How long does an SSD last?
TBW - Terabytes Written The keyword to know how long your SSD lasts is TBW (Terabytes Written). This number expresses how many TB you can guaranteed write to your SSD before it becomes defective. That does not mean that your SSD will no longer work as soon as the last TB is reached. After that, your SSD will still work, but sooner or later the disk will be weathered and break down.
In daily use you will never work with files that are 1TB or larger. This is because most files are much smaller. About 15MB for a high resolution photo, 3GB for an HD movie, 5GB to 10GB for a high quality 4K movie and large graphic intensive games are around 40GB in size. If you assume that you write 5GB per day to your SSD, and your SSD has a TBW of 75TB, then it will take more than 4 years for 75TBW to be reached and your SSD will most likely fail.
Recommended TBW for everyday users
Do you use your computer for everyday use, such as streaming online videos, surfing the web and an occasional program such as a word processor or photo album program? Then a TBW of 150 TBW or higher is sufficient.
Recommended TBW for designers, photographers, gamers and film fans
Are you a graphic designer, gamer or film and photo fan who regularly downloads? Then you write larger amounts of data more often than ordinary users. Therefore choose a TBW higher than 300 TBW.
The build quality of your SSD also determines the lifespan and reliability of your SSD. There are 2 factors: the method that your SSD uses to store data, and the structure of your SSD.
Storage method There are SSDs that store your data in different ways: TLC, MLC and SLC. These ways are only there to ensure that as much storage capacity as possible is created in an SSD. Because of this you sacrifice something on speed and reliability, but the software of modern SSDs is so advanced that you hardly notice any loss of speed.
3D NAND and V-NAND Because chip layers are stacked in 32, 48, or even 64 layers, your SSD is more reliable and energy efficient in the longer term. Manufacturers use different techniques to produce SSDs. A common method is 3D NAND. Samsung calls the same technology V-NAND. This is building chip layers on top of each other. This is done at the microscopic level and is not visible to the naked eye. Moreover, this technique has no influence on the compatibility of your SSD.