How long (on average) will the SSD last?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by PowerGamerX, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. PowerGamerX macrumors 6502a


    Aug 9, 2009
    Ok, I've got my MacBook Air, it's great, but, I have no plans to buy another computer for at least 2 years. So, under normal to heavy drive use, will the SSD hold up for that time?
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    SSDs have expected life time of ~100 years (Mean Time Before Failure) but those are just guesses, too early to say which is the average and in the end, it depends on your luck.

    It should last several years
  3. LAS.mac macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2009
    Both Maclife (Jun or Jul issue) and Macworld (Aug issue) have interesting trials and discussions about SSD.
  4. TMRaven macrumors 68020


    Nov 5, 2009
    They'll last just as long or longer than hard drives, let's put it that way.
  5. abriwin macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2009
    SSD V HD life

    Theoretically an SSD should last longer as it has no moving parts to wear out?
  6. PowerGamerX thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Aug 9, 2009
    I'm not asking how long they'll last without use. Since, as far as I know, SSD's use flash and have a limited ammount of reads/writes per block, they should last less long?
  7. Airforcekid macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2008
    United States of America
    I have flashed my thumb drive thousands of times booted Linux portable apps etc had it for years no issues I would expect 10 years with an SSD no problem unless or defrag or something like that in windows.
  8. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Nov 12, 2007
    To help everybody understand, good-high end SSDs will last far longer than the cheap SSDs due to the nature of the wear leveling design, write amplification and finally the quality and type of the NANDs (SLC/MLC).

    First of all, all NANDs have finite WRITE lifespan, not READ. They can have unlimited read lifespan, it doesn't take much to read. Write lifespan is dependent on which NAND type it is and the quality of it.

    SLC: Single Layer Cell, MLC: Multiple Layer Cell, it means one bit is written per cell for SLC where as MLC can have multiple bits per cell, the highest right now is 3 bit but it's not out on the market right now.

    SLC can have 100,000 P/E cycles (Program and Erase), meaning it can be written 100,000 times before it can no longer be written, what this mean that while you can still read those data, you can no longer write to it. Unlike HDD, once a sector is dead, you can't read data off it.

    MLC are now around 5,000-10,000 P/E cycles depending on the quality of it. (

    The smaller the the capacity of the SSD, the faster that P/E cycle get used up per cell, which means 30GB SSD will die "gracefully" much faster than a 120GB SSD. However understand that, in order for the SSD to die completely, each cell has to be dead or the controller itself crapped out.
    What this mean is that 30GB will decline in capacity for writing capacity. Suddenly 30GB becomes 29.8GB only, slowly dying over time yet all data is still there.

    Good SSDs usually have extra reserve of NANDs for this purpose as well, 60GB probably have 4GB of NANDs in reserve for multiple purposes.

    So a good 30GB MLC SSD can last 3-5 full years of hardcore usage (24/7 intensive workload). The same SSD but with SLC NANDs will last far far more than that, maybe 10-20 years. 60GB MLC would probably last far more than 10 years. 120GB should last 20+, 1TB would last a century.
  9. thinkdesign2 macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

    MikhailT: So, in your opinion, is the SSD in the current 2.13 Air (or the same size SSD in the older 1.86 Air)... of the type you call "good"?
  10. robeddie Suspended


    Jul 21, 2003
    Yeah, really.

    He takes up through the whole friggin' science course, but in the end doesn't tell us what we really want to know.

    Come on dude!
  11. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Nov 12, 2007
    Samsung brand SLC SSD are good and will last a long time, I can't be sure about current Air, I know the original was MCCOE64GEMPP which is SLC. Check your system profiler and match it against this, if it doesn't match, let me know and I'll tell you what it is. Samsung don't make low ends. They are excellent and reliable but conservative in their speed in order to ensure stability over performance.

    I think pretty much most students feel the same way about science and math.

    I need the exact SSD serial number to know to come up with an answer as I explained in the above post.
  12. mmulin macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006
    Yes, it should last you at least double. I have mine now around 2 years. Probably longer than any conventional HDD (and before you snap again, yes under usage). If you asking for exact real life experiences, please understand that the technology is not that long around and the "scientific" evaluations have to be taken the same way as for conventional HDDs.
  13. Qusus macrumors member

    Jan 30, 2009
    Only the original Macbook Air used had an SLC SSD.

    The 2.13 ghz version that the poster has is a Samsung MLC SSD.
  14. mmulin macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006
    yes, but that probably won't change the fact that it also will last long enough.
  15. kernkraft macrumors 68020


    Jun 25, 2009
    Yes, but do I know that in a century I will still want an SSD?
  16. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Nov 12, 2007
    Mmmm, holographic memory. :)
  17. dal20402 macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2006
    The OP asked a yes or no question.

    The answer is yes. :p
  18. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    +1 :cool:

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