SSD makers are cutting down warranties and endurances due to Chia mining

The PNY XLR8 CS3030 NVMe SSD

The Chia cryptocurrency came into the limelight a couple of months back when it was noticed causing shortages in storage due to the way it is mined using free storage spaces. Obviously, manufacturers of storage too are aware of the situation and some of them have started responding with rather undesirable changes to a normal user. Among them is PNY which has recently been spotted reducing the write endurance which is denoted by Terabytes Written (TBW) on its XLR8 CS3030 lineup of SSDs by up to 79%. The TBW value shows the estimated amount of data that can be written to the SSD over the life of the drive.

Variant TBW (old) TBW (new) Difference (in %)
250GB 380TB 170TB -55
500GB 800TB 170TB -79
1TB 1,665TB 360TB -78
2TB 3,115TB 660TB -79

The reduced TBWs mean users who will rigorously utilize the SSDs (like miners) and exhaust the rated endurance before the five-year warranty period of the drives will be unable to avail warranty services. The company believes that for "consumers using these SSDs as intended, the warranty time (years) period will likely run out before they hit the TBW thresholds." The previous TBW ratings however still apply to the drives sold before May 17, 2021.

Here's a part of PNY's official statement to Tom's Hardware:

The changes PNY made to its XLR8 CS3030 SSD’s warranty policy were driven by two factors, the uptick in demand for using high-speed, consumer-grade SSDs for Chia farming, and the industry-wide shortage of NAND. These changes were published and made public on the company’s website in both the warranty section as well as the CS3030 product spec sheet on May 17, 2021.

GALAX has also put up a cautionary pop-up on its Chinese website when one visits it stating that excessive use of the storage products will exhaust the rated endurance (TBW) of such products and thus void warranty and after-sales services of the same.

Cautionary statement by GALAX

As Chia picks up pace, it will be very interesting to see if other bigger SSD manufacturers also start doing the same.

Source: ComputerBase via Tom's Hardware

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