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Why a Hard Disk Is a Better Bargain Than an SSD 403

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the did-this-really-need-saying dept.
Lucas123 writes "While solid state disks may be all the rage, what's often being overlooked in the current consumer market hype is that fact that hard disk drive prices are at an all-time low — offering users good performance and massive amounts of capacity for 10 to 30 cents a gigabyte. And in a side by side comparison of overall performance of consumer SSDs and HDDs, it's hard to justify spending 10 times as much for a little more speed."
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Why a Hard Disk Is a Better Bargain Than an SSD

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  • Understatement (Score:4, Informative)

    by zaibazu (976612) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:46AM (#28373131)
    "A little more speed" ? how a bout a lot more speed ? Putting the OS on a quality SSD gave lots of people immense performance gains.
    • Re:Understatement (Score:5, Insightful)

      by initdeep (1073290) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:52AM (#28373237)

      but burst speed measured with HDTach is the only metric that's important when you wish to make your point that traditional rotating platter based hard drives are "nearly as fast" as quality SSD drives.

      seriously.....

      is there anyone by now that HASN'T seen the extensive test by Anandtech that completely DESTROYS this bullshit article?

      All that matters in the real world for HDD performance is Random read and write speeds.
      And the difference in the two is an order of magnitude or more using the very fastest consumer drives (WDVR) and a quality SSD (Intel X-25).

      • Re:Understatement (Score:5, Informative)

        by blitzkrieg3 (995849) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:13AM (#28373565)

        but burst speed measured with HDTach is the only metric that's important when you wish to make your point that traditional rotating platter based hard drives are "nearly as fast" as quality SSD drives.

        seriously.....

        is there anyone by now that HASN'T seen the extensive test by Anandtech that completely DESTROYS this bullshit article?

        All that matters in the real world for HDD performance is Random read and write speeds. And the difference in the two is an order of magnitude or more using the very fastest consumer drives (WDVR) and a quality SSD (Intel X-25).

        The best part is that this isn't even an article, just a random slashdot user musing that SSD's aren't worth it and a review of two of the newest high performance disk drives.

        Or maybe there is a typo and he actually wanted to link to this [computerworld.com] story?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Tx (96709)

        is there anyone by now that HASN'T seen the extensive test by Anandtech that completely DESTROYS this bullshit article?

        Actually, yes, I hadn't seen the bloody article, and would have greatly benefitted from a link, you know, one of those wonders of modern technology whereby you can give a clickable fragment of text that takes a reader directly to the article you are talking about, so they don't have to scratch their heads and wonder WTF you're talking about.

        Having had a quick scan of Anandtech, I guess you

    • Re:Understatement (Score:5, Insightful)

      by StayFrosty (1521445) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:57AM (#28373309)
      This [tomshardware.com] benchmark shows Intel's X25-E SSD beating a 15k Seagate Cheetah SAS drive by over 50MB/s read and 10MB/s write speeds. I'd hardly call this "a little more speed." The SSD seems even better when you figure in the noise and heat generated by the 15k RPM Cheetah.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by cheftw (996831)

        Only an idiot would buy either of those products.

        Or an "irrational consumer" to use the technical term.

        Their price does not justify their benefit. RAID etc.

        Especially in an article about "bargains".

      • Re:Understatement (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:22AM (#28373683) Journal

        While what you are saying is true, how many of the common folk are actually going to need or even be able to notice the difference in their day to day tasks? I build and repair PCs for a living, and you know what I hear time and time again from my customers on the new AMD 7550 and Pentium Duals I sell them? "OMG it is just so fast! This is incredible!". You know why? Because CPUs passed ludicrous speed awhile back. If you were to secretly swap their new bottom of the line dual for an octo-core monster I doubt very seriously they notice anything except the fans are loader.

        The same thing has happened with hard drives. Those old 400Mb to 20Gb HDDS were slow as hell, but for today's tasks? The new drives with 16-32Mb and beyond RAM caches are just crazy fast for the jobs folks have for them to do. The only places I see these taking off is in the ultra mobile Netbook and Smartbook space, and of course the gamers who see no problem with shelling out insane money to get another 3-FPS in Crysis. For most folks the HDD ain't the problem, and it hasn't been for awhile. It is the OEMs cheaping out and doing stupid shit like putting a Vista image filled with bloatware on a box with a crappy 512Mb of RAM.

        Of course since all my customers go bragging to all their friends and family how much better anything I build is compared to a Dell (because I refuse to sell anything with less than 2Gb, preferably 4Gb of RAM) I get plenty of business from referrals. Thanks Dell!

        • Re:Understatement (Score:5, Interesting)

          by jon3k (691256) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @11:44AM (#28374875)
          Your logic doesn't track. It is specifically BECAUSE CPUs are so fast that the slow performance of HDD is exacerbated even farther. Hard drives were always the slowest component in PCs, but as RAM and CPUs get faster and faster, without any appreciable difference in HDD speed, the gap grows farther and farther.

          I have a friend who just replaced a single 72GB Raptor (not Velociraptor, but still a 10K RPM SATA HDD with 32MB of cache) with TWO (2) OCZ Vertex 30GB SSDs in RAID0 and let me tell you, the difference in performance is nothing short of staggering (and was with a single drive before he added the second). Solid state drives are the single largest upgrade you can do to any modern PC assembled from parts manufactured in the last 3 years.

          If you haven't seen the difference with the new generation of SSDs (Intel X25-E/M and anything with the Indilinx or Samsung controllers - not JMICRON drives) I seriously encourage you to do yourself a favor and just try one out. You can get a 30GB Vertex for as low as ~$130. Sure, it benchmarks with TWICE the throughput of the fastest consumer HDD on the planet (WD VelociRaptor) but that doesn't really tell you the whole story. It's not just throughput, its the random read speeds and the total silence from the drive that is just absolutely awesome.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by spyrochaete (707033)

          The latest and greatest HDDs are indeed faster than ever before, especially with 32MB of cache, but they're still the biggest bottleneck in the equation. Sequential reads are pretty tolerable with HDD but the seek time is the killer.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Check out the May 08, 2009 ComputerWorld article "Analysis: SSD performance -- is a slowdown inevitable?" written by Lucas Mearian.* Intel's speed is not permanent.

        The recent revelation that Intel Corp.'s consumer-class solid-state disk (SSD) drives suffer from fragmentation that can cause a significant performance degradation raises the question: Do all SSDs slow down with use over time?

        The answer is yes - and every drive manufacturer knows it.

        This is a very interesting article if you are considering SSDs

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by amorsen (7485)

          Anandtech did all the hard work, and all ComputerWorld did was add hype and exaggeration. Read Anandtechs articles, and then you'll know what the SSD slowdown means, and whether it's a good idea for you to pick an SSD for your next drive.

          Anandtech isn't perfect tech journalism, but it's head and shoulders above practically everything else written in English.

    • Alchemy (Score:4, Funny)

      by siloko (1133863) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:00AM (#28373383)

      "A little more speed" ? how a bout a lot more speed ?

      No matter what I do with my Bunsen Burner and Alchemy cookbook I can still only turn my SSD's into a molten pile of useless debris. Which smells.

      Tips for speed production using only harddrive technology would be most welcome.

    • Wrong link... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lucas123 (935744)
      The Slashdot submission is using the wrong article link. A mistake by the submitter: http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9134468 [computerworld.com]
  • Aren't hard disk prices always at an all time low? Have they ever gone up in price?

  • by Goodl (518602) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:49AM (#28373179)
    you would know why you would never ever go back for your boot drive, these things are just so night and day faster. Yes it squeezed my budget till it squeaked to get my Intel x25-m (early adopter) but I'd never have anything else now for boot, my Velociraptor went on Ebay after a week of using it. I'm considering a second for raid0 even though as it is it's fast enough (more for the extra space than speed tbh now they have come down in price). Bulk storage is fine for movies etc, but for the OS space mechanical magnetic disks are a dead dead end to me.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by furby076 (1461805)

      fast enough

      Is that like having too much memory, big enough hard disk? No such thing as fast enough.

  • by langelgjm (860756) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:50AM (#28373197) Journal
    FYI, this is a pretty nifty tool [forre.st] that pulls drive information from Newegg and calculates the best price/size so you can quickly find out the best deal.
    • by stiller (451878) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:19AM (#28373655) Homepage Journal

      I like this one better: http://diskcompare.com/ [diskcompare.com]

      • Thanks, that's fantastic! I didn't realize that a 2TB drive was now available. The prices for 1TB and 1.5TB have really dropped, though it looks like the low priced 1.5TB drive has some issues.

        I purchased a 1TB drive on 10/8/2007 for $329.99. A 1TB drive now costs $74.99. Ouch! That's not even two years.

        On the plus side, in another 1.5 years the price for a 2TB drive should have dropped from $239.00 to under $100. I think that's when I'll be upgrading.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by afidel (530433)
      You're assuming all SSD's are create equal which is FAR from the truth. Most of the really cheap ones use crap chips that can make writes MUCH slower than even normal HDD's. If you buy a decent one you will pay more per GB but you will actually see an advantage vs traditional HDD's, cheap ones can often lose in every category except noise.
  • by MagicMerlin (576324) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:51AM (#28373207)
    From the article: "(Random access was a jaw-dropping 7ms.)" 7ms random access time is not "jaw dropping"...in computer terms it's an aeon. This fascination with sequential read and write speeds has got to stop. A ssd with 40 mb/sec read and write but 0.1ms random access time will fell faster than a 200mb/sec hard drive for a large number of applications. In the enterprise world, random access time is even more important. Performance critical databases run on giant storgage systems with dozens of disks not for storage reasons, but because of limitations of the spinning platter. SSDs stand poised to revolutionize computing by drastically raising the slowest (and most important) component in the computer a couple of orders in magnitude of performance.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ByOhTek (1181381)

      Maybe they meant "jaw-dropping slow"? Even for a rotary drive, that doesn't strike me as terribly impressive.

      As far as latency vs. throughput, which is more important varies by your usage.

      With RAID setups, you'll want lower latency drives, as throughput can be increased with more drives.
      For you OS/application disks, you'll want lower latency, since you are usually dealing with smaller data files.
      For "pure data" disks, throughput may be better, unless you have a lot of simultaneous reads/writes, in which cas

      • by afidel (530433)
        Yep, HP has a 2.5" 15K drive that has a MAX seek latency of 4.85ms, average is 2.58ms.
        • by ByOhTek (1181381)

          That would have the same problem as the solid state - expensive and small size. The HDD I just ordered for my notebook (supposedly) has a 5.5ms seek time.

          I wish this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820609415 [newegg.com] was about 1/5th the price so I could seriously consider it. Still, it's already down from the ~$2100 I first saw it for. I think I'll just hold my breath...

          ^H^H^H^H^H^H NO CARRIER: FATAL USER ERROR

  • Doesn't die.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:51AM (#28373211)
    If I have an SSD in a laptop and I drop the laptop, what are the chances that even if my screen goes splat, my keyboard gets crumbled and the case splits open that my data is still safe? Pretty good. On the other hand, if the same laptop had a hard disk, you are looking at some pretty expensive data recovery plans to get data off of it. Sure, SSDs may have other issues (such as you can only write to a certain sector so many times till it becomes read-only) but with SSDs now and in the future you shouldn't have unpredictable failures like what happens to so many HDs.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by chrismooch (993970)
      You could try NOT dropping it? I've dropped my laptop before, busted the screen, and the hard drive was fine.
    • by jimicus (737525)

      you are looking at some pretty expensive data recovery plans to get data off of it.

      When you find a data recovery company that can recover data from shattered glass platters, let me know.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ByOhTek (1181381)

      It depends - I put some of my laptops through a lot of abuse. The Western Digital and Toshiba drives took some good falls in the notebook (running or not running), and survived without an issue. The Seagates and Fujitsus tended to die if I bumped the thing wrong (well, not quite that bad, but they did die with some fairly small mechanical shock compared to what the WDs and Toshibas survived).

      Yes, a flash drive is more sturdy than any of those, but that is only important if the others are not sufficiently st

  • Define "bargain" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cutie Pi (588366) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:54AM (#28373265)

    I don't think anyone out there is saying that from a $/GB perspective that SSD's are a bargain.

    But here are two key points:

    1) Not everyone needs 1TB of storage (about $100, and practically entry level now for hard drives). Especially on laptops, a $350 32GB SSD (also entry level) can get you quite far, especially if it is reserved for the OS and applications. You can pick up a 32GB SSD for a reasonable price, and get the really good performance, and use a big, cheap HD for media files.

    2) Many people view the extra performance + lower power consumption + greater reliability as worth the premium price, and that makes them a value. Just because they can't compete on a $/GB basis doesn't make them a bargain to some people.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:33AM (#28373825) Journal
      There are, actually, a lot of areas where flash based storage is a bargain(though, they don't tend to be areas where SSDs are used).

      If you quote the cost/gig of magnetic storage based on the price of a basic OEM drive in whatever the sweet spot happens to be at the time, it looks like an incredible deal. 10 cents/gig seems to be the going number these days. However, that is for a 1TB+ drive. What if you only need 4GB, or 1GB, or 16MB? You can get a 1TB drive for $100; but you can't get a 1GB drive for 10 cents, or even $10. Traditional hard drives have comparatively high fixed costs("fixed" in the "these costs are more or less the same between the lowest capacity and the highest capacity" not in the strict economic sense). The cheapest HDD you can get(new, quantity one, not off the back of Honest Yuri's truck) is $25-$30, no matter how small a drive you want. For roughly the same price, you can get an 8GB flash drive under the same conditions.

      For any application at or under 8GB(a number that is way higher than it used to be, and will probably keep rising) flash is actually cheaper than HDD, because of HDD's high fixed costs. Not to mention all the applications where a full hard drive is undesirable for other reasons. This certainly doesn't include file servers(unless IOPs are a big consideration) and it doesn't yet cover most desktop/laptop scenarios(though it is much closer than it used to be, and it does cover a fair few netbooks); but it does include the overwhelming majority of PMP, appliance, and embedded applications.
  • by bytesex (112972) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:54AM (#28373269) Homepage

    It's also about dropability. And moving parts. And use of Coulomb. And heat.

  • 2.5" or 3.5" ? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:55AM (#28373281)

    Looks like the submitter is mixing up 2.5" HDD and 3.5" HDD.
    SSD is all the rage in the 2.5" segment, not the 3.5" (yet, as they are much much faster than what's described in the article and much more expensive as well).
    I can't fit these very fast 3.5" HDD in my Macbook Pro no matter hard I try.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheP4st (1164315)

      I can't fit these very fast 3.5" HDD in my Macbook Pro no matter hard I try.

      Then you are not using the right tool for the job, try using a hammer.

      Am I naive in now hoping that we won't see that Anonymous Coward fella posting links to goatse and random rantings 24/7 for a while?

  • Wrong article linked (Score:5, Informative)

    by smallshot (1202439) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:57AM (#28373311)
    The article in the link is from July 31, 2008 and has nothing to do with SSDs, but rather a comparison of WD HDDs. I think they meant to link to this one: http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9134468 [computerworld.com] from today (June 18, 2009)
    • by afabbro (33948)

      Geez, do the "editors" do anything here?

      I find it amusing how many people wrote and commented before you pointed this out. Why even bother having articles? All we need are paragraph-sized opinions posted and then people can argue. Administration of the site could be entirely automated. Then again, given how little the "editors" do, perhaps it already is...

  • by Papabryd (592535) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @09:57AM (#28373317) Homepage
    Let me be the first of many to point out this article was posted July 31, 2008, though its central point still stands. Also worth nothing, this article was written before Intel's X-25 SSDs were released which moved the performance bar so high [anandtech.com] that their insane price (~3-4$/GB) started to make sense for the some people.
  • July 2008 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ranson (824789)
    Did anyone bother to take a look at the date of this article? Seems a little outdated given the continuing advancements in disk storage over the past year.
  • Could someone please point out the SSD they compare to in the article?

  • Here is the link to the real article http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9134468 [computerworld.com] considering the one linked from the summary is totally different.
  • by MarchTheMonth (1232442) <MarchTheMonthNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:00AM (#28373389)

    Higher performing parts have always carried a higher price. However, there is a need for higher performance, and clearly the market shows that the demand is there for the price, I'm looking at you servers and computer enthusiasts.

    I have a 300GB velociraptor in my computer, and I have been eye'ing the SSD's for some time, but they just haven't hit the price point for me yet to justify purchasing them yet.

    In fact, I feel like an oddity, I work for a small IT firm, and when I asked my boss why a customer's computer had a raid0 of 250'sGB (where we had to replace them both with a new 500GB) why did he just get a velociraptor in the first place, he simply stated that it was cheaper to get 2 250GB hard drives at $60 than it was to get 1 300GB velociraptor.

    Now, the only thing that may change the landscape from all this is that SSDs are built on silicon, which is subject to Moore's Law, and we've witnessed how cheap thumb drives and other flash media drives are, there's definitely a real possibility that in time SSD's will be faster AND cheaper than HDDs.

  • Wrong article link (Score:5, Informative)

    by crt (44106) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:02AM (#28373419)
    Should have been this article [computerworld.com].
    That said, I don't think anyone claims SSD is better than HDD if your bottleneck is capacity or sequential read speed. However if you do lots of random reads/writes, this line from the comparison says it all:
    OCZ's drive had a random access time of .2 milliseconds; Seagate's 16.9 milliseconds.
    That's an 84X difference.
    • Well said, random reads are an order of magnitude faster. What's interesting is to see the article neglect this mark, when the desktop/laptop computing experience relies most on this exact variable.

      I don't expect enterprise data centers to be using SSD to host my flikr photos any time soon (outside of a few specialized workloads such as database write cache [sun.com]), but the laptop and the solid state disk are a match made in heaven.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Wolfger (96957)
      Would be nice if Slashdot's editors would actually RTFA (or even scan over it) to see if it is what the submitter says it is. It took me all of 15 seconds to say "Hey, this article doesn't mention SSD's at all."

      Then the actual article says the opposite of what the submitter is trying to get us to believe: "if you're downloading video and using multiple applications at the same time, an SSD will give you a very noticeable performance boost"

      ...and I'm guessing the review was written with the same FS on e
    • by Khashishi (775369)

      Basically, you don't have to defrag an SSD. Traditional file allocation schemes assume that sequential access is better, so defrag software tries to order files to land on sequential positions. But in an SSD, there's no need for that.

  • I agree (Score:2, Informative)

    by gweihir (88907)

    I have used a 30GB OCZ for some time now, with one system partition and one for data. I recebtly moved the system part (Windows XP) back to an older 250GB Hitachi drive, with no perceptible speed loss. The data partition holds World of Warcraft and does give a moderate speed gain on startup. It also reduces delay when switching between two WoW instances significantly. But that is about it.

    I think the primary strengths of SSD are still high shock tolerance and low power needs, which makes them ideal for lapt

    • Depending on the RAM quantity in your computer, you're probably seeing a speed boost switching between WoW processes as the used memory from one process is shifted into the pagefile, and vice versa. That performance will definitely be improved.

      You won't see any speed increase on your home system as your file system attempts to be contiguous, which is what disk defragmentation does. You read a file, that file is in sequence on the drive, the spinning platter model works for this. If you tried the same thing
    • by qortra (591818)
      No. I have an OCZ 30GB MLC too, and the read speed is exceptional. OS startup is *fast* on both XP and Ubuntu.

      The write speed is poor (I agree with you there), but that is not the fault of SSDs in general. The problem is that you and I are both cheap and spent only things that HDD have on SSDs is capacity and price.
  • by talldean (1038514) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:11AM (#28373531) Homepage
    You drop them, and they don't break. That seems - for many, including myself - the killer feature. For internal laptop drives, they take less energy, so my laptop lasts longer. And on my laptop, since it's not my primary machine, I don't need an enormous drive. That said, you were right; it's hard justifying extra cost for a small speed bump, but that's a less-than-honest way to phrase this particular choice.
  • Moving parts (Score:4, Interesting)

    by krulgar (250929) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:16AM (#28373611) Homepage

    Read distance measured in microns, magnets, heads, cylinders, normal forces, weight and my favorite, impact functions - all of these seem like great reasons to move to SSD.
    1000 (or more) rewrites is a scary limit for the SSD route, but I like the idea of walking around with my laptop on and not worrying about drive failures (as much).

    Take this for what it's worth, but I was at a conference a couple years ago and the VP of Intel's desktop support division said that 30% of his problems with laptops were solved by requiring folks to wait for the drive to spin down after hibernating/shutdown operations and before shouldering the laptop. Even if the number seems somewhat inflated, it seems like good advice for anyone with a "conventional" hard drive.

  • SSD are also silent, do not warm too much, are resistant to shocks, are smaller...
    This is how you justify the ten-fold increase in price.
  • It was a 120GB HDD or 8GB SSD for the same price. We chose the HDD's and it took about a whole 2 seconds to come to that decision. SSD's might be all the rage in the geeky circles, but 120GB vs. 8GB. The extra performance was not worth it to us over the extra storage.

  • what's often being overlooked in the current consumer market hype is that fact that hard disk drive prices are at an all-time low â" offering users good performance and massive amounts of capacity for 10 to 30 cents a gigabyte.

    Really? People don't know that hard disks offer a capacity/$ value that would shock your grandpa, and that the deal just keeps getting better? I don't believe you. Find me just one of these people. I bet you can't.

  • You don't buy SSDs for a bargain..

    You buy them because it is the one modification you can make in this day and age that will have a dramatic impact on the speed of your computing experience.

    Adding more RAM, stepping up to a faster processor with twice as many cores - yeah, you'll notice those things a bit (especiaslly when multitasking) but if you want to do something that may cust your start up time to a third of what it was, and make it seems like you've turbochraged your machine, for most people an SSD w

  • by blitzkrieg3 (995849) on Thursday June 18, 2009 @10:47AM (#28374033)
    This is some seriously shoddy reporting. Take for example this gem:

    Next I transferred a 1GB folder filled with photos and video files to the drives from a USB drive. Both the SSD and the HDD accomplished the file transfer in about 50 seconds (the Seagate was 2 seconds slower).

    Hmm, interesting that they both performed exactly the same. I would have expected the HDD to be faster transfering sequential data, except they were probably both limited by the transfer rate of the older, generic USB drive you were using. Way to go, you've successfully benchmarked the transfer rate for a USB drive that you weren't even reviewing.

    Or this:

    A lot depends on how you expect to use your computer. If you're a college student writing papers and surfing the Internet for information, the advantages of an SSD are negligible, but if you're downloading video and using multiple applications at the same time, an SSD will give you a very noticeable performance boost, Wong said.

    This is exactly backwards. The college student downloading video will need the extra hard drive space, where the college student writing papers and surfing the internet is going to have a much better experience with storage that performs better under random io workloads. But then again, what college student these days doesn't have an external usb hard drive for all their media?

    They also mention that consumers will likely look for larger storage regardless of the type of underlying technology. But the consumers likely to care are the same as those likely to know the difference between HDD and SDD in the first place. The consumer that doesn't is more likely to make a purchase based on "wow 20 second bootup" and "MS Office starts in a snap, and everything goes faster" than anything else.

    For interactive workloads nothing beats SSD.

  • When I can stick a USB magnetic platter drive that is smaller than my thumb in my pocket and not worry about it breaking into pieces or when I can insert and remove them into my camera/phone, then you can say that traditional drives have caught up with SSD. And as the world goes netbook, netbooks have a lot to gain from compact, robust, low-power, silent storage.

  • I never understood the motivation in spending more for the speed of an SSD drive when a bunch of RAID drives can perform at multiples faster than a single drive. Plus you get the added disk space and redundancy built in.

    have four magnetic drives running on software RAID 10 -- not the 1+0 variety. I get 3x a single drive's read (200MB/s) and about 1.5-2X write. Plus I have a full backup and 2TB of space. The sw kernel module uses less than 5-10% of one cpu on a quad system

    At this time, why not buy ma
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by amoeba1911 (978485)
      Here's the truth about RAIDs: RAID has faster transfer rate, but the access time is just as slow as the slowest hard drive you have in the RAID. When you try to read a file from a specific part of the disk, the disks still have to move the heads to that location and wait for the given part of the plate to spin past the reading head. Whether you have 1 hard drive, or a RAID of 20 hard drives, the time it takes to start reading the given block is identical. However, once you start reading the block, sequentia
  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday June 18, 2009 @12:02PM (#28375141) Homepage Journal
    Back maybe 5 years ago there were articles like this talking about how CRTs still had so much to offer and how they were so cheap and how LCD displays were still new and expensive...

    Somehow I expect this article to have a similarly short shelf life and will look at best amusingly quaint in about 2-3 years when SSDs start getting really price competitive with spinning platters. Probably not cheaper, but close enough that people will be willing to pay the extra for the rather substantial performance improvement.

Theory is gray, but the golden tree of life is green. -- Goethe

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