Firefox and Chrome can shorten SSD lifetime

Posted 26 September 2016 16:39 CET by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Firefox and Chrome have been found to continuously write so much data that it might affect the durability of SSDs. Both browsers write an incredible amount of data to disk, even when idle.

firefox-with-32gb-written-in-a-single-day

This was discovered by researcher Sergei Bobik who used the software SSDLife to monitor how much data was read and written on his system. He found both browsers write a lot of data as they continuously make a backup of themselves.

Firefox makes a backup of itself every 15 seconds and Chrome follows a similar schedule.The backups are made to make it easy to recover all tabs with one click in case of a crash. While it’s a very useful feature, it requires a lot of reading and writing by the browser which could impact the lifetime of a SSD.

According to Bobik, Firefox writs about 1.5GB of data per hour and Chrome was spotted writing 1GB of data per hour. Bobik also mentions that it’s possible to change the interval at which the browser makes a backup of itself. This is currently only possible for Firefox by browsing to about:config and changing the value ‘browser.sessionstore.interval’ from 15000 to 1800000 which changes the interval from 15 seconds to 30 minutes.

Bobik states that this might provide better endurance of your SSD, however if you have a modern SSD this isn’t really something to worry about. E.g. a 250GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD with TLC NAND (released in 2014) has a specified endurance of 41GB per day for 5 years.  If you use your computer 10 hours a day, you should have enough writes left to continue to use your SSD for a long time.


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