November 19, 2020

SSD Life Expectancy

SSDs have limited program/erase or P/E cycles. In this video I discuss the life expectancy of SLC, eMLC, MLC and TLC drives, as well as covering wear levelling, over provisioning, and TBW, PWB and DWPD endurance ratings.

Note that the data presented in this video was obtained from a great many sources, including all major SSD manufacturers, and was up-to-date as of 25 March 2017. Note also that the second SSD listed in the table of client SSDs at c.6:41 is a Samsung 850 Pro, not a Sandisk 850 Pro (which does not exist). Sorry! 🙂

If you enjoy this video, you may also be interested in the following:

Explaining M.2 SSDs:

Hard Drive Life Expectancy:

The Death of the Hard Drive:

Migrating to an SSD:

More videos on computing-related topics can be found at:

You may also like my ExplainingTheFuture channel at:


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  • I laughed out loud when you said SSDs could potentially last over a decade. Years ago I bought a 60GB drive thinking that'd be enough for Windows 7; not a chance in hell, what with updates and programming IDEs insisting on being on the C drive with the OS! I bought a 120GB SSD as well, for my most played, most demanding games. Both were noticeably slower when last I checked about 5 years ago, with the OS drive constantly complaining about insufficient space. I had to take a break from… life in general… due to mental health issues brought on by depression, a relationship ending and my former employer of the time defrauding me 6 months pay (no exaggeration, sadly). I'm slowly catching up with the advancements in tech that I missed out on in the intervening years now though. 🙂 Thanks! By the way, have you considered getting in touch with another tech (among other things) YouTuber named Tom Scott? I think you both would get along quite well!

  • Excellent info. An update would be interesting. Especially including $20 Kingston's and what to expect from something so cheap. Also, P/E speaking… Should I assume this also applies to RAM memory chips? Or, is that another story?

  • I know this is a 3 year old vid now, but a really good video to explain the in's & out's of lifespans of SSD drives. Thank you!

  • Id be interested what failure means. When its time does the drive just refuse to write anymore but is still readable or is it dead. Is there anyway to measure current state or get warnings? Presumably this mans we should not defrag anymore too- assuming there was any advantage to that anyway?

  • I have been building my own computers systems since the early 90s, I have never had a hard-drive failure in all that time, I have used MFM, IDE, EIDE, and both 50 pin and 68 pin SCSI drives. in my possession right now is a 32 GB Sandisk memory stick, and due to Sandisk implementing a protection feature, this thumb drive can no longer be written too, and the system it was in no longer recognizes this thumb drive, only my XP system can read from it but it cannot be written to.

    I am going to stick with what I know works good old spinning hard drives, of which i have several extras just sitting in a drawer. as long as E-bay exists I can get hard drives if need be.

  • Any very important data like photos you can never get back should also be stored offsite in case of a fire or other physical damage or theft. Today that is made really easy with consumer cloud backup. If you don't have a lot, there are even free options like Google Drive that gives you 15 GB of free cloud storage. Everything there will be backed up by Google and made sure that it won't ever be lost. If you are paranoid about losing the data, you can store that data on multiple cloud storage services.

  • Cheap SSDs can last 1-5 years, good ones are the one that last a decade or more…
    They are cheap because design flaws like any other product (sometimes is just bad/cheap silicon or controllers).

  • I'm not an expert but I heard that once your drive die (SSD) or you delete something you can't recover your data. I think HDD's are better than SSD's not only because it's cheap and it perfect for long term storage, at most cases you can recover 99% of you're data if it was corrupted or accidentally delete something. and I don't mind waiting an extra 30 seconds on something to load.

    Sorry if this was long I'm kinda new to English

  • What can you do if the over prisoning won't work because of to may partitions? What is the brand doesn't offer this?

  • For people who just want a no-brainer answer and skip ahead, there are at least 2 things you might miss that may interest you.
    1. Over-provisioning: the more free space you have, the longer the life expectancy is the drive. So don't shove every thing in the SSD. Store the infequent access ones on a HDD.
    2. Wear-leveling: this technique make SSD a bad choice for storing confidential data that needed to be thoroughly erased since you cannot guarantee the overwrite operation is writing at the block of data you want to erase. The only setups I can think of that can eliminate this threat is to have full-disk encryption, or a VM placed inside a encrypted container (Veracrypt).

    So yeah, don't just flip to the answer page.

  • My NVME read speed is far lower than i benchmarked 4 months ago. When benchmarked it out the box I was meeting the rated speed of 3500MB/s, however it has now dropped to 2700MB/s and a week ago it was 3200MB/s. Anyone else have this issue? I've updated my graphics card recently but can't think how that would change anything.

  • I wanted an SSD to cut down on Write time when encoding Videos,

    1 Hour of 4K video took 2 hours to encode at 60FPS 5000/MB/s in H265 and 320MB/s Audio PCM on a standard drive 7200 RPM Seagate Barracuda, with an Intel Core I7 4790K OC to 4.8GHZ.

    Same Setup took 1 hour 25 Minutes with an SSHD 7200 RPM Seagate SSHD ST1000DX001 1TB Hard drive with 8GB NAND Cache.

    Final Test using Sabrent Rocket M.2 Q NVMe PCIe 2280 1TB drive in the same system took just 48 minutes.
    If you are after speed when writing large files like this, Get an SSD, If you don't need to write Large files quickly and you are just needing to store files semi permanently somewhere, get a regular Hard drive. If you want to write Large files somewhat quickly, but need to store them for a long time somewhere, opt for a SSHD, Or you can do like I do and get several different drives. I use 3 SSHD Seagate ST1000EDX001 Drives and I use them as storage, but I am running my Operating system off of the Sabrent Rocket SSD. That is probably the best option if you want speed reading and writing but only sometimes, and also need large Storage. ~Elijah

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