A Different Drive: Solid State Hard Drive Endurance

A Solid State What?

Solid state hard drives are a lot like USB flash drives: They don’t use moving discs that could be scratched by a wayward bump. Typical hard drives write on and read from discs similar to DVDs.

With no moving parts, there is less chance the drive could be damaged.  They write and read data more quickly than traditional hard drives. But the question remains: how reliable is a solid state drive after thousands of gigabytes of information is saved to them?

Torture Test

Techreport.com did the testing for us. Designed from the ground up to go far beyond everyday use, the drives were subjected to writing and deleting files of random size; some files were compressible, others were not. The testing was meant to torture, and eventually kill, the hard drives in question.

Let’s cut the technical details and get to the bottom line. All drives tested survived past their official endurance specifications. Each wrote well over 100 terabytes of data without any issues. Every drive eventually died, but they all lived well beyond how much an average person would use them.

Terabytes?

A terabyte is 1000 gigabytes. An average modern USB drive holds 16 gigabytes, so based on that each terabyte would need 63 USB drives. 100 terabytes of data would need over 63,000 USB flash drives – can you imagine ever creating that much data in your computer’s lifetime?

Is a solid state hard drive worth investment?

That boils down to how you expect to use the drive. A mobile, always-on-the-move computer would benefit from solid state’s no-moving-parts design. On the other hand, a desktop that will only ever be moved when it is turned off will be a less likely candidate.

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