Linked by Howard Fosdick on Tue 15th Jun 2010 21:06 UTC
Linux All of us who use computers create a problem we rarely consider. How do we dispose of them? This is no small concern. Estimates put the number of personal computers in use world-wide today at about one billion. The average lifespan of a personal computer is only two to five years. We can expect a tidal wave of computers ready for disposal shortly, and this number will only increase. And as if that isn't challenge enough, there are already several hundred million computers out-of-service, sitting in attics and basements and garages, awaiting disposal.
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For even older computers I'm eyeing Haiku. My brother-in-law gave me an eee-PC, the kind without a hard drive, and although I haven't removed the windows yet, a solid state drive is VERY qualified to run Haiku, because, unlike Windows or Linux, there is not the constant writing to the hard drive.

The "finite number of writes" issue is a misnomer for current-generation drives.

The chips are rated at roughly 100k writes, although this is a bottom limit for QC. Most blocks are good for 1-2M. Aggressive block management will ensure the vast majority of long-lived blocks are used, while the earlier bad blocks are cycled out.

Simple math will confirm this:

2M writes * 64GB drive = 1024000000 billion cycled bits.

1024000000 billion cycled bytes / 6Gbps SATA III = 1975.3 solid days of 100% SATA III write utilization.

Even if these numbers are overestimates, the sheer quantity of data which must be written implies a long lifetime for a SSD for anyone who isn't writing custom software to blow it up, then running that software for a very long time. That sort of repeated mechanical abuse of a magnetic drive isn't good, either.

Magnetic drives are prone to mechanical failure, with these failures spread across their whole useful lifetime. SSDs do not spontaneously fail at even close to the same rate, with the hypothetical write problems occurring, predictably, after years of use.

The only reason not to buy a SSD is cost.

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