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Tests show that SSDs can function after centuries of use

Most heavy data users can’t wait for the day when hard disks, with their fragile, spinny parts, are put out to pasture for good. But just how much better are SSDs? Despite any horror stories you may have heard, the answer is a lot, according to tests on recent models by The Tech Report. It forced six drives – including Kingston’s HyperX 3K, Samsung’s 840 Pro and Intel’s 335 series – to continuously write and rewrite 10GB of small and large files. Four drives bit the dust prior to hitting the petabyte mark, often after their SMART systems moved thousands of bytes from failing flash sectors.

MORE THAN A YEAR AGO, we drafted six SSDs for a suicide mission. We were curious about how many writes they could survive before burning out. We also wanted to track how each one’s performance characteristics and health statistics changed as the writes accumulated. And, somewhat morbidly, we wanted to watch what happened when the drives finally expired. Our SSD Endurance Experiment has left four casualties in its wake so far. Representatives from the Corsair Neutron Series GTX, Intel 335 Series, Kingston HyperX 3K, and Samsung 840 Series all perished to satisfy our curiosity. Each one absorbed far more damage than its official endurance specification promised—and far more than the vast majority of users are likely to inflict. The last victim fell at 1.2PB, which is barely a speck in the rear-view mirror for our remaining subjects. The 840 Pro and a second HyperX 3K have now reached two freaking petabytes of writes. To put that figure into perspective, the SSDs in my main desktop have logged less than two terabytes of writes over the past couple years. At this rate, it’ll take me a thousand years to reach that total. So, yeah. Pretty insane. It’s time for another check-up.

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