Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Data Storage Hardware

With HDDs On The Ropes, Samsung Predicts SSD Price Collisions As NVMe Takes Over (tomshardware.com) 161

At its Global SSD Summit, Samsung shared its vision of the current state of SSD market and also outlined the future trends. The company noted that SSDs are steadily displacing HDDs in more applications, but NVMe is shaping up to be the dark horse that may put the venerable HDD to rest. From an article on Tom's Hardware: Samsung loves Google, and not just because it probably buys plenty of its SSDs. Samsung outlined its rather intense focus on Google Analytics for marketing purposes last year, and this year it pointed out that recent Google searches for "SSD upgrades" outweighed searches for "CPU upgrades." The historical trend indicates that this wasn't always the case (of course), but with 40 million searches for SSD upgrades this year, it is clear that SSDs are on the move. Performance stagnation in the CPU market is probably to blame here, as well, and we routinely advise readers to spend their hard-earned dollars on GPU and SSD upgrades before the CPU. The cellphone industry has long served as the prime example of an explosive growth market; it grew 19.1% in the last five years alone. SSDs, by contrast, grew 54%, and the steady downward pricing slope is a key factor. The all-important price-per-GB fell from $1.17 in 2012 to a mere $0.36 in 2016 (69% reduction). This is an average value, you can find SSDs for even less on the retail market. The SSD market grew 6x (to 130,000,000) from 2012 to 2016. Samsung's NAND shipments benefit from both the smartphone and SSD industries, and the company presented a chart that highlighted the changing NAND shipment mix. A higher percentage of flash heads into the SSD and Mobile segments every year as the percentage of UFD (USB Flash Drive), cards, and "others" decline.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

With HDDs On The Ropes, Samsung Predicts SSD Price Collisions As NVMe Takes Over

Comments Filter:
  • can they explode like Samsung washing machines and phones? /me ducks
  • NVMe? (Score:5, Informative)

    by grimJester ( 890090 ) on Sunday October 02, 2016 @10:46AM (#52998875)
    Since the summary says nothing about NVMe, here's a Wikipedia link [wikipedia.org]
  • Anal - lytic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Google searches for "SSD upgrades" may outweigh searches for "CPU upgrades" but that would represent a very small segment of the computer buying public. Most storage is acquired with the purchase of a new machine and never changes.

    • Google searches for "SSD upgrades" may outweigh searches for "CPU upgrades" but that would represent a very small segment of the computer buying public. Most storage is acquired with the purchase of a new machine and never changes.

      I think you meant the opposite.

      Almost nobody upgrades their CPUs, but they upgrade or add internal HDDs all the time. CPU sluggish? Either regret installing Windows 10, or but a new computer because the CPU is the computer (in totality, to most people).

      The first thing a typical user dares touch inside the case is RAM. Second is HDD add/replacement. Way down the list is replacing the (GASP!) CPU with a faster one. Yes, it is dead easy, but not everyone in the world is a /. techie.

      • Re: Anal - lytic (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        There are many more technical considerations and issues regarding a CPU upgrade.

      • Re:Anal - lytic (Score:5, Informative)

        by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Sunday October 02, 2016 @11:35AM (#52999063) Journal
        While the overclocking and impecunious-PC-performance-chasing of my misspent youth makes me sad that this is the case; the "CPU upgrade = buy new computer" mentality isn't really all that irrational.

        With laptops; it is effectively mandatory. Even in laptops with socketed CPUs, unless you went out of your way to buy the absolute worst version of a laptop with fairly high end options, you'll find that the fastest socket and TDP compatible CPU upgrade just isn't all that much faster. Plus, if it's a reasonably new laptop, buying the CPU that is a worthwhile upgrade will be pretty expensive; and if it is an old one it'll be cheap; but leave you with a laptop that is showing its age in both specs and wear and tear.

        With desktops; you are also likely to have limited socket-compatible upgrade options, so getting a meaningful CPU boost often means swapping the motherboard as well(unless you started with the lousiest option for a given socket, in which case there might be meaningful improvements to be had); and if you hit the DDR2 to DDR3 or the DDR3 to DDR4 transition you'll need new RAM as well. PSU can probably be reused, unless it is particularly grim; and expansion cards, HDDs, optical drives, and case can be reused; but bumping the CPU speed in any serious way tends to mean ripping out most of the expensive parts(unless your GPU is fancy enough to count as the really expensive part of the system).

        An SSD, by contrast, is an easy swap except on laptops that really hate you; and even on ancient systems limited to 1.5Gb/s SATA, the improvement in latency and IOPs over a mechanical drive is pretty dramatic; plus compatibility is almost universal unless your system is so old that you still have PATA; or you want to boot from an NVMe device.
        • I will replace a hdd when the ssd comes in a usb case so I can first boot from the ssd. It should have a Linux OS which would first clone the hdd. Than I would swap the hdd with the ssd. After booting again my computer should be exactly the same as it was before the ssd. There are clone programs that will not clone a larger hdd to a smaller ssd. Since ssd have usually less memory, it is hard to clone a hdd to them. After upgrading to a ssd, I should have a faster computer and a external hdd to store a

          • They don't necessarily offer the best value; since bundling leaves room to charge for 'convenience'; but you can get arrangements that are essentially what you describe.

            Something like this Kingston one [amazon.com] gives you a USB enclosure, a copy of some version of Acronis for the data transfer, and the SSD. It's also not uncommon to see packages(especially when aimed at desktop upgrades, since 3.5in HDD USB enclosures are more expensive, being larger and needing a wall wart) where they provide just the imaging sof
        • With desktops; you are also likely to have limited socket-compatible upgrade options, so getting a meaningful CPU boost often means swapping the motherboard as well(unless you started with the lousiest option for a given socket, in which case there might be meaningful improvements to be had)

          This is almost always true with one exception: Xeon CPUs. The best bang for the dollar Xeon CPUs are usually in the $500 range while their high end counterparts are in the $2000 range. Building a dual Xeon workstation with $500 CPUs is painful but, building it with $2000 CPUs is insanity. However, if you wait about 3 years, you'll be able to pick up used $2000 CPUs for $200 on E-Bay. These CPUs are usually still "top 20-ish" on performance and still have many years of life left in them (Do CPUs even di

          • (Do CPUs even die these days?). When I did my upgrade, it was a pretty dramatic difference and, for $400, totally worth it. It extended the life of a really nice machine by several years.

            Historically, CPUs were designed to have a service-life of 40 years.

            That probably changed roughly 10 years ago. They learned from the lightbulb manufacturers to limit the designed-life of the products. For lightbulbs, it was an obvious 'bottom-line enhancer'. But for CPUs, backing off from 40 years made sense, what with all the Moore's Law scaling and such.

            I do not know the current physical-engineering life-time design for CPUs, but I guarantee you that it ain't 40 years. OS companies and software vendo

        • True. I'm waiting for AMD to finally release Zen-based CPUs (and for people to get some experience with them) so I can finally retire my trusty old Phenom II X4. Replacing that CPU wil require a new mainboard, cooler and RAM and I will have to re-examine my PSU as well. And probably swap the case for one with frontal USB-C ports. That's a substantial chunk of my computer right there; all that remains are the GPU, the sound card (yes, I still use one of those), all storage devices and possibly the PSU.

          At t
      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        The first thing a typical user dares touch inside the case is RAM. Second is HDD add/replacement. Way down the list is replacing the (GASP!) CPU with a faster one. Yes, it is dead easy, but not everyone in the world is a /. techie.

        It's supposed to be easy yes... but I absolutely loathe the push-pin design on Intel OEM fans, if you have a tower and move it around a little sooner or later it'll come loose at the top. The AMD Wraith cooler looks super easy to install and secure, but it only works on AMD. Now back plate designs should work on both, but at least when I tried to install a CM212 to replace the OEM fan I must have fucked something because it never booted again. Didn't bother to find out if CPU or mobo or both was fried, bou

        • I've just been pondering this very problem myself. I've got a machine with an i7 950 and a stock Intel cooler. If I get the 8 cores much beyond 2.5G (out of 3.07) it's hitting 75C.

          I've got an older machine I don't use much with a fancy heatpipe ninja cooler, but it's a socket 775; so not only is the hole spacing different, but the mobo to heatspreader height is too.

          So while I hate the little things with a passion, I suspect the reason they don't use bolts is so some clumsy sod doesn't overtighten them.

      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        The "not everyone is a techie" bit applies to ALL items on that list. If someone is willing to upgrade ANY item in their PC then they are probably willing to upgrade anything that can be upgraded.

        You also forgot the GPU. A GPU upgrade can turn an old clunker into a respectable machine again.

        The percentage of people looking to upgrade/replace their hard drive is probably roughly the same as the number of people willing to build it from scratch.

      • besides, by the time you're usually thinkin about getting a faster cpu, your old mainboard would no longer be compatible with a new model. cpu-upgrades usualy don't make sense unless you bought a very weak one on purpose to replace it with a fast model of the same generation later on.
    • Google searches for "SSD upgrades" may outweigh searches for "CPU upgrades" but that would represent a very small segment of the computer buying public. Most storage is acquired with the purchase of a new machine and never changes.

      Nah, Most people don't upgrade anything inside their computer. They replace the computer instead. It's a small segment of computer owners that replace any internal components.

  • HDD price milking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by harvey the nerd ( 582806 ) on Sunday October 02, 2016 @10:50AM (#52998881)
    after the floods of 2011 in Thailand, the HDD market raised prices, consolidated companies to fix prices higher, and has been milking them ever since. Some HDD prices per GB today are almost as low as they were before the rains in 2011...
    • Re:HDD price milking (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rsmith-mac ( 639075 ) on Sunday October 02, 2016 @11:57AM (#52999199)

      The HDD pricing situation pre-flood was unsustainable. Everyone was losing money in a madcap attempt to hold on to their market share and have the other guy go out of business first.

      If not the flood, then something else would have happened to reset prices. The HDD market is still a big market, but you can't make a business of it by losing money. Current prices are (unfortunately) about where they should be for a mature market given the operating costs and SSDs eating into higher profitability high-performance drives.

    • That would be incredible if it weren't complete garbage. The price did spike but it dropped back to below the 2011 prices only a year or two later and did so with a steady fall and no evidence of any price fixing. Prices now are are far cheaper than they were before the floods, and that says nothing about the technology wall that was hit with manufacturing that had to be overcome with a variety of approaches (helium filling, SMR, etc).

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        and that says nothing about the technology wall that was hit with manufacturing that had to be overcome with a variety of approaches (helium filling, SMR, etc).

        Well there's that but the main thing is that SSDs killed all interest in performance. The last HDD I bought was an Seagate Archive 8TB disk, do I care that it's SMR and writes are slow and that it'd be horrible in a RAID? Nope. It's just cheap bulk storage. If that's not enough, SSDs spank them in latency and IOPS so a performance HDD is like trying to tune up a lorry. it'll still be a lousy sports car, if that's what you need.

        • Well there's that but the main thing is that SSDs killed all interest in performance.

          Not at all. There is still development in the performance side. Don't confuse the archive drives from Seagate as a trend of the new. It suffers technology specific setbacks that helium filled storage doesn't have. The reason some companies are looking towards helium? Performance.

          Look beyond the consumer low-end and you'll find performance interest in HDDs alive and well.

        • by Wolfrider ( 856 )

          --With a drive that size (8TB) I hope you are at -least- mirroring it; and if you're not using ZFS or btrfs, you should have several backups *and* checksums on your files. The chances of bitrot and unrecoverable reads on a single spinning disk with that much storage are much greater.

          REF:
          http://arstechnica.com/informa... [arstechnica.com]

          http://www.zdnet.com/article/w... [zdnet.com]

          https://news.ycombinator.com/i... [ycombinator.com]

          • It's SMR, and that is some weird kind of drive. You probably don't want to do clever things, the more clever things you do the more you'll cause write amplification, wholesale moving of large quantities of data. Even writing timestamps in an already written area seems a bad idea? You probably want it as dumb as possible, unless the clever file systems/volume managers etc. have been updated to support SMR drives and allow configurations that pander to them.

            8TB SMR drives might be useful as cheap, glorified b

      • [Citation needed]

    • Average profit margin for all companies [yahoo.com] is about 7%. The average profit margin in the HDD industry pre-floods was about 1.5%. A lot of the HDD vendors were actually losing money.

      There were simply too many HDD manufacturers - every time one cut a deal with a major buyer (like Dell) by offering a lower price, the others felt compelled to do the same just to stay in business. I know people are upset that HDD prices stopped dropping and manufacturers started merging, but it needed to happen. HDD manufact
    • I have been looking at upgrading my 4TB drives I got for my NAS in 2012-2013, and it seems that they price has stayed the same since then. I can get a slightly cheaper pr. TB price with a larger drive, but I was surprised by the lack of cheaper drives as well. :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 02, 2016 @10:52AM (#52998889)

    While SSDs have proven to fail less than HDDs, they have proven more susceptible to data corruption, and the worst part is, you have no idea. And the only remedy appears to be FS like ZFS, which unfortunately decimates performance.

    • Citation? If your ssd is corrupting it has a faulty cache or ram module. Throw it out! Out of 5 ssds I purchased only 1 which was a low end Sansdisk displayed any problems. When it did it was constant as in reinstalling the OS and it would go corrupt a reboot later problem.

      I highly recommend buying a pro grade drive if any geeks here do anything important like SQL work, server storage arrays, or make money money compiling code which would pay for the premium easy in productivity.

      I only use Samsung P

    • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
      ZFS is only bad performance for low end system. Throw 32GiB+ of memory and quad core or more at it and it's faster than nearly all other filesystems out there. It scales.
  • by quarrel ( 194077 ) on Sunday October 02, 2016 @10:55AM (#52998909)

    I've just bought an NVMe m.2 drive for my new desktop, I was blown away by how fast it is.

    It's tiny and super fast - just what a laptop wants too. Looks like a memory stick (well, it is a memory stick!).

    Clocks over 2000 Mb/s easily (once I changed from default drivers).

    I assume their heat/power profile is better too?

    --Q

    • I have an intel 600series nvme 'drive' and it runs hot. sammy will, too. for mounting under mobo, I am worried, tbh.

    • by short ( 66530 )
      By 2000 Mb/s you mean 250MB/s? My old SATA SSD can beat that.
      • Re:NVMe is awesome (Score:5, Informative)

        by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Sunday October 02, 2016 @12:04PM (#52999239)

        No he made a typo. If he just bought an NVMe drive expect it to be at least 2000MB/s if not higher. The whole purpose of going to NVMe was because SATA became a major bottleneck.

      • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
        2000MiB/s is pretty low end. The newest "cheap" drives are reaching 3500MiB/s, which is maxing out the PCIe 3.0 4x slot. They're already working on PCIe 4.0 and and 8x version, which will quadruple the max IO, which should be trivial with future tech.
      • by quarrel ( 194077 )

        Yes, apologies, typo.

        2000 MB/s.

        ie, super fast, by any drive defintion..

        --Q

  • As a Technician in the field for over 20 years now, I can say this from experience... Even with as far as they have come, I STILL wouldn't trust an SSD with an O/S on it, to store so much as my cooking recipes... Too much caching going on. Data loss without RAID on an SSD is simply a matter of time. An HDD, even failed, has a FAR higher likelihood of data recovery, in EVERY scenario I have encountered in my career. Fast Yes. Reliable, No. I can get a raided set of HDD to go 10+ years... I can get a raided s
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Steve, you must be buying Junk SSD's. I have used Intel and Samsung with 0 failures for years. If you want something to read about SSD's you should read this:

      http://techreport.com/review/27909/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-theyre-all-dead

    • Yet Apple has been shipping standard ssd in their laptops for five years with minimal issues and that with them using hfs+ which is a horrible FS.

      So your experience is crap. Modem ssd use
      A variety of tricks including an additional layer to move the writes around to limit the damage you talk about.

    • Wow, my first SSD RAID-0 was I think 2008, with two 60GB OCZ Vertex SSDs. I have yet to have a failure, evolving from that to two 256GB Samsung 830 SSDs, and my system now boots with two 512GB Plextor M8pe NVMe sticks on my Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 5 motherboard. 3+GB/sec, boots in 6 seconds from power button to desktop, apps appear instantly. My data drive is now comprised of two Sandisk Ultra II 960GB SSDs which get around 880MB/sec.

      RAID doesn't always scale the speed (bottlenecks in the RAID hardware/softwa

    • Sounds like projections more than knowledge. At least in my own experience it's the total opposite: my old laptop, my new laptop, my desktop, my partner's old laptop, new laptop and desktop -- they all run the OS and all applications, aside from games, from the SSD, without a single problem. Not one, single corrupted file, let alone a single broken SSD. And the SSDs I use are all from the lowest-end, cheap-as-chips ones.

    • by ledow ( 319597 )

      As an IT Manager for over 15 years, I call bullshit.

      RAID arrays running on drives shouldn't be allowed to approach anywhere near 10 years. You're dangerous. And, anecdotally, I've yet to see a set of drives get through 5 year renewals without at least one failure, and often more (I have replaced about 10 failed server drives out of 100 in various RAID sets this year alone - nothing older than 4 years, and anything older than 2 is in "non-critical" devices). In fact, it's the highest failure rate on hardw

    • I have booting on ssds since 2012 and raid 0 booting since 2013! Only problem I had was a bad low end Sansdisk. I replaced it and all has been good for 2 years.

      Out of 5 ssds only that one sansdisk displayed any problems. I have another raid 0 which I trash 100 gigs of virtual machines and recreate them every 2 weeks for the past 2 years. According to some tools the older Samsung pro 840 in the raid 0 had over 19 TB of data written to it. Still works like a charm :-)

      Sorry I do not buy it ... coming from some

  • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Sunday October 02, 2016 @11:19AM (#52998989)
    Basically Samsung is saying there is no risk of having an SSD price explosion.
  • by magarity ( 164372 ) on Sunday October 02, 2016 @11:27AM (#52999029)

    We asked Samsung why desktop PC penetration is so low

    All the big PC vendors see SSD as a huge markup and thus don't sell anywhere near what they could if they priced more reasonably. Instead of the upgrade to SSD being the retail price of the SSD minus the OEM cost of the HDD, the upgrade option is usually a good margin way over the retail cost of an SSD and never mind the cost of the HDD they would replace it with.

    • Just like all the other add-on components sold by vendors. Want more memory? Add $100. Better video card? Add $250.

      My WTF moment was years ago while I was checking out prices on Apple's web site. $500 dollars extra to upgrade the base video card to a high-end card (on top of the price of the card you weren't getting). Meanwhile, the retail price of the PC version of that high-end card was under $300.

  • by Espectr0 ( 577637 ) on Sunday October 02, 2016 @11:30AM (#52999045) Journal

    Wake me up when a SSD doesn't cost 10 times as much as a HDD for the same capacity.

    Really, common users see a unit that costs 70$ (seagate 2TB 7200RPM) versus one that costs 550$ or more (crucial 2TB SSD, samsung's is 10x the listed HDD price) and they will gladly save their money.

    I bought a crucial 500GB 2 years ago for little over 220$, and today the same drive is about 120$. So they are going down, but as more people adopt SSD, the HDD's price will go down as well.

    • Wake me up when a SSD doesn't cost 10 times as much as a HDD

      ... riiiiing ... HD [amazon.com] SSD [amazon.com].

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Sunday October 02, 2016 @12:26PM (#52999315) Homepage

      Really, common users see a unit that costs 70$ (seagate 2TB 7200RPM) versus one that costs 550$ or more (crucial 2TB SSD, samsung's is 10x the listed HDD price) and they will gladly save their money.

      Assuming the common user actually needs 2TB of storage space and doesn't care about the speed of booting or launching applications. Common users either use streaming services or torrent & delete after watching it, they're not trying to archive the Internet. They snap a few pics and make some funny clips with their phone but they're not photo or videos buffs with ten thousand photos and hours of raw footage to store. And many of them now use the cloud as backup, say what you will but they do. HDDs don't really scale down, you get a 1TB HDD to the price of a 120GB SSD but you can't get a 120GB HDD cheaper.

      I wouldn't buy a machine with only HDD today, I got one laptop that I rarely use that is like that and it runs like a sloth in slow motion. And if you go the HDD+SSD route you're looking at the minimum price of both a HDD and a SSD. I'd say up to 250GB of storage I just wouldn't bother with a HDD anymore, above that I'd get a SDD for the stuff you use often and as big a HDD as you need. And possibly one for local backup, for a common user I wouldn't bother with RAID as software bugs, user error and crypto viruses would destroy all copies. Of course if you're in the geek squad you might have a ZFS storage pool with lots of disks, snapshots and whatnot. Good for you, but you're hardly the common user.

      • Talking about the common Facebook/Gmail/Netflix user on Slashdot? Is that even allowed?
      • by jabuzz ( 182671 )

        I would say up to 500GB of storage don't bother with a hard drive.

        For the rest the right way is a honking big NAS box running 24x7. If I want a file I can get it anywhere I am with varying amounts of performance but my internet connection is 19Mbps up, so it's never that shabby unless I am on some really ropey connection.

      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        My Steam folder is more than 250G and I'm just a Linux user. That's not even getting into anything else I might do on the mundane side like music and photos or home videos.

      • They snap a few pics and make some funny clips with their phone but they're not photo or videos buffs with ten thousand photos and hours of raw footage to store.

        Boy are you out of touch. With every man and their dog being a professional photographer, all the kids playing with drones capturing 4k footage on their go pros, not to mention parents grading their own affection for their newborn child but the number of photos used to document their lives I wouldn't recommend anything less than a 2TB HDD to anyone as the primary storage for a household.

        That's not to say that I suggest it sits in a computer. A small NAS box is cheap, and with idiot proof redundancy and push

        • by Kjella ( 173770 )

          Boy are you out of touch. With every man and their dog being a professional photographer, all the kids playing with drones capturing 4k footage on their go pros

          Facts might help. Here in Norway there's now about ~33k drones among ~2.31 million households or <1.5%. Divide by ~5 million if you want per person. Of those many are fun little plastic toys that might not even have a camera (like one friend of mine) or totally unstabilized and just there for flying FPV and not any serious photos/videos (like mine) and a relatively few that are actually camera drones like my other buddy's DJI Phantom. Given the price for a "serious" drone I'm probably being kind if I say

  • Next Milestone? RAM (Score:4, Interesting)

    by somenickname ( 1270442 ) on Sunday October 02, 2016 @12:38PM (#52999369)

    At some point these things could conceivably reach speeds comparable to RAM. If you think of RAM as mostly a mechanism to hide the latency of the disk then, in the not so distant future, it could become redundant (and even a performance bottleneck). It should be interesting to see what kind of software and hardware paradigms come out of that.

    • If you think of RAM as mostly a mechanism to hide the latency of the disk then, in the not so distant future, it could become redundant (and even a performance bottleneck).

      I also think of RAM as a way to avoid wearing out SSDs.

      • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
        That's won't be true for very long. Several cheap high density non-wearing storage technologies are being worked on to be made commercial. Most are fast as dram and on-volatile, but some are even faster than dram, as fast as L1 cache SRAM, and about 4x the density while being about 1000x more power efficient. Much of this tech is already in limited commercial use and quickly getting cheaper and higher yields.
    • At some point these things could conceivably reach speeds comparable to RAM.

      The "NVM" in "NVMe" stands for non-volatile memory. It's RAM that doesn't lose its data when powered off.

      • Sure, I figured the NVM probably stood for non-volatile memory but, it's still considered a storage medium and not a replacement for traditional RAM. When the line starts to blur between the two things is when we'll have new (and sometimes very old) paradigms starting to appear. I'm actually looking forward to it.

    • by m.dillon ( 147925 ) on Sunday October 02, 2016 @08:29PM (#53001447) Homepage

      Yes, but that is what the XPoint technology is trying to address. The NVMe technology is not designed to operate like ram and the latencies are still very high. Nominal NVMe latency for a random access is 15-30uS. The performance (1.5-3.0 GBytes/sec for normal and 5 GBytes/sec+ for high-end NVMe devices, reading) comes from the multi-queue design allowing many requests to be queued at the same time.

      Very few workloads would be able to attain the required request concurrency to actually max-out a NVMe device. You have to have something like 64-128 random requests outstanding to max-out the bandwidth (fewer for sequential). Server-side services have no problem doing this, but very few consumer apps can take full advantage of it.

      The NVMe design is thus more akin to being a fast storage controller and should not be considered similar to a dynamic ram controller in terms of performance capability.

      Because of the request concurrency required to actually attain the high read capability of a NVMe device, people shouldn't throw away their SATA SSDs just yet. Most SATA SSDs will actually have higher write bandwidth than low-end NVMe devices (particularly small form factor NVMe devices). And for a lot of (particularly consumer) workloads, the NVMe SSD will not be a whole lot faster.

      That said, I really love NVMe, particularly when configured as swap and/or a swap-based disk cache. And I love it even more as a primary filesystem. It's so fast that I've had to redesign numerous code paths in DragonFlyBSD to be able to take full advantage of it. For example, the buffer cache and VM page queue (pageout demon) code was never designed for a data read rate of 5 GBytes/sec. Think about what 5+ GBytes/sec of new file-backed VM pages being instantiated per second does to normal VM page queue algorithms which normally only keep a few hundred megabytes of completely free pages in PG_FREE. The pageout demon couldn't recycle pages fast enough to keep up!

      Its a nice problem to have :-)

      -Matt

      • Yes, but that is what the XPoint technology is trying to address. The NVMe technology is not designed to operate like ram and the latencies are still very high. Nominal NVMe latency for a random access is 15-30uS. The performance (1.5-3.0 GBytes/sec for normal and 5 GBytes/sec+ for high-end NVMe devices, reading) comes from the multi-queue design allowing many requests to be queued at the same time.

        Very few workloads would be able to attain the required request concurrency to actually max-out a NVMe device. You have to have something like 64-128 random requests outstanding to max-out the bandwidth (fewer for sequential). Server-side services have no problem doing this, but very few consumer apps can take full advantage of it.

        The NVMe design is thus more akin to being a fast storage controller and should not be considered similar to a dynamic ram controller in terms of performance capability.

        Because of the request concurrency required to actually attain the high read capability of a NVMe device, people shouldn't throw away their SATA SSDs just yet. Most SATA SSDs will actually have higher write bandwidth than low-end NVMe devices (particularly small form factor NVMe devices). And for a lot of (particularly consumer) workloads, the NVMe SSD will not be a whole lot faster.

        That's very detailed and very interesting information. I didn't realize that the speed was related to how many requests could be queued up. It kind of sounds like these things are actually *a lot* slower than they appear but are very clever in hiding it. It kind of reminds me of when CPUs started getting prefetch instructions and compilers started generating them: You are hiding the latency by anticipating the access pattern.

        That said, I really love NVMe, particularly when configured as swap and/or a swap-based disk cache. And I love it even more as a primary filesystem. It's so fast that I've had to redesign numerous code paths in DragonFlyBSD to be able to take full advantage of it. For example, the buffer cache and VM page queue (pageout demon) code was never designed for a data read rate of 5 GBytes/sec. Think about what 5+ GBytes/sec of new file-backed VM pages being instantiated per second does to normal VM page queue algorithms which normally only keep a few hundred megabytes of completely free pages in PG_FREE. The pageout demon couldn't recycle pages fast enough to keep up!

        Its a nice problem to have :-)

        -Matt

        This is the kind of thing I was talking about in my original post. At some poi

    • I always wondered why all the memory in a computer [outside the CPU die] tended to run at the same speed. Over a decade ago I was talking to a fellow CS student about different speeds of RAM, and asked him why we didn't use expensive RAM for programs and large amounts of cheap RAM for caching and virtual drives. He just looked at me with disdain and said, "There's no such thing as cheap RAM."

      I'm still not convinced that the performance and utility differences of memory and storage will converge.

  • I am pretty sure that anyone here not buying for a datacenter may very well have bought their last HD. I have both in my machine and will probably be able to buy a reasonably priced SSD in the 1T range within a year. Not only will that largely meet my needs but will also reduce the wear and tear on my existing HD, thus prolonging its life.

    And if my machine could only hold one drive, I would only put an SSD in.

    So while the HD is not going to just die, I suspect that like my not having a CD/DVD/BlueRay in
    • I do still use mechanical drives for when I need lots of space, like e.g. in my NAS. On my desktop I've got 2x1TB drives for games and virtual machine - images. SSDs are for the OS and applications, in my use, so no, I'm not moving to SSD-only any time soon.

    • Pretty much. Ever since I built my new PC I experienced the Samsung 850 SSD at 550 MB/s and life was simply not the same.
      Then I upgraded to the Samsung 950 Pro 512 GB (M.2. SSD) and performance went trough the roof with 2543 MB/s read and 1550 MB/s write. Huge games now take seconds to load, not minutes. I then put my "old" Samsung 850 on my 9 year old Quad Core (Q6600) pc, and it blew it away...booting Mint Linux 17.3 in less than 6 seconds, yay!

      Not to mention the total lack of endless disk-trashing. Im
    • by nnull ( 1148259 )
      NAS devices are common place and anyone that needs storage space for their photos, 4k video, professional or not, is going to still buy large HDD's.
  • Well yeah, you generally can't upgrade a CPU, since they change the socket so frequently, or give you a BGA soldered onto the board.
    Maybe go from i3 to i7 within the same CPU generation, but that's about it.

  • They're saying that the cost of a 256GB SSD will cross the price of a 1TB HDD by 2017. Well, OK, so what? 1TB are nowhere near the most cost effective HDDs today, at that's not going to change in the future, and that really means that the 256GB SSD is now only four times the price per gig of the 1TB HDD.

  • I have several 10k rpm drives to push my PC's performance just a little further. The price comparison between these drives and modern SSD is pretty close already. They are already there. Now, if you compare a cheap 7200 rpm drive to a SSD, there should be no surprise that the HDD is cheaper than something completely above its class in terms of speed at this point.
  • by ledow ( 319597 )

    I use a 1Tb SSD in my laptop. It was expensive, but the performance increase was like buying a new laptop. And I'm a lot less wary of jolting the thing or moving it while it's powered on. It's also quite quieter.

    In work, I bought RAM upgrades for every machine. Then we discovered that some were so old they could run 64-bit Windows but the motherboard couldn't boot with more than 4Gb of RAM.

    Instead, we bought dirt-cheap SSDs for those models. If anything, the SSDs made MORE of a difference and make the

    • HDDs still make sense for local bulk storage requirements, where SSDs would not only be much more expensive by comparison, their speed would be largely wasted, since most of the time their job is just to store large amounts of data passively. It's pretty common for small businesses or specialist hobbyists to make use of a NAS with lots of local bulk storage configured in a RAID, then use a cloud-based service as backup. That's how my own home-based business is set up, in fact. Since I need lots of disk s

    • across multiple machines. But I also have 2.5 TB of media, and counting, and have multiple 4 TB drives for that. I don't see that changing for a while given that a 2 TB SSD is ~$650, and I could buy an array of 4+ TB drives for that.

  • by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Sunday October 02, 2016 @04:58PM (#53000651)

    NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory express) is an alternative interface to SATA, PATA, IDE, SCSI that connects via PCI-express. The biggest advantages are that it's much faster and utilizes a common bus, PCIe. The reason this is good is because it means that any existing device with a PCIe bus but no SATA bus have a means of permanent storage that doesn't have to be added to the motherboard. For anyone interested in a libre software/firmware computer, that means one less major component with it's own software stack. Less components and one less cable means less things can fail in your computer resulting more reliable systems. If you're worried about software support, don't be, it's been around for quite a while and is supported by all the major and many minor Operating Systems.

    tl;dr: NVMe is FTW in all ways. SATA is old FAIL.

  • As much as I denied it and thought people were crazy 7 years ago, desktop computing is on the ropes, if not laptop as well.
    Sure SSDs might be finally beating HDDs inside your laptop purchases and some mid to high end Dell / HP desktop purchases but the computing era has changed finally and it's a little sad for the enthusiasts.

    25 years ago, a nice desktop PC was $2000 to $3000, nerdy families might have one
    20 years ago a nice desktop PC was $2000 and you know semi-common for the family
    15 years ago it was $1

    • I agee, had it not been for my interest in video editing, I would not have a desktop PC. I might not even bother to have a NAS anymore. I would just have a small laptop that only would be used when doing taxes or taking panic calls from work when the there's problems the people on duty can't figure out.

      • I also got into editing (images) and using VMs and so on, fiddling, but stopped gaming, my desktop PC is now a regular slimline HP business machine, just with a half decent SSD and 24GB, I get my 3 monitors out with the onboard stuff.

        No need for a huge GPU, I don't have a premium CPU. That being said I do have a NAS and couldn't live without it - but I am still the nerdy demographic I mentioned in my post.
        My NAS has been the best tech thing I've done in years, maybe a decade, should've done it sooner.

  • Yes, NVMe provides some real, quite quantifiable benefits. Provided that everything in the path supports it, there is simply no disadvantage other than cost. But it's not a necessity for SSDs to finish eroding the hard drive market, ultrabooks are doing that just fine by themselves. There is no room for a 2.5" drive, only mSATA or M.2. Even if that M.2 slot is SATA III and not NVMe, it still necessitates an SSD rather than spinning rust. Desktop motherboards are also shipping with M.2 slots on them, and if

  • Ah, not for years yet, at least. Since I've spec'd out a number of servers this year, let me assure you that I can get an 8TB HDD for about the price of a 1TB SSD... if they're even offering SSD's that large; most are 256G or 500G.

    HDDs declared dead, film at 11....

                  mark

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!

Working...