Why is SSD slowing down?

Why is SSD slowing down?

Have you ever wondered why your solid state drive degrades performance over time? Here we examine the issue and what you should do to keep the drive at top speeds.

If your device includes a Solid State Drive (SSD), you’ve probably noticed that performance slows down significantly when full. It will take longer than usual when opening apps and copying files and sometimes this will also lead to freezing issues making your device difficult to use.

Now you may be asking: Aren’t SSDs supposed to be faster? The short answer is yes. Solid-state drives are faster than traditional spinning-platter hard drives. However, there is a performance issue with how this new drive technology and NAND Flash storage works.

SSD blocks and TRIM

Solid state drives work differently than traditional hard drives. Although they achieve the same thing, they both store data.

When you’re working with a file and you’re ready to save it, the Solid State Drive finds the necessary free blocks and writes your data for long-term storage. Filling an empty block with data is the fastest way to write to storage, this is the main reason operating systems like Windows 10 or Windows 11 include TRIM support.

TRIM is a feature used by an operating system to command the drive to locate and delete any data in the blocks that make up a deleted file, so that the drive can then quickly refill them with new data.

If the blocks are not empty, the Solid State Drive must erase the data in them before the information can be rewritten, which can cause significant latency affecting performance.

As you continue to store data and the storage fills up, the blocks on the drive will start to run out and you end up with endless blocks as Solid State Drives can only write 4KB or 8KB pages of data into a 256KB block. completely filled.

ssd slow down

The problem is that SSDs can’t use the remaining space in a block to directly write new data because that would actually destroy all the data already on it.

The solution to this problem is a write operation that caches the data inside a block, replaces its contents by adding new data, and then writes the pages back to the block.

The only caveat is that the entire process takes time, and repeating the process over many blocks will significantly reduce speed, impacting performance.

Overcoming the performance problem of SSDs

To prevent Solid State Drives from degrading performance, many drive manufacturers add extra storage to each drive that is not available to the user. However, it does help ensure that SSDs are not completely full by keeping speeds at a more acceptable level.

In other words, adding extra storage reduces the need to modify a partially filled block to add new data. A Solid State Drive will result in partially more filled blocks and ensure that performance does not degrade as quickly.

Additionally, Solid State Drives include a “garbage collection” (GC) solution that also works to overcome the performance issue. When storage capacity is reached, garbage collection will look for blocks that are not completely filled and combine them to make room.

Keeping SSDs fast

Although Solid State Drives are faster than traditional spinning-platter hard drives, they slow performance significantly as you fill them up.

The rule of thumb for keeping SSDs at top speeds is to never fill them up completely. You should never use more than 70% of the total capacity to avoid performance issues .

When you approach the 70% threshold, you should consider upgrading your computer’s SSD with a larger drive.

If you’re not up for the challenge and need more storage, there are plenty of alternatives.

You can get an external hard drive that you can connect using a USB cable. For example, the Western Digital 10TB external hard drive is a good choice, adding a ton of additional storage to store movies, music, photos and documents for a reasonable price .

It’s worth noting that the performance of Solid State Drives is not only affected by the amount of data you store inside, but performance will vary by manufacturer, component quality, features, and grade level.

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