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Thread: How can I reduce writes to my SSD?

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    Unhappy How can I reduce writes to my SSD?

    Hi there

    I have a Samsung 850 Evo 500gb that I purchased back in April 2015. I haven't particularly been hammering it, a few game installs, some crypto stuff, and swap file (though I have mainly had 16gb of memory so it should be doing fine).

    I was shocked recently to find it's had over 90 TERABYTES written to it. What the hell? The expected lifetime according to Samsung seems to be only 150. I know it will probably go over this but it's making me nervous.





    I have mainly been using Chrome and Edge. I know chrome is bad for writing to disc, but I had no idea it was this bad...

    Any tips to minimise future writes? I very rarely install anything too large on it. I'd go so far as to say I thought it had had light - medium usage.

    Thanks, any help appreciated
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    Re: How can I reduce writes to my SSD?

    the glib answer would be stop using the machine, but that's not the most helpful.

    Do you have anything set to run HDD processes? Auto defrag, multi-pass overwriting/erasing, or the like? They should not be used on SSD due to the different way they store data.

    What block size did you allocate when initialising the SSD? If you made this too large it can force the SSD to constantly write and move large chunks of data each time you add something to the drive. Anandtech did some great expositions on this back in the vertex2/3 days to try to explain the problems with drives slowing down with age as they got more full. Worth reading if you have a spare half hour.

    Why are you running it in IDE mode and not AHCI?

    Anandtech: anatomy of an SSD
    Anandtech: performance degradation
    Both those pages are from different places of the same lengthy article, and it's a bit old now - some things have moved on TRIM etc - but it is worth remembering the underlying behaviour of an SSD.
    Last edited by ik9000; 31-08-2017 at 11:38 AM. Reason: links added

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    Re: How can I reduce writes to my SSD?

    Hi there

    I have not been defragging it. I might have done so once by accident or ignorance, but not really.

    I don't have any secure erase / overwrite erase stuff running on it.

    The block size is the standard one for NTFS:
    Bytes Per Cluster : 4096
    I should probably have used 512 but I think Windows did this format in the installer.

    The drive is actually running on a Z170 in RAID mode. I would prefer to run it in AHCI but I have a Raid 0 setup on it currently so all sata ports run in RAID mode. It's meant to be pretty close to AHCI in performance from what I've read, but I'm not 100% sure on this.

    Which reminds me, I'm moving to Ryzen soon, I'm going to have to clear my raid and put it on my spare 2tb drive. Oh joy
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    Re: How can I reduce writes to my SSD?

    RAID provides the same level of functionality to the OS as AHCI.

    Make sure you have your chipset drivers up to date. Check to see that Windows sees the drive as a SSD, if it's seeing it as a HDD it'll be treating it as one.

    Windows should also take care of paging, but to be sure you could disable the page file on that disk and move it over to a HDD. Providing you have plenty of RAM that shouldn't prove to be an issue.

    Also make sure you have the latest firmware for the drive itself.

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    Re: How can I reduce writes to my SSD?

    Hi Dashers, thanks for the reply.

    I am glad that raid is providing AHCI. My chipset drivers are up to date. Windows sees SSD and won't defrag it.

    I may well move the paging file to a HDD later and see if I notice any performance penalty. With 16GB DRAM I think that's unlikely. The SSD is on the latest firmware and has been the majority of it's life.

    Is there a way to measure what's doing the majority of writes to my boot drive ssd?
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    Re: How can I reduce writes to my SSD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Millennium View Post
    Is there a way to measure what's doing the majority of writes to my boot drive ssd?
    Task manager has a column for I/O Write Bytes that you can enable which will show you the total bytes written by a process since it launched. It won't tell you about historic writes, but it will give you somewhere to start.

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    Re: How can I reduce writes to my SSD?

    I've a feeling this may be something much more serious. Working from the April 2015 to now, that's around 850 days.

    92TB = 92000GB
    92000GB / 850 days = 108GB per day
    108GB / 24 hours = 4.5GB per hour

    That works out at around 70MB written every minute, around 1MB/s, constantly.

    Something's amiss there.

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    Re: How can I reduce writes to my SSD?

    If Magician can't detect the interface that suggests something pretty basic is wrong somewhere; the drive is also very close to max. capacity at ~92% (beyond what I'd consider the range for optimal longevity).

    Describe the PC's usage, average uptimes, workloads, etc.

    Check with HDS that TRIM really is enabled and Active: https://www.hdsentinel.com/

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    Re: How can I reduce writes to my SSD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoonigan View Post
    I've a feeling this may be something much more serious ...
    Of course, it could just be an incorrect reading - the SATA ports operating in RAID mode might be throwing the data reporting of something.

    That said, having a quick look at the system I'm currently browsing on (a Win Server VM as it happens), in 3.5hrs uptime Chrome alone is showing ~ 2.5GB of IO writes with only ~ 5 tabs open most of the time.

    And a lot of programs can run huge working IO - when I used to edit podcasts in Audacity a ~ 2 hour editing session would generate > 20GB of IO writes.

    1MB/s is only 1/500th of the possible sequential throughput of the drive. So yes, it could be 1MB/s continuously, or it could be a drive being maxed out for less than five minutes per day. The duty cycle isn't outside the bounds of possibility for a well-used computer, dependent on the workload it's being given. So I'd definitely have a quick explore of Task Manager to see if there are any programs that stand out as having very high IO writes...

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    Re: How can I reduce writes to my SSD?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoonigan View Post
    I've a feeling this may be something much more serious. Working from the April 2015 to now, that's around 850 days.

    92TB = 92000GB
    92000GB / 850 days = 108GB per day
    108GB / 24 hours = 4.5GB per hour

    That works out at around 70MB written every minute, around 1MB/s, constantly.

    Something's amiss there.
    Something does seem amiss. The computer isn't even on 24/7 as well. Thanks for the maths.
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    Re: How can I reduce writes to my SSD?

    Quote Originally Posted by satrow View Post
    If Magician can't detect the interface that suggests something pretty basic is wrong somewhere; the drive is also very close to max. capacity at ~92% (beyond what I'd consider the range for optimal longevity).

    Describe the PC's usage, average uptimes, workloads, etc.

    Check with HDS that TRIM really is enabled and Active: https://www.hdsentinel.com/
    The drive interface isn't detected because it's in RAID mode, not pure AHCI. I don't think this is a serious problem.
    The PC is mainly used for browsing and youtube videos. I run a few crypto wallets on the SSD, which I only open to sync occasionally, and my main (large) bitcoin wallet is on hard drive.

    The average uptime is say 18 hours a day, 1/2 of that idle with browsers open but not used. The workload is as described in the first post.

    Hard Drive Sentinel is a very nice program! It shows 86% health on the SSD and
    "The TRIM feature of the SSD is supported and enabled for optimal performance.
    The health is determined by SSD specific S.M.A.R.T. attribute(s): #177 Wear Leveling Count"

    Thanks for the help.
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    Re: How can I reduce writes to my SSD?

    I always make sure I have zero swap or pagefiles on an SSD,and you are doing Crypto stuff - does that do a lot of writes to your drive??


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    Re: How can I reduce writes to my SSD?

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I always make sure I have zero swap or pagefiles on an SSD,and you are doing Crypto stuff - does that do a lot of writes to your drive??
    I'm not sure. I'll do some profiling with Task Manager. So far, since a restart yesterday or this morning, I have 4gb (edit : 4.5 ?!) written by Edge and 0.3 by Chrome. Pretty much a lot but not 1mb/s.
    The mining I've knocked on the head but I may start again with my Vega 56 soon. I'll profile it first.
    Will move paging file soon.
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    Re: How can I reduce writes to my SSD?

    If HDS says TRIM is active it usually means the drivers are fine as well ('bad' drivers would likely block firmware updates as well as TRIM).

    Can't help feeling that the lack of free space is very likely to be increasing background SSD maintenance.

    Browsers vary enormously in the amount of excess garbage they download, IE can be controlled with effort, Pale Moon is very good OOTB, Chrome is a nightmare, FF is catching Chrome; I've no history/opinion on Edge.

    What autostart software do you have?



    18 months of almost 100% up time on my 250GB EVO boot drive (W7) with ~18% over provisioning and plenty of breathing space, Pale Moon uptimes as high as 22 days, mostly with a fixed 1GB page file (+ 1GB PF on each of 2 other SSDs):


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    Re: How can I reduce writes to my SSD?

    I feel cheated. I can only assume I did something once to add 70tb of writes to my drive. WTF? Or maybe it's just too full. Will clear some space now.
    Last edited by peterb; 31-08-2017 at 09:44 PM. Reason: :)
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    Re: How can I reduce writes to my SSD?

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    I always make sure I have zero swap or pagefiles on an SSD,
    Complete waste of time! Only worth it to free space on small drives. This is one of those areas where bad advice keeps getting repeated on the internet!
    and you are doing Crypto stuff - does that do a lot of writes to your drive??
    Crypto absolutely smashes the drive. Well ethereum does any way.
    "In a perfect world... spammers would get caught, go to jail, and share a cell with many men who have enlarged their penises, taken Viagra and are looking for a new relationship."

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