It was a year ago that cloud backup firm Backblaze revealed some interesting data it had collected in regards to hard drive failure rates. For a number of reasons, trying to analyze the reliability of hard drive brands and models can be complicated, though when the dust settled, Backblaze determined that Hitachi brand HDDs were the best. With another year of operation under its belt, Backblaze has more data to share, though Hitachi remains a solid option.
It doesn’t appear that part of the deal was Verizon’s dropping it’s claim to ‘superior’ 3G coverage. The smack-down over which of the two has America’s most reliable coverage, unfortunately, remains unsettled.
For the second time in a row, Asus has come out ranked No. 1 in reliability for personal computers, according to Rescuecom's 2009 Second Quarter Top 5 Computer Reliability Report.
"Because Asus just introduced the newest version of the EEE Laptop last fall, the original predicted computer reliability of this laptop has been somewhat up in the air," says David A. Milman, Rescuecom's founder and CEO. "However, a good eight months later, we're still receiving the fewest calls for computer repair and support with Asus, while their market share is increasing."
Rescuecom ranks computer reliability based on the number of computers a company ships versus the number of computer repair and service calls Rescuecom receives. According to the report, of the top 5 companies, Rescuecom received the fewest number of calls for Asus at 0.6 percent. Apple, which ranked No. 2 on the list, received the third most calls with 2.2 percent, which is more than Asus and IBM/Lenovo combined.
Asus, the new champion of the report, didn’t only win the top spot, but they bulldozed Apple with a score of 972 to 324. Also leapfrogging Apple was Lenovo, who took home a score of 348.
Admittedly, Apple does have a larger US market share than Asus (1.6 percent compared to 6.8 percent), but given that Asus was only responsible for 0.2 percent of the service calls placed to RESCUECOM, they do deserve a big pat on the back.
SSDs are the hottest trend in storage, but how long will an SSD last? Right now,there's no industry standard for longevity or reliability. However, Cnet reports that Seagate and JEDEC are working together to establish a standards-based method for determining those factors.
Seagate isn't alone in working with JEDEC, the standards body responsible for standards in the solid-state industry. Earlier this year, X-bit Labs reported that JEDEC's JC-64.8 committee, which is responsible for developing SSD standards for embedded and removable storage, is being co-chaired by Micron Technologies and Seagate.
Micron brings its experience in memory technologies, while Seagate brings its experience in drive reliability to the endeavor. As Cnet reports:
Seagate says it can tap into the decades of expertise it has in error correction. "Some of the skills we've picked up along the way, to deal with imperfect media, has applicability to dealing with imperfect media on NAND."
Seagate's own SSDs won't hit the market until 2009, but hopefully its work with JEDEC to set standards for reliability will help make all SSDs more reliable.
So, what do you think? Will Seagate's presence on the JEDEC committee responsible for SSD standards make this latecomer to SSDs the one to trust when product finally hits the street? Or, are you ready to use SSDs right now? Join us after the jump for your chance to sound off.
For most enthusiasts, choosing a hard drive usually comes down to performance specs. This includes spindle speed, areal density, what size buffer it comes equipped with, and any special features like NCQ. But as solid-state drives (SSDs) start to trickle into the mainstream, expect to see a greater importance placed on the mean time before failure (MTBF) rating.
It'd be nice if hard drives could last forever, but like every other component that makes up your PC, hard drives eventually die. And it's never a pretty sight, either. Sometimes a HDD will give up the ghost without warning, leaving you frantically looking for ways to revive the drive long enough to extract your data (remember the freezer trick?). Other times you're given ample warning of an impending failure, typically in the form of unpleasant grinding noises, disk errors, an unusual clicking noise that wasn't present before, S.M.A.R.T. warnings, and other telltale signs that it's time to backup your data.
Learn more about MTBF ratings and how that translates into real-world life expectancy after the jump.