I understand a moderate amount about Hard Drives as I am working towards degrees in CIS and CS. I got into a heated debate with my Girlfriends coworker who supposedly works in the tech department over whether a SSD or a HDD lasted longer. I know that Laptop drives typically last 2 years with moderate use considering they are spinning drives but I have gotten over two years already with my SSD. I have done plently of research but I am still wondering over what the consensus is here on The Tek forums. 


In rough, ideal, and light usage environments which has the longer lifespan, an SSD or an HDD?

The SSD will probably outlive the HDD if you are using it lightly. You will never exceed the amout of reads or writes you can do on an HDD, but you can wear it down mechanically. Both drives can die quickly, or live forever, just depends on use and luck.

If I had to say, though, it'd be SSD.


I have seen WD drives used in rack mount servers but the difference there was that it was in a low heat environment and the drives were not receiving a lot of abuse in comparison to a laptop drive. So I can understand how the HDD could have a longer life span in that scenario. I am disregarding servers in this scenario because I want everyday use comparisons like gaming, everyday use, etc.

It would be SSD, because there is nothing mechanical that can fail. HDDs are ticking time bombs.

untill i see a fairly large number of people using 12 year old ssds i think i'm going to have to hand it to the hard disc, atleast for something this sits in one spot 99% of the time

for a laptop it's all about how often you drop it, i have a... 10 year old (sounds about right) laptop with it's original harddrive that still works fine (well the harddrive does, cpu got... just a bit overheated, cant even use a browser), though it's alot like brennans idea of a ticking time-bomb, an ssd might not as long lasting theoretically but will be much more reliable

Ok I understand you're point of sitting in one spot. What about a laptop recently purchased that has been a victim of human error like putting it in your backpack before it sleeps, carrying it around while running, moving from spot to spot, etc. I don't want to debate the reason to buy an SSD over a HDD but just curious about the longevity of both drives. HDD's have been out longer then your typically SSD so HDD's may really beat the SSD over the head in terms of the average. In the case of today do we have any ground facts to support the SSD over the HDD in every way except price and space? or is this something to come back to in ten years?

SSDs have at least approximately limited resource, HDDs are very random. They can work for decades. Or not. But I would rather have something predictable.

And SSD are still readable even if their writing limit is reached.

I am pretty pro SSD here but have no qualms about buying a normal HDD especially when on a budget. I don't want to seem pigheaded next time I debate with someone about this (for some reason it happens a lot) I'd rather be objective and know all of the possible facts.

From what I read online people seem to say that modern SSD's will keep their speed for approximately 5 years. They are also more reliable then HDD's.

Well, yeah