PC component failure rates documented

According to the French Website Hardware.fr, 2.05 per cent of solid state drives fail, compared with a conventional hard drive failure rate of 1.94 per cent, based on metrics from a French retailer’s internal sales and repairs database.

Author Marc Prieur also documents failure rates for various other internal PC components such as logic boards, GPUs, RAM, and so forth). While data surveyed from a single source is hardly a solid scientific sampling, and past performance from such a relatively small sampling can't be considered a definitive guide to future performance, it does indicate that SSD reliability may well be able to pretty closely match that of hard drives.

Data from this source was also limited to products sold through that particular e-retailer sold from 1 October 2009 and April 1, 2010, for returns created before October 2010, after six months to one year of operation. Statistics in this survey are based on a minimum of 100 unit sales, and in some instances as many as 500 unit sales.

Failure rates were where possible compared with rates recorded for the same manufacturers in a previous article on the subject published in April . Some hard drive model examples compared with the data from six months ago include:

- Maxtor 1.04% (against 1.73%)

- Western Digital 1.45% (against 0.99%)

- Seagate 2.13% (against 2.58%)

- Samsung 2.47% (against 1.93%)

- Hitachi 3.39% (against 0.92%)

Failure rates reported for 1TB hard drives:

- 5.76% Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.B

- 5.20% Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.C

- 3.68% Seagate Barracuda 7200.11

- 3.37%: Samsung SpinPoint F1

- 2.51% Seagate Barracuda 7200.12

- 2.37%: WD Caviar Green WD10EARS

- 2.10% Seagate Barracuda LP

- 1.57%: Samsung SpinPoint F3

- 1.55%: WD Caviar Green WD10EADS

- 1.35%: WD Caviar Black WD1001FALS

- 1.24%: Maxtor DiamondMax 23

For 2 TB drives, the results were:

- 9.71%: WD Caviar Black WD2001FASS

- 6.87% Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000

- 4.83%: WD Caviar Green WD20EARS

- 4.35% Seagate Barracuda LP

- 4.17%: Samsung EcoGreen F3

- 2.90%: WD Caviar Green WD20EADS

Prieur observes that overall, hard drive failure rates recorded are not encouraging, especially for 7200 RPM models, noting that one does not really want to entrust to 2TB of data to one of these discs alone: a mirroring will not be too much for securing data. More evidence of the importance of making multiple redundant backups of any data you can't afford to lose.

Indeed, compared with those big 2TB hard drives, SSDs appear to be relative rocks of dependability, especially the ones made by Intel:

- Intel 0.59%

- Corsair 2.17%

- Crucial 2.25%

- Kingston 2.39%

- OCZ 2.93%

Of course, one might have hoped that units with no internal moving parts would demonstrate even greater reliability than is apparent here, but SSDs actually fared quite well compared with some failure rates of other non-moving part components like logic boards, RAM and GPUs.

Other somewhat alarming failure rate stats. cited:

Motherboard

- 4.42%: ASUS P5N-D SLI

- 4.29%: ASUS P6T Deluxe V2

- 3.68%: ASRock P4I65G

Hard Drive:

- 8.62%: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 160GB

- 4.48%: Samsung SpinPoint F1 1TB

- 3.41% Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000

RAM

- 9.43%: Corsair Dominator 2x2 GB DDR2 PC2-8500 CL5 - TWIN2X4096-8500C5D

- 8.68%: Corsair XMS3 DHX 2x2GB DDR3 PC3-10600 - TW3X4096-1333C9DHX

- 6.95%: OCZ Gold Edition 2x2GB DDR3 PC3-10666 - OCZ3G1333LV4GK

Graphics cards

- 6.28%: XFX ATI Radeon HD 5870 1024 MB

- 5.66%: Gigabyte GV-R587UD-1GD (Radeon HD 5870)

- 4.76%: XFX ATI Radeon HD 5970 Black Edition 2 GB

SSD:

- 2.80%: Vertex 2 OCZ 90GB

- 2.66%: 2120 GB OCZ Agility

- 1.83%: Agility 2 OCZ 60GB

The full report is here. It's in French. Here's a Google Translation.