Puget PC Hardware Reliability Report for 2019-2021

PC with NXZT cooler display
Image credit by Alejandro C via Flickr

Just prior to 2022, PC unit builder extraordinaire Puget Systems has once again released its PC hardware reliability analysis data, to once again remind us that even at the top end of the stack, the probability of failure still exists. And this time, we record the surprisingly “healthy” results from the years 2019-2021.

Once More, Unto the Fire with 11th Gen Intel

Before we get to the raw data, we need to first put out Puget Systems’ own disclaimer for component categories. The report specifically mentions the exclusion of motherboards, due to the sheer number of models and variations even within just three years (Puget says there’s no way to assess them fairly).

Also, we’d like to repeat that the samples are mostly taken from those that are already known to be good and reliable product lines and models. So no, don’t expect the Gigabyte P-P850GM and GP-P750GM to make an appearance here.

Now, onto the graphs.

For the CPU category, the default explanation boils down to heavy quality testing and the lack of moving parts. As such, the percentages remain low. However, if rated only by the number of incidences, the CPU class or product like with the highest rate of failure was Intel’s 11th Gen Rocket Lake CPUs. We’d like to assume it’s the insane power draw and heat generation, and the quality testing itself might have affected the product before it even hit the store shelves. Which is quite sad, seeing that the preceding 10th Gen Comet Lake actually boasts the second best-reliable CPU product line out of all of them.

For the memory category, the highlight of the low failure rate is once again attributed to the lack of moving parts. It’s even more negligible this time around, since any of these statistics could simply be chalked up to manufacturing errors (and therefore can be swapped quite easily). Regardless, the “worst” RAM configuration goes to DDR4 3200Mhz modules, rising at a “whopping” 0.90% failure rate fresh from the retail source itself. Practical use failure rate, oddly enough, seem to top with the ECC version

Now on to the (supposedly) exciting part, GPUs. Unfortunately, the data does not specify the models, but rather the product lines themselves. Nonetheless, the one with the highest failure rate was the Quadro RTX series, with a 6.78% shop failure rate, explained by Puget as caused by the manufacturing issue with the USB-C “VirtuaLink” port on these cards. For field failure rate, both the 3000 series GPUs and Quadro RTX share the same-ish score. Take note that the data specifically mentioned Asus, Gigabyte, EVGA, MSI, and PNY, excluding brands more prominent to other regions like Palit and Colorful.

Here’s one of the most relevant of all hardware for this type of information, storage media. Samsung shows incredible stats as usual, while Western Digital has inevitably joined the ranks of Seagate’s disaster bars. That being said, these numbers are still very low regardless, and wouldn’t really factor into the standard five to the seven-year span of typical PC rigs nowadays. Well, except maybe PC using 870 EVOs/QVOs.

Last but not the least, power supplies. The potential ultimate kaboom of your entire PC probably deserves this data even more than storage media. Too bad though, this data has already excluded all but the top-performing ones, and only pitted them to provide a relative comparison. Still, it is quite interesting that the EVGA SuperNOVA 1600w still managed to get a 0.91% practical failure rate. Ah well, It ain’t much for your decade-old investment anyway, just an interesting blurb of numbers to know.

And the Most Reliable Hardware Award of 2021 Goes to…

Hands down, Samsung SSDs!

Yep, still good as always. Who knew that Samsung’s SSDs still had it after all these years? (/sarcasm) Top-level-only sampling aside, it is quite nice that the exorbitant prices of the popular Samsung SSD models have since then gone down to be somewhat more accessible to us regular PC peons, who can only afford ol’ regular WD Blues and MX500’s.

For the rest of the other components, the Intel Xeon W-2200 series also did very well, and likewise the Founder’s Edition of the RTX 3000 series. All in all though, with the glaring exception of the manufacturing defect of RTX Quadros, there wasn’t really anything too alarming, even for the potentially dangerous PSU category.

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