Skip to main content

Solid-State Use Degradation Analyzed

MINDEN, NEV.: An analysis of solid-state drives shows how performance is affected by use over time, and how that possibly can be averted. AnandTech, a firm specializing in hardware analysis, has published “The SSD Anthology: Understanding SSDs and New Drives from OCZ,” the latter being a manufacturer in San Jose, Calif.

Solid-state drives have made inroads into the professional video industry in the past five years as technology becomes increasingly IT-centric, and SSD recording capacity becomes cheaper. Capturing video on flash and other types of SSD cards allows for random access of files, unlike with digital video tape formats.

The AnandTech analysis showed that record times of certain SSD cards slow over time with use, bearing in mind that testing involved use with PCs and not video cameras.

The real world performance hit varies from zero to 14 percent, depending on the drive. While the drives are still faster than a regular hard drive, performance does drop in the real world by a noticeable amount,” the AnandTechies stated. “There’s no skirting the issue: even the best SSDs lose performance the more you use them. Eventually their performance should level off but what matters the most is how their performance degrades.”

The degradation involves the way old files are deleted, leaving random spaces somewhat like library shelves with a book missing here and there. Engadget’s summary of the review said that an emerging Windows command called “TRIM” would feasibly overcome the degradation problem by effectively shoving the remaining books together during the delete process. -- Deborah D. McAdams