Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss Apple announcements, Samsung TVs for sale in the US, Kepler’s running out of fuel, home security satisfaction, a test of Facebook’s “paid for” ads, and more.
Joe in Durham, North Carolina listens on Newsradio 680 WPTF and asked: “I’ve seen where a number of computers are coming with solid state drives, instead of hard drives. I know the solid state drives are better because they are faster. Are they as reliable as a hard drive? Do they ever fail? If they fail, how often to they fail? And do they ever ‘partially’ fail?“
Joe, you’re right, many computers are coming out with SSDs now and it’s not just because they’re much faster but also because the drive have other advantages like using less power.
In terms of reliability, the average lifespan for an HDD is 3 to 5 years, the average lifespan of an SSD is 5 to 7 years, so they’re reliable. The lack of moving parts probably helps in that, since they’re less prone to damage by being inside a machine or a external drive that is dropped while it’s on and writing.
You asked if they ever failed, yes, they do. Everything does, and everything electronic does even more. If they never failed they’d sell for a lot more than they do.
How often they fail is hard to say, but not very often. The reason they’ve made it into computer without 90% of users noticing is that they’re not breaking down any more than HDDs used to.
They can partially fail like HDDs, where as HDDs can develop bad sectors, SSDs can develop bad blocks. And though there are not arms to get stuck in between disks, SSDs still use plenty of electronics that can be damaged, so there’s not any kind of magical drive that will last forever.
They’re comparable to HDDs in reliability, and they’re far better in performance.
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