, it then knows that old page is now available.)

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That's what I thought, just wanted some confirmation. Thanks! – Nicolas Webb Dec 23 '09 at 15:23

It does matter somewhat. Your partitions should be aligned to the erase block size (e.g. 512KiB) of the disk, otherwise it may cause more writes to the disk.

But the disk itself is not aware of any partitions, as Ken wrote.

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