In Brief: How Long Should a Consumer SSD Last?

By Norman Chan

At least a petabyte's worth of work.

The computer you're using now will not last forever. The most you can hope is that by the time you're ready to replace it or swap out parts for upgrades, those components won't have already failed. But some components have longer expected lifespan than other. We know that hard drives, with regular use, are guaranteed to eventually fail--a Backblaze study pinned median lifespan for a modern spinning drive to six years. But what about SSDs? TechReport has been running an endurance test on six SSDs since last August, continuously writing to those drives until the NAND cells wear out. 10 months later, three of those drives are still running, having processed over a petabyte of data. That's far beyond the manufacturer-rated lifespans of these drives (Intel rates its drives for 20GB of writes per day for three years). TechReport's analysis of their endurance test explains why SSDs will inevitably die, and why most consumers shouldn't have to worry about abrupt failures. In fact, the three drives that did die didn't even significantly slow down near their end-of-life. (h/t Arstechnica)