Adding RAM can improve life of SSD drives

More RAM can make SSD drives last longer.

SSD drives confer numerous benefits for MacBooks and PC laptops, including quicker boot-up time, fewer moving parts and potentially longer life spans compared with HDDs. However, some SSDs can struggle with endurance as a result of their structures' flash-based components, which can degrade after numerous write operations. In addition to procuring their drives from a reputable vendor, professionals and businesses may also be able to improve SSD endurance by adding more RAM to their computers.

The speed and reliability of an SSD for video editing can be the difference in completing a project on schedule, since a computer equipped with one can begin accessing and writing its files right away. PCMag's Joel Santo Domingo recently outlined some of the key advantages of SSDs, including their resistance to damage from inadvertent drops. Dropping a PC that has an HDD in it can result in a catastrophic loss of data, while HDD fragmentation can reduce storage performance and require time-consuming defragmentation processes. Aside from having stationary, physically durable storage, an SSD also gets a computer up and running more quickly.

"A SSD-equipped PC will boot in seconds, certainly under a minute," wrote Domingo. "A hard drive requires time to speed up to operating specs, and will continue to be slower than a SSD during normal operation. A PC or Mac with an SSD boots faster, launches apps faster, and has higher overall performance."

SSD endurance issues and solutions
On some SSDs, the NAND cells may deteriorate more quickly than is desirable, typically because of inefficient I/O operations from machines with inadequate RAM allotments. Overly frequent movement of electrons between SSD cells can eventually weaken the drive's insulator, explained The Tech Report's Jeff Gasior.

Tom's Hardware contributors Manuel Masiero and Achim Roos ran a series of PC tests that measured hardware and SSD write performance under strenuous loads in applications like Adobe Photosohop and Microsoft Visual Studio.

After initially running the operations with 4 GB of RAM, they increased it to 16 GB and noticed that the number of SSD write operations and the total amount of written data both decreased.

"In essence, there is no such thing as too much memory in a desktop with solid-state storage," wrote Masiero and Roos."The more RAM you add, the better off endurance looks, and the more I/O performance you get from the storage subsystem."

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