3 SSD Optimization Techniques You Should Avoid
SSD drives are a great investment. Learn why most hard disk optimization techniques are useless on these drives.
I said it: SSD optimization is complete bonkers. There are many reasons why, but it all boils down to the mechanisms within your drive. The average consumer looks at a solid-state drive (SSD) and sees only a faster version of the grand old hard disk drive (HDD) that has served us for decades. This is why they download software for optimization. They think that if it works on an HDD, an SSD should work better because of it. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth, and it has almost everything to do with the way an SSD’s mechanisms work differently from those of an HDD.
1. Defragmentation is a no-no
SSD optimization has caught a lot of hype among users that don’t really understand how the drives work. Since they use flash memory, there’s a limited amount of times that data can be written to a particular cell before it expires, meaning it’s no longer usable. This is called “write endurance.”
Limitations on this type of flash means that you have to be as conservative as possible with what data gets written onto the drive. That’s why defragmentation utilities are off limits. You read this correctly: Do not, by any means, defragment an SSD. HDDs have platters that constantly revolve. Read/write heads have to reach out and seek portions of each file, piece them together, and commit them to memory (RAM). This process is excruciating and puts strain on the little mechanical marvel. However, this isn’t the case with an SSD. Your average SSD has the ability to pull up all the pieces almost instantly, since it doesn’t have to seek through metallic discs.
Defragmentation takes split (fragmented) files and pieces them together into a whole entity. That’s all it does. On an SSD, this is useless and even harmful, since it writes data into cells constantly during the process. The more strain you put on the drive by writing to it, the earlier it will go bust. Just don’t defragment or write too much to it.
This excerpt is shared with permission from maketecheasier.com.