We benchmarked all the SSDs before we began our endurance experiment, and we've gathered more performance data at every milestone since. It's important to note that these tests are far from exhaustive. Our in-depth SSD reviews are a much better resource for comparative performance data. What we're looking for here is how each SSD's benchmark scores change as the writes add up.
Nothing to see here, folks. The SSDs have produced largely consistent scores throughout our endurance experiment. There have been a few unexplained blips here and there, but for the most part, the drives continue to hold the line. Even the 840 Series' increasing flash death toll has had no ill effects on its performance.
Unlike our first batch of performance results, which were obtained on the same system after secure-erasing each drive, the next set comes from the endurance test itself. Anvil's utility lets us calculate the write speed of each loop that loads the drives with random data. This test runs simultaneously on six drives split between two separate systems (and between 3Gbps SATA ports for the HyperX drives and 6Gbps ones for the others), so the data isn't useful for apples-to-apples comparisons. However, it does provide a long-term look at how each drive handles this particular write workload.
Again, each drive's behavior has remained largely consistent as writes have accumulated. The Samsung 840 Series slowed down a little initially, but since then, its average write speed has barely budged.
We didn't expect any of the SSDs to get faster, so the Neutron GTX has been a bit of a surprise. Its average write speed continues to increase, albeit at an extremely slow pace. That's the opposite of what's happening with the other SSDs, whose write speeds are holding steady or falling ever so slightly.
By far the most telling takeaway thus far is the fact that all the drives have endured 600TB of writes without dying. That's an awful lot of data—well over 300GB per day for five years—and far more than typical PC users are ever likely to write to their drives. Even the most demanding power users would have a hard time pushing the endurance limits of these SSDs.
So far, the MLC drives have been exemplary. Their flash has suffered relatively few failures, and two drives remain completely unscathed. Our lone TLC offering continues to retire bad blocks at a steady pace, but the Samsung 840 Series still has plenty of flash in reserve. Apart from the unrecoverable errors we encountered after 300TB of writes, its performance has been solid overall.
At this rate, even the 840 Series may reach a petabyte of writes before burning out. The others are on track to cross that threshold easily, and I expect we'll be waiting a long time for their eventual demise. With that in mind, it might be a little while until our next update. We've already established that modern SSDs have more than enough endurance for typical consumer workloads, and at this point, we're just reporting more of the same. Besides, I'm fresh out of ideas for how to pose these things for pictures.
Maybe I'll be able to come up with something interesting for the 1PB milestone.
103 comments — Last by youssef_che at 3:07 AM on 07/04/14
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