I've been wondering about this for some time: Do higher-capacity SSDs last longer than smaller ones of the same type under the same operating conditions?

I would want to believe so because a larger SSD has more memory cells available, but is there anything with the higher-capacity SSDs or flash memory chips that offsets this? For example, do higher-density flash memory chips have shorter lifespan per memory cell?

On the other hand, is the higher capacity simply enabled by putting more NAND chips in the drive, with a commensurate increase in endurance?


1 Answer 1


Wear on an SSD is per sector on the drive. New SSDs have auto-wear leveling so that the wear is spread out along the entire drive. If you have a certain amount of writes to make, the larger the drive, the more it it spread out and the longer the drive will last.

That said, I'm not aware of any SSD or flash card actually wearing out due to excessive use, unless you do something really hard on the drive, like using it as a paging file when you don't have enough RAM.

  • 2
    Intel says you can write 20+GB a day to their consumer level drives for years without exhausting their write capacity, and that number is a few years old now. I'd imagine nobody is going to exhaust the life of a modern SSD with reasonable levels of use in the lifetime of the part.
    – Shinrai
    Oct 25, 2012 at 15:28
  • See the edit to my question. I personally suspect, but am not sure, that higher-density ICs have shorter lifespan per memory cell.
    – bwDraco
    Oct 25, 2012 at 15:29
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    They do (on average). But higher capacity can be do to more old density chips, or larger but smaller density chips. And even with the higher density chips we are promised that the drives will last a long time.
    – Hennes
    Oct 25, 2012 at 15:34
  • Even if it cuts the lifespan by a factor of 10, which I doubt, I imagine that you would have a hard time exhausting a SSD with reasonable use. 10,000 write cycle is a lot.
    – David
    Oct 25, 2012 at 15:40

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