SSD no more reliable than HDD

by Simon Aughton on December 14, 2010

A French survey has found that solid state drives are no more reliable than hard disks.

Based on an analysis of one retailer’s sales and returns for 12 months over 2009 and 2010, Hardware.fr found that 2.05% of SSDs got returned as non-functioning, compared to 1.94% of hard disks (HDDs).

Among manufacturers, Intel SSDs proved the most reliable, with a failure rate of just 0.59%, while Maxtor and Western Digital supplied the most reliable hard drives

It is often assumed that SSDs will be more reliable, since unlike HDDs they have no moving parts. But as with any new technology, it is no surprise that there are teething problems and reliability is certain to improve.

The technology is also changing. Apple’s new MacBook Airs, released after the survey period, rely on solid state storage but not on separate, self-contained SSDs. Instead Apple has integrated solid state, flash memory chips into the design of the laptops.

The survey also looked at the reliability of other components, including RAM, where the unsurprising results put Kingston and Crucial in the top two places.

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  • ellisfp

    Here’s a link to the Google translated version: http://bit.ly/i5MDdQ

    The headline doesn’t quite agree with the detail: for instance, Intel SSDs have a 0.59% failure, whereas Maxtor HDDs (the most reliable) 1.04%. The least reliable SSD (2.93%) is still more reliable than the worst HDD (3.39%).

    Anyway, it’s quite interesting that the failure rates are certainly not much better for SSDs, which is not what I expected, though note that SSD sales may be based on very small numbers (‘few models with more than 100 sold’).

    More interesting are the failure rates for 2TB HDDs, which are truly shocking!

  • El_Deano

    That’s all very well but most of us, like me, have been lead to believe that SSD has a zero failure rate for the reasons stated in the editorial. Clearly this is not true.

    In fact I’m pleasantly surprised that HDD has such a low failure rate.

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