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Solid State Drives or SSDs are faster than conventional rotating mechanical HDDs and hard drives. But in terms of long-term use, how reliable are they? How much use can you expect from the SSD and how many years should you use it together?

If you plan to use SSD, there are some useful indicators to help measure the reliability of SSD, these indicators are worth knowing, such as P / E cycle, TBW (the number of terabytes written) and MTBF (mean time between failures

Yes pry open a solid state drive, you will find that it is no different from a flash drive. There are some memory chips and an I / O port on the circuit board, usually in the form of PCIe or SATA, responsible for the source. power supply and data transmission.

is different from a traditional hard disk (HDD) in that it does not have an actuator arm to read and write data. Since it does not depend on the movement speed of the physical arm, the SSD can read and write data faster. It is difficult to tell the exact difference because there are different types of SSD form factors and NAND cell types, as described below, but SSDs are several times faster. Unlike the HDD, the absence of an actuator arm also means that the SSD is quiet.

We will not delve into the difference between HDD and SSD, but the last important factor that almost everyone should consider when buying an SSD is that each GB of storage capacity is much more expensive (by comparison, SSD is $0.25 per GB ) HDD 0.02 USD).

Currently, almost all types of SSDs are stored in NAND flash memory cells. Unlike most computer part names, NAND is not an acronym, but a name derived from its "NOT AND" logic gate. Another part of

NAND flash memory, flash memory, is a non-volatile solid state memory that retains data even if you disconnect the power supply. However, flash memory cells can only be programmed and erased a certain number of times, which is measured by P / E cycles (representing programmed and erased). The number of P / E cycles that the

SSD is suitable for depends on the technology you use and ranges from 500 to 100,000 P / E cycles.

Currently, there are 4 SSD form factors:

2.5-inch SSD is the most popular and affordable. From the outside, it looks like a traditional 3.5-inch hard drive, but it is significantly smaller. It is very light, because there are no moving parts inside, you need a SATA connector for power and data transfer.

also has sequential reads and writes, ranging from 325MB/s to 600MB/s. Compared with the PCIe SSD below, this seems small, but it is enough to provide users with a flexible experience.

mSATA (MiniSATA) SSD is small in size, hence the name "Mini" SATA SSD. It is smaller than a 2.5-inch drive and is mainly used in small computers such as netbooks, notebook computers and small PCs. These are basically as fast as 2.5-inch SSDs because they (in most cases) have the same specifications; they are just different sizes.

M.2 SSDs are bare circuit boards like mSATA drives, but they come in a variety of width and length combinations. This makes it more flexible than mSATA and is ideal for ultrabooks and tablets.

They also support NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express), which is a host controller interface and storage protocol that can increase the speed of data transfer between the system and the SSD. In case it is phased out when we say "host controller interface and storage protocol", we will wait ... This means that these SSDs process data faster, just like PCIE SSDs, which we will discuss next. The

PCIE SSD provides the best performance, but it is also the most expensive. They use PCIE slots as interfaces. Although PCIE channels are fast, SSDs are limited by the channel you choose, so try to use the fastest available slot, at least one x8 slot. Check your motherboard manual for the speed of each PCIE slot.

Anyway, PCIE SSD and m.2 SSD let you experience 4 times faster speed than ordinary SSD. For these solid state drives, the range of sequential read and write can range from 2500MB/s (read) to as high as 1300MB/s (write). In addition, these things can also have a high-speed DDR3 cache of more than 500MB.

In addition to different shapes and sizes, SSDs are also based on 4 different NAND cell technologies:

There is a general trend among these technologies. Each subsequent technology means that each NAND cell can store an extra bit. The fewer the number of bits per NAND cell, the faster, more reliable and energy-efficient the technology will be, but this also means that they are more expensive; sometimes disproportionately. So SLC SSD is technically the most reliable SSD, while QLC is the least reliable (at least assuming the trend continues; QLC is still relatively "new").

3D NAND was originally developed by Intel and Micron. This type of NAND stacks 32 layers of memory cells, while VNAND or verticalNAND stacks 48 layers of memory cells.

These new technological advances have increased drive capacity without changing production costs, while reducing power consumption by half, and at the same time extending the life of planar NAND.

"Did the SSD drive fail?" Well, this is really redundant, because D stands for drive, but yes. certainly. Everything has failed. Instead, we should ask ourselves: "Will the SSD fail faster?" However, this is a bit complicated. In harsh environments,

SSDs are more reliable than HDDs because they have no actuator arms or moving parts. Therefore, SSDs can withstand accidental drops and extreme temperatures more than HDDs.

But this does not mean that all SSDs are the same. Fortunately, there are several commonly used metrics that can tell us

As seen on the packaging, these are used as collateral (after all, part of the equation uses a collateral). So they are generally higher than the value you expect to use, but they are also generally lower than the value the SSD can push to. Think of it as a tire. It may only guarantee that it won't explode on the road for 5 years or 50,000 miles, but it can last longer. The first ones of

are relatively simple and can even be interchanged using some mathematical methods. For example, TBW refers to the number of terabytes that can be written during the entire life cycle of an SSD. In many cases, TBW is actually a pretty good number, and a number you will never reach; it is more likely to fail in old age. The name

says it all. This is a measure of how many GB you save / overwrite each day. Since most SSDs are built on the idea that you will be using a few gigabytes of data every day, unless your computer is a workstation this won't happen, it should be fine.

This is also very simple, although the name is a bit misleading. You would think that this is a measure of how many times you can write data in a day, but in fact it is the number of times you can rewrite the entire SSD every day.

Let’s take a look at the 10-year warranty Samsung SSD 850 Pro SATA, with capacities of 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, up to 1TB. It is designed to handle 150 TB writes or 150 TBW. But according to Samsung, these SSDs can support up to 600 TBW.

Now, if we want to perform mathematical operations and calculate the durability of this SSD in 10 years, the drive can read and write 40GB of data per day. Reflecting this in real life, a typical office user writes between 10GB and 35GB of data every day. When you reach the 150TBW limit, the warranty expires.

If we take TBW, we can use equations (or online tools) to find DWPD (.041) and GB / d (41). The reliability of

SSD and HDD is defined by MTBF or mean time between failures. This is one of the most complex and least obvious reliability measures. Before making any type of purchase, it is important to understand MTBF and solid-state drive failure rates.

Take as examples Intel® SSD 335 series (240GB, 2.5in SATA 6Gb / s, 20nm, MLC) and SAMSUNG 830 series 2.5 ″ 256GB SATA III MLC. The specification is 1.5 million hours. But this does not mean that it will last longer because Samsung has more time; the MTBF doesn't work like that.

MTBF, as defined by Wikipedia:

"... is normal During system operation, the time elapsed between inherent failures of mechanical or electronic systems."

As you can see, MTBF refers to the failure rate of the disc during its expected life. This does not mean that a 1.2 million hour MTBF disk will last 1.2 million hours, while a 1.5 million hour MTBF disk will last 1.5 million hours (BTW, this is 136 to 171 years).

For Intel 335, an MTBF of 1.2 million hours means that if the drive is used for an average of 8 hours a day, a sample size of 1,000 SSDs is expected to fail every 150 days, or approximately twice a year. We can even calculate (I know, how interesting!):

1,000 SSD * 8 hours per day = 8,000 hours per day

8,000 hours per day * 150 days = 1.2 million cumulative hours before the failure.

Samsung 830 is expected to fail every 187.5 days. However, not all devices are tested according to the same standards.

For HDD, they do not use MTBF as a unit to index errors, but use AFR or annual failure rate to measure the reliability of HDD. The average AFR of

hard drives varies from 0.55% to 0.90%. However, this number is misleading because HDD manufacturers will not necessarily explain how they failed. It can be anything from overheating to accidental drops or even natural disasters. When it comes to faulty disk drives, that is, only those disk drives that fail during normal operation, the incidence ranges from 0.5% to 13.5%.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to find SSD failure rates by brand; In most cases, we only have indicators provided by TBW and other companies for reference. In the final analysis, most consumers should consider any MTBF that exceeds 1 million hours acceptable.

This usually means that out of 1,000 devices that are used for 8 hours a day, there are approximately 3 failures per year. In other words, assuming that you use the SSD for 8 hours a day, the probability that your write operation will fail during the drive's warranty period is 0.3%. In other words, if we compare SSD reliability with HDD reliability, although the failure rate of solid-state drives is not much different, it is not much different from HDD.

Whether you have a solid state drive or plan to buy a solid state drive, you must consider the service life of the solid state drive. All you have to do is count how many...I'm kidding. Fortunately, there are several different software solutions that can help solve this problem:

Each of these software has its own way of checking SSD life, but they are all simple and almost the same. It should also be noted that the software will work regardless of what brand of SSD you own. So if you have an Intel SSD, you can

Then SSD is definitely worth it.

SSD is shock-resistant, consumes less power, and takes up less space, making it ideal for laptops.

Note: It is worth noting that if you want to transfer or clone files from HDD to SSD, you need an SSD with a storage capacity larger than the HDD. If this is the case, you may pay high fees because the price per GB SSD is much more expensive.

If you are interested in knowing which SSDs are the best on the market, please check out our roundup of the best gaming SSDs. If you want to invest in a mechanical hard drive suitable for SSD / HDD setup, check out our article on the best gaming hard drive.

Getting an SSD will have a significant impact on your system response and startup speed. You can shorten the time from 30 seconds to 1 minute before the system starts using HDD to 8 seconds or less.

You will also notice that the file loads much faster, and the noise ... well, it doesn't exist.

When it comes to the reliability of SSDs, it depends on how often you use SSDs and how many P / E cycles you have and their respective MTBF or mean time between failure specs. But personally, I think an SSD is always worth buying. After all, time is money and cliches are cliches.

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