Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Data Storage Hardware

SSDs vs. Hard Drives In Value Comparison 263

Posted by kdawson
from the mostly-clear-with-scattered-data dept.
EconolineCrush writes "SSDs hardly offer compelling value on the cost-per-gigabyte basis. But what if one considers performance per dollar? This article takes a closer look at the value proposition offered by today's most common SSDs, mixing raw performance data with each drive's cost, both per gigabyte and as a component of a complete system. A dozen SSD configurations are compared, and results from a collection of mechanical hard drives provide additional context. The data are laid out in detailed scatter plots clearly illustrating the most favorable intersections of price and performance, and you might be surprised to see just how well the SSDs fare versus traditional hard drives. A few of the SSDs offer much better value than their solid-state competitors, too."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

SSDs vs. Hard Drives In Value Comparison

Comments Filter:
  • Typo in summary? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Piete (2687) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @09:28PM (#32820506) Homepage

    It says: "A few of the SSDs offer much better value than their solid-state competitors, too."
    Is that meant to be "SSDs"?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @09:49PM (#32820666)

      Super Star Destroyers are better value?!?!

    • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara...hudson@@@barbara-hudson...com> on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @10:54PM (#32821082) Journal

      A few of the SSDs offer much better value than their solid-state competitors

      Data corruption - it's not just for hard drives any more :-)

    • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @12:50AM (#32821830) Homepage

      The test is very unfair on small SSDs like the Intel X25-V because it doesn't look at overall price, only $/Gb. Hardly anybody is going to install a small SSD as the only drive in a machine. Most people would combine them with a big hard disk so the final score would be a blend of the scores for the SSD and the second hard disk.

      eg. I just rebuilt my machine with an X25-V for the OS and applications. The X25-V gives the machine amazing boot up times and near-instant application load times - way faster then my old Velociraptor. As an overall performance enhancement it's a complete no-brainer for $110.

      For the price of a big SSD you can probably get an X25-V (boot drive) plus a 300Gb Velociraptor (video editing and/or your hardcore games) plus a 1.5Tb HDD (for your torrentz and AVIs). Beat that for price/performance!

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Firethorn (177587)

        The test is very unfair on small SSDs like the Intel X25-V because it doesn't look at overall price, only $/Gb. Hardly anybody is going to install a small SSD as the only drive in a machine. Most people would combine them with a big hard disk so the final score would be a blend of the scores for the SSD and the second hard disk.

        Does it, really? A 'big' X25 @ 160 GB is $2.68/GB vs your 'disadvantaged' 40GB at $2.75. I wouldn't call a 3% price difference major when hard drives are hanging around a tenth of the price of SSD.

        From my personal price checking, while with hard drives the highest non-cutting edge capacity tends to be the cheapest, SSD prices tend to level off very quickly with regards to price.
        From newegg:
        Intel X25-V 40GB 2.5": $110 $2.75
        Intel X25-M 80GB 2.5": $220, $2.75/gb
        Intel X25-M 160GB 2.5": $430 $2.68

        Was going t

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Avtuunaaja (1249076)

          The GP might have missed the point, but you certainly did. Let me put it more bluntly: Comparing the price of an ssd to a disk by $/GB is idiotic, and there is exactly as much point in it as comparing the price of your processor to the price of your ram by $/MB (looking at the size of the cache). His point wasn't that you get better $/GB in a smaller ssd -- it was that the very metric of $/GB is completely and utterly stupid when evaluating the usefulness of an ssd as an upgrade.

          A SSD is not an upgrade that

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by eihab (823648)

            The GP might have missed the point, but you certainly did. Let me put it more bluntly: Comparing the price of an ssd to a disk by $/GB is idiotic.

            I think they missed the point because you did not include a car analogy. Here, let me try to help:

            Comparing the price of an SSD to a rotational hard drive by dollar/GB is akin to comparing a small sedan to a Ferrari based on dollar/mile for all the miles driven over the lifetime of the vehicles.

            Sure, the sedan will cost WAY less and you'll probably drive it more than the Ferrari, but try putting them on the race track and see what happens.

            Obviously you do not buy a Ferrari to commute in (unless you're John

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Krneki (1192201)
          Or just get a RAID. You don't even need the a RAID controller, you can use a software RAID. Combine 2-4 disk together and if you spend the same amount of money, SSD disks can't compete. SSD disks make sense only in laptops (for now), if you have a desktop PC, raid performance still gives you more then any SSD.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Skal Tura (595728)

        The true winner is a RAID of 2Tb WD Caviar Black & WD Raptors here. Get several of them and RAID, you get all the performance benefits of SSDs to a large degree (still failing a bit short on IOPS probably), at fraction of the cost for a large capacity.
        40Gb SSD is still too small for the OS + Apps (w7 ... so gigantic), and honestly: You really want to enjoy the performance for everything you do for a that pile of cash.

        The RealSSD C300 costs 660$ or Corsair Nova 349$. They buy ~6 or ~3, WD 2Tbs. at RAID0

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Spyder (15137)

        Actually, I just built a low voltage ultra-portable notebook using an X25-V (CULV CPU, no optical drive, 8+ hour battery life). I'm running Linux, so my OS load is under 3Gb right now, so a typical quarter to half terabyte drive seems like overkill for a system that only runs productivity apps. I haven't done much battery benchmarking thus far, but the reduction in disk access times has been tangible. For example, even using a low power CPU, my boot times are under 15s to the log in screen.

        Your setup is a g

    • I think they are trying to say that within the SSD category, value varies significantly.
  • Reliability? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRedDuke (1734262) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @09:30PM (#32820522)
    While a pretty comprehensive article, nowhere do they actually talk about reliablity and longevity of these drives in their value calculations. That's a pretty important factor for me, and has been one of the reasons (besides price) that I haven't seriously considered one yet.
    • Re:Reliability? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rm999 (775449) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @09:51PM (#32820684)

      Longevity and reliability are tough to quantify, because for the vast majority of users the median SSD or disk drive will never fail as long as they use it.

      Failures of disks occur at the tail end. Perhaps 10% of disk drives and 1% of SSDs fail over two years, but how do you compare them? Do you say the disk is 9% worse, or 10x worse?

      • Re:Reliability? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Miseph (979059) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @10:24PM (#32820918) Journal

        "Do you say the disk is 9% worse, or 10x worse?"

        Probably depends on which product we're advertising. No, scratch that, it depends ENTIRELY on which product we're advertising.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        because for the vast majority of users the median SSD or disk drive will never fail as long as they use it.

        Bwahaha, right. Have you known many people using SSD's? I do and they have an extremely high failure rate. Currently much higher than the old spinning media. Most last less than 6 months. The oldest SSD I know of lasted 2 years. I know of no SSD that lasted longer than that.

        I'll stick with hard-drives until that improves significantly.

        • Re:Reliability? (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @10:52PM (#32821070)

          IDK, I've got three netbooks with SSDs, one of those died during/after a power-outage (I blame line transients at failure or turn-on, combined with a cheap power-supply and brittle SSD controller design, but I'll never know for sure), none of them have died from old age, and the runcore SSD I replaced that one with is still doing fine as well.

          So I've only got a sample size of 4, ranges from 1 to 2.5 years old (all over your "6 month" average), and 3/4 are still good, and the one that failed was not wear-related -- not scientifically conclusive, but enough that I think you're either full of it, or are comparing semi-disposable media (SD/MMC/MS/CF) which do have alarming failure rates in heavy usage against purpose-built SSDs that seem to be built with better wear-leveling and more spare blocks...

      • The fact that either drive may fail means you have to be able to recover from it perfectly.

        So the only factor is cost: if 10% of disk drives fail, then you should add 10% to your budget plus whatever time you predict spending installing the new drives.

      • Only someone who failed statistics would ask that question. I mean, really?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by itzdandy (183397)

        how do you get 9% worse? 1% of 100 is, well, 1, 10% of 100 is 10, 1:10 is 10X different. 9% worse would be 1.1% return rate. you cant say 10% - 1% is 9%, thats not how it works.

    • Re:Reliability? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by LordKronos (470910) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @09:53PM (#32820698) Homepage

      Thats because the write-cycle limitation is pretty much a moot point these days. Considering the better reliability of flash memory, coupled with better wear leveling, reserved space, etc it takes a hell of a lot of writing to use up that life span. The thing is, drives that are very heavily written to tend to also need tons of storage (such as A/V editing)...much more than would be economical in SSDs. So the systems which would likely have a chance at wearing out an SSD are also usually the systems that cannot realistically use an SSD for data storage. At the moment (current cost of SSDs), the problem sort of solves itself.

      • Re:Reliability? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by beelsebob (529313) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @03:22AM (#32822706)

        What's even better, is that the life span of an SSD is linearly related to it's capacity (because there's more cells to write to, and the write speed remains constant), so as SSDs get to the capacity needed for A/V editing, they'll also get many many many year reliability at that write speed.

        At the moment, good SSDs last ~10 years writing to them at a normal rate (which is tbh, better than most HDDs anyway); many TB ones will last upwards of 40 years, great news :).

      • Re:Reliability? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by h4rm0ny (722443) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @03:54AM (#32822844) Journal

        So the systems which would likely have a chance at wearing out an SSD are also usually the systems that cannot realistically use an SSD for data storage

        What about databases? I have a project based around a PostgreSQL database and it's pretty intensive. The bottleneck on the database's performance remains the disk I/O. A good SSD, I estimate, would provide a very noticeable boost to this. Note the system is about equal parts writing to and reading from (well, about 30/70) which is the worst of all worlds for a database.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Local ID10T (790134)

      While a pretty comprehensive article, nowhere do they actually talk about reliablity and longevity of these drives in their value calculations. That's a pretty important factor for me, and has been one of the reasons (besides price) that I haven't seriously considered one yet.

      Honestly? No.

      I recently replaced a less than 1 year old (failing) HD with a SSD in one of my servers. I expect my HDs to fail. I expect my SSD to fail. I put the SSD in instead of just another HD because it was a (relatively) cheap way to increase the performance of the machine significantly. If it lives for 1 year before failing, its doing better than the HD it replaced -even if it doesn't, the performance boost is worth it.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by TheRedDuke (1734262)
        I honestly don't feel like rebuilding our MySQL server once a year. Or any other server for that matter. And as for value, a good 128GB SSD is $300. For about $200 more, you can get 3 x 150GB Raptors and a $100 Adaptec SATA RAID controller, config it in RAID 5 and get comparable performance, not to mention a little redundancy. The extra initial investement will pay for itself in uptime over the long-term.

        SSDs for expendable client laptops - possibly. For mission-critical servers - hell no.
        • by gullevek (174152)

          I would rather create a raid1 + hotspare for a mysql server. write performance is bad in raid5.

        • Re:Reliability? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Mad Merlin (837387) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @10:50PM (#32821054) Homepage

          And as for value, a good 128GB SSD is $300. For about $200 more, you can get 3 x 150GB Raptors and a $100 Adaptec SATA RAID controller, config it in RAID 5 and get comparable performance, not to mention a little redundancy. The extra initial investement will pay for itself in uptime over the long-term.

          I'm sorry, but you're completely and hopelessly wrong. Spinning rust gets around 100 IOPS, maybe 200 at 15k RPM. The Intel X25-E gets around 10,000 IOPS. Assuming linear speedup (which you won't get anything close to), you'd need 100 rotational drives to come close to the performance of a single X25-E.

          The only performance metric where SSDs and spinning rust are anywhere close is on linear read/write speeds. Sadly, that's of no consequence, because that workload only exists in benchmarks.

          (Also, god help you if you put a database server on RAID 5... goodbye performance! RAID 10 or bust.)

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by scotch (102596)
            Streaming media applications.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by multiplexo (27356)

            (Also, god help you if you put a database server on RAID 5... goodbye performance! RAID 10 or bust.)

            Don't get out much do you? Ten years ago this might have been the case, but with modern storage technology you can run a lot of database loads on RAID-5 with an acceptable level of performance and as a matter of fact I've done so. Indeed the technology has improved so much that when I migrated the Oracle environment at my last job off of a SAN using RAID 1+0 volumes to a SAN using RAID-5 disk access was sti

        • by nxtw (866177) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @11:27PM (#32821304)

          our MySQL server

          3 x 150GB Raptors

          100 Adaptec SATA RAID controller

          RAID 5

          Now you have four problems. Could you Do It Wrong in any more ways?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by multiplexo (27356)

            our MySQL server

            3 x 150GB Raptors

            100 Adaptec SATA RAID controller

            RAID 5

            Now you have four problems. Could you Do It Wrong in any more ways?

            Ooooohhh! Ooohhhh! Oooohh! I could. I'll run it on Vista and directly connect it to the internet. I can haz epic fail yet?

        • by haruchai (17472)

          If you're using the $100 Adaptec SATA RAID controller in your "mission-critical" server, I'm very critical of your mission.
          And, comparable performance - only if your MySQL does a lot of large sequential reads / writes. If it doing mostly small random writes, you're dreaming in Technicolor (TM), if you think performance will be the same.

          And, why not spend the same amount of money on both setups? The extra $200 will probably get you a 256 GB SSD and possibly faster write performance although, as you pointed o

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by afidel (530433)
            I'd rather spend an extra $100 and get 2xSSD's and do software RAID1 across them, since no RAID controller I have benchmarked can keep up with a single Intel X-25e it's best to do software raid anyways =)
        • by Joce640k (829181)

          If you're running a critical database server you could try smaller SSDs in RAID - about the same cost per Gb as a big SSD but you get the redundancy.

        • by Per Wigren (5315)
          Do not ever put a database on RAID-5 or RAID-6! The write performance will be worse than if you had it on a single disk! Always use RAID-10 for databases.
          RAID-5/6 is only for when you need lots of read-mostly storage space and don't care much about write performance.
    • by AHuxley (892839)
      Look up the ones with a 5/3 year warranty.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by timeOday (582209)
      Consider that nobody ever really knew what HDD reliability was, either. Google's 2007 study of HDD reliability [engadget.com] was surprising on many counts. How is that possible with such a mature technology?

      Me, I just go for a good warranty and keep backups.

  • by jafo (11982) * on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @09:32PM (#32820540) Homepage
    I don't know about the cost/benefit for most people, but we're all running SSDs for our laptops now, and it's definitely worth it.

    Once I realized that I could fit on a 64GB SSD comfortably if I didn't keep my ENTIRE photo collection on my laptop, it was a pretty easy decision to make to try them.

    And after some testing, I've decided that it's enough worth it for us that we're all using them. In most cases it isn't a bit noticeable difference. But for some things it really does make a difference, and not having to wait for them is a big gain. The things that are a lot faster are: booting (rarely, but you're entirely "down" while doing it), opening big apps like OpenOffice, re-opening firefox or thunderbird when they flake out, and doing big find/grep jobs. Searching through e-mail and the like? Great.

    For a long time, CPU increases were way outpacing the disc performance gains. We how have CPUs that are faster than most of my staff can really take advantage of on our laptops. But disc performance, even at 7200 RPM, was often the bottleneck.

    So, we've traded volume for performance, and been very happy with it.
    • SSDs absolutely blow spinning rust out of the water on a price/performance basis, even the initial models that cost a grand for <100G of storage. The only problem is that there's a lot of poor quality SSDs out there now that perform badly on random writes. If you balk at the price, you don't need the performance anyways, move along.

      • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @04:15AM (#32822964) Journal

        Why is everyone in this thread suddenly referring to HDDs as "spinning rust". Was there a memo or something?

        I just have this idea that somewhere there is an office where shadowy figures say things like "if you check your schedules for this month, we have 'spinning rust' for HDDs, 'skeptic' is to be replaced with 'denier', we want a active effort to make as many people as possible say 'loose' when they mean 'lose'. And I'm pleased to announce that our year long project to make everyone say 'I could care less' instead of 'couldn't' has been a great success, gentlmen."
    • by QuantumRiff (120817) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @09:52PM (#32820694)

      Were doing the same thing, for a few thousand laptops. 7200 RPM drives in laptops eat batteries, generate heat, and can't keep up with all the background application needed for monitoring, compliance, AV scanning, etc.

      really, at a couple hundred more each (less if you order in quantity) they pay for themselves very quickly if you have a mobile workforce. If you have a 10 minute boot up, and people on the road visiting clients, several times a day, (and standby is disabled because of security concerns with disk encryption) then a 3 minute boot can pay for itself in a few months.

      I was disappointed to not see any Samsung SSD's on the list. They are in a TON of OEM laptops.

      • If you have a 10 minute boot up, and people on the road visiting clients, several times a day, (and standby is disabled because of security concerns with disk encryption) then a 3 minute boot can pay for itself in a few months.

        If your laptops take 10 minutes to boot, you've got much bigger problems...and how is standby a concern with disk encryption? If you wake the machine, you should have to enter a password.

        What are you storing that requires this level of paranoia with so many client visits? Clear

    • by dangitman (862676)

      opening big apps like OpenOffice, re-opening firefox or thunderbird when they flake out,

      This seems like more of a problem with Firefox and Thunderbird than your system configuration. Seriously, why is Firefox so freaking slow and crashy? It's a lot more economical to ditch such bloated software for something that's better, than to replace your HDDs with SSDs.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jayws (1613285)
      Oh dear lord my CULV laptop w/ SSD is wonderful. Feels super fast and I average 7 hours of battery for day to day use. It's great to be able to fully shutdown too and not have to use battery draining standby because the boot is so quick. Forget hibernate, that'll only kill the drive life faster. You really don't need a large drive to run your typical applications off of. I took the 500GB HD that came with the laptop and popped it in an external case for my portable media storage (pictures, videos, etc)
      • by Cimexus (1355033)

        Exactly. Do people seriously need these giant amounts of local storage (1 TB, 2 TB?) on their machines?

        Maybe it's just me but I've never even half filled the 150 GB drive (10000 rpm Velociraptor FWIW) in my main home computer. And that includes all my photos and music, and a couple of large games. The only things that chew up heaps of space are video files (i.e. home movies, downloaded TV shows and stuff), which sit on the uPnP-capable NAS so I can stream them to my TB (which has inside it, two 1 TB 7200rpm

  • Nope. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Sorry, but until I can get an SSD and not have to spend almost the same amount of money again for a drive to store media and games on, no deal. They are just way too expensive per GB, and I'd rather pay for one HDD to get a lot of space than pay for a HDD PLUS an SSD just to get a speed increase with only slightly more space.

    I'm afraid that people jumping big-time on the expensive SSD bandwagon, though, will not encourage makers to decrease prices as fast as if people would have actually smartly waited unt

    • by Eskarel (565631)

      You have a personal preference for single hard drives(which is wrong), and you use that to form your judgement of SSDs. It's not going to be cheaper per GB for SSDs any time soon, platter density on HDDs is still going up and it's not tremendously likely to stop any time soon.

      On the other hand HDD access speeds haven't increased dramatically since 10k rpm drives were introduced to the consumer market which was about 10 years ago. They've played around with cache, and the data transfer abilities off the driv

  • I doubt you would. I have a 40 GB Fujitsu MPG3409AT-E hard disk from 2001 that is still running yet the so called best Seagate Pulsar - the "first enterprise-ready" SSD failed after less than a year of database usage.

    Bottom line: Do not trust SSDs.

    • by Rockoon (1252108)
      Are you sure your head it on straight?

      Based on your claim, it looks to me like the bottom line is not to trust Seagate.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Local ID10T (790134)

      I doubt you would. I have a 40 GB Fujitsu MPG3409AT-E hard disk from 2001 that is still running yet the so called best Seagate Pulsar - the "first enterprise-ready" SSD failed after less than a year of database usage.

      Bottom line: Do not trust SSDs.

      Intensive DB read/write is exactly the use case I decided to go with a SSD for. I replaced a Seagate HD with an Intel SSD. The HD had failed in less than 1 year of use. The SSD noticeably sped up the work of every person in the office. So far so good, but even if it dies in 6 months, it would be worthwhile for my staff.

    • by O('_')O_Bush (1162487) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @10:21PM (#32820892)
      Well good thing we have your exceptionally small sampling size of two total drives (one of each) to make generalizations off of.
      • by DMUTPeregrine (612791) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @01:00AM (#32821898) Journal
        No, it's a fine conclusion. Don't trust SSDs. Don't trust spinning rust. Don't trust your drives, make sure you have redundancy (RAID) and backups. And don't blindly trust your backups, test them first. Then keep a set off-site.
        Now, the implied "don't-trust SSDs, trust rust instead" conclusion is bad.
        • by multiplexo (27356)
          Not only would I employ SSDS in DB intensive tasks I'd also hire DMUTPeregrine (if I were hiring people and not looking for a job myself) because of this statement:

          And don't blindly trust your backups, test them first. Then keep a set off-site.

          I don't know how many horror stories I've heard from people who thought they had backups but never tested their backup system to find out if they can read the data they're backing up. I used to joke that I wasn't a backup administrator, that I was a restore administ

    • by sjwt (161428)

      And im sure we can find dozens of ppl who had the MPG3409AT-E fail within months of buying it.

      Bottom line: one example dose not make a SSD (Soild Statical Debate.)

  • by KonoWatakushi (910213) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @09:50PM (#32820676)

    While most every hard disk supports and respects proper cache flush semantics, SSDs typically trade performance for data integrity. Although it should be a standard feature, very few SSDs include a capacitor to prevent filesystem/data corruption in the event of power loss.

    Unfortunately, the vendors are very secretive about SSD internals, and the algorithms they choose to employ can also have a significant effect on data integrity. At this point in time, there is far too much blind faith required, and many vendors definitely do not deserve it.

    • by Nemilar (173603) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @10:06PM (#32820788) Homepage

      I've seen, and have been able to reproduce reliably, hard disks losing their internal cache data, claiming to have written it to platter when in fact it was not. And I am /not/ talking about battery-backed RAID cache, OS write cache, or anything of that nature; I am speaking specifically of the internal hard disk cache.

      When we figured out what was going on, needless to say we were all a bit shaken. But the lesson is learned: your storage needs to have a battery backup system.

  • by Nemilar (173603) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @10:10PM (#32820828) Homepage

    I think the consumer trend is pretty clear with respect to SSDs (enterprise-level I think is still uncertain). Consumers like the speed and the battery savings (laptops being incredibly popular now) that SSDs provide, but of course there is no way you are going to get the sheer quantity of storage space that you can get with hard disks.

    Consequently, a lot of companies are marketing "home storage servers." I've seen Lenovo, Acer, Asus, etc... all come out with small 4 or 5 bay boxes, usually running Windows Home Server, all aimed at the mid-range consumer market. It makes complete sense to put the platters in a box, where you can keep network-accessible massive storage, and to put the fast, low-power SSD into your client machine.

    The problem arises when you need to access what's on that home NAS while you're out on the road. While I think many people have the upload bandwidth for streaming music, I don't think that exists for video (at least, not in the United States, or at least not where I live). So sites like hulu, etc.. will remain popular in that regard for the time being.

    • by NNKK (218503)

      How is enterprise-level "uncertain"? The performance characteristics of SSDs almost _dictate_ their adoption. A single $250-500 SSD can easily substitute for an array of 15KRPM disks in many applications.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      I think the consumer trend is pretty clear with respect to SSDs (enterprise-level I think is still uncertain). Consumers like the speed and the battery savings (laptops being incredibly popular now) that SSDs provide, but of course there is no way you are going to get the sheer quantity of storage space that you can get with hard disks.

      Storage space isn't a problem when I can attach a 500 GB traditional HDD via USB. What I need it price. Right now a 320 GB 7.2K RPM 2.5" drive costs less then A$100, a 300

  • Value of the switch (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Improv (2467) <pgunn@dachte.org> on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @10:10PM (#32820830) Homepage Journal

    About 5 months ago I bought a $700 250G SSD for my laptop and ditched the spinning disk. The system is overall faster, and for someone who's used HDs since the 286 days and floppies before then, the performance is oddly different (almost always better). The big bonus though is that my laptop takes about 10 seconds to boot (once past the BIOS) while it used to take about a minute. This has changed the way I use my computer, and is enough to justify the swap. I do have a few other systems I occasionally use, and apart from the OLPC XO-1 (which has its own performance characteristics that are different again from anything else I've seen), it's now kind of irritating to use spinning disks and feel those delays again. As the costs go down, I imagine anyone who's tasted SSDs will spread the technology very broadly among their friends.

    • by gad_zuki! (70830)

      I did something similar a few months back. My desktop has an Intel 80gb SSD and my laptop has the 40gb model. Spinning disks now just make me crazy. The lag, noise, poor performance, etc are just unacceptable. Once you gone SSD its tough to go back. The machine feels like an appliance and its incredible how the bottleneck in typical usage isn't RAM or CPU anymore, its the drive.

      Previous to these Intels I tried to save money with the OCZ 60gb model, but it died after a couple of months. Thankfully, it wa

      • by MikeURL (890801)
        I got the Intel X25V when it got down to about $120. I didn't think I'd be able to install much but it turns out that 40 gigabytes can go a long way. After installing Win7, updates, Excel/Word, photoshop, Firefox/Chrome, Utorrent, Security Essentials, Spybot/Malwarebytes, Blackberry Desktop and some other stuff and I still have 21 gig free. Granted I won't be moving my entire movie and music archive to this drive but that is OK (it is already mirrored on 4 HDDs).

        The speed increase wasn't quite as dram
  • I dropped my latitude d620 on the concrete floor my desk sits on, and it crashed the hard drive instantly. For the replacement drive I let a friend convince me to shell out for the SSD. It's amazing. I no longer have to worry about bad sectors, my battery lasts longer, the machine is cooler, it's quieter, and the OS loads in like 5 seconds to usable state with virus scanner etc.

    I have a couple slow terabyte hard drives in my old system I use for a media system/home file server, but for systems I actually

    • by dangitman (862676) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @10:51PM (#32821056)

      I dropped my latitude d620 on the concrete floor my desk sits on, and it crashed the hard drive instantly. For the replacement drive I let a friend convince me to shell out for the SSD. It's amazing. I no longer have to worry about bad sectors, my battery lasts longer, the machine is cooler, it's quieter, and the OS loads in like 5 seconds to usable state with virus scanner etc.

      Have you tried dropping your SSD-equipped laptop onto a concrete floor for a comparison test?

      • by multiplexo (27356)
        Actually for comparison purposes you should also slam your head into a concrete floor from a similar height to see how well wetware performs under those conditions.
  • by StormyWeather (543593) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @10:31PM (#32820954) Homepage

    If your really a budget consumer, and are using the hard drive to get crap done then at the cheapest rate a laptop replacement SSD from newegg is going to cost you like 80 dollars more for a 64 gb SSD than a 500gb hard drive. If your time is worth 50 bucks an hour on the market, and your boot time is reduced by 2.5 minutes your ROI is at break even in around 3 work weeks according to my head math.

    Don't chase dimes with dollars.

    • by rsborg (111459)

      If your time is worth 50 bucks an hour on the market, and your boot time is reduced by 2.5 minutes your ROI is at break even in around 3 work weeks according to my head math.

      Boot times? I daily use windows, mac and linux laptops and workstations and I probably only "boot" every month or so.. suspend/restore is completely rock solid on any OS (hibernate for weekends). Resume from standby on a modern machine only takes 3-5 seconds at most (less on a mac). Windows does require a few more average reboots for

  • It's been obvious to me for a while that drive manufacturers are missing the boat with adding a flash backup area the size of their RAM cache and some caps to give it the ability to save the RAM to flash. This would allow you to return the 'written' status to the OS much faster, _and_ be safe in the event of a power failure.

    For more points, add more flash and smarts and use the flash as a cache for 'hot' portions of the drive.

    • by multiplexo (27356)
      I was thinking about this the other day and wishing that I could get a laptop with tiered storage. Say 4Gb of RAM, 16Gb of flash and then a 500Gb hard drive. Install the OS and your frequently used apps on the flash and use it as the boot volume. Set aside part of the flash as a storage area for your RAM for fast sleep modes. If you did it right you could have a kick ass system.
  • by BagOBones (574735) on Tuesday July 06, 2010 @10:55PM (#32821100)

    We have started to deploy more multimedia intense apps and found most of our 3+ year old laptops where dogs at running them..

    We then did some side by side benchmarks between an old laptop with the HD replaced with an SSD vs a new laptop with a new normal HD. Guess what? In MOST tests the old laptop performed BETTER than the new one, despite the new laptop having a faster CPU and main board...

    Guess what, although they cost WAY more than a new normal HD per GB, they are WAY cheaper than a new laptop!

    • I put a 160 GB Other World Computing SSD in a 2008 MacBook (the slow white one). Totally changed the thing's outlook on life. For routine tasks, it became almost as fast as a MacBook Pro and the battery lasts perhaps 15% longer. It sings and chortles all day long. The little thing got so uppity that I had to put a similar drive in the MBP to keep it from getting jealous. Now they're both screaming around making the Mac Pro look a little long in the tooth. I'm waiting on the 500 GB drive to show up to
    • by multiplexo (27356)

      Guess what, although they cost WAY more than a new normal HD per GB, they are WAY cheaper than a new laptop!

      Boy, the equipment manufacturers are going to hate this. Why buy new gear if you can keep the old gear running for less? In a similar vein at my last job most of the desktop systems were 2.8Ghz to 3.2Ghz Pentiums, 32 bit, single core. The desktop guys found that if you increased the RAM to 4Gb that performance really screamed with XP and that given the choice most of our users would rather have had

  • ...but I think I've heard enough from the existing comments.

    I'm currently working on my Dell m1530, and it feels about as hot as the pan I use to fry eggs. It also doesn't have the best battery life, especially if I'm trying to watch movies or catch up on work while traveling. It sounds like switching to an SSD will help on both of those fronts.

    I just hope that the price of SSDs drops by the time I'm in the market for one. I'm not entirely sure I'd like to drop $400 or $600 in addition to the $1000 for my n

  • Seagate Momentus XT (Score:2, Interesting)

    by markierung (1519449)
    I dropped a Seagate Momentus XT 500 GB in my Macbook Pro for $130 the other day. It has a 4 GB SSD-like swap-space on it and it's totally boss. You don't get the performance of an SSD, but you do get better than average performance for not much more. http://www.anandtech.com/show/3734/seagates-momentus-xt-review-finally-a-good-hybrid-hdd [anandtech.com]
    • by multiplexo (27356)
      I've got a new MacBook Pro (Core I-5) on order and I ordered one of the Momentus drives for it. I'll be interested in seeing where the hybrid drives go. I want speed, but I also like hauling around a bunch of stuff with me, like three or four virtual machines, some movies, music, etc.
  • The minute I found that 100% CPU load with long operations didn't generate heat along with crunching speeds that were doubled from my prior hard drive, it convinced me that I had just become far more productive for my 3D work. It didn't take me long to understand that more speed made me a lot more productive. It was so good, I put 2 SSDs in my i7 Mac Book Pro using MCE's Optibay so I could get the 2nd SSD in the CD/DVD bay (which I never use on the road).
  • silence is golden (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    i dont know about you guys but i dont like the sounds that HDDs make. newer HDDs are much quieter but still audible, so i got a sweet SSD. now my PC runs nicely without moving parts with exception to my media storage HDD drive that spins up when i need it and DVDRW drive when it has media. yep, no fans or water cooling on anything, just silence.

    i love my SSD.

    • by multiplexo (27356)
      Is this going to be like that thing with electric cars being too quiet so they want to require them to make noise so people don't get run over? Will we have to require a certain minimum noise level for hard drive so that your co-workers will know that you're surfing porn and not walk in on you at a potentially embarrassing moment.
  • by multiplexo (27356) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @01:28AM (#32822062) Journal
    high altitude computing. I was reading an article about mountaineers with laptops, when you get up around 15 or 16 thousand feet the air pressure is so low that the Bernoulli effect no longer works properly in your hard drive, so your drive makes lots of nasty noise and is more prone to failure. With SSDs you just have to worry about the lack of oxygen damaging your brain and your internal organs, but not about endangering your data or the performance of your laptop.
    • by Alsee (515537)

      you just have to worry about the lack of oxygen damaging your brain and your internal organs, but not about endangering your data or the performance of your laptop.

      We need to put Slashdot on an encrypted Geeknet.
      We don't want Normals seeing that is how we think.

      -

  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @04:44AM (#32823100)

    The article sounds like an "industry sponsored report" designed to sell more SSDs because, presumably, the manufacturers are not selling as many as they would like to.

    Personally, I don't see what value SSDs bring based on how expensive they are currently:

    1. Reliability? - A responsible computer user will still need to maintain backups of SSDs in the same way that they currently do for hard disks. Sure, the failure rate of SSDs may be lower but, ultimately, every SSD will eventually fail - and because it's a new technology, people do need to be extra vigilant for previously unforeseen problems that may only appear after millions of them have been sold. The price of three hard disks (a mirrored pair and a backup disk) is still far cheaper than one SSD.

    2. Battery life? - I cannot argue with this one except to say it's still cheaper to buy a couple of spare laptop/netbook batteries than it is to buy an SSD.

    3 - Bootup/operational speed - I'd certainly be impatient waiting 5 or 6 minutes for a computer to boot up but I'm not sure my life is that busy that waiting 30 seconds for a hard disk as opposed to 3 seconds for an SSD matters that much to me. In my 30 years computing experience, machine speed comes from avoiding bottlenecks and good OS optimisations - yes, a faster SSD helps with the hard disk speed bottleneck but that still leaves things like the amount of memory, CPU power, OS bloat and fragmentation to consider.

    I'm certainly not dissing SSD, it's a logical progression to the hard disk, but for the current prices of them, there's not enough benefit to me that justifies replacing my hard disks with them.

  • by ewhenn (647989) on Wednesday July 07, 2010 @10:30AM (#32825982)
    Sometimes value isn't practically measured just by numbers/benchmarks. I think this is one of those cases.

    I think personal enjoyment and your user experience trumps data of Performance per dollar from a chart. If updating your PC to use SSD storage signifigantly improves your user experince on a day to day basis, it's probably worth it.

    As an example, what's the difference between a $10 bottle of wine and a $20 one? You could compare alchol levels, etc., but in the end the taste, and palate (ie. user experience) is what matters. Sometimes it's not really possible to put a value on these things using charts and graphs. Your own opinion and what the value is for that convenience/experince is the true measure.

Going the speed of light is bad for your age.

Working...