While horror stories prevail regarding SSD reliability, recent tests carried out suggest that consumer solid state drives (SSDs) can be subjected to high usage levels before they experience failure.
The testing, carried out by The Tech Report, took six consumer-grade SSDs - the Corsair Neutron Series GTX, Intel 335 Series, two Kingston HyperX 3K drives, and Samsung 840 Series, and a Samsung 840 Pro - and wrote data to them until they failed.
Four of the drives failed around the one petabyte mark (one petabyte is a thousand terabytes), which is far beyond their rated value. However, two of the drives - a Kingston HyperX 3K and the Samsung 840 Pro - have gone on to break the two petabyte barrier, and are still going strong.
To put this into perspective, the average desktop drone might do about a terabyte of writes over the course of a year, which means that, theoretically at any rate, SSDs could last around a thousand years before succumbing to wear.
However, wear is only one part of the equations, and despite not containing any moving parts, the electronics in the SSD are going to fail long before the NAND wears out.