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Research firm calls out one of the largest system makers with 20-30 percent SSD drive failures or performance Issues

Solid-state drives have been all the hype in the last year and touted as holding the potential to beat out traditional hard drives in performance and reliability due to the use of non-volatile NAND flash memory. Though high prices are still typical for PCs shipping with SSDs, that barrier hasn't stopped consumers from getting their hands on a computer or device that features one.

Currently, an upgrade to a 64GB solid-state drive can cost the consumer a premium of $650 or more depending on the computer manufacturer -- a premium many are willing to pay for even the slightest increase in performance. Dell offers a 64GB SSD upgrade from a 250GB 5400RPM drive for about $720 in its XPS flavored notebooks.

A recent study done by Avian Securities, LLC. charges that one of the largest system manufacturers has an SSD failure rate of 20-30%. The study did not specifically state any names or name a system manufacturer as the culprit. However, Dell later confirmed that the reports were about itself, but went on to deny the numbers Avian Securities had come up with.

In a rebuttal at, a Dell insider states, "Here's the real story: the 20 - 30% failure and return rates cited by Avian Securities don't even vaguely resemble what's happening in our business. It's also true that Avian did not contact us while doing their research. Said another way, it's just not true."

Avian Securities states that 10-20% of systems from Dell are being sent back to the manufacturer due to technical failure while the rest are returned for reasons of lackluster performance.

The Dell insider goes on to back up the reliability of SSDs in Dell systems compared to traditional hard drives. "Our global reliability data shows that SSD drives are equal to or better than traditional hard disk drives we've shipped. Beyond that, return rates for SSDs are in line with our expectations for new technology and an order of magnitude better than rates reported in the press."

Aside from the Direct2Dell blog rebuttal, there has been no official statement from Dell regarding Avian Securities' claims. Dell hasn't published any numbers regarding the actual return rates of machines with defective or low performing SSDs.

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RE: I don't understand
By omnicronx on 3/19/2008 3:45:57 PM , Rating: 3
Seems to me like he gave both sides of the story, and let the reader come to a conclusion. I wonder where he came up with a concept like that? ..... ;)

RE: I don't understand
By PuravSanghani on 3/19/2008 3:52:38 PM , Rating: 2
Baking 101 in 10th grade :). Mix the flour and the egg in a bowl and let them do their thing.

RE: I don't understand
By crimson117 on 3/19/2008 4:25:53 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah but the title makes no mention of Dell's denial of this report, giving lopsided weight to the report's claims, in order to make a more sensational headline.

Thumbs down, Dailytech.

RE: I don't understand
By homebredcorgi on 3/19/2008 6:11:11 PM , Rating: 2
First off, I wouldn't be that surprised if these were returns due to buyer's high performance expectations not being met. Hardware failures though? 30% would be absurd. The manufacturer would be out of business already.

I agree with the headline comments. There's a difference between saying "A very reliable source says Dell has returns of 20-30% of SSD drives" and "some firm (reliable or not) says dell has 20-30% returns on SSD Drives." This is the problem inherent with bloggers trying to be journalists. Journalists do research to confirm the validity of sources while bloggers "leave it to the reader."

This headline just can't compete with: "Researchers: Basic Greenhouse Gas Equations Totally Wrong" which makes it sound as though the climatology community just realized they had things completely wrong, when in fact, two guys are disagreeing with the vast majority. Thanks for nothing.

RE: I don't understand
By theapparition on 3/19/2008 8:22:43 PM , Rating: 2
Hardware failures though? 30% would be absurd. The manufacturer would be out of business already.

Say hello to Microsoft and the Xbox360......once again, if you believe the reports from 3rd party sources, which I do not.

In all seriousness, does anyone know who this research company is. Are they funded by the Disk Drive Manufacturer's, since that's who gains the most from a report like this.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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