What Happens When 5 SSDs Are Hit With 2PB Of Writes Over A Year?

What Happens When 5 SSDs Are Hit With 2PB Of Writes Over A Year?

The last time we read anything about SSD longevity, it was courtesy of the Tech Report’s ambitious project to punish a variety of SSDs over the course of many months. That was at 500TB of constant writes, where all the drives were still in the race. At two petabytes however… some losers have appeared.

Image by GillyBerlin / Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

I use the word “losers” lightly, as surviving even a single petabyte of writes is far beyond the wear and tear an SSD would be subjected to by even heavy users and unimaginable for regular workloads. Of the five drives that entered the arena, so to speak — the Corsair Neutron GTX 240GB, Intel 335 Series 240GB, Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB, Samsung 840 Series 250GB and Samsung 840 Pro 256GB — only the 840 Pro and HyperX 3K remain alive.

As Tech Report’s Geoff Gasior writes, the two survivors have lasted to the two-petabyte mark, with third place going to the Neutron GTX, which kicked the bucket 1.2PB in. What’s interesting is how the 840 Pro and HyperX have handled their torturous assignments:

Right now, it’s hard to say which of our remaining subjects will be the last SSD standing. As the lone survivor to remain free of serious errors, the 840 Pro is already a victor of sorts. The question is whether it can outlast the last HyperX, which refuses to give up despite stumbling through a couple of uncorrectable errors. The HyperX has write compression on its side and plenty of spare flash in reserve, so the final duel could go on for a while. We’ll be watching.

In terms of actual performance, both drives have suffered a little, but read and write speeds remain almost as good as their fresh counterparts.

The experiment has definitely passed the practical stage for anyone who’s worried about SSD resilience — you have nothing to worry about — but from an entertainment point-of-view? I’m wondering which drive will give out first (despite the Pro’s error-free state).

The SSD Endurance Experiment: Two freaking petabytes [The Tech Report]


  • I love that someone went out of their way to do such a long experiment.

    I kinda wish they didn’t JUST pick the best of the best for that year, however. There were a lot of cheaper, entry level type SSDs. I would’ve loved to see how they stacked up against the more expensive brands in terms of lifespan.

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