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Data Storage Technology

Will 2009 Be the Turning Point For SSDs? 290

Posted by Soulskill
from the year-of-something-on-the-something dept.
Iddo Genuth writes "Since first entering the consumer market about two years ago, solid state drives (SSDs) have improved significantly. While prices remain substantially higher than conventional magnetic storage, it is predicted that in 2009 SSDs will finally make an impact on both the consumer and business markets bringing blazing fast speeds at reasonable prices for the first time — will it finally happen?" It seems likely, as Samsung began mass-producing both 128GB and 256GB SSDs this year. Intel and Micron have also posted recent breakthroughs which will help to bring the technology into the mainstream.
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Will 2009 Be the Turning Point For SSDs?

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  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @06:19AM (#26101481) Homepage
    For laptops at least. There is no reason to not to have an SSD in your laptop.
    • No, they won't (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hanzie (16075) * on Saturday December 13, 2008 @06:37AM (#26101543)
      Money. HDD's will keep getting cheaper. I'm betting on 2010.
      • Re:No, they won't (Score:5, Interesting)

        by bob8766 (1075053) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @07:05AM (#26101641)
        It won't be long before SSD drives are cheaper than conventional drives. An SSD drive is mostly a bunch of memory sandwiched together. A conventional drive has complex precision moving parts with motors, platters, heads, etc. Manufacturing costs on SSDs will be almost nothing when the scales get a bit smaller and they go into mass production.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          "It won't be long before SSD drives are cheaper than conventional drives."

          The current evidence doesn't support this idea. For the next year or two, it looks like shops are adding far more cost to SSD, plus all flash memory chips are far higher cost than HDD costs. (Plus give it 3 or more years and Flash is also likely to be made obsolite).

          Cost per byte of all flash based memory is far higher than cost per byte of all HDD, so HDD will get a lot of the sales.

          For example, (Im just picking example HDD and memor

          • by bunratty (545641)
            You're right. If you need 1 TB of storage, you won't be buying an SSD soon. But if you need only 64 GB or 128 GB, as many desktops and laptops do, the situation is different. Newegg is listing a 64 GB SSD for $140, and many buyers will opt to pay an extra $100 for a faster disk.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by tomhudson (43916)

              You're right. If you need 1 TB of storage, you won't be buying an SSD soon.

              Last I looked, programs were still getting bigger, not smaller. A download of java, eclipse and all the available plugins runs ~2 gigs. That's a serious chunk of real estate out of a 64g SSD, but peanuts for a 500g laptop hd at the same price. Plus, when the disk gets full, you can always pop it out, buy another 500g drive, reinstall your fav. distros' latest release, and you still have all your data intact, and your previous rele

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by DiegoBravo (324012)

                It is true that software is always growing, but the main driver is actually the fast internet speeds that let users to download big video files and/or music or whatever trash. Most people, even programmers, do not download eclipse in a daily basis (nor need to store all the downloaded past versions.)

                BTW, for computing geeks IMHO the big factor is the virtualization facilities that let you quickly install lots of test operating systems and snapshoots.

                I was about to buy a netbook (mini 9) from Dell with Ubunt

      • They will probably keep performing better on the cost/memory scale, but you also have to remember that an HDD is also a fairly expensive piece of equipment. For low capacity requirements, Flash beats HDDs all the way.
        Today, for the price of the cheapest Laptop HDDs, you can get roughly 20-30 GB of Flash (In the form of SD cards).
        Just one or two years ago this would have seemed rediculous.

        • by TheLink (130905)
          "For low capacity requirements, Flash beats HDDs all the way"

          Not all flash. Flash drives are often still very slow for writes. Often a lot slower! There was one hyped drive (fast reads etc) that turned out to only be able to manage 4 write transactions a second! That's TERRIBLE!

          If there were a 128GB flash drive that was really fast for writes (and reads) and cost as much as a 500GB hard drive, and was as reliable, it would really sell.

          Intel is doing something about that. But at the moment it's still early,
      • by Daimanta (1140543)

        "I'm betting on 2010."

        I'm betting on the year of SSDs in the computer will the same as the year of Linux on the desktop!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by theaveng (1243528)

      Riiiight. And the Playstation 4 and Nintendo Wii part 2 will abandon discs in favor of cartridges again. Just our of curiosity I looked-up how much it would cost to replace my standard disk drive:

      300 GB disk drive - I spent $90.

      256 GB solid state - $7,426 to $9,125 online

      Ouch.

      This is why Nintendo 64 and Nintendo DS cartridges never grew larger than 0.3 gigabytes, and why for the Cube and Wii they abandoned the solid state cartridge in favor of discs. Discs are simpler and therefore cheaper.

      • If you want to bring up games you should also bring up the fact that the PSX generation was really the only generation to see any real benefit in cost by using discs. Game prices have already made their way back up to N64 costs. Just because you can save in one area doesn't mean another area won't bring the price back up.

        The reason an N64 cart cost $20-$25 was the fact that Nintendo and their developers were the only ones using them and most games sold in small numbers. SSDs have the ability to potential
        • Only the PSX? You realize that in PURE disk cost not counting actual game development SSD carts would STILL be as expensive or moreso than a PS3 disk?
        • by theaveng (1243528)

          >>>Game prices have already made their way back up to N64 costs.

          No prices have dropped. A $60 DVD in 2008 dollars is only $45 in 1996 dollars, so real cost to the consumer has come down by about fifteen bucks. ----- PLUS I challenge you to build a cartridge ROM that is 8500 megabytes and still only charge sixty dollars for it. It can't be done.

        • by jbolden (176878)

          I'd be a little careful about the 80's comparison. In terms of manufacture costs, for many components looking at the same volumes the costs have actually gone up. What has happened is that the sales volumes have gone up so amazingly that methods and practices which were unthinkable in the 80s are employed today.

          The costs in the 1980s would have been a lot lower if the industry were gearing up for computers in hundreds of millions of households and workplaces that needed to be flipped every 4 years or so.

      • by Entropy98 (1340659) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @07:07AM (#26101653) Homepage

        300 GB disk drive - I spent $90.

        256 GB solid state - $7,426 to $9,125 online

        Ouch.

        This is why Nintendo 64 and Nintendo DS cartridges never grew larger than 0.3 gigabytes, and why for the Cube and Wii they abandoned the solid state cartridge in favor of discs.

        Nintendo cartridges were ROM chips. I don't think they have much relation to SSDs.
        --
          Find your ip address [ipfinding.com]

        • by theaveng (1243528)

          ROM, Flash, Solid State..... it's all still integrated circuitry and more-complicated to build than pressing a disc. Complication drives up manufacturing cost which is why discs will always be cheaper than ICs.

          (Yes I stand behind that statement.)

      • by Mostly a lurker (634878) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @08:05AM (#26101817)

        256 GB solid state - $7,426 to $9,125 online

        When were you looking? I do not dispute that SSDs cost more than regular HDDs, but your quoted prices are way too high. For instance, the OCZ 250GB SSD [newegg.com] costs US$699 (less than a tenth of your lowest price)

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by theaveng (1243528)

          When? About 1 minute prior to posting my message I did a search for costs. I'm glad to see there's now a $700 option, but that's still about ten times more expensive than the $90 disk drive I bought last year.

          Nowadays I can buy a 1000 gigabyte disk drive for around $250. Can I buy a flash solid-state drive for the same cost? No.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by rolfwind (528248)

            Um, you can get a 1TB drive for around $90, your prices are off.
            http://www.pricewatch.com/hard_removable_drives/sata_1tb.htm [pricewatch.com]

            But the analysis also ignoring general trends in SSD.

            • by theaveng (1243528)

              Well the SSD proponents ignore the trend of hard drives.

              I see I can buy a 1 terabyte USB HDD can be bought for $115. Time to upgrade from my 0.3 gig model which is now full.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Dogtanian (588974)
                Disclaimer; I'm not an SSD fanboy- I still prefer the bytes-for-your-buck that traditional HDDs give at present. However, I dislike misleading statements like this:-

                Well the SSD proponents ignore the trend of hard drives.

                On the contrary, you're the one that's selectively ignoring trends. Hard drives certainly continue to grow; I recently noted that there was 18 months between the first 1TB HDD and the first 1.5TB model.

                A 1.5x increase every 18 months sounds good until you consider that flash memory is currently increasing at a rate of at least 2.5x if not fast

            • by theaveng (1243528)

              [corrected version]

              Well the SSD proponents ignore the trend of hard drives. I see I can buy a 1 terabyte USB HDD can be bought for $115. Time to upgrade from my 0.3 [terabyte] model which is now full.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Netsplitter (983360)
            It's not all about the cost per byte. A lot of people are willing to pay that sort of money for the benefits. People already spend big on RAID and fast disks because they need the performance. Others probably want silence and battery life, or resistance to bumps and other movements, and (probably, not sure) lower or more predictable failure rates. Whatever the reason, I'm sure there are plenty of people who will buy them. $700 is "affordable" even though it's a lot of money. And once these early adopters bu
          • by Matt Perry (793115) <perry.matt54NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Saturday December 13, 2008 @02:38PM (#26104539)

            Nowadays I can buy a 1000 gigabyte disk drive for around $250.

            Are you posting from the past?

      • -1, Disingenuous (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 13, 2008 @08:08AM (#26101829)

        How many people need (or even have) 250GB+ in their laptops?!

        In capacities from 30-60gb there is overlap in price ranges between SSD and HDD. Below that you can't get an HD drive, but SSD drives are available. SSD pricing has nowhere to go but down. HDD can drop relative prices, but only by adding more and more GB relative to your dollar.

        That will keep HDDs alive for awhile in higher capacity drives, but the low low end is already ruled by SSDs (4GB, 8GB, etc as only options for netbooks). As time goes on SSD will move up from there, out-competing larger and larger capacity HDD until "boom" - they are produced more cheaply per GB regardless of total capacity.

        I think that "boom" mark is sometime in 2010, but certainly the GP's point about laptops stands. Unless you are the rare person who needs a large capacity laptop drive, there is no reason not to have an SSD in your laptop now.

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          I do. and I know a lot of others that do as well.

          • by bunratty (545641)
            Ah, but lots of others do not. And many of them will be buying SSDs instead of hard disks in the next few years.
      • by rolfwind (528248) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @08:24AM (#26101885)

        300 GB disk drive - I spent $90.

        256 GB solid state - $7,426 to $9,125 online

        That's unfair for two reasons:

        -hard drives grew like crazy earlier this decade, but that growth has dramatically slowed lately, with 750GB being the largest in 2006, 1TB early in 2007, and 1.5 late in 2008

        -looking up 256GB solid state disks now is like looking for 2TB regular drives, if you find any, they'll be crazy expensive as they aren't mass produced yet

        -that said, on pricewatch, a 64GB and 128GB ssd is going for $136 and $328 respectively. Not so bad, eh? I suspect SSDs will take over within 5 years on notebooks and spinning platters will become more as a archive

        • by theaveng (1243528)

          Slow??? In 1986 I wanted to buy a 20 megabyte drive (but being a teen, lacked funds). In 2006 I could have bought 750,000 megabytes. That's a growth rate of about 35 gig per year.

          You say in 2008 we can get 1500 gigabytes, so that's a growth rate of 250 gig per year. From 35 gig average to 250 gig average. I call that a "speed up" not a slowdown.

          >>>a 64GB and 128GB ssd is going for $136 and $328

          I still wouldn't buy them. $136 would buy me a nice 500 gig disk drive, and $328 is about how much a

        • -hard drives grew like crazy earlier this decade, but that growth has dramatically slowed lately, with 750GB being the largest in 2006, 1TB early in 2007, and 1.5 late in 2008

          When did they grow much faster than doubling every two years?

      • by daoine_sidhe (619572) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @08:38AM (#26101941)
        You're missing the point. I don't need (or even really want) 250+ GB in my notebook. I'm running an Asus EEE 900A these days. I replaced the internal 4GB mini PCI-E SSD with a 16GB drive manufactured by a company called runcore for about ~$70 shipped. Even this is expense I wouldn't have bothered with except that 4GB is a little too slim, even for me. If I need hundreds of GB of storage, I use a 2.5" USB or my desktop beast at home or at the office.
      • by jbolden (176878)

        As we moved from: 14" -> 8" -> 5 1/4" -> 3 1/2" -> 2 1/2...
        has been a long series of slower hard drives with much larger cost per byte replacing its predecessor.

    • It's the year of SSDs on the desktop.

    • by shirai (42309) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @07:24AM (#26101685) Homepage

      Using an SSD in a desktop is an affordable fantastic upgrade if you configure it like this:

      * A small 32 GB SSD as your main drive for software
      * A larger (perhaps terabyte) hard drive as your data drive
      * Configure My Documents (or your home directory) to the terabyte drive.

      I found a good performing MOBI SSD driving for $220 for 32 GB. My computer boots in 30 seconds from power on. Everything is snappier and starts faster (especially Eclipse) and as a bonus, my data drive is nice and clean.

      As a bonus, OS reinstalls can be done without affecting any of your data because it sits on a separate drive. This wasn't the intended reason for splitting the data but it has a nice organizational side effect.

      Actually, I've only used around 14 GB of space on my SSD but I wanted at least 32 GB so I didn't have to worry about it.

      One thing I did notice though was that writes were slower. The specs on the drive didn't show that to be the case but for some reason my database writes happened at half the speed during my test units. Random reads on the other hand (e.g. bootup and software loading) happen incredibly fast. For this reason, the split between installed software and data makes even more sense since loading software is made mostly of random reads and no writes.

      • by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Saturday December 13, 2008 @08:32AM (#26101919) Homepage

        In the mid 1990s 'disk doubler' programs were popular, compressing data on the fly as it was saved to disk. After a few years, however, disk sizes increased sharply and the relationship between price and disk size is much steeper than linear (a 1Gibyte disk does not cost twice as much as a 500Gibyte disk). So hardly anyone bothers with dynamic compression any more. It is much easier to spend $40 more and get a drive that's twice as big.

        However, with SSDs, even when the price falls, there is still an almost linear relationship between capacity and cost (since to get twice the capacity you need twice as many flash memory chips). And while the transfer speed is fast, it's still not keeping pace with the increase in CPU speeds. Compressing on-disk data with a fast compression scheme such as LZO is often faster than reading or writing to disk uncompressed. With SSDs you need much less complexity in the filesystem to get good performance, since minimizing seek time is no longer as important. Perhaps, then, adding file compression can be done more straightforwardly than the earlier compressed filesystems designed for rotating disks.

        It won't do anything for your movie collection, but for virtual machine images and other bloat we put on our disks nowadays it could make quite a difference.

        • by gabebear (251933) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @08:48AM (#26101991) Homepage Journal
          Disk doublers were much more effective in the 1990s because a lower percentage of the data was already compressed. Disk doublers will do little but add overhead if you are storing movies, music, and pictures. Even some executable code is stored with compression now (JARs come to mind).
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Briareos (21163) *

            Disk doublers were much more effective in the 1990s because a lower percentage of the data was already compressed.

            Not to mention that all modern OSes can do file system compression by themselves nowadays...

            np: Surf City - Canned Food (Surf City)

            • by drsmithy (35869)

              Not to mention that all modern OSes can do file system compression by themselves nowadays...

              What definition of "modern OS" are you using ?

              Windows can, Solaris can, FreeBSD is a maybe.

              OS X cannot. Linux cannot (at least not with any of its mainstream filesystems).

        • In the mid 1990s 'disk doubler' programs were popular, compressing data on the fly as it was saved to disk. After a few years, however, disk sizes increased sharply and the relationship between price and disk size is much steeper than linear (a 1Gibyte disk does not cost twice as much as a 500Gibyte disk). So hardly anyone bothers with dynamic compression any more. It is much easier to spend $40 more and get a drive that's twice as big.

          What's really stopping on disk compression is the fact that the big f
        • Its even easier to do this with Linux, but I'll leave that as an exercise to the reader.

      • My Mac Pro cold boots in 20 sec on a 7200 RPM hard drive. So I would expect that to go down to less than 10 seconds on really fast SSD.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Lumpy (12016)

        Try using 10,000 or 15,000 rpm drives.

        My old XP editing station boots in 17 seconds. My OSX editor boots in 8 (Although the 15,000 rpm SATA drives are expensive as hell, it makes that old G5 faster than hell)

        When SSD can touch the speeds of the 10,000 and 15,000 RPM drives.... I'll pay attention.

      • * Configure My Documents (or your home directory) to the terabyte drive.

        If you are using Windows, that part is a real bitch.

        Sure, you can move My Documents easily to another drive... But not so with the entire profile directory. There are hacks to do it after Windows is installed, but for the most part, they are much too complicated. The "solution" is to do a fresh Windows install with customized settings that will move Documents and Settings off the system drive. However, it's never simple with Microsoft: if you do that, you risk some Windows updates failing, believe it or not

      • Its even easier to do this with Linux, but I'll leave that as an exercise to the reader.

        (other post was mis-parented)

    • by karstux (681641)

      I'd love to have two small, fast SSDs in my desktop in a RAID-0 as a system volume. That should noticeably reduce boot and program startup times.

      As soon as they are not outrageously expensive any more, I'll buy a few...

    • by Cally (10873) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @08:11AM (#26101837) Homepage
      Personally I think 2009's going to be the year of the Linux desktop. Seriously.
    • A 500 GB hard drive that fits into a MacBook can be had for less than £100. For me, the most important thing is storage capacity. If copying takes time, there is a cheap workaround: Waiting. If copying takes space that isn't there, there is no workaround.

      So for me, SSD would have to offer about 500 GB at not more than maybe £160-£170 today to be anywhere near competitive. I don't think it will be competitive in 2009.
    • by popo (107611)

      Speed is the issue here. There will never be a hard drive (especially a laptop hd) which comes close to the speed of a SSD.

      I'm not sure why people feel this is an exclusive choice though. Hybrid systems consisting of both hd's and ssd's could be what we see first.

      Maybe the OS lives on the ssd, etc.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Really? I use laptops in the field to collect 80-200 gigabytes of data at a fast streaming rate.

      Ok I'm using them for HD video capture. Along with the Camera I have the firewire patched in and I am doing a secondary capture to the laptop plus using it at a field monitor/scope to make stationary point recordings perfect.

      SSD would be a mistake for my use. SSD's are a long way away from meeting the speeds of 7200 rpm drives when writing sustained long data transfers.

      So there IS a reason to not have it in m

    • by cliffski (65094)

      I love the idea of SSDs, but mainly that's because I assume they are totally silent, compared with the scratchy noise of a normal drive. However, there are other concerns:

      1) are they going to reduce the heat output of my laptop, or raise it?

      2) are they going to make my laptop lighter or heavier?

      The holy grail for me is a lightweight. quiet laptop that doesn't burn my legs. Do SSDs take us nearer that goal?

      tbh if we could get an O/S that didn't do much disk thrashing all the time, maybe this wouldn't be an i

  • by size8 (1067704) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @06:21AM (#26101487)
    I own an Asus Eee PC, which has a 4GB SSD. I take it with me everywhere and, being a butter-fingered oaf, I tend to drop it everywhere too. If the Eee had a conventional HDD I'm sure it would have given up the ghost long ago. But the Eee bounces along quite happily with no damage to the SSD. Solid state is great, especially for children and folk like me!
  • by Schlemphfer (556732) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @06:34AM (#26101527) Homepage
    Just like the iPods suddenly being introduced as solid state units, things for SSD's will soon pass the threshold where it's suddenly viable for everyone. Only Samsung knows exactly when, but it seems clear that in the next six to eighteen months widespread SSD availability will trickle down from elite systems to mid-range.
    • When SSDs get to the mid-range price they start to look good for archival storage. The lifetime of NAND flash SSD is primarily determined by the number of writes, so they should be great for this purpose.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 13, 2008 @06:34AM (#26101529)

    No no no, people have too big an investment in Windows to switch over to Linu.... what? SSD? Sorry, carry on...

  • Wrong question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Whuffo (1043790) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @06:36AM (#26101537) Homepage Journal
    The question should be "is this the year that SSDs will be price competitive with hard drives?" Until that day comes, SSDs will only sell in small quantities.
    • Re:Wrong question (Score:5, Insightful)

      by imsabbel (611519) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @06:45AM (#26101577)

      You are thinking to monolithical.

      There are two aspects to consider:

      A) Most computers dont need a lot of storage. At least compared to that fact that the smallest HDs now would be 160Gbyte (only one side of one platter used). There is just no way to reduce costs with HD beyond that point, you always get a 20-30$ minimum. While with SSDs, you can scale down very far (a $5 drive would not be impossible).

      B) Tiered Storage will be the future, imho. There is just too much a discripancy between the storage needed for media and for OS/Programms/etc. While i cannot see the first going SSD anytime soon, the latter is already well within reach, if you sensibly seperate.

      • by Znork (31774)

        There is just no way to reduce costs with HD beyond that point

        Well, you can split them and boot machines over PXE/iSCSI and/or virtualize. I'll admit tho, if I hadn't taken the pain to learn and setup such an environment several years ago, today I would most likely have chosen to implement flash based systems for simplicity.

        Tiered Storage will be the future, imho.

        I'd love to see a block-based HSM device-mapper layer. Keep copies of frequently accessed blocks in flash, and migrate stuff in and out as needed.

      • by Jeppe Salvesen (101622) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @07:48AM (#26101759)

        When comparing two computers, consumers go for the one with best numbers most of the time. They have no clue what harddrive throughput is, and even less clue about seek time. Capitalism provides the goods that sell, not the best-engineered goods (unless they sell better.. )

        I bet the worldwide consumerist harddisk space utilization is about 15%, but most people don't realize this. Unless people have magically wised up, we won't see widespread SSD in laptops until they catch up pricewise.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 13, 2008 @07:00AM (#26101623)

      If by "price competitive" you mean "equal $/GB," that day is far off. But if you mean "reasonable size and comparable write speed for less than $200," then that day will come in 2009 or 2010 for a lot of people, since many of us can get by fine with only 128GB.

    • by beh (4759) *

      Agreed - especially given the current economic climate, the price issue will be an even bigger factor than normal... All those people who don't know whether their jobs will still be there at the end of 2009 won't be too likely to spend an extra US$100 or more on something like a smaller SSD over a larger harddrive...

      So, the question is:

      Will 2009 Be the Turning Point For SSDs -- or will we, 12 months from now, see the new post 'Will 2010 Be the Turning Point For SSDs?'...? ;-)

  • by zyrorl (1069964) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @06:42AM (#26101569)
    will come likely before the year of the linux desktop.
  • by Pinchiukas (828697) <pinchiukas@NospAm.gmail.com> on Saturday December 13, 2008 @06:48AM (#26101591) Journal
    ...the year of SSD on the desktop.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm looking for a SSD cache driver for windows. I would like to have a hd-driver for vista which uses another harddisc (SSD) as a cache for other (spinning) harddiscs. My working set (including the OS) is probably below 32GByte, so a fast 64GByte SSD driver should be enough for general use. As I still have a lot of data (around 1TBype) which is only occasioaly used, a caching driver which usses a SSD would be the ideal solution.

    Does anybody know such a software(driver)? I'm willing to pay, no need for open

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by BorgDrone (64343)

      I would like to have a hd-driver for vista which uses another harddisc (SSD) as a cache for other (spinning) harddiscs.

      If only something like that came with the OS [microsoft.com] that would be so convenient.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lumpy (12016)

      Why??

      RAM is far faster. simply pump your system up to 4-16 Gigs of ram and call it done. Why do you want a kludge like a second drive?

  • by DynaSoar (714234) on Saturday December 13, 2008 @09:20AM (#26102127) Journal

    When the helical fluorescent tubes that screw into regular lamp sockets came out, they were a flop. They cost $15 to $20. Despite being longer lasting than the equivalent dollar amount of incandescent bulbs, people didn't see them as a significant improvement. In one study group, a subject gave a remark that summed up their reticence: "This solves a problem I don't have."

    So it is with SSD. It'll have to be enough cheaper than magentic storage and appear to be long lived enough so that people can overcome their unwillingness to switch from something that works just fine. Specs don't matter to the average user. Not getting stuck with an orphan matters far more. That point remains unproven. Thus SSDs do not solve a problem, but present one of their own. If and when both of these change, they'll be accepted.

    • Well, once the CRT started to fade out towards the brand new LCD/TFT era, things moved pretty fast. I remember a classmate had this shiny new 15" TFT back in 98, and in the early 2000 anything other than a TFT was a bit old school.

      Now, that was an object that you clearly get a win with (better sharpness for most part, thinner, better looking) but even if SSD's isn't visible right in front of you, techies will see the advantages once the price is right and switch to it. And techies builds computers for other

      • by DynaSoar (714234)

        Well, once the CRT started to fade out towards the brand new LCD/TFT era, things moved pretty fast. I remember a classmate had this shiny new 15" TFT back in 98, and in the early 2000 anything other than a TFT was a bit old school.

        Now, that was an object that you clearly get a win with (better sharpness for most part, thinner, better looking) but even if SSD's isn't visible right in front of you, techies will see the advantages once the price is right and switch to it. And techies builds computers for other users as well.

        And beside that, laptops are being more and more popular all the time, and those are the ones really advantaging from SSD's.

        Fade out? You haven't gotten a very good overview of what equipment is on desks. CRTs are still sold in large numbers. And they're replaced less often than CPUs. Many people do not see a significant advantage to flat panels; their CRT is still good enough. What may be called "old school" by some is called "mine" by far more. If new machines weren't packed with new monitors (more and more often flat panels) with a significant discount for the package, there'd be far fewer flat panels on desks. THAT is the pr

  • Before 2008, SSDs were too small to use, or more expensive than the rest of your computer combined. In 2008, capacity increased and price dropped to a point where SSDs were a viable option for less than a 50% total system price premium you can now have an SSD that holds the OS, any normal (non-media intensive) apps you use, and a reasonable amount of data (excluding video or massive music/photo collections, which belong on a NAS device anyway.)

    Things will only continue to get better for SSD, but flash m

  • My machines (all laptops/netbooks, I do not like desktops because they eat lots of power and are thus anti-ecological) are now equipped with SSDs for the OS (Debian GNU/Linux [debian.org]) and for non-OS stuff, which is actually very little, I just plug some fast SD or CF memory cards or roomy USB flash drives. I do not use any hard disks anymore, except for a few old machines that I hardly use now or for my servers. Everything works great. I feel as if I am running supercomputers - it's so fast. Just to make sure m
  • Of course, SSD's are too expencive if you need a data storage. But they are much more better suited for laptops (and especially netbooks). I also can imagine desktops with mixed drives -- fast SSD for OS, large conventional HDD for user data.

  • The PC at Walmart.com tops out at $2K.

    Both include an HDTV tuner and Blu-Ray drive, both are fairly muscular "desktop replacements" running 64 Bit Vista.

    The only distinguishing feature of significance is the 26" TouchSmart screen.

    We are going to be seeing many more systems like these and at much lower price points - and the HD media they are designed for will eat up a lot of storage very quickly.

    The geek may be focused on the netbook right now - but it is worth paying attention to what is happening in o

  • They will reserve SSD's for only the most high end of PCs and laptops and then market them as 'extreme' or 'ultralight' and bump the price 2 or 3x times the bottom rung of corresponding devices. It's all about margin. And SSDs will NEVER be retail priced below regular drives until manufacturers decide to stop building regular drives.

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