DRAM-less SSD - Yes or No?


  1. Posts : 37
    Windows 10
       #1

    DRAM-less SSD - Yes or No?


    Hi Folks,
    I am looking at cheap SSD 128gb disks to replace old HDD and found out that these cheap SSD's are without DRAM which expensive ones have.
    Question - is it ok to buy SSD without DRAM for daily use - OS, web browsing or there is strong NO to these SSD's?
    Understand that these drives will be slower, but it is ok with me. What about life time? MTBF varies from 1.5 million to 2.5 million.
    So want to know Your thoughts.
    Thanks.
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  2. Cliff S's Avatar
    Posts : 25,531
    Win10 Pro, Win10 Pro N, Win10 Home, Windows 8.1 Pro, Ubuntu
       #2

    No.


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  3. bobkn's Avatar
    Posts : 3,599
    Win 10 X64 Pro 20H2 19042.685
       #3

    Can you supply a link or two?

    I'm accustomed to traditional spinning hard drives using built-in RAM for caching, but I have never seen any cache size listed for a flash SSD.
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  4. Posts : 1,951
    Windows 10
       #4

    Mechanical HDDs are very different and the buffer size is quoted.

    It is generally not quoted in an SSD spec which is a much more complex arrangement of Controller, buffer, spare memory cells.
    Part of the purpose is to level out the wear on memory cells.

    The lower cost/speed SSDs cheap out on these latter components, probably the memory chips and quality control as well.

    The videos referenced explain it all.
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  5. cereberus's Avatar
    Posts : 12,008
    Windows10
       #5

    sandisk said:
    Hi Folks,
    I am looking at cheap SSD 128gb disks to replace old HDD and found out that these cheap SSD's are without DRAM which expensive ones have.
    Question - is it ok to buy SSD without DRAM for daily use - OS, web browsing or there is strong NO to these SSD's?
    Understand that these drives will be slower, but it is ok with me. What about life time? MTBF varies from 1.5 million to 2.5 million.
    So want to know Your thoughts.
    Thanks.
    In the end, if you buy a cheaper device you have to expect inferior quality. However you should always make proper backups anyway in case of drive failure.

    A small SSD is pretty much a commodity nowadays. You can easily expect 3 years or so on any SSD. Is it worth worrying about ssd life beyond that?

    It is not really any different to buying a car. You can spend lots now, or buy cheaper ones but may need to replace more often.

    In the end, buy what you can afford but make sure data is backed up regularly just in case.
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  6. bobkn's Avatar
    Posts : 3,599
    Win 10 X64 Pro 20H2 19042.685
       #6

    Helmut said:
    (snip)

    The videos referenced explain it all.
    Sounds interesting, but I don't see any links.
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  7. Cr00zng's Avatar
    Posts : 698
    Windows 10 64-bits
       #7

    sandisk said:
    Hi Folks,
    I am looking at cheap SSD 128gb disks to replace old HDD and found out that these cheap SSD's are without DRAM which expensive ones have.
    Question - is it ok to buy SSD without DRAM for daily use - OS, web browsing or there is strong NO to these SSD's?
    Understand that these drives will be slower, but it is ok with me. What about life time? MTBF varies from 1.5 million to 2.5 million.
    So want to know Your thoughts.
    Thanks.
    MTBF means nothing, when the actually warranty is 1 - 5 years, or only 8,760 - 43,800 hours. Just forget the millions of hours, or hundreds of years, specified by the manufacturers.

    What matters is the amount of data written to the drive. Windows 10 tends to be write happy for a number of reasons, here's my about 10 month old system with the amount of data written so far:

    DRAM-less SSD  - Yes or No?-samsung-evo.jpg

    With the pending fall CU and couple of security updates, other programs updates, telemetry, logs, etc., this drive probably will end up with ~8 TB written to the disk. That's a lot of data written to the drive, data is stored on a second drive, but it doesn't really matter much with quality drives. Samsung, like most quality SSDs, will start to wear out after 100 TB written to it:

    The Samsung 840 Series started reporting reallocated sectors after just 100TB, likely because its TLC NAND is more sensitive to voltage-window shrinkage than the MLC flash in the other SSDs. The 840 Series went on to log thousands of reallocated sectors before veering into a ditch on the last stretch before the petabyte threshold.

    The SSD Endurance Experiment: Two freaking petabytes - The Tech Report - Page 1

    At the current yearly utilization rate, my Samsung 960 EVO would die in ~150 years. I can hardly wait to see that happen...

    Your targeted bargain basement SSD may, or may not die early, but certainly will be slower. But why take a chance, when reputable brands available for couple of bucks more than the one from the bargain bin? Like Kingston, SanDisk, ADATA, etc...
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  8. Posts : 37
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Thanks for Your answers. I'm looking at Crucial bx500 SDD 128GB, which in Latvia costs 25 Eur, while SSD with DRAM costs twice as this crucial. Probably will buy this and than will see how long it will be living
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  9. Cr00zng's Avatar
    Posts : 698
    Windows 10 64-bits
       #9

    sandisk said:
    Thanks for Your answers. I'm looking at Crucial bx500 SDD 128GB, which in Latvia costs 25 Eur, while SSD with DRAM costs twice as this crucial. Probably will buy this and than will see how long it will be living
    Crucial is a pretty good brand name, not a bargain bin brand, and you will like the performance of the BX500. It certainly will be slower than the Crucial MX500 series, due to lack of DRAM, but it's better than the the Western Digital Green SSD at the same size and price range.

    Just keep in mind that the endurance for this drive is only 40TB, as per Crucial. Expect the SSD to last for between 6 - 8 years before it dies. If it does die within three years, Crucial will exchange it.
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  10. Posts : 37
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #10

    Thanks for Your input. Read some BX500 reviews and it was slower only On large data processing which is not in my computer Daily tasks. 40TB will be enough too, as I use computer only few times A week, but HDD is 7 years old and it is really slowing whole system.
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