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Beenthere

Anandtech finally admits SSD reliability is unacceptable

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AnandTech has an article on the reliability and compatibility issues with current SSDs and admits this is unacceptable, even acknowledging that Intel has serious issues. Anandtech have been able to duplicate some of the bugs.

Anand believes the reason for the numerous SSD issues is cost related but I find that a debatable conclusion. I believe that the current rush-to-market and fix it later mentality that Microsoft has perfected is the primary reason for the SSD, mobo and other hardware/software issues. It's extremely profitable to sell half-baked goods at premium prices if there is no penalty for this fraud.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4604/the-sandforce-roundup-corsair-patriot-ocz-owc-memoright-ssds-compared

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SSDs definitely have issues. We've had drives die, lose SATA III connections, etc. Reliability and compatibility unfortunately are impossible for us to test.

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We know virtually all major vendor has issues... FWIW, at least, it seems like Intel makes the greatest strides to fix them-- there's a reason why big OEMs seem to mostly use Intel, Toshiba, and Samsung drives. :)

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At the enterprise, things are different. But if you're talking SSDs in individual notebooks, then yeah, I'd understand.

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Fair enough. Although given adoption rates and long enough duration to get enough samples in the field to establish a satisfactory track record-- any idea how long will be "good enough" for SSDs in general?

That also gets back to the problem between general reliability as a whole vs. reliability of specific models (e.g. harddisks as a whole vs. say the IBM Deskstar 75GXP fiasco, or the Seagate 7200.11 firmware issues, or whatnot)... where do you start drawing satisfactory conclusions?

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Reliability to me is when you can run an HD/SSD 24/7 for 5 years in any PC without any operational, firmware or compatibility issues. If you have one failure in five years use for every 10,000 units sold, that's reasonable. ;)

Edited by Beenthere

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well i used to work with Scsi drives and later on with SAS drives. Had more drives dying on me then my SSD's right now.

I have a lot of the first gen OCZ (Core V1) already for 3 years, i have a few Foremay SLC drives, 1 Agility, 1 Intel 510 (all divided on 4 computers) never had any problem with them yet;

So i will never go back to regular HDD's.

Sure companies have issues with their SSD products, there are issues with HDD's as well.

The main problem is, some manufacturers like to change their SSD's every year to keep up with speed. So one can hardly expect drives without faults.

Anyway i am very satisfied with my own SSD's.

Jeff

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I will continue to use SSDs as well, the speed is just untouchable.

I ghost mine periodically to a platter drive, and I only store OS and apps on the SSD anyway. If it loses data or dies, I still have my data on the platters.

As long as they continue to make platter drives (I think they will because the capacity is insane now), I'll always keep my backups on them.

So SSD for speed, platters for integrity :-) My 40GB aDATA SSD is going strong and flawless so far. Still "100% good" *knock on wood*

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So in other words... never? And no harddisks currently made fit your criteria either. ;)

Actually I have multiple brands of 15K SCSI drives running 24/7 in numerous desktop workstations that are over 5 years old, without a single issue. This is normal service not exceptional when the product is properly designed, manufacturered and validated. This is the reliability that consumer grade SSDs should be able to achieve.

Yes you pay a little more for a quality 15K SCSI drive than an unreliable SATA drive, but that's fine with me. There is no technical reason why consumer grade SSDs can't be reliable and reasonably priced. I'd pay $400 for a reliable 120 Gb. SSD and they can sell the unreliable SSDs to mass consumers for $300. ;)

Consumers are being duped right now as there is plenty of money to be made selling half-baked products. As long as people buy crap, there is no financial incentive for a mfg. to deliver quality. :(

Edited by Beenthere

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This is the reliability that consumer grade SSDs should be able to achieve.
I think the problem is that most SSDs just haven't been on the market long enough.

I have a fleet of Intel X25-M G2's here that I fully expect to behave just like your 5-year-old 15K SCSI disks with no issues in 3 more years (that would make then 5 years old at that point), unfortunately there's no substitute for long-term field experience aside from waiting it out.

So I guess you have no choice except to wait it out. ;)

(also your sample size may not be large enough, I have seen plenty of 15K SCSI and SAS drives die, but then we use drives here in volumes many, many orders of magnitude larger than most...)

There is no technical reason why consumer grade SSDs can't be reliable and reasonably priced. I'd pay $400 for a reliable 120 Gb. SSD and they can sell the unreliable SSDs to mass consumers for $300.
heh. Too bad paying $100 more isn't a guarantee of quality. Hell I would love to deploy Intel 510-series SSDs en masse right now, but we overdid it with X25-M G2's so I'm good for now. :)

Unfortunately for most consumers, I agree with you, price does drive everything. It's why we have sh**ty laptop screens in 99.9% of laptops and 99% of desktops, so many blood automotive recalls, etc. etc...

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Maybe some SSD's collapse because of OC'ing. I mean accidents happen and then the manufacturer gets the blame.

Anyway back when i worked with a AS400, we add to call IBM twice a year (not exactly twice on 12 months but you get the idea) to replace a disk failure.

Anyway if SSD's reliability are a concern, why not use Raid6? And be happy.

Jeff

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The known issues with the Sandforce 2281 based SSDs and other SSD operational/compatibility issues do not appear to have anything to do with OC'ing.

While my sample of 15K SCSIs may be quite low, the reality is that I've been using them for 20 years with only one failure. That works for us and it's the type of reliability I expect of a properly designed, engineered and manufactured SSD. Probably the military mission-critical SSDs operate this way but even enterprise can't afford military mission-critical pricing so the SSD manufacturers need to get their act together IMO.

Until SSDs become reliable, they have no place in our company. Increased speed is worthless to us without reliabilty. If mass consumers are OK with SSD reliability and compatibility issues then the manufacturers are completely justified in selling them half-baked crap. If not then consumers should stop buying SSDs until they are fixed properly.

Edited by Beenthere

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While my sample of 15K SCSIs may be quite low, the reality is that I've been using them for 20 years with only one failure
I suspect your SCSI failure rate is many, many magnitudes of order lower than what most of us see. My failure data here suggests SAS disks may fail an order of magnitude less than SATA disks, but that only partially takes into account the different usage types we see here.

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I suspect your SCSI failure rate is many, many magnitudes of order lower than what most of us see. My failure data here suggests SAS disks may fail an order of magnitude less than SATA disks, but that only partially takes into account the different usage types we see here.

That's why I buy quality 15K SCSI drives... :)

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Like I said, I suspect your failure rate on 15K SCSI is still orders of magnitude lower than what we see here in production and support of products with 15K SAS drives... and I'm pretty sure we go through a lot more drives than you do. ;)

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All I know is that in 20 years I've had one SCSI drive fail and that's the kind of reliability I desire. Statistics can say pretty much anything you want them too but reality is as real as a heart attack. :) My brother who is a PC tech for a major university has had similar results in the past 15 years so I don't think I just got lucky.

Until SSDs become reliable, they simply won't be allowed in this company. Those folks who are happy with the currend SSD reliability/compatibility issues can keep buying them. That's what the suppliers are hoping for.

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"All I know is that in 20 years I've had one SCSI drive fail and that's the kind of reliability I desire."

then i guess you are the only one here. Even at home (not much of computer use) several 36gb Scsi 15K died on me (Seagate, Maxtor Hitachi) and after that the Seagate SAS 15K 300 GB.

i still own a Maxtor Atlas 15K and Hitachi 15K (Scsi)that was resent to me, refurbished, and i even never opened the packages......

Jeff

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I use what has proven to work for my needs and I expect others will do the same. The bottom line is that current SSDs models have issues that need to be resolved, which is what Anandtech and others have confirmed.

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Ah, as suspected, your data sets are many, many orders of magnitude smaller than what some of us deal with. :)

But agreed, SSD's do have their issues. Hell, harddisks as of late have had issues-- Seagate 7200.11's and WD Velociraptors in particular with serious firmware issues recently...

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It doesn't matter what my data set is... What matters is that the SCSI drives I have used over the past 20 years have been bulletproof reliable as have those my brother uses at the university which number into the hundreds per year.

If consumer grade SSDs ever become reliable then we'll use them. Otherwise they are just for folks who can afford to lose data and deal with half-baked crap. Right now consumer grade SSDs are simply not ready for prime time IMHO.

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I just wonder if we're ever going to see that in consumer-market SSDs. Even consumer-market HDDs are not that reliable.

As 15K SAS disks are enterprise-market products, maybe we will see that in enterprise-market SSDs?

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