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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 Direct2Dell.com, 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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How
By Lonyo on 3/19/2008 8:20:37 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not even sure how Dell could get a 20~30% failure rate mostly due to failures, since they use off the shelf drives manufactured by other companies, and they're putting them in PC's which are used to mechanical drives which use more power and produce more heat.
It seems impossible for the failure rate to be higher than mechanicals due to anything Dell does, and if it was a true report, it would be the drive manufacturer at fault (which would also imply that other companies who used the same drives would have similar issues).

If it's returns because people don't like their super expensive SSD's then that would make more sense. But in terms of failure rate, it seems an utterly ludicrous claim.




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