Feeds

How I learned to stop worrying and love SSDs

An upgrader writes ...

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Fly in the ointment

Of course, for desktop users with spare drive bays, this storage shuffling isn't so much of a problem. At this stage, though, grabbing an SSD as a desktop boot drive is a no-brainer – and a 64GB unit will suffice.

Apple MacBook Air components exposed

Apple's new MacBook Air has a distinct lack of customer installable parts

There's just one fly in the ointment – the age of the upgradeable computer is vanishing. Desktops are becoming superseded by laptops, and laptops are becoming increasingly hard to service. The options, and documentation, is disappearing.

Ten years ago Compaq, Toshiba and IBM released service manuals as a matter of course – allowing you to do a full tear down. Lenovo still does, bless 'em, with its ThinkPads. At the other extreme, with Apple's latest Air laptops, for example, there are no upgradeable parts – battery, memory, and HD are locked down – and require, at the very least, an exotic set of screwdrivers. This trend is moving into the professional range. And the demand for thin and light means little other than the memory is upgradeable, if at all.

As for reliability concerns, these are answered in the old-fashioned way: make lots of backup copies. Kingston says a typical MLC unit has a write/erase cycle endurance of approximately 10,000 per cell, compared to 100,000 cycles per SLC cell, which means SSDs use a number of different techniques to spread the wear across the drive.

A heavy user writes about 5GB a day to disk, and if they use autosave and hibernation features, perhaps up to 9GB. The Kingston drives I'm using are rated up to 20GB per business day for three years. If you're a heavy user, then, a six year lifespan isn't too unreasonable given the hammering it's getting. Give a conventional drive six years of punishing use, and you should be looking at a new one anyway.

So I haven't stopped worrying entirely ... but given the performance improvement, the cost, and the new lease of life on my old machines, it's a trade-off I'm delighted with.

And I back up, constantly. As should you. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.