My take on the endurance changes of SSD 3d NAND Technology

A SSD (Solid State Drive) is the storage industries replacement for HDD (Hard Disk Drive) Technology. It is used in newer mobile devices and some desktop devices. SSD tech improves performance significantly by thirty or in some case fifty percent.

When SSD technology first came out I did not recommend it due to the endurance of the technology (Life expectancy). The industry didn’t really say much on the difference of endurance between SSD’s and HDD’s. But in my experience SSD tech with its limited amount of writes did not outlast HDD tech by a long shot and recovery when these devices failed also proved to me more problematic than its counter part. I service customers that use their devices for average Internet and work use, due to these limitations I was not recommending SSD technology to my customers that wanted to purchase devices that introduced them.

The storage industry released a new SSD storage technology during the end of 2017 called 3d NAND memory technology. This memory technology is used in SSD devices to store data. Due to the limitations of the prior 2d NAND technology where packing more cells onto a 2d plane was causing problems with data integrity, storage manufactures have moved to designing memory tech in 3 dimensions to bypass these limitations.

The Good:

  • No physical sizes changes.
  • Manufacturer stated endurance: For light to medium use 14 to 17 years, heavy use 3.5 years. Practical tested endurance: slightly better than 5 years under normal use.
  • Smaller power requirements: %25 percent less compared to 2d NAND. This means that battery life should increase slightly during read and write operations.
  • Larger storage capacity: Right now manufactures have released 256 and 512 versions, but we expect to see 1TB and 2TB models by the end of the quarter of 2017.

The Bad:

  • Price: Due to demand and manufacturing difficulties compared to 2d NAND Prices are expected to go up in 2017 and level off sometime in 2018.

2018 Update: Prices have dropped significantly for larger capacity SSD. You can purchase a 1TB SSD for around $200-$300 dollars.

The Ugly

  • SSD Data recovery is still a nightmare making recovery jobs more expensive. Be sure to have a disaster recovery solution in place before using one of these devices. When these devices fail due to poor manufacturing quality or wear and tear its a good chance that data will be difficult to recover. The price range on physical recovery of data on SSD’s can be around $4000 and up if the device is not accessible under normal circumstances.

Contact me for a free quote on upgrading to an SSD, or if your SSD has failed and need data recovered.