Are SSD's reliable as longterm solutions?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Whackintosh, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. Whackintosh macrumors 6502


    Mar 8, 2009
    Montreal, Quebec
    Do we have an idea of the longevity of these newer flash drives? I've heard that compact flash cards always fail after a certain amount of time and I wonder if the same is trie for ssds. If not, I'm totally ready to get my soon-to-be-bought mini a 64 gb ssd for my OS (well both of them, osx and Vista) and apps and a firewire 1tb external for much storage. Safe solution?
  2. mcavjame macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    phased to this universe
    The number of writes to any given block of data has improved over the years. I was pricing some drives the other day and many of the new drives boast a 100 year live (millions of data writes). It made me want to plunk down my $500. Then I realized it was for an 80GB drive.
  3. OldMike macrumors 6502


    Mar 3, 2009
    Dallas, TX
    The newest generation (non JMicron controller) SSDs appear to be very, very good. They are a little pricey right now, because they were just released - but that is how I would go if I were going to buy one.

    The two models that appear to be the most reliable choices (although others here have successfully ran on older SSDs) are the Intel X-25M and the OCZ Vertex line.

    As far as how long they will last - I don't think anyone can state 100% since they are relatively new. The OCZs come with a two year warranty.

    As far as Manufacturers specs most good SSDs are spec'd at 1,500,000 hours MTBF (mean time before failure) which means that these disks are designed to last for 170+ years! The fact that they are relatively low heat and do not have moving parts like traditional HDDs, seem to indicate that they are capable of lasting for a very long time.

    I have been watching the prices of SSDs, and it seems as though the Vertex line is dropping in price almost every two weeks. The longer you can hold out for one, the cheaper and larger capacity it is going to be. NewEgg has the 120 GB Vertex for $349 now. I think last week it was over $400 and the Apex (a JMicron controller with extra cache and internal RAID 0) 120 GB was about at the price the Vertex is now. I don't know how quickly they will continue to drop in price, but 120 GB of SSD speed is looking very nice!

    BTW - I'm planning on doing the same exact thing - SSD internal disk with large 7200 rpm FW800 external disks for general storage.

    With everyone updating their minis - it would be cool if we can get groups together and have mini update parties! I remember when I was a kid, I used to go to these Commodore 64 disk swap parties. Everyone would be there with hundreds of disks and dual floppy drives, just copying software back and forth (ohhh, the good old days...).
  4. MTI macrumors 65816

    Feb 17, 2009
    Scottsdale, AZ
    From day one in the computer industry, there's no such thing as 'forever" so you concept of "long term solution" is somewhat undefined. SSD drives are rugged and provide a form factor that minimizes space, but like all other devices, at the risk of manufacturing defect, electrical/static/temperature effects and the like.
  5. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    I own a 120GB OCZ Vertex drive and an 80GB Intel x25-m. Given that I purchased the OCZ first, I've learned a lot more than I ever intended to about solid state drive technology. (in other words, there is a reason I own two drives...) I wouldn't touch a drive that uses a JMicron controller. For that matter, while the OCZ support forums are quite active, and there is a lot of information to be had there, I'm really turned off by OCZ after all these dealings. I don't feel like they fully accept the problems their drives are plagued with (don't be fooled - their Vertex drives are not immune - people are wasting tons of time installing then being greeted with BSOD and lost data and an unrecognizable drive. Lather, rinse, repeat...) and I'm left feeling like they are rushing out product and many of their 'tweaks' should more rightly be labeled 'hacks' come up with by people who don't fully understand what they are doing.

    The Intel drive on the other hand pretty much is plug and play. There are still issues at hand if the drive gets very full (but there are known work arounds for this). The speed increase is phenomenal - especially in a laptop. The reality is that the SSD revolution is still in its infancy - you can jump in pretty worry free with a Samsung or Intel drive, but otherwise expect frustration. The good news is that things are improving rapidly, and the age of the mechanical hard disk is nearly over. This is a good thing because they have been significantly the slowest part of your computer for nearly a decade now.

Share This Page