The case against SSDs

“The issue is simple enough: if we had started with NAND flash – instead of disks – in the late 1950s, would our storage devices and software stack look like they do today?” Robin Harris reports for ZDNet. “No, of course not.”

“Over the last year, researchers have been teasing out the problems with making flash look like disks,” Harris reports. “While these problems are less of an issue for notebook and desktop users, they are a big problem for servers.”

“Recent academic research has found that the SSDs used in many all flash arrays have surprising performance issues. For example, researchers from Carnegie Mellon and Facebook and recently discovered that placing sparse arrays on SSDs cause premature wear and failure,” Harris reports. “It is also well known that SSD performance drops as the drive ages. The number of I/O threads accessing an SSD can also have large performance effects.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Much less of an issue for notebook and desktop users than for servers.

Our 11-inch MacBook Airs with PCIe-based flash storage are our favorite Macs ever! We could never go backwards to mechanical hard drives.


  1. Regardless of their shortcomings, they’re still better than HDD’s for the consumer. I hate having to use a computer without SSD now. Even my old 2011 MBAir with only 4GB RAM works better than a newer model with an HDD.
    They will get better and cheaper – we’ve not been using them that long in computer years.

  2. I use several smaller SSDs for my systems and work on Mac and PC but I back up everything very often if not daily in mechanical drives. And I think for now this is the best option.

    Instead of buying a large SSD I am using 250GBs drives and if any one fails I will replace just that one.

  3. I put a Samsung 650 EVO SSD in my 2011 Mac Mini, and 16GB of RAM (yes, they go to 16.)

    Best decision ever. Boot time was cut down to a third of what it was, and applications launch much more quickly, and beachball cursors occur much less often.

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