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Old 18th Jan 2012, 08:39   #1
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Is it time for the hard disk to die?

Hard disks: should their days be numbered?

http://www.bit-tech.net/blog/2012/01...d-disk-to-die/
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 08:55   #2
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HDs will be around for a good while yet, simply due to capacity and price for that capacity.

My gaming PC has a 60GB SSD and a 500GB mechanical drive - I'm using the SSD almost to capacity (due to BF3 install), and the 500GB drive is 2/3 full due to Steam. As such, if I was to move to an SSD only solution, I'd need a 60+512GB setup (320+60 is too small) - a very expensive proposition.

This is without considering other media types. My main workstation has a 120GB SSD for boot, but then has another 8TB of spinning disk space. Add in the 4TB NAS and you start to get the picture. Even if SSDs halved in price, which they will over time, they are still going to be much more expensive than mechanical storage.

From where I sit, an SSD+HD set up is the best possible solution - you get the speed of the SSD when you want it, but can pile your data on to a cheap drive .

SSDs will take over, eventually, but it's going to take a long while to get there, simply due to the sheer capacity of mechanical drives.


EDIT: Saying all that, I can foresee SSD only in laptops in the very near future. We've always been used to lower capacity drives in laptops (they're still only just struggling to hit 1TB, and I remember when 80GB was pretty reasonable), so people will accept a smaller SSD. My MacBook Air has a 256GB drive for starters, which I'm finding is plenty for mobile use.
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 09:06   #3
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Off with there heads!
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 09:09   #4
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Usually, your blog posts are good, Antony, but this one... It does not say anything. It does not add anything to the SSD vs HDD discussion.
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 09:14   #5
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The increasing popularity and ease of use of home NAS systems will help keep traditional spinning disks going for a long time. The enterprise storage sector still use disks extensively for primary storage, backup and archive. Modern storage systems have automatic tiering where your storage array will have a bunch of SSD as tier 1, a bunch of 15K spinners for tier 2 and a massive bunch of SATA for tier 3. Data will be moved up and down the tiers depending on access frequency.

I have 3 ssd's and a 500 GB spinner in my main rig. 64 GB crucial sata 3 for OS and apps, 60 GB OCZ vertex 2 for selected game installs and steammover target, 30 GB corsiar ssd that I use as a fast scratch drive and the big spinner for main data storage.
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 09:43   #6
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My 500GB Steam library will be on mechanical for some time yet. Will possibly get an SSD for my next build.
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 09:45   #7
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Hard Drives will die when SSDs stop dying. Nowhere near stable enough for the price.
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 09:58   #8
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Perhaps the answer lies elsewhere. At present we still require quite a lot of local storage on our systems, keeping HDDs popular. But in a future were cloud computing is far more prevalent an local storage needs are massively reduced then pure SSD devices become more viable. Technically you could do this now if we weren't the performance freaks that most of us on this site are. You could quite easily run Win7 from an SSD and use Google Apps, Flickr, YouTube, Onlive and various other online/cloud solutions and have very little need for local storage.
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 10:05   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countstex View Post
Perhaps the answer lies elsewhere. At present we still require quite a lot of local storage on our systems, keeping HDDs popular. But in a future were cloud computing is far more prevalent an local storage needs are massively reduced then pure SSD devices become more viable. Technically you could do this now if we weren't the performance freaks that most of us on this site are. You could quite easily run Win7 from an SSD and use Google Apps, Flickr, YouTube, Onlive and various other online/cloud solutions and have very little need for local storage.
Quite right, SSD and cloud storage might be viable but now internet connection reliability and bandwidth become the issue, something we lagging on (lag! ) in the UK.
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 10:07   #10
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When I can get a 250GB SSD for 125 euro or less then that will be the day I will move from HDD. SSD's are too expensive at the moment and I am hoping they go low enough in price soon , because I want to have my computer as quiet as possible and my three HDD's are the loudest part of my computer.
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 10:16   #11
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We live in a high definition world, we have ever increasing data storage requirements, and until SSD's can be produced and sold for less than the mechanical equivalent you won't see a massive sea change.
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 10:32   #12
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Sure if you start selling reliable SSD 1TB for $100 but we all know that’s not going to happen for another decade, so no HDD will stick around.
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 10:43   #13
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I'm having great results personally using the z68 chipset and the Smart Response Technology (SSD Caching). Using 640Gb IBM WD and 64Gb M4.
My boot time is fast 34 seconds and my popular games load very fast in comparison to my old system. In worlf of tanks i'm normally the first in to a map and have to wait 20 seconds before the game timer even starts to count down.
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 10:46   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countstex
Perhaps the answer lies elsewhere. At present we still require quite a lot of local storage on our systems, keeping HDDs popular. But in a future were cloud computing is far more prevalent an local storage needs are massively reduced then pure SSD devices become more viable. Technically you could do this now if we weren't the performance freaks that most of us on this site are. You could quite easily run Win7 from an SSD and use Google Apps, Flickr, YouTube, Onlive and various other online/cloud solutions and have very little need for local storage.
Even now, as a 'performance freak', it's more than possible to do basically the same thing with a pure SSD device plus a NAS.
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 11:02   #15
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Off with there heads!
I'll let the sloppy grammar pass and say that was actually pretty amusing :-)
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 11:03   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snootyjim

Even now, as a 'performance freak', it's more than possible to do basically the same thing with a pure SSD device plus a NAS.
Indeed, but then that's HDDs in your NAS right?
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 11:05   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungletron

Quite right, SSD and cloud storage might be viable but now internet connection reliability and bandwidth become the issue, something we lagging on (lag! ) in the UK.
Maybe I'm spoilt being on Virgin (he says the night after a major outage) but I loose internet maybe once per year, and can get up to 100Mbit if I choose to pay for it. I don't, I pay for 10Mbit as that fits my needs. But I could. Internet access would be towards the top of my check list whenever buying a new property to live in.
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 11:07   #18
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I didn't think so, because :

1. SSD still too damn expensive
2. HDD Price is high, but it begin to decline because WD and Seagate factory on thailand now can operate.
3. SSD capacity is still too small compare to HDD capacity.

if manufacture can make an SSD as cheap as HDD, and also have huge capacity (1 TB / 2 TB for example) but 10 times faster than regular HDD, i can say "HDD will die" just like Floppy disk when flash drive take over.
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 11:32   #19
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Interesting cross-comparison but CRT to TFT was more about the means of disposal and waiting for dead pixels to stop being an issue - now you only have to worry about them if a flat screen's damaged in transit compared to when they launched, and only the IPS screens are expensive anymore, but it's taken a good decade.

SSD? Not quite yet. We'll have to wait for April to see what the HDD supply chain looks like, but the floods might still put the kibosh on the traditional price crash for Easter unless production's fully restored by then. Whenever it recovers, you know they'll sell stackloads, can't wait to get back to WD.
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Old 18th Jan 2012, 12:04   #20
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My boot drive is a Seagate 7200.12 500GB disk - 235GiB used (that's just Program Files, Windows and Games). About 50% full. (All UserData - Docs/Pictures/Music/Videos/PST - points to a 2TB drive. Pr0n has a dedicated 1TB drive. Backups, copies of large redistributables, installers and disk images that I would not want to download again/lose-the-DVD are on another 500GB drive)

However, if I wanted every game I own (I still have a lot of older games that I haven't reinstalled since my last clean wipe of the OS drive) to be readily available and still have some breathing space for future installs, I would want nothing smaller than 360GB.

I remember 10 years ago, when the family computer had a 40GB drive and every time a new game came out, I would have to spend a lot of time figuring out what movies/pr0n to delete, what game to uninstall, what was valuable/expendable etc. I do not want to do that again (even if it means shuffling data between disks as opposed to outright deleting it).

Even when SSDs come down to 1 USD per GB in Q3 of this year (as predicted by lots of people), ~$350 would still be a lot of money for storage for a mild improvement in the user experience.
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