Question Do SSDs decrease in read speed as it gets older?

TommyTwoTone66

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Yes and no. They certainly develop bad pages as they get older, and the controller needs to swap in good pages from the spare area to keep the drive in good health. If this happened when you were reading a file, it would slow down the transfer. Not really to a perceptible degree, but it would be slower than reading data from 100% good pages.

If the drive was literally about to fail, it might be scrambling around looking for good pages constantly, which would result in noticeable slowdown, but if you were to see that, then likely your SSD is more than 10 years old and it’s urgently new drive time!
 
Apr 26, 2021
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Yes and no. They certainly develop bad pages as they get older, and the controller needs to swap in good pages from the spare area to keep the drive in good health. If this happened when you were reading a file, it would slow down the transfer. Not really to a perceptible degree, but it would be slower than reading data from 100% good pages.

If the drive was literally about to fail, it might be scrambling around looking for good pages constantly, which would result in noticeable slowdown, but if you were to see that, then likely your SSD is more than 10 years old and it’s urgently new drive time!
Would it be small enough to where it wouldn’t make an effect while gaming?
 

TommyTwoTone66

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Would it be small enough to where it wouldn’t make an effect while gaming?
Any age related slowdown on an SSD will either be way too small to notice, and you will not be able to detect it during gaming or whatever.

Unless the drive is literally about to die in the next 24 hours, in which case slowdown is likely to be severe.
 

InvalidError

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I know that HDDs do but would SSDs not since it’s not a mechanical component?
My 7+ years old (59k power-on hours) 1TB WD Black still performs pretty much good as new as far as I can tell. The performance of most drives does not change much until they start having errors from wear and it can go to hell pretty fast from there. The first sign of impending doom is when the pending or reallocated sector count creeps up - one of the heads or platters has been damaged and are now slowly destroying each other.

SSDs on the other hand get destroyed a little with every write since the erase and write mechanism basically consist of over-volting the cell's input until its insulation breaks down to let charge in/out. As the cells wear out, they don't hold charge as well as they used to, which means error correction and cell refresh algorithms have to kick in more often to keep data alive. Similar to HDD, you know the end of the drive's useful life is coming when the dead block count starts rising. Unlike HDDs though, you don't have to worry about a damaged head slowly turning your data to dust until both the heads and platters become unusable.

Catastrophic failures aside, SSDs should have a more predictable and gradual end-of-life than HDDs.
 

Endre

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Every SSD has a lifetime.

Depending on how much info you copied over the course of time on the SSD, and the quality of the V-NAND (SLC, MLC, TLC, QLC, PLC) which is inside, an SSD will last longer or shorter periods of time.

As those cells die, the SSD will start to run slowlier, especially when the drive is full.
But wearing out an SSD isn’t a very common thing.
 
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TommyTwoTone66

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A 10 year old HDD will perform as good as when it was new.
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Sorry but that’s just not true. HDD are mechanical. The reader arm motors wear out and slow down, increasing seek times. The motor spinning the platters wears out, slowing the time it takes to reach max RPM. the bearings that everything sits in wear out and the whole drive starts to rattle. The magnetic media itself degrades over time, making writes take longer.

A HDD is a spinning disc of magnetic media and a mechanical magnetic reading arm scuttling backward and forward across it. There’s so many things that can degrade and wear out in that system it’s crazy.
 

USAFRet

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Also, it depends on the particular drive in question.

One of my first ones, a 120GB Kingston HyperX 3K (2012), slowed down significantly, over time, both read and write.
However, the Samsung 840 EVOs that are only slightly younger (a few months) are still running at original speed.
 

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