updated 10:55 am EDT, Wed March 19, 2008
Dell Rebuffs SSD Fail Rate
Dell today denied claims that its solid-state drives were experiencing unusually high failure rates. Although it had not been directly linked to the problem by the Avian Securities analysis and instead had been the implied subject only in follow-up journalist reports, the company has effectively admitted that it was the subject of Avian's research but now claims that the analysis was fundamentally flawed, taking no input from Dell itself.
"The 20 - 30% failure and return rates cited by Avian Securities don't even vaguely resemble what's happening in our business," Dell Chief Blogger Lionel Menchaca said. "It's also true that Avian did not contact us while doing their research. Said another way, it's just not true."
The official instead suggests that the company's internal studies have shown the "vast majority" of SSDs chosen for Dell systems to be more reliable than typical hard disk drives, largely due to the lack of moving parts. Complaints about speed were also purportedly unfounded. First-run SSDs used in Dell systems have often performed at least as well as typical 5,400 RPM notebook drives, while newer Samsung SATA II SSDs often compete with better desktop hard drives, Menchaca added.
While Avian Securities is not known to have responded to Dell's claims as of press time, the message may address a larger concern that SSDs as a whole have been encountering widespread failure rates. Companies such as Apple and Lenovo have begun to depend on SSDs for key products in their computer lines.