FreeBSD and SSD drives

Chad Perrin perrin at
Sun Feb 13 07:48:31 UTC 2011

On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 07:12:08PM +0300, Odhiambo Washington wrote:
> I fail to understand why manufacturers would let people install SSDs on
> machines when their life is so much in question.

I fail to see why a manufacturer would *not* want your hardware to wear
out faster, since that would mean you would have to buy replacement
hardware sooner.

> Can someone please enlighten me on the dangers faced by those who opt to get
> their laptops installed with SSDs?

In many cases, particularly where there is quite a lot of RAM installed
in the system and where people use a netbook the way it was intended to
be used when designed (typically involving a lot of Web browsing and not
much else), SSDs might be the best option -- especially given the rapid
obsolescence of low-performance, ultra-portable units.  If you expect
your hardware to last a long time, overrun "physical" RAM into swap space
a lot, and (as you might with FreeBSD) compile code an awful lot, the
heavier storage-write load might make more of a difference in the
expected lifetime of the hardware.

With FreeBSD, installing everything from binary packages can help
mitigate the possible problems of shortening the life of your SSDs.

Of course, if you care about having lots of storage, it's worth keeping
in mind the fact that SSDs still cost a lot more per gigabyte of storage
than rotating magnetic media (HDDs).

> I personally have one, with a Toshiba 128GB SSD (THNS128GG4BAAA-NonFDE). I
> am running Windows 7 on it.
> Should I stop and buy a SATA disk?:)

Probably not.  You already have the SSD storage, and its improved
performance for many operations (as well as improved durability under
stress in the short term) can still be of benefit.  Just be sure you know
when the usable lifespan of your SSD approaches, keep good backups (as
you always should anyway), and be happy.

You'd surely be happier with a better OS on it, though -- right?

Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: ]
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