This is Liz Cornwell. As promised, I’m back with some Windows 7 SSD Tweaks that will help you improve the way your computer uses an SSD. But first of all I’m going to answer a question a lot of users ask: “I’ve heard that SSDs don’t last as long as hard drives. Is this true?”. Well, here goes.
As you know from our previous newsletter, SSDs can only perform a certain number of writes per cell. For average consumer SSDs it’s about 10,000 writes per cell. When this number of writes is reached, the SSD won’t be able to write to the cells anymore. Don’t get me wrong, all the information on it will be safe and you will have no problems reading it – you just won’t be able to overwrite it anymore. And now let’s do some maths and see how long it will take to reach this number.
Here’s what we have:
• 10,000 write cycles
• 10 writes per day (this is purely an example. Average users are likely to perform fewer writes)
• 365 days in a year
So, 10,000/(10*365)=2,7 years. But your computer doesn’t run 24/7 all year round and it’s highly unlikely that you will be rewriting the same cells ten times a day, every single day of the year. So, in reality, your SSD will last 3,5 – 5 years, which is pretty much the lifetime of an average HDD. Not to mention that in 5 years’ time you will want a new, larger SSD anyway. Also keep in mind that when a hard drive crashes, all data is lost. And if some SSD cells reach the write limit, the data won’t suffer at all – the disk just won’t write to those cells. This answers your question – SSDs last just as long as hard drives, if not longer.
And now here is a tip to improve SSD performance with some Windows 7 SSD Tweaks.
Disable, move or reduce the page file
Your system starts using the page file (virtual memory) when it runs out of memory while working with applications. When the system is using the page file, there are writes to your drive. Because it’s best to reduce writes to SSD, it’s best to either reduce the size of the page file, move it to another drive or disable it altogether. Here is how:
Some people don't recommend moving the page file to an HDD because it can reduce the performance of your computer, especially if your PC is low on RAM and the page file is used often. However, it does make sense if your goal is to prolong the lifetime of your SSD and if your system uses the page file very occasionally.
Keep in mind that if you disable the page file altogether and run out of RAM when using some applications, they will crash.