How long do SSDs last?

For anyone considering upgrading their PC, SSDs are undeniably an option worth considering. Their lack of moving parts means that they’re significantly quieter than HDDs, consume far less power and, most importantly of all, they’re significantly quicker than any alternative form of high-capacity storage media. As any one of our technicians specialising in SSD recovery will tell you, they're continousy growing in popularity.

That said, for several years many IT professionals recommended against adopting solid state storage, their main concern being that the chips that hold the data have a finite lifespan and can only have data written onto them so many times before they fail. Whilst we know that HDDs can theoretically last forever, though, we also know that they do not and, in fact, regularly fail. So, just how long do modern SSDs last and are they as reliable as HDDs? Let’s take a look.

Writing Frequency

Firstly, it’s important to note that whilst the NAND Flash-based chips that hold data can only withstand so many re-writes and the total number they can tolerate before they fail vary greatly from report to report, this figure is guaranteed to be several thousand at least. Couple this with wear-levelling (which we previously discussed here) in order to ensure that new data is written across cells evenly in order to prevent them from early burnout, and the lifespan of an SSD is not going to be anywhere near as short as some would lead you to believe.

The majority of manufacturers now state the total number of terabytes that users will typically be able to write to an SSD before the memory cells fail in their entirety. Samsung, for example, claim that their drives are all but guaranteed to withstand 150TBs worth of writes, arguing that some have withstood as much as 600TBs.

To put this in context, even if an SSD only withstood the guaranteed limit of 150TBs (i.e. 150,000GBs) then a user would be able to write just over 40GBs to it every day and the cells would not wear out for a decade. This is likely to be more than sufficient for those working in commercial environments, meaning that it should be more than capable of meeting the needs of your average home user.

In short, this is indefinite proof that any concerns you may have regarding an SSD’s potential lifespan should not deter you from purchasing one. If you’re considering upgrading your storage media to an SSD, we’d instead recommend you consider whether the additional cost is a price worth paying for the extra speed. It’s worth noting that SSDs are considered to be slightly more reliable due to their lack of moving parts, but they’re still susceptible to data loss due to human error, physical damage and power surges. Users that choose SSDs will also get significantly less storage space for their money which is something you’ll need to bear in mind, particularly if you’re likely to be storing a large number of media files on your device.

Should you desire both substantial storage and speed, we’d recommend a hybrid drive. These use technology from both HDDs and SSDs to deliver drives that boast both superior read/write speeds and substantial storage capacities.

Considering an upgrade because your hard drive’s failed? Get in touch with the hard drive recovery experts, Fields Data Recover, today.