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SSD failure rates compared to hard drives

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#1 Brian


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Posted 13 December 2010 - 09:15 PM

This is less than scientific or a complete data set, but interesting perhaps nonetheless. A French site, hardware.fr apparently has access to a retailer's database of products sold vs those returned for failure. They regularly amass this data and publish reliability info for major PC components like graphics cards, RAM and of interest here, SSDs and hard drives. The site is obviously in French, so I've copied the translation, but here the source to dive into further. Intel looks pretty good, which you'd expect given their time in the market at this point.

To be recorded the VAS had to be made directly through the merchant, which is not always the case since it is possible to return directly from the manufacturer: however, this represents a minority in the first year.

- Maxtor 1.04% (against 1.73%)
- Western Digital 1.45% (against 0.99%)
- Seagate 2.13% (against 2.58%)
- Samsung 2.47% (against 1.93%)
- Hitachi 3.39% (against 0.92%)

Hitachi is plummeting, which was first in the previous ranking! Western Digital retained its second place despite a failure rate increasing, while Maxtor is occupying the first place.

More specifically the failure rate for 1TB drives:

- 5.76% Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.B
- 5.20% Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.C
- 3.68% Seagate Barracuda 7200.11
- 3.37%: Samsung SpinPoint F1
- 2.51% Seagate Barracuda 7200.12
- 2.37%: WD Caviar Green WD10EARS
- 2.10% Seagate Barracuda LP
- 1.57%: Samsung SpinPoint F3
- 1.55%: WD Caviar Green WD10EADS
- 1.35%: WD Caviar Black WD1001FALS
- 1.24%: Maxtor DiamondMax 23

Hitachi is logically the less well placed, what with two separate lines! What about the 2 TB version?

- 9.71%: WD Caviar Black WD2001FASS
- 6.87% Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000
- 4.83%: WD Caviar Green WD20EARS
- 4.35% Seagate Barracuda LP
- 4.17%: Samsung EcoGreen F3
- 2.90%: WD Caviar Green WD20EADS

Overall, failure rates recorded are bad. That does not really want to entrust to 2TB of data to these discs alone: a mirroring will not be too much for securing data. Logically 7200 rpm disks are less reliable than the 5400/5900 rpm, with almost 10% for the Western model!

For the first time, we also integrate SSDs in this article type. The rates of failure recorded by manufacturer:

- Intel 0.59%
- Corsair 2.17%
- Crucial 2.25%
- Kingston 2.39%
- OCZ 2.93%

Intel stands here with a failure rate of the most flattering. Among the few models sold over 100 copies, displays a rate of no more than 5% VAS.


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#2 Garfield_the_Cat



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Posted 13 December 2010 - 10:20 PM

Interesting (I'm oonly looking at SSD results).

So basically all sandforce drives have about the same (within 1%) failure rate. I thought Kingston was a rebranded Intel drive? I wonder why the difference in failure rate between it and the Intel.

I do wonder if user error could be to blame for some, I guess we will never know what the reason for return was.

#3 dhanson865



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Posted 13 December 2010 - 11:15 PM

Interesting (I'm only looking at SSD results).

I thought Kingston was a rebranded Intel drive?

No. Kingston sells drives or sold drives with several different companies controllers

- Intel = Intel only
- Corsair = Jmicron, Toshiba, Indilinx, Sandforce
- Crucial = Indlinx and Marvell
- Kingston = Jmicron, Toshiba, Indilinx
- OCZ = Jmicron, Toshiba, Indilinx, Sandforce, samsung (forgot about the summit series)

You can't tell much about SSD reliability there from anything OTHER than Intel. It's just too muddy a summary.

From page 7 of the article we get the 3 worst failing SSDs as

- 2,80% : OCZ Vertex 2 90
- 2,66% : OCZ Agility 2 120
- 1,83% : OCZ Agility 2 60

which means the - OCZ 2.93% must include RAM and/or other non SSD products or they didn't get their top 3 failure list right.

Edited by dhanson865, 14 December 2010 - 11:49 AM.

#4 Brian


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Posted 14 December 2010 - 09:49 AM

Kingston used to be a rebadged Intel, but they've since branched out with their own line. We have a few reviews up of Kinston SSDs, you can see the internals, etc.


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#5 dhanson865



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Posted 14 December 2010 - 11:48 AM

Kingston used to be a rebadged Intel, but they've since branched out with their own line. We have a few reviews up of Kingston SSDs, you can see the internals, etc.

Kingston sold drives with jmicron controllers before they sold drives with Intel controllers. Kingston still sells drives to this day that are rebadged Intel drives in addition to anything else they do.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2865/4 November 2009 is when I first heard of the Intel rebadge.

Just to pick a random google result from before then here is a Kingston SSD withe the Jmicron/Toshiba controller in a thread from June 2009. http://forum.noteboo...marks-pics.html

As to modern Intel drives badged as Kingston I'll paste a couple from pricegrabber

Kingston SSDNow E Series X25-E Solid State Drive - 64GB - SNE125S264GB
Kingston SSDNow M X25-M Solid State Drive - 160GB - SNM225S2160GB

they usually seem overpriced vs the Intel branded drive so I'm not sure why they sell but apparently someone pays for them or they would stop doing it.

#6 TSullivan


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Posted 14 December 2010 - 12:55 PM

I wonder how many of these failures for SSDs are firmware related. The C300 had a huge problem at launch. OCZ... well not surprised by that either. Our Vertex 2 had problems with buggy shipping firmware that made the drive crash under stress.

Not surprised to see Intel with the lowest failure rate. Out of all the companies they seem to have the best process going right now and probably the most high-tech factories. I would still like to see a breakdown of which models are failing though. They only seem to breakout the OCZ stats. Getting an idea of what controllers are doing long-term would be great.

#7 Brian


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Posted 14 December 2010 - 03:13 PM

Kingston does still sell those Intel drives, but they haven't announced a new one in at least a year I don't think. My point was more along the lines of, that's not all Kingston does...they sell their own kit too ;)


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#8 cbrworm



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Posted 05 January 2011 - 01:40 PM

It's interesting that other than the Intel drives, SSD's are not leap years ahead of rotating drives in terms of reliability (excluding the 2TB drives). It would be interesting to see the failure data for single platter lower capacity drives, are 500gb drives more reliable than 1TB? I wonder how this data compares to years past.

I am dissappointed to see the high failure rates of the 2TB drives, I deployed a lot of WD2003fyys, Seagate Constellation ES 2TB and Hitachi HUA 7K2000's Now I am getting worried.

Edited by cbrworm, 05 January 2011 - 01:41 PM.

#9 gfody



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Posted 05 January 2011 - 05:47 PM

8 months ago I purchased 50 x25-m gen2 160gb here and so far 1 has died. I didn't try to recover the failed drive I just sent it in for RMA replacement as I didn't need the data.

#10 Ten98



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Posted 06 January 2011 - 11:29 AM

Interesting data but not very useful, as it is based on consumer returns rather than real-world drive failures.

Lower priced products tend to be returned more often, which partly explains Intel's amazing returns rate.

#11 qasdfdsaq



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Posted 06 January 2011 - 03:24 PM

Really? I tend to get the feeling it's the opposite way round. People won't bother returning cheap products and will buy a replacement instead, whereas expensive items will get returned for free repair whenever possible.

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