Chia virtual currency forces SSD manufacturers to urgently change their warranty policy and expected durability

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2021-06-07 16:01:53

The Chia cryptocurrency emerged a few months ago and it uses SSDs for mining instead of CPUs or GPUs. Immediately, Chia caused a shortage of SSDs as “miners” rushed to collect them to build mining systems. Of course, this also causes the lifespan of an SSD to decrease rapidly.

To adapt to the new situation, many SSD manufacturers have had to urgently adjust the warranty policy as well as the expected durability of the products they sell. This, invisibly affects even ordinary consumers who do not use SSDs to mine virtual currencies.

Chia virtual currency forces SSD manufacturers to urgently change their warranty policy and expected durability

PNY was the first to introduce the new policy. The company has reduced the estimated endurance for its SSD products. An SSD’s estimated endurance is denoted by Terabytes Written (TBW), which refers to the estimated amount of data that can be written to the SSD during its lifetime. According to the table below, you can see that PNY’s XLR8 CS3030 series of SSDs are reduced by up to 79% TBW.

Product Line Old TBW New TBW Different (%)
250 GB 380 TB 170 TB -55
500 GB 800 TB 170 TB -79
1 TB 1,655 TB 360 TB -78
2 TB 3,115 TB 660 TB -79

Reducing TBW means that users who squeeze out SSDs like cryptocurrency miners will run out of TWB before the 5-year warranty period. This makes them no longer eligible for warranties or other after-sales policies. PNY believes that if users use it normally, the TBW level will still be enough for them to use until the warranty period is over.

PNY’s new policy will only apply to SSDs sold after May 17, 2021.

Another SSD company, GALAXY, also posted a similar warning on its homepage. Although not reducing TBW, GALAXY claims that hard drives that run out of TBW before the warranty period will be able to slow down, be damaged and not enjoy GALAXY’s after-sales policies.

With the strong development of Chia, it is likely that other SSD manufacturers will change their policies according to PNY and GALAXY.

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