I noticed that Plextor SSD drives have a MTBF of 1,500,000 hours. From what I know, MTBF is mean time between failures, I think. So it basically means the average amount of time that a drive will last before the hardware fails, right? That turns out to be like 171 years !
So to me thats a long time- i want to know how can that value be determined, I mean obviously the drive hasn't been tested for 171 years. Is that a calculation based on the average amount of use a SSD would experience compared to the known life of the NAND memory used in the SSD? What MTBF does other SSD drives carry, is it similar in length of time? Is the MTBF a good measuring stick to determine how reliable a SSD will be, if not, what would be the best way to tell that?
as you noticed, these things just came out a couple years ago, so how can they tell something has MTBF is 171years?
Typically what they do is use formulas and estimate. This goes for all electronic hardware not just SSDs.
So how can you then this involves breaking down the unit, then finding the potential points of failure. Then testing those units or groups of units, and use the main parameters of Voltage (or current) and Heat to induce failures.
The formulas for particular electronics failures are geometric, so if you test something like at 200degrees and higher voltage then you can get induce failures in the timeframe of days which then you then can plot backwards to estimate normal failure timeframes.
Throw in statistical analysis for the number of components and the specific types of failures and you end up with a number to put on the box without having to wait 171years. There are IEEE standard practices to get to these nubmers
(A hardware company will still leave units continously running under different testbed conditions as long as the item is in service to continuously refine and get more data from less contrived conditions).
Also, you should most electronics have some redundancy so they can withstand some failures before fatally erroring out.
Google mtbf and i'm sure you'll find some more in depth articles
That being said, if you're worried about your SSD, maybe you should look at your CPU and other components.
In practical terms, the lifespan of a consumer CPU is around 20-30years. If you're overclocking a bit less.
Took a graduate class in digital design failure