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SSDs indeed are far more reliable than hard disks (HDDs), confirms Backblaze

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Storage services provider Backblaze has published its latest report today and the findings are something that most PC users will find useful or at least interesting. The report is related to the failure rates of hard disk drives (HDDs) and how they compare to that of the much faster solid state drives (SSDs).

Most people who understand the basics of the two storage types know that HDDs are a mechanical medium that rely on a spinning platter to read data. On the other hand, SSDs are based on NAND flash and do not have moving parts within them. Hence, the common guess will put hard disks as being less reliable than SSDs since wear and tear of moving parts are more likely to happen.

Backblaze's testing proves that this anecdotal belief is indeed true as the comparison between the failure rates between the two types of storage has found SSDs to be far more reliable in general. The firm has explained the methodology using which the comparisons have been made:

The SSDs and HDDs we are reporting on are all boot drives. They perform the same functions: booting the storage servers, recording log files, acting as temporary storage for SMART stats, and so on. In other words they perform the same tasks.

[..] To fairly compare the SSDs and HDDs, we controlled for average age of the two cohorts, so that SSDs that were on average one year old, were compared to HDDs that were on average one year old, and so on

The charts below outline the annualized failure rate (AFR) of SSDs and HDDs over the 2021-22:

SSD vs HDD reliability Backblaze

SSD vs HDD reliability Backblaze

As you can see above, the failure rates for older mechanical disks appear to take off exponentially as they get older. Meanwhile, the AFR for the SSDs seems to plateau around four to five years of usage.

Source and images: Backblaze

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