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Do SSDs Wear Out? (SSD Lifespan)

SSDs are the new addition to the specifications of a laptop or a computer.

Ever since SSDs have come into the market the users have gone crazy behind them.

The main reasons behind the popularity of SSD are the boot time and reduction of heating. Among all the sections of users, Gamers and Designers are more attracted to this trend. Almost everyone with slower older laptops and computers wants to replace HDD with SSD. And this decision is truly justified.

If you are using HDD, then it’s quite obvious that you might be facing lagging issues and poor performance of the system. Slow OS and Software booting issues are most common with HDDs.

For years on years, there was no change in the storage mechanism in systems. Now with the entry of SSDs has revolutionized the whole perception of the users.

Though SSDs come with a higher price tag and low storage when compared to HDD, still SSDs are winning the hearts of the geeks because the main motive of launching SSDs was to reduce boot time and enhance performance.

SSDs start from the range of 240GB and so on depending upon your budget. SSDs have a longer life span of 10 years on average but they can last even longer if you maintain them properly.

Well, this post is going to be all about the brief introduction on the making of SSD, the life expectancy of an SSD, and things that you need to take care of to increase the life span of an SSD. Let me not waste your time and start the topic.

Read Also: What is SSD Wear Leveling and why its important?

How Are SSDs Made & How Do SSDs Work?

Since it is very tough to understand the working of SSDs, I will still give you a brief idea about this one.

SSDs[Solid State Drives] are made up of several memory chips that store information. All these flash memory chips are installed on a circuit board.

These chips are made in-house by Micron on silicon wafers. As we all know that silicon wafers are highly contaminous. So, these wafers are passed through several tests and then multiple layers of specific materials[mainly Copper and Silicon Dioxide] are added to the wafers.

Then circuits are printed in paths over the wafer. This involves a multiple steps process. After the manufacturing is completed these chips have to go through a chemical bath to sway away from the residual material.

But, in order to understand the working, you can simply imagine a circuit board with an inbuilt system to read and write digital data. Because, the current moves faster inside the ICs, you will get a good working speed from SSDs as compared to the HDDs.

Working Of SSDs

Unlike HDDs, SSD doesn’t have any spinning wheel inside it. I mean to say that SSDs work on Flash Memory chips and not on Magentic based memory system. The working on flash memory chips gives SSDs lighting speed and almost no heating. The working of SSDs is totally dependent on semiconductor technology. When compared on Average SSDs are a hundred times faster than HDDs.

What Is The Average Life Expectancy OF SSDs?

Well, there is no exact answer to this question.

You will get different answers in different computer forums. SSDs are of 3 levels in accordance with cells associated with them. Single Level Cells [SLC], Multi LEvel Cells[MLC], Triple Level Cells[TLC].

SLCs are not so popular with users due to high prices.

MLCs save 2 bits per storage cell and similarly TLCs save 3 bits per storage cell. The life expectancy of an SSD totally depends upon the data saved per cell. More the data is saved per cell higher will be the wear level of an SSD.

The SSDs don’t wear out by reading processes. This totally depends upon the Read and delete processes.

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SSDs are tested by special tools at high speeds and then produced in front of the users. The test cases are so robust that they can detect minor defects too.

Also, there are storage cells that don’t operate and are left unoccupied, and when after years of usage if any storage cell stops functioning these un-operational cells get replaced by them. This procedure is also termed BAD Block MAnagement. 

As I mentioned above once you purchase an SSD it will last for a minimum of 20 years on average. 

How Can I Check Lifespan Of My Solid State Drive[SSD]?

If you are wondering that is there any way to calculate the life of an SSD. Then let me tell you that there is a unique method to check that. The results might not be perfect but very near to the accurate ones.

write cycle x capacity/SSD-Factor x Data per year
SSD Life expectancy formula

This formula can be used to check the lifespan of an SSD. SSD factor here is the rate of real data to the actually written data. The Data per year can be used by any estimation. The estimation between 1000-1500 GB will be good.

Factors That Are Responsible For Reduced Life Span OF SSD

Well, SSDs come up with a huge life span. But still, there are some factors that lead to the degradation of Your SSD. Here are some of the mistakes that you need to avoid if you want your SSD to last longer.

  1. Try not to run defragmentation on your SSD as it may shorten the lifespan of your SSD as the defragmentation process involves heavy read/write action and the lifespan of an SSD is totally dependent on that.
  2. Filling your SSD to full capacity can degrade your SSD. To play safe, always keep 25% of the space empty in your SSD. 
  3. Monitor the health of your SSD in a regular period of time. This can be done by installing tools on your computer. Intel SSD Tool Box is one such trusted tool.
  4. Turn OFFF hibernation process in your system as it occupies a large amount of writing capacity of your SSD. 
  5. If you are using Ubuntu or Linux system then avoid heavy usage of swap space in order to prolong the life span of your SSD.

Conclusion

We all wonder that why our phones respond faster than our computers. Well, the reason is that our mobiles make use of flash memory whereas our computers used to run on magnetic-based storage. SSDs also work on Flash memory mechanisms and have really revolutionized computer storage speed. The SSDs have a long life span and don’t lag in any case.

The storage cells in SSDs which cannot correctly read the field created by trapped electrons the respective cells get worn out. However, these cells get replaced by bad block management as explained above in this article.

As of now, the traditional hard drives have become a thing of the past and SSDs are becoming the new storage trend. In this article, I have tried to cover the life span and expectancy and steps that you can take for a longer life span of SSD.

If you have newly installed an SSD or thinking to get one for you then do mention that in the comments section. I will tell you some tricks to get the best of your SSD.

Signing OFF