S.M.A.R.T. (SMART) or Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology, is a system for storage devices designed to monitor and measure device health. It’s particularly useful for detecting errors that may indicate future drive failure but has a wide range of other uses. For example, it can help a user track the amount of read and write I/O over time. For SSDs this can include NAND writes so users can calculate the write amplification factor (WAF). In this way it can act as a diagnostic, including for used drives that have been purchased secondhand. Other metrics like temperature can be helpful in tracking performance drops, as well.
There are many software tools available to check your drive’s health and SMART status. This includes smartmontools, CrystalDiskInfo, Hard Disk Sentinel, HWiNFO64, and many more. Values are typically given in hexadecimal but can be easily converted to decimal. While there are predefined attributes to track, different vendors and programs may indicate something other than what is normally labeled for that ID. However, in general, the most important information will be clearly shown for your drive. This includes the firmware revision and serial number if you need to check for updates or perform an RMA.
Our SSDs will always have pertinent information for the user available by SMART, if not through our software directly. For example, our products have a TBW rating for warranty so we make sure that our drives track their health status. We also use optimized firmware to ensure nothing unusual is reported in everyday use. For those worried about throttling, we do recommend a heat sink for our fastest drives, and you can keep an eye on temperatures with SMART. It’s ideal to keep the drive below 75C if possible. Proper maintenance including the use of SMART will keep your drives happy!
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