How to Care for a Solid State Drive

At one point in time, SSDs, or solid state drives, were limited to tiny flash drives and expensive accessories. Today, SSDs are being included in all types of electronics, from ultrabooks to laptops to gaming computers. SSDs are packed with power. They use flash memory and are able to store and access data using semiconductors with no moving parts. SSDs are dropping in price, which is why they’re quickly replacing older, mechanical drives. However, a new type of care is needed, and it’s important to know how to keep your SSD in good working condition.

SSD Lifespan

So exactly how long can you expect an SSD to last? It depends.

SSDs don’t have moving parts like past drives, which adds to their lifespan. There’s less to break when there’s no moving parts, so you can expect that your SSD won’t suffer the same physical wear and tear. That said, the memory on the inside of the SSD won’t last forever.

SSDs use a program-erase cycle. Every time they write data, they eliminate a block and replace it with a new one. This article estimates that an SSD will probably give you about 3,000 to 4,000 program-erase cycles before it stops working.

Tips for Optimizing Your SSD

  • TRIM Command: A TRIM command prevents your SSD from slowing down prematurely. It also helps improve efficiency and performance. Learn how you enable automatic TRIM on Windows workstation PC computers with this helpful article.

  • Management Software: SSDs have management software of their own, and this software is responsible for updates, patches and more. It’s an important piece to keeping your SSD in good condition. You can use either the software from the manufacturer or one from a third-party.

  • Divide Data: SSDs can handle all the photos and videos you have on your workstation PC. But it’s still a good idea to store these files in another location, such as an external hard drive. Keeping large files on the SSD wears on its performance and can shorten its lifespan.

  • Go Big: Larger SSDs are usually ideal because they are faster and have more endurance. If possible, choose a larger SSD for your gaming computer so you get a faster and more efficient gaming experience.

  • Increase RAM: If your gaming PC has more RAM, it can pull data from the SSD more efficiently, which saves on rewrites and extends the lifespan. Too little RAM will cause the opposite effect. When choosing a workstation PC, be sure that you select one that has a healthy amount of RAM, or upgrade RAM on an older computer.

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