bit-tech.net

Is it time for the hard disk to die?

Posted on 18th Jan 2012 at 08:36 by Antony Leather with 67 comments

Antony Leather
If you're lucky enough to own a modern SSD, then you'll probably have been quite impressed by how much of a difference it made to every day tasks on your PC.

Compared to hard disks, boot up times are reduced, as are game and application load times, while file transfers can see huge speed boosts. Personally I've found Windows 7 and programs I use regularly such as Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop to be much more responsive too.

All these benefits, of course, point to the fact that hard disks are somewhat of a bottleneck in modern PCs - a fact most of us have known for a while. So why are they still around? Surely if SSDs offer such awesome speed boosts (not to mention the fact they're more robust, quieter and produce less heat) the hard disk should have died a long time ago?

You only have to look at some of bit-tech's early SSD reviews to see how much better SSDs are than hard disks, even back in 2009. For me, I assumed it would be as clear cut as TFTs vs CRT monitors - eight years or so after they began to be popular, you'll now find shelves devoid of CRTs in favour of their smaller, more power efficient successors.

Is it time for the hard disk to die?
Western Digital is just one hard disk manufacturer that's suffered because of the Thai floods.

However, up until the Thai floods, which saw hard disk prices skyrocket by up to 300 per cent in some cases, sales of hard disks were still very strong. 2TB models were available for less than £50 - a fantastic way of boosting home storage capacity, and the newer low-noise models such as Western Digital's Cavier Green range, have proved very popular with owners of NAS boxes, home servers and media PCs.

The crux of the issue is of course, that SSD capacity isn't quite up to scratch. Personally, I couldn't live with an OS drive smaller than 120GB without constantly having to reshuffle data to make sure I don't run out of room. 256GB SSDs are still very expensive so things can get tricky if you regularly deal with lots of large files.

Which invariably means using a hard disk as a secondary drive. This makes sense - affordable 2TB SSDs are still a long way off, so the only real option is to have a hard disk sitting alongside your SSD for all your data, leaving the SSD free for Windows and programs.

Is it time for the hard disk to die?
SSDs are becoming increasingly popular upgrades for laptop owners and are included in many ultrabooks as standard.

However, with hard disk prices going through the roof, the venerable storage device's last area of demand is under threat. Many manufacturers we've spoken to are reporting large increases in SSD sales as people opt for 60GB and 120GB SSDs instead of the usual 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3. Let's face it, the only reason most of us bought the latter was because it was fast - I don't think I used more than 300GB when I used one as my OS drive.

SSD prices have fallen recently too with the price per GB regularly dipping below £1. This has made them even more popular with laptop owners and we've certainly seen just as big improvements from ditching 2.5in hard disks in our laptops as we have 3.5in hard disks in our PCs.

Despite the argument against hard disks, they continue to be by far the cheapest way of storing large amounts of data. The announcement by IBM this week, that it has shrunk the space required to store one memory bit to just 12 atoms wide, is also evidence that the companies that make them are still pushing ahead with R&D.

The future is far from certain then. With SSD prices still nowhere near as cheap per gigabyte as their hard disk counterparts, the Thai floods may not be the final nail in the coffin many of us had expected.

How long do you think hard disks will be around for? If you haven't already bought an SSD because of their price, how cheap would they have to be? Let us know in the forum.

67 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Cei 18th January 2012, 09:55 Quote
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.
User-sam 18th January 2012, 10:06 Quote
Off with there heads!
alpaca 18th January 2012, 10:09 Quote
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.
scott_chegg 18th January 2012, 10:14 Quote
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.
SpAceman 18th January 2012, 10:43 Quote
My 500GB Steam library will be on mechanical for some time yet. Will possibly get an SSD for my next build.
billysielu 18th January 2012, 10:45 Quote
Hard Drives will die when SSDs stop dying. Nowhere near stable enough for the price.
countstex 18th January 2012, 10:58 Quote
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.
Bungletron 18th January 2012, 11:05 Quote
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.

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.
steve30x 18th January 2012, 11:07 Quote
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.
yodasarmpit 18th January 2012, 11:16 Quote
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.
Siwini 18th January 2012, 11:32 Quote
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.
Scarlet0pimp 18th January 2012, 11:43 Quote
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.
Jim 18th January 2012, 11:46 Quote
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.
mclean007 18th January 2012, 12:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by User-sam
Off with there heads!
I'll let the sloppy grammar pass and say that was actually pretty amusing :-)
countstex 18th January 2012, 12:03 Quote
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?
countstex 18th January 2012, 12:05 Quote
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.
Indra EMC 18th January 2012, 12:07 Quote
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.
NethLyn 18th January 2012, 12:32 Quote
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.
theprodigalrebel 18th January 2012, 13:04 Quote
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.
Madness_3d 18th January 2012, 13:46 Quote
I've got SSD's in my Desktop and my Laptop and love them. It's just the instant response and great performance that means I just couldn't go back (I mean I could but I wouldn't choose to). I'm about to take the ODD out of my laptop though to fit the original 500GB HDD back in there. I've got a 120GB Force 3 SSD but because I'm gaming more on the laptop I need the space for lots of games + media.
Niftyrat 18th January 2012, 14:20 Quote
I don't have an SSD and can't justify the cost, boot time is irrelevant (rarely switch them off and if I do I can make a drink while it boots up,) game loading times are not an issue (takes longer to join the server and wait for everyone else generally).
The only benefit is if I got an advantage over other players in game for some reason (presumably caching issues). I am not sure this would justify the extra cost per gb over yet another 2tb mechanical (at normal prices not current)
runbmp 18th January 2012, 14:29 Quote
[QUOTE=snootyjim]
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.

I have a revo drive and it wouldn't replace my HD's for data.

I certainly wouldn't store anything of value on clouds as well to pay bandwidth fees from my ISP.

SSD's seem to fit the need for computers on the go. However any enthusiasts or power users probably still run on HDD for reliability and consistency of its performance.

The PCI-X SSD's might prove worthy... However SSD still has a very long road ahead until it can replace HDD's
Deders 18th January 2012, 14:51 Quote
The small ssd's are great for a system partition, but documents films and music are much better suited to a HDD.
tad2008 18th January 2012, 14:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by billysielu
Hard Drives will die when SSDs stop dying. Nowhere near stable enough for the price.

I think this basically says it all. ;)

Unless the SSD is used simply for reading data and rarely written to but then that means putting your page file over on to a HDD and disabling a number of windows services to stop excessive wear and tear on the SSD.
l3v1ck 18th January 2012, 17:05 Quote
Quote:
affordable 2TB SSDs are still a long way off, so the only real option is to have a hard disk sitting alongside your SSD for all your data, leaving the SSD free for Windows and programs.
That about sums up my feelings towards SSD's and HDD's.
I need a few TB's for all my digital copies of DVD's and CD's etc. Speed doesn't matter for that, but capacity and price do. Hopefully in a few years we'll be able to buy digital full HD films online. That'll need a lot of cheap storage.
alick 18th January 2012, 17:06 Quote
id say about 40p per GB for me to by
and about 5-10p for HDD to die
yassarikhan786 18th January 2012, 17:07 Quote
Not for a long time I'd say.
PingCrosby 18th January 2012, 17:28 Quote
"Is it time for the hard disk to die?", only when they reduce the price of SSD's to a more affordable level, then they'll probably only get used for storage.
dullonien 18th January 2012, 17:41 Quote
I'd love an SSD as my main drive, but can't justify the price just yet, not when the money could be put to better use on upgrading the rest of my ageing system. My Windows 7 install is 180GB, and that's at it's bare minimum as all media and documents are stored on my server, so I'd need a 256GB SSD which I cannot justify when the 500GB drive I have works just fine for the time being.

As for the death of mechanical hard-drives, I don't think that day will come for a long, long time. Space requirements are ever increasing, and it seems mechanical disks will still be king in that department for a long time. When SSD's reach an affordable 2TB, I wouldn't be surprised if mechanical disks were at 20TB etc. It would cost me thousands to replace the 5TB I've got entirely with SSD's.
Waynio 18th January 2012, 18:13 Quote
I'll stick with a 120GB SSD for an OS, once you've used 1 for an OS there is no going back to HDD honestly :D.

But for a big games drive or media & backup drives HDD's still completely eclipse SSD's due to cost but even so I'm trying to wait it out for the HDD cost to come down lower than the equivalent of 25GB Blu-ray discs cost which is £75 which would let me backup 2.3TB of data, something I've been considering & still am :).
Pookeyhead 18th January 2012, 18:56 Quote
Issues of degrading performance, no TRIM in RAID, small capacities, and high price make them a luxury item, and not a necessary one.

I have no SSD drives in my system, and probably won't until they reach a sensible price, and seem a little less fragile.

My system boots in 40 seconds, and Photoshop loads in 4 seconds. I have enough RAM to allow windows to not rely on a swap file, so I fail to see what the huge benefit will be.

Game loading times would be a GREAT reason to have one, but unfortunately, all my games are already on my C: drive along with the OS and I'd need at least a 256GB SSD.. and that would be 80% full.

They're just not practical.

Is the hard drive dead? Of course not! That's a ludicrous thing to suggest. It will be YEARS before SSDs replace hard drives for mass storage... just because SSDs suck at mass storage. Frankly... I fail to see the point of this article/blog.
geoboy333 18th January 2012, 19:13 Quote
I wouldn't say "die". I personally would prefer to see larger capacity at better value from SSDs before I let HDD's take a back seat. I know this is wishful thinking, but if they could make a 500GB SSD for under £160 I would be over the moon and quite willing to say goodbye to the HDD.
MjFrosty 18th January 2012, 19:17 Quote
I run two 120GB Vertex 3s in RAID0 for a boot drive and two 300GB Raptor drivers for large applications... capacity is becoming slightly less of an issue with SSDS now, but it'll be a good 2 years before you see the back of them entirely from the desktop market, and possibly 5 years before they're gone from the server market.
timmehtimmeh 18th January 2012, 20:07 Quote
3TB Caviar Greens are still £150. You can buy data on a HDD at £50 per TB still. Last time I checked my 256GB M4's were around £250 making them roughly £3000 for the equivalent 3TB drive.

£3000 vs £150 - I think the HDD has a long life left ahead of it! Get 2012 out of the way, repair the factories and lets bump it up to 1TB per platter please Seagate and WD for those 5TB drives and beyond that we all want to ram in to our NAS boxes :-)
mystvearn 18th January 2012, 21:26 Quote
Waiting for an affordable SSD with 500 gb then I will change.
kzinti1 18th January 2012, 21:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpaca
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.

My thought, exactly. A quite useless blog. People simply cannot afford to go all ssd. You know that. I know that. We all know that. So why this blog?
On top of that, WD Green hdd's are still quite affordable. I've yet to have any trouble with them.
I bought this drive, a Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARX 2TB 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive, on sale at NewEgg for just $139.99 including free shipping, according to the receipt, 1/05/2012. If people can't afford one of those, then they definitely need to forget all about ever owning a computer. SSD's will never, ever, cost so little for the same capacity.
There's also the ssd/hdd hybrids that are continually being developed and sold. I've used the SilverStone device that melds a small ssd with a regular hdd with quite good results. At first, then after about 2 years the ssd became corrupted. Due to the device or me I'm still not sure.
Please, if you post another blog, have it be about something that's actually relevant. This one is quite worthless.
Lethal 18th January 2012, 22:03 Quote
For me, the number 1 thing I look for in storage is reliability. I'm really fed up of buying something and then it going wrong 6months-12months down the line. Hard drives going wrong are the worst, not only do you lose your data (if you don't back up), you also don't have a pc. If a graphics card goes wrong, you just can't play games for a while. I would like to upgrade to SSD as they are reported as reliable (although is this proven yet? anyone had one go wrong?), but I have yet to find a reasonably priced 500GB SSD. The cost is still just too much, even at under £1 per GB might sound cheap but if you want 500GB that's £500, just for storage (and you probably need two of those for backup?). Even 50p per GB will be too much? £250 for 500GB. You can get double that storage for under £100. Although I suppose you are getting the performance so it does justify it slightly. Maybe they can offer slower SSD with higher storage (with the lower price) to replace the HD and the SSD that are out now for OS and programs. I just hope they keep advancing and the prices keep dropping to make them "common". With these floods, I know its terrible to families and the economy etc but its a chance to say "why bother rebuilding these factories that make outdated HD's, rebuild the factories to make SSD".
3lusive 18th January 2012, 22:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niftyrat
I don't have an SSD and can't justify the cost, boot time is irrelevant (rarely switch them off and if I do I can make a drink while it boots up,) game loading times are not an issue (takes longer to join the server and wait for everyone else generally).
The only benefit is if I got an advantage over other players in game for some reason (presumably caching issues). I am not sure this would justify the extra cost per gb over yet another 2tb mechanical (at normal prices not current)

You say that but until you have experienced an SSD in your system you can't appreciate it. I was sceptical at first but now I'd never go back to a HDD for my boot drive.
XXAOSICXX 19th January 2012, 00:55 Quote
Why the big fuss over decreased boot times?

So, a very-expensive SSD is going to save you....30 seconds a day, since most people only tend to turn it on/off once per day. Hardly seems worth it to me.

As it happens, I don't even shut my PC down...I send it to Sleep (after the Bit Tech article about Sleep-related power consumption being almost zero last year) and my PC takes all of 3 seconds to come out of sleep mode.

Until I can install the games I play the most often *and* my operating system on the same drive and get the reliability and longevity I'm getting out of my Spinpoint drives I won't be wasting my money on SSD.
KayinBlack 19th January 2012, 01:24 Quote
I had an SSD, I could see no improvement. I could, however do without the transported back to the late '90s feeling of shifting things to make them fit. Given the setup I have, with just a single F1 my boot is under 30 seconds (go go enterprise board) and I wait an annoying amount of time on nothing. I'm redoing my storage setup with SAS 15k drives, since I found 36.4GB drives for $9 on Ebay, warranty time left. I have a SAS RAID controller, $72 nets a darn nice nested RAID10 that's big enough for OS/games and FC is dropping every day for REAL storage space.

With opportunities like that, why would I even consider SSDs?
leslie 19th January 2012, 01:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by XXAOSICXX
Why the big fuss over decreased boot times?

So, a very-expensive SSD is going to save you....30 seconds a day, since most people only tend to turn it on/off once per day. Hardly seems worth it to me.

That is based on old ssd's and old boards.

SSD's in the past were limited by Sata2, which is about what most spinners do. That isn't the case anymore with Sata3. You only got the fast boot times because of access times, transfer rate matters less on boot. Now that transfer rate is higher, everything is faster as programs use transfer rate to load larger files faster.

Take a look at this, keep in mind that Sata2 maxes out at 300 and you never get full capacity, which means a Sata3 modern SSD is severely handicapped to an average of around 225 or so.

Crucial M4 (from Storagereview)
2mb sequential read - 497 MB/s
2mb sequential write - 293 MB/s
2mb random read - 461 MB/s
2mb random write - 244 MB/s

Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 3TB fastest spinner (from StorageReview)
2mb sequential read - 153 MB/s
2mb sequential write - 155 MB/s
2mb random read - 60 MB/s
2mb random write - 63 MB/s

Remember, Once you switch the SSD to Sata3, the race is long over, they aren't even close.
cyrilthefish 19th January 2012, 02:00 Quote
I think it's still going depend on the intended usage for quite some time yet.

A casual user might find their entire install fits comfortably on a reasonable sized SSD and also gain great performance from it. For them a SSD is a no-brainer.

Becomes more complex when you start factoring in large game + media installs.
It becomes completely unreasonable to store huge steam installs or audio/video media on SSD... Too expensive and such static files won't benefit much from an SSD anyway (well, for video anyway)

IMHO, if you're tech-inclined enough to cope with a split SSD/HDD setup that is by far the way to go. whether it be a SSD/HDD setup or a SSD/NAS one, i prefer the latter as you can share the NAS part over multiple PCs...
Great for hibernating my PC, retreating to bed, then loading up the same video i was watching on my laptop :)

MY current setup is:
mainPC:
90GB SSD + 1TB RAID1 HDD (my steam + 'random crap' drive)+ NAS share
Laptop:
64GB SSD + NAS share
parents + brothers PCs:
<misc HDD> + NAS share

NAS box has a 2TB RAID5 HDD array

With a gigabit ethernet backbone, the setup works flawlessly :)
leslie 19th January 2012, 02:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrilthefish
I think it's still going depend on the intended usage for quite some time yet.

{cut}

With a gigabit ethernet backbone, the setup works flawlessly :)
Agreed, it does depend some, and my setup is similar.

Desktop has a 120gb Crucial M4
Laptop has an Crucial C300 60Gb SSD with wirelessN 300.
2Tb file server on Gigabit E/N300.
Works fantastic.
Waynio 19th January 2012, 02:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by KayinBlack
I had an SSD, I could see no improvement. I could, however do without the transported back to the late '90s feeling of shifting things to make them fit. Given the setup I have, with just a single F1 my boot is under 30 seconds (go go enterprise board) and I wait an annoying amount of time on nothing. I'm redoing my storage setup with SAS 15k drives, since I found 36.4GB drives for $9 on Ebay, warranty time left. I have a SAS RAID controller, $72 nets a darn nice nested RAID10 that's big enough for OS/games and FC is dropping every day for REAL storage space.

With opportunities like that, why would I even consider SSDs?

That's ok if you have the patience to wait for sweet bargains like that but then again drives like that are noisy, hot & big power draw but if that doesn't bother you then that's great :D.

Many seem to not notice the difference going from hdd to ssd but I absolutely did & so did my bro after tricking him :).

It's not just fast boot times & being 100% ready for action as soon as you hit the desktop, all programs load either instantly or very near instant, personally after getting used to SSD's for a OS & programs drive I absolutely hate operating PC's which are stuck with HDD for the OS & you have to be pretty patient to operate them after having a snappy rig & SSD's make any system snappy so a very worthy upgrade to any rig I'd say I've read of many with older laptops saying it gave it a new lease of life & it really does, they were long overdue with the nice speed of all the other computer components, I wouldn't say it's the rated speeds that make them so snappy I'd say it's the access times, they absolutely blitz HDD's on that but yeah they are way too expensive to use them for a games drive if you have many games, I'd even say it's like comparing the very first tft monitor with huge lag & ghosting to 1 of the best 120hz 2ms monitor but it's better than that even, suppose you have to experience the difference to know why people swear by them to know for sure :D.

I used to buy WD raptor hdd's as they were pretty good back when they were new & I think the prices of those back then are nicely comparable to ssd's of much higher capacity of now so I see them as a bargain to be honest, I remember getting a raptor 74GB for more than what my 120GB SSD cost.

My bro said he didn't notice the difference though so I let him carry on using it for a few weeks with the ssd & then while he was out I did a ghost image so I could restore it later & whipped out the ssd & replaced it with a hdd & he thought his pc was dying :) so I think that says it all really :).
MaXimiZe_89 19th January 2012, 03:12 Quote
Can't see that happening. SSD's are still too expensive and until they get close to the HDD's price per GB ratio then there is no chance HDD's will die.
fluxtatic 19th January 2012, 05:25 Quote
For me, as it is for others, SSDs are still too expensive and I don't entirely trust their reliability. Granted I've had more than one HDD die on me (even a less-than-2-year-old F1 seized, although I managed to fix it), but I don't want to do more clean installs of Windows because I had a boot drive die. For now, I don't trust SSDs to be reliable enough.

HDDs will die once SSDs get down to the same price level. And it's got to be across the board, too - if the Thailand flooding hadn't happened, I'd be able to get a 3TB drive now for around $100, give or take. $100 gets me practically nothing in SSDs. To kzinti1's point - exactly. I got a comparable Samsung 2TB last spring for around $80. SSDs will kill HDDs when there's price parity. Simple as that.
[USRF]Obiwan 19th January 2012, 09:54 Quote
There are is only one things that makes a SSD better then a HDD. And that is speed. All other things like; endurance, reliability, storage space, price and power consumption are (in perspective to the price point) a win for HDD

Then you can ask yourself: "Do I really need this SSD, does it save me money with the stuff I do on my PC and can I do more with it than a HDD?"

The logical right answer is NO.

I had a 120gb SSD (for 343 pounds) in my DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) At the time (late 2009) I thought this was a great way to load audio samples into Contact very very fast. Well it did and was wonderful until I ran out of space evenly fast.

I then had a revelation after a restless sleep and instead bought 16GB of memory and 4 sata 300 1TB drives in raid, almost for the same price as that 120GB SSD. And never looked back...
LordPyrinc 19th January 2012, 09:58 Quote
I'd rather spend the excess money towards a newer video card or more system RAM. Load time decrease does not necessarily equate to game performance. I will stick to HDDs for now until SSDs are closer in cost.

If I completely lost my mind and decided to start gaming on a laptop, then I would lean toward SSDs. In that scenario, I would only install a handful of games at a time on the machine so I didn't fill up the SSDs.

But, I haven't lost my mind and will not spend a stupid amount of money on a laptop that can run current popular games on a smaller screen. Trying to upgrade that after two years would be a pain.
xaser04 19th January 2012, 09:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leslie
Agreed, it does depend some, and my setup is similar.

Desktop has a 120gb Crucial M4
Laptop has an Crucial C300 60Gb SSD with wirelessN 300.
2Tb file server on Gigabit E/N300.
Works fantastic.

Wow your setup is virtually identical to mine. Since I went SSD I plan to not put a spinner back in my PC(s) again.

My setup is:

Gaming Desktop - 120GB Vertex 2E
Gaming Laptop - 64GB Crucial C300
NAS - Buffalo Linkstation Duo - 1TB (2x500GB) with 1TB mirrored backup
500GB external HD with Steam backups used as required.

All of my documents, media (pictures, video etc) and main downloads are now on my NAS, the SSD's are my main system drives for programs & games.

In the near future my main system will get upgraded to a 240/256GB SATA 6GB/s drive. This leaves the 120GB Vertex 2E either for my laptop or as a Steam game drive (probably the latter as reinstalling windows on my laptop is a nightmare - Dell cryptic driver headers for the lose :()

My NAS will eventually get upgraded to 2x2TB drives but this will only happen once I fill up what I already have. I love having centralised storage as I hate duplication of files as I am stupidly anal about folder structure and file locations.

But back to the point at hand. Mechanial HD's will not die until a replacement comes along that is both better in real world terms (Faster, more reliable etc), AND works on a economic level (ie is cheaper or the same price). This happened with floppy drives (flash storage), primamrly due to the lack of storage, but the move from HD's will be much longer drawn out.
ulfar 19th January 2012, 11:20 Quote
what's worth mentioning is that ssd's implementing memristors are on the way (due 2013?), and will most likely affect the market.
being faster, more energy efficient, cheaper to produce and having a better storage per unit of area, they could potentially be the (slightly larger) david against the goliaths we commonly accepted as storage overlords.

however, by the time david hits the market, goliath (http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2011/10/20/hard-disk-capacity-can-sextuple-with-pinch/1) will too. using salted drives on smaller volumes (3-6tb) will probably push down prices even further on mechanical drives, and thus once again increase the gap between the two.

currently (from what i've read), only hp/hynix and samsung are working on memristors, but if the technology keeps its promises more manufacturers will jump onboard.
Fizzban 19th January 2012, 17:54 Quote
I think the mechanical drives will continue as they are, which is to gradually be replaced by SSD as the main boot device, but continue on as mass storage. After all, they are still finding ever more ingenious ways to cram more on a platter. And I can't see that stopping for some time yet.
Elton 19th January 2012, 18:42 Quote
Until SSDs are on par with HDDs in terms of capacity then I don't see them dying off soon. Once they are though. I'd say good bye to HDDs in a heartbeat.
azrael- 19th January 2012, 21:36 Quote
Many will probably not agree with me, but it seems that where earlier technological advancements usually meant "better", these days they usually mean both "better" and "worse".

Take the CRT vs TFT example. CRTs, while being clunky, generally offered great performance across the board. Lag-free 100 Hz high-res gaming was the norm, not the exception. No viewing angle issues and great colour reproduction. Even though TFTs have come a long way if you buy one you pretty much have to decide if you want to have a fast panel that looks crap or a slower panel that look good. TN: Cheap and fast, lousy in pretty much every other regard. IPS: great colours and colour stability, lousy black levels and not quite as fast as TN. VA: Great colours and good black levels, average viewing angles, colour shift and generally somewhat slower than IPS.

The same applies to HDDs vs SSDs. While the latter undoubtedly are much faster than the former, as well as being more quiet and _generally_ more energy efficient, they're also more prone to errors. I'm primarily thinking of the BSoD-riddled drives from OCZ or those nifty little firmware updates, which either wreck your drive or send your data to Nirvana (I'm looking at you, Intel).

Oh, and please, don't use more than about half of the available drive space, because otherwise performance will drop like a rock. Yes, there's TRIM support in certain OSes, but that's more of a kludge than a proper solution.

And don't forget the decreasing life span of the flash memory cells. I believe they're down to about 3000 read/write cycles on the 25 nm tech.

The list goes on, but I believe I've made my point. It seems to me that SSDs, like TFTs, are more of a stop-gap solution. And I firmly believe HDDs will still be around for a long time. Especially if we get back to pre-flood prices. YMMV. :)
leslie 19th January 2012, 21:50 Quote
Give it 2 or 3 years and HDD's will be almost strictly relegated to storage drives.

Most people don't use anywhere near the drive space we do. My Xp clients almost never exceed 30 gigs. Win7 clients almost never exceed 60. Offer a 120-250Gb drive for a reasonable cost and drives will drop by the wayside in a hurry in new systems.
steve30x 20th January 2012, 01:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leslie
Give it 2 or 3 years and HDD's will be almost strictly relegated to storage drives.

Most people don't use anywhere near the drive space we do. My Xp clients almost never exceed 30 gigs. Win7 clients almost never exceed 60. Offer a 120-250Gb drive for a reasonable cost and drives will drop by the wayside in a hurry in new systems.

HAH My C drive has 250GB of 500 used. Give me a 500GB SSD at a reasonable price and I will be sold
Aragon Speed 20th January 2012, 06:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Indra EMC
2. HDD Price is high, but it begin to decline because WD and Seagate factory on thailand now can operate.
Could someone let Scan know then? Their prices are still the same for 1TB and 1.5TB, plus they still have 2TB drives priced so high you have to call them to find out how much it's going to cost you.
Xir 21st January 2012, 11:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarlet0pimp
I'm having great results personally using the z68 chipset and the Smart Response Technology (SSD Caching).
I personally think this may be the way to go.
As only Z68 supports this and Z68 has been dropped like a brick by all reviewers and manufacturers, it doesn't look like it now.
But it's supposed to be a key feature of Ivy-Bridge, so I expect a big big rebound for SSD Caching this year. ;)
Janek566 21st January 2012, 16:06 Quote
Haaha i thought professionals write these posts. Here I'll help you list the advantages of HDD:

- Price per GB, (even though floods have rocketed the HDD prices)
- Maximum capacity, (2TB SSDs lol nice dream. and imagine the price :P)
- Write speed (yeah the SSDs have a higher read speed but are still slower when it comes to writing to the disk than HDDs),
- SSDs are prone to errors (your system suddenly won't boot), it is nowhere as reliable as HDD,
- SSDs have a set amount of writes after which the disk is useless (the number is massive but still), HDD does not have that problem,

+ others, please do some research.
Waynio 21st January 2012, 16:35 Quote
I think this is why it isn't an article :D & is instead a blog, basically just thoughts & me & I'm sure many others like the blogs, a recent one inspired my next project :).

If you compare a WD raptor 10,000RPM HDD to a 120GB SSD they are reasonable price now but strictly for an OS & programs drive though & maybe a few games depending on how big the games are.

But I have no faith in sandforce 3 at all, my corsair force series 3 died on me the other day & had problems from the start with it so went back to the super reliable ocz vertex 2e which I bought after finding the sandforce 3 one caused many BSOD's with it disappearing completely randomly while using it but it corrupted the drive badly last time it BSOD so it's out of my system for good now.
Aragon Speed 22nd January 2012, 05:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Janek566
- Write speed (yeah the SSDs have a higher read speed but are still slower when it comes to writing to the disk than HDDs),
Um, no they are not.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Janek566
- SSDs have a set amount of writes after which the disk is useless (the number is massive but still), HDD does not have that problem
This isn't really an issue unless you are running a server tbh.

"As an example of endurance, Intel rates its 160GB X-25M G2 drives with a lifetime of "at least" 5 years even if you write 20GByte per day to them. I've used one in my Windows 7 system for well over a year now and it's averaged about 5GBytes worth of writes per day - so on that basis I'd expect it to last around 20 years. That's a LOT longer than I've ever used any other hard drive. In fact the only storage media I've used for that long are some old CDs I bought back in the 80's."

From a post by sminlal at Tom's Hardware. (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/267303-32-what-write-limit-ssds)
feathers 23rd January 2012, 23:05 Quote
"Is it time for the hard disk to die?" - Yes. If it's made by Seagate it will die within 2 years.
leslie 23rd January 2012, 23:40 Quote
Funny, that is how I feel about WD drives, though it's only half that.
Fizzban 23rd January 2012, 23:57 Quote
We are buggered then as they are the only 2 manufactures left...
Cutter 30th January 2012, 23:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by theprodigalrebel
Pr0n has a dedicated 1TB drive.

LOL! Props for the honesty! :D
pucpop 31st January 2012, 02:37 Quote
hi folks. i had my main os on an intel 120gb ssd and a 2tb hdd for my media/games etc, its the perfect combination.
Bazz 6th February 2012, 23:56 Quote
Makes me chuckle to think that SSD's will ever get cheap as mech hard drives, well in my life time that is.

Most slating SSD'd obviously can't see the benefit from a 100GB+ SSD and a 1TB or 2TB secondary drive, which means they'll either be waiting a long time, or they just don't get it.
Its not all about throwing Steam on the SSD either.

SSD'd actually have a longer life span than mechanical hard drives, if they have TRIM active, and they are treated properly. The longest I have ever had a mech HD is approx 4 years, usually to upgrade it, but with my current SSD and secondary drive I'll not be upgrading for a long time.

Mechanical hard drives are here to stay for a long while yet, and if you want to stay in the slow lane, continue.
Corporate usage keeps HD's going, and they will for a long time, manufacturing costs of SSD chips and controllers will keep SSD's out of reach (assuming you are looking for a 2TB SSD) for most of us.

I agree with all above who have an SSD, but those hoping for a massive price drop in SSD'd have a long time to wait, so enjoy.

Oh yeah, SSD'd don't just benefit from boot loading times, as I keep reading, overall usage, system and program responsiveness keeps me happy.

OCZ Vertex 2 100GB
285MB read
275MB write
Now run a HD RAID system to beat that, only way you'll come close.
thehippoz 7th February 2012, 04:45 Quote
from tests done they can write up to 450tb on the latest ssds- even though they are rated half that
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