just brew it! wrote:Just because it has no moving parts doesn't mean a SSD can't fail or wear out.
Flash cells used in typical consumer SSDs can only be written a few thousand times before they start to degrade and lose their ability to retain data. Wear leveling and error correction algorithms make the effective durability of the drive a lot better than this, but it still has a finite lifetime. A heavily used SSD is probably no more reliable over the long term than a mechanical HDD.
I agree, but the question is how many people "heavily use" their SSD? Say you can write the cells 5000 times before they become useless; for a 128GB drive, that would be 640,000GB written to it, or 100GB per day for 17 years. I think it's safe to assume virtually no consumer is going to be writing that much data to a drive.
I just can't imagine the write cycles being an issue for 99.9% of consumers. Of course there are other things that could go wrong with an SSD though, so just because the flash memory is reliable doesn't mean the overall drive will be (just look at all the Sandforce-1200 controller problems). We have seen a trend of smaller fab processes reducing the number of write cycles though, so perhaps it could become an issue as we continue shrinking the NAND flash.
just brew it! wrote:Even if SSDs were as durable as you seem to think they are, what makes you think that the computing devices in use several decades from now will even have SATA ports on them? Storage capacities will also have increased by several orders of magnitude..
Yep. Even if SSDs somehow never fail I just find it very unlikely that we will be using SATA 20 years from now, let alone long enough to pass it to your grandchildren. We are already bumping up against the limits of the current SATA revision with SSDs. They can probably increase the speeds of SATA again but eventually you have to think they'll reach a limit.
just brew it! wrote:From a reliability, compatibility, and capacity standpoint, passing down one of today's SSDs to your grandkids a quarter century from now will probably make about as much sense as your parents giving you a box of old 5-1/4" floppy disks today.
Yep, I think the best way to pass your data down to your kids/grandkids is just to continually copy that data to the latest technology, rather than trying to "time capsule" it in storage for 50 years. As internet speeds increase keeping your data on "the cloud" will become more practical as well, although that has even more reliability concerns than local storage.