10

While shopping for an SSD I have noticed that some manufacturers promote their "Pro" models as the ones sporting ECC data protection. Those manufacturers do not mention ECC in their budget models descriptions.

However, Wikipedia article on flash memory states that "NAND relies on ECC to compensate for bits that may spontaneously fail during normal device operation."

So the question is does any SSD device use ECC behind the scenes for its normal operation and is that ECC "feature" just a marketing ploy?

  • This is easily researched, just Google SSD ECC and you get articles like micron.com/~/media/Documents/Products/…. It's not a simple case of having ECC or not, it's a case of what levels are present. Consumer-grade SSD's are normally going to have some kind of basic ECC that will generally be adequate for most people but enterprise-grade models are often required to have more sophisticated methods to meet the more stringent demands for reliability. – James P Nov 4 '13 at 14:19
  • Still, one of the most recognized manufacturers doesn't mention ECC in the products' specifications and only refers to the term in the promotional info-graphics. Why wouldn't they tell about the "different levels" of data protection more clearly? – Alexander Shcheblikin Nov 4 '13 at 16:11
  • Hard disk drives generally utilise multiple types of error correction but this is not normally advertised because it is a standard and necessary feature. – James P Nov 4 '13 at 16:26
  • That's what I'm talking about! – Alexander Shcheblikin Nov 5 '13 at 14:54
  • My point is that magnetic hard disk drives have long had error correction systems built in but this is required for normal operation and not made particularly obvious to the end user. SSD's are a different technology but the same thing applies. – James P Nov 5 '13 at 15:01
2

No, ECC is not a mandatory feature in all SSDs- As you mentioned, NAND relies on ECC for proper operation, but then again, not all SSDs have NAND Technology. Some SSDs actually use the same technology that the RAM inside of your computer uses, but thats a different thing I won't go into.

Part of the reason that data protection is very important with SSDs is due to the fact that these drives somewhat have a set amount of times a user can erase data and re-write over where said erased data was- If you are constantly erasing data and writing to a data block where there used to be data, then your drive will essentially fail.

SSDs are still quite new technology, and with this, they still have unresolved flaws. One could say that what they have over the conventional HDD in durability and speed they lack in stability. Sure, these faults occur much less than they used to and don't happen nearly as often, but they are still there.

Unless I was using a low-capacity SSD as an operating system drive with my data on a separate HDD, I wouldn't trust my data with an SSD. Not yet.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.