SSD life span

My mate BA had a bit of a scare a few weeks back when his laptop hard drive refused to spin up from cold.
Doing the old trick of removing it, giving it a bump and putting it back in got the laptop to boot.

He got the hint and asked me about hard drive upgrade options.
I did not hesitate and recommended he go with a solid state drive rather than his current (and fading typical) spinning drive.
Having no moving parts its lower power and faster in every way over his current drive.
He took my advice and is very happy with the speed bump he got – and cold boot worries are now a thing of the past.

So how long will his new drive last?
It’s been a common question. Since there is no moving parts, there is nothing to wear out right?
Well, yes and no.
Yes, there are no bearings, motors and such, so in that regard, there is nothing to wear out.
But the memory has to remember the data you write to it. Even when you switch off the computer and remove the drive, it still has to remember the data.
So, it has to be physically written to the chip and thats the bit can wear out.

Ok, so how long before BA’s new drive carks it?
As it happens, a long time.

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.

These guys decided to find out.
So, they set up a system that just wrote and then read back insane amounts of data. It was an accelerated test setup. In day to day use none of us reads and writes this amount of data, but if the test was done with normal use, it would be tens of years before we got any meaningful results.

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.

Its long 4 page read if you are really interested, but that last quote is the guts of the matter.
At the amount BA uses his computer (no offence mate, but you’re not exactly a power user, you only have 1-2 tabs open in your web browser most days….)
Its going to take BA many many many lifetimes before his SSD shows any signs of wearing out.

Even my other mates Gary and Dan who can push a computer a bit harder have nothing to worry about.
So, what are you waiting for, if your current hard drive burps, run, don’t walk, and install an SSD.
You won’t wear it out. Not even a little bit.