Skip to content

SSD Endurance

JM Hands edited this page Aug 16, 2021 · 22 revisions
Clone this wiki locally

Estimated SSD wear out, endurance table

There are various approaches to picking a great plotting SSD, and a lot will depend on the physical system it is going into for form factor and interface compatibility (NVMe/PCIe, SATA, or SAS). The one thing in common will be that you need high endurance, due to the fact that it takes almost ~1.3TiB of writes (post 1.0.4 version) per k-32 plot.

Endurance with madMAx plotter is measured at

  • -t & -2 on same drive: 1.43TB or 1.31TiB written per k=32 plot
  • -t only (-2 in ramdisk): 396.3 GB, 369.1 GiB (0.36 TiB)

Endurance is how much data can be written to the SSD before it wears out. In Chia this is important because a plotting SSD will generally be at 100% duty cycle and writing all day.

A mixed use or high endurance data center or enterprise SSD is the best choice for plotting. Used SSDs with plenty of endurance can be found for a good value on eBay, Craigslist, or similar.

Consumer NVMe SSDs are generally not recommended due to the lower endurance, and they often employ caching algorithms to faster media (SLC, or single level cell) for great bursty performance. They do not perform well under heavy workload sustained IO. There are very high performance consumer NVMe SSDs that will offer great plotting performance, but the lower rated endurance in TBW will result in a faster wearout. more details about buying SSD for Chia

working model can be found here

You can learn more about SSD endurance from this SNIA whitepaper from JM here


  • NAND P/E Cycles = amount of program / erase cycles NAND can do before wearing out. NAND programs (writes) in pages and erases in blocks (contains many pages)
  • Wearing out - SSD no longer meeting UBER (uncorrectable bit error rate), retention (keeping data safe while powered off), failure rate, or user capacity
  • UBER = number of data errors / number of bits read
  • WAF (Write Amplification Factor) = NAND writes / host writes
  • TBW or PBW – amount of host writes to SSD before wearing out
  • TBW = drive capacity * cycles / WAF
  • DWPD (drive writes per day): amount of data you can write to device each day of the warranty (typically 5 years) without wearing out
  • DWPD = TBW/365/5/drive capacity

Monitor Endurance in Linux


Reading endurance with NVMe-CLI - this is the gas gauge that shows total endurance used

sudo nvme smart-log /dev/nvme0 | grep percentage_used

Reading amount of writes that the drive have actually done

sudo nvme smart-log /dev/nvme0 | grep data_units_written

Bytes written = output * 1000 * 512B

TBW = output * 1000 * 512B / (1000^4) or (1024^4)

To find out NAND writes, you will have use the vendor plugins for NVMe-CLI.

sudo nvme <vendor name> help

Example with an Intel SSD

sudo nvme intel smart-log-add /dev/nvme0


In SATA you can use the following commands

sudo apt install smartmontools

sudo smartctl -x /dev/sda | grep Logical

sudo smartctl -a /dev/sda

looking for Media_Wearout_Indicator

note this does also work for NVMe for basic SMART health info

sudo smartctl -a /dev/nvme0


sg_logs /dev/sg1 --page=0x11

look for

Percentage used endurance indicator: 0%

overview of SSD endurance testing from JEDEC industry standard here

Adding new models

Please add your model string below if you want me to put it into my calculator and add to the list!