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I love downloading movies from the internet, and download files with sizes usually around 600 MB - 1 GB.

I have a MacBook Pro with a Retina display, which comes with an SSD. Will downloading and saving it to directly to my SSD reduce my Mac's SSD lifetime significantly? Should I buy an another external HDD for this hobby?

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No, not at all. People underestimate the lifetime of SSDs. They can write a lot (usually around 700+ TB before clunking out).

This is a good place to find out more about how long SSDs actually last..

In fact, if you'd like to see more stats on your SSD, this tells you how to install smartmontools to get an idea of your drive's status.

As for your second question, I would say that's entirely up to you. If you'd like to avoid having large files cluttering your limited SSD space then go ahead with the HDD purchase.

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  • To say "No, not at all." really isn't a totally true statement since in reality every read/write cycle causes degradation over time. The media does not have unlimited read/write cycles and while the quality of the media has vastly improved over the years nonetheless will eventually fail in some manner or another. What I'd be more concerned about then normal wear and tear (so to speak) is a total failure in accessing the media and therefore being more vigilant in maintaining regular backups compared to using rotational media. – user3439894 Dec 28 '15 at 14:42
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    "Not at all" refers to the act of downloading movies frequently reducing the SSD's lifetime significantly. That doesn't really happen, although what you say is true that reading and writing frequently does cause wear, with modern wear levelling technologies the wear is almost negligible. However, I would only start to worry about my SSD after downloading 700TB of movies. – perhapsmaybeharry Dec 28 '15 at 17:48
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    Key word in the question is "significantly". – Wowfunhappy Jun 4 at 14:12
  • Nice contribution @perhapsmaybeharry. Do you think it's the same with HDDs too? – Darwin OS X Jun 4 at 15:26
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If you're doing it for the movies only, you will be better of with some NAS or the likes that let's you have an instance of JDownloader (Headless) and some Torrent client in order to download those movies while your macbook is asleep. It has also the advantage of being ampliable if it has let's say 3 bays and you use only one in the beginning. You also have some 8TB HDDisks which purpose is basically for Archiving, they use a new tech that crams more data in the same physical space, so they have a more limited read/write speed and life cycle, but if you only save the movies, and then maybe watch them once, or revisit occassionally, you should be fine with it.

Another cool option would be a Seedbox with Plex Server installed, you can even share with your family and have your own Netflix without that much hassle.

PS: I actually move the data out of the rMBP SSD after downloading, but prefer to download it in the SSD because it let's me juice up my 200mb symmetrical connection with no hassle, doing that with a regular HDD, not so easy.

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