SSDs have become a considerably popular option for people upgrading their PC storage. Their lack of moving parts makes them quieter, more energy efficient, and significantly faster than alternative forms of storage. However, their biggest flaw is the finite lifespan of the NAND Flash chips that hold the data -they can only withstand a certain number of rewrites before they fail.
Flash NAND chips in SSDs have been reported to be able to withstand several thousand rewrites. This is coupled with “wear levelling” – where data is evenly written across the storage cells in order to prevent early failure.
SSD Manufacturer Specifications
Most manufacturers will now state the total number of terabytes users will be able to write until drive completely fails. Samsung states that all of their drives can withstand at least 150TB, claiming some drives have withstood over 600. This means that even at the minimum guaranteed lifespan, the user could write 40GB of data a day, and the drive would last for several decades. This is perfectly adequate for the average user.
This still doesn’t necessarily make SSDs the best option. SSDs are generally considered to be more reliable due to their lack of moving parts. However, this has yet to be proven formally. Anecdotally, at CDR we are receiving an increasing number of SSDs in for recovery due to NAND degradation. This is likely to be due to manufacturers increasingly using cheap, poor quality NAND chips, as a result of cost pressures. In short, “you get what you pay for.” Buying the cheapest SSD is more likely to have poor quality NAND chips.