SSD longevity ...and Atari Cartridges

(Michael Jones) #1

Hello = )

I have just recently seen a video in regards to archiving SSD units and what I don’t seem to understand is why my 28+ years old Atari Cartridges still work but NAND seems to not be as reliable when it comes to retaining data… There is continues talk about the issue of them not retaining data if they are archived and not actively run. (edit: for example …it seems that MLC or TLC based memory cells can lose data between instantly to under 10 years)

Can someone explain what the difference is? …why does a Atari Game Cartridge outlast an SSD in terms of longevity. (edit 2: my smaller SSD have only been written to ONCE and stored since months… layer wear is less my concern)


edit 3: kakapo (user) has pretty much enlightened me that an Atari cartridge is unlike “eeprom or flash memory” a so called “eprom” which apparently much different and doesn’t use electrical charges, or something along those lines

(j) #2

Solid state drive is read and write but Atari Cartridges are rom , read only memory.
Maybe that has something to do with it.

But can Atari keep high scores if you shut down the console ?

(Michael Jones) #3

Yeah… they still keep score… maybe the stonage technology of having a battery in the circuit needs to be brought up at this point for the not so advanced SSD’s.

I was changing thoughts with the guy that made the video on ssd longevity on youtube… and we kinda arrived at re energizing the archived SSD maybe once or twice a year just for reading… this way the cells are being reconditioned … instead of rewriting the whole content…

(mib2berlin) #4

Hi, modern SSD are very robust a Samsung 850 Pro has 10 Years warranty and can write ~ 1 Peta Byte before die. On a private system you will never reach it in your live span. I use SSD for about 10 Years and the first IBM drive still alive.

Cheers, mib

(Michael Jones) #5

hi, that was an interesting read… thanks.

the issue I am basing this on is the archiving aspect of SSDs… the chipset’s charge can decay over time when it is not being reconditioned… so while they say in their article that we don’t have to worry about longevity WHILE in daily use… and that an SSD has a long time in terms of it’s physical components working… it does not solve the issue of an SSD that is being put away (off the circuit or any form of electrical injection)… and the electric charge decaying (which is basically our data)… essentially corrupting data, or even complete loss of data.
The manufacturer never gives warranty on that particular subject “dataloss” (to this day)…

But I am happy to read that your first IBM SSD still has all the data in order after 10 years(!) …wow! : )
that gives me confidence that trusting my data to SSD wasn’t a wrong move which I have to regret later down the road.

One question… the first IBM SSD of yours… it has been stored over 10 years or was it in use ever since day 1?

edit: And one has to add, we CGI folks especially when doing animations require a massive amount of space for our data… I use up 1 TB every year… and I am just a lightweight CGI hobbyist … so layer wear is not my issue… I buy an SSD, transfer the project onto one drive and off into the archive that brand new drive goes.

(mib2berlin) #6

It was used the first few years and now it is in an old laptop which is rarely used.
Interesting question how long SSD store data if it is not connected, I think forever.

Cheers, mib
EDIT: Web speak about one week or one Year without data loss, cant find exact information.

(kakapo) #7

yes, it’s a completely different technology. atari cartridges didn’t use rewriteable flash memory but eproms or mask roms.

(Piotr Adamowicz) #8

Flash depends on capacitively storing an electrical charge. While the charge depletes rather slowly, it will always fail in the end unless you connect the drive and let it refresh. Add to that the fact that TLC drives need to maintain one of 8 distinct power states and QLC one of 16. That makes them fail rather quickly as cold storage. You’d have more luck with ye aulde harde dryves for that purpose. Or tape.

(j) #9

I looked into those, eprom and mask roms. Eprom 10-35 years keeping the data, mask roms in right temperature and climate, otherwords in suitable conditions forever…

eprom are erased by light, I found that interesting also. Mask rom is where the information is in the circuit, physically&manufactured into it.

(Grimm) #10

Yep, if you look at the old eproms they usually have a sticker on the top of the chip. The sticker covers a little window and keeps light from hitting the chip, until you need to erase the data by exposing it. If you find one with out the sticker, there will not be any data on it. Then eeprom came out which was much more convenient, Electronically Erasable Programable Read Only Memory. :slight_smile:

(sundialsvc4) #11

My understanding was that Atari made so damned much money in those days that they could afford mask-programmed ROMs, which were also the most-reliable. A big problem with their business model was the often-sunk cost of manufacturing cartridges that didn’t sell. There was no way to “recycle” or re-purpose them.

Of course they never had this problem with coin-op, which made a profit for Atari and for the proprietor every time the game was played.