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Seagate Announces First SSD, 2TB HDD

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the get-with-the-program dept.

229

Lucas123 writes "Seagate CEO Bill Watkins said today that the company plans to put out its first solid state disk drive next year as well as a 2TB version of its Barracuda hard disk drive. Watkins also alluded to Seagate's inevitable move from spinning disk to solid state drives, but emphasized it will be years away, saying the storage market is driven by cost-per-gigabyte and though SSDs provide benefits such as power savings, they won't be in laptops in the next few years. A 128GB SSD costs $460, or $3.58 per gigabyte, compared to $60 for a 160GB hard drive, according to Krishna Chander, an analyst at iSuppli. 'It will take three to four years for SSDs to come to parity with hard drives,' on price and reliability."

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Every news source (5, Informative)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605471)

Every news source has merged those two statements together, and every time, my brain gets stuck on it.

Seagate is announcing two seperate products. One is a SSD and the OTHER is a 2TB hdd.

Re:Every news source (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23605533)

I think Seagate wants you to buy both of them. You can use the SSD for the 2TB HDD's cache.

Re:Every news source (5, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605635)

I think Seagate wants you to buy both of them.
Oh shit, you mean this could be.. no.. impossible.. a.. SLASHVERTISEMENT?

Re:Every news source (5, Interesting)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605597)

Yup, I'd love a 2TB SSD, man.

Truthfully, I'm really looking forward to hybrid drives with, say 64-128 GB of flash, where all the "load-often, change rarely" data goes, like applications, OS, etc., and 2^N (N >= 8) GB of classic HD storage space for stuff that may need gazillions of writes (browser cache, working documents, SVN repositories, etc.).

In fact, wouldn't it be great if the drive could be smart about it and--over time--identify files that were mostly read-only (iPhoto archives, MP3s) and migrate them to the flash storage area where fast, low-power reads would be a benefit.

While we're dreaming, database engines could even be optimized to read only from the SSD-portion of a hybrid drive if a particular data point had not been written to in over N minutes, or since the last collation (explained later), but would write to the platters, and then during quiet cycles, it could do a collation. The collation would move data which was on the platters, but which did not have a pattern of large volumes of writes back to the SSD volume.

And... I'd like a pony...

Re:Every news source (4, Informative)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605855)

What you describe is called wear-leveling. On pure flash drives, the data that rarely changes gets written to the most worn sections of the drive.

Re:Every news source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23605969)

Wait... so if you rarely change all your data... your flash drive will wear out much faster?

How? How can this be?! *rips hair out*

Re:Every news source (1)

zeptobyte (1140111) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606585)

You have it backward. Those areas don't wear out because they're written to less often; they're written to less often because they're more worn out. The healthier sections are used for more active data.

Re:Every news source (3, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605945)

basically using the SSD part of it as a giant buffer? Not a bad idea really. I could use that. I reboot my laptop maybe every three weeks, so a lot of my OS probably doesn't get reaccessed much after a restart. A lot of what's on my HDD is media - movies and other entertainment for when I'm stuck somewhere on the road. Again not stuff I need access to very frequently.

My HD has 186gb usable, and I'm using 172 of it. (eek...) I bet I only access at most 20 gb of that most of the time. Even making a say, 32gb or 64gb buffer would work great for how I use the computer - I'd be running entirely off the SSD part most of the time.

Most users could probably accommodate a dual drive anyway. One partition for the SSD and one for the HDD. Put your media and other things you don't need access to often but want to have on tap on the HDD.

Re:Every news source (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606383)

What is the actual speed increase when using solid state drives. I've seen a couple benchmarks, and most of them point to the solid state being a little faster, but only mildly so. For the price difference, it just doesn't seem to make sense yet. Even if you don't need the extra space. Right now, you'd probably be better off stocking your computer with 3-4 GB of RAM, and just using a plain old hard drive.

Re:Every news source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23606183)

And... I'd like a pony...
That part can be arranged... [userstyles.org]

Re:Every news source (5, Funny)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605665)

Seagate is announcing two seperate products. One is a SSD and the OTHER is a 2TB hdd.


Wow, I saw the headline in my RSS feed and misread it the same way everyone else did. I expected the next story to be about the new finance company Seagate was opening to provide mortgages on 2TB SSDs.

Re:Every news source (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606043)

The good news is that the mortgages will be cheap and sub-prime rate.

The bad news is that most of the people who get them will be left with only the SSD and not their home.

Re:Every news source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23605765)

This would be a good use of the proverbial semicolon

First SSD; 2TB HDD

Re:Every news source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23605777)


It WAS pointed out to the on duty editor before it went "live" on the front page ...

Re:Every news source (0, Flamebait)

Kinnaird (851535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606375)

Beware Seagate products the FreeAgent is an overheating nightmare! And my experience with their customer service was very bad and to say they are inflexible is an understatement! The last place you want to back up you data is on a Seagate external drive!!!!!

Oblig Simpsons (3, Funny)

nxtr (813179) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606447)

Hutz: All right gentleman. I will take your case. But I will require a thousand dollar retainer.
Bart: A thousand dollars. But your ad says "no money down".
Hutz: Oh, they got this all screwed up. [corrects ad with felt-marker]
Bart: So you don't work on a contingency basis?
Hutz: No, money down. Oops, I shouldn't have the Bar Association logo here either.

Eee PC not a laptop ? (2, Insightful)

Mornedhel (961946) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605489)

SSDs [...] won't be in laptops in the next few years
Huh. I guess the Eee PC isn't a laptop anymore. (It wasn't a 128GB drive, but it was SSD all the same...)

Re:Eee PC not a laptop ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23605529)

The EeePC is always referred to as either an ultra-portable, an ultra mobile PC (UMPC), or a subnotebook. I've never seen it referred to as a laptop.

Re:Eee PC not a laptop ? (2, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605675)

I've never seen it referred to as a laptop.
It's only a laptop if it's heavy enough not to fall off your lap while you're watching porn.

Re:Eee PC not a laptop ? (3, Interesting)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606117)

maybe it's a regional thing, most people I talk to seem to use the term laptop very generally covering everything from the tiny "subnotebooks" all the way up to the 17 inch "desktop replacement" monsters.

manufacturers avoid the term laptop nowadays because of the fact that using them on your lap is strongly discouraged due to heat related issues (both the possibility of a hot laptop burning you and the fact that being on a soft uneven surface can interfere with ventilation on some models)

imo most laptops fit into one of a few categories

* craptops: built with price and headline specs (cpu mainly) as the main design consideration theese are popular with first time laptop buyers. They come to regret it when they run into the reliability and build quality issues. I don't see theese going solid state any time soon.
* ordinary decent laptops: (lattitudes, thinkpads macbooks) etc. Theese cost more than the craptops and that money mainly buys you better build quality. I see solid state being a build time option on theese in the near future but I don't see it being the default for cost reasons.
* desktop replacements, high performance and big screens but heavy and bulky,
* ultraportables: (smaller vaios, librettos, EEEPCs, OLPCs etc) many of theese are already using solid state drives.

Re:Eee PC not a laptop ? (2, Informative)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606027)

Or the MacBook Air, or the Lenovo x300.

2TB Hard Drive (-1, Troll)

mactard (1223412) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605491)

That'll be what, 10 platters and will run as hot as a processor? No thanks, the last thing i need in my desktop is a spinning nuclear reactor to go along with all the other "hotter than the surface of the sun" components in my box.

Re:2TB Hard Drive (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23605587)

I've told you a million times not to exaggerate...

Re:2TB Hard Drive (2, Informative)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605773)

Heh - I remember when Micropolis (yeah, I'm old, deal with it) sold 9 Gigabyte HDD's that were twice as tall to (IIRC) hold one hell of a tall stack of platters in it. It ran somewhat warm-ish if you really beat the crap out of it, but otherwise it wasn't much noisier or hotter than the 360MB (not "G", "M") disks that were out around the same time. The only real PITA was getting it to play nice with the other hardware.



I remember my long-former managers happily paying nearly $10k each, for the damned things...

/P

Re:2TB Hard Drive (1)

WhoBeDaPlaya (984958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606611)

Don't worry, I'm just getting out of grad school and I still have a couple of Micropolis drives running here :)

Oh, no.. Here comes the nostalgia again.. (5, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605493)

I can't help it. I remember buying my first two gig drive for $780, back when the dollar was worth squat. Now of course, the value of the dollar is rapidly approaching diddly-squat.

-jcr

Re:Oh, no.. Here comes the nostalgia again.. (5, Informative)

Detritus (11846) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605627)

Ha! I can remember having to order the installation of a new 220V electrical circuit to support the installation of a rack-mount winchester 450 MB hard disk drive. You needed at least two people to lift the drive enclosure off the floor. The new electrical circuit was needed to supply enough current for the drive to spin up. We used 10 MB removable hard disk cartridges that were about the size of a large pizza to store the operating system and user programs.

Re:Oh, no.. Here comes the nostalgia again.. (2, Informative)

oldenuf2knowbetter (124106) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606595)

That the best you got? I remember having a line of 10Mb drives connected to our Burroughs B5500. Each drive cabinet was the height and depth and about half the width of a washing machine. They had platters over two feet in diameter spinning on a horizontal axle. Every day or two we had to put them back into line as they precessed as the earth rotated. Great fun. Oh, we also had one of those IBM 1401 with a model 1405 drive which provided 10Mb in a cabinet about the size of a new side-by-side refrigerator/freezer. Good times.

Re:Oh, no.. Here comes the nostalgia again.. (5, Interesting)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605875)

I remember getting the expensive 52Mb Supra hard drive for my Amiga 500, and being amazed at how much faster than floppies it was.

An extra 2Mb of RAM came with that drive, for a system-wide total of 2.5Mb. Of course, with such a limited system, all I could do was run office and desktop publishing software, paint programs, 3-d modeling and ray-tracing software, and the latest games like Turrican, Lemmings, and the Indiana Jones adventure game.

It's amazing to see how far we've come these past 18 years.

Re:Oh, no.. Here comes the nostalgia again.. (4, Funny)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606073)

Ray Tracing software? 3-D Modeling? The latest games? I can't even afford to think what a system like that would cost nowadays.

Re:Oh, no.. Here comes the nostalgia again.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23606149)

It seizes to amaze me that there is no +1 Nostalgia mod :-(

Re:Oh, no.. Here comes the nostalgia again.. (3, Funny)

Miseph (979059) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606209)

It *nghflgthurnaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh* seizes me too!

Me Too! (5, Interesting)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605499)

The SSD from Seagate is a total "Me Too!" product. Seagate thinks they are in the "Mass storage" market, but they are not. They never have been. Their market is the one that includes "rotating magnetic platters". The only reason they are trying to break into this market (that they continuously decry as useless, futile, and too expensive) is because they are afraid of what "might" happen ten years down the road.

It's so nice to see a company that fought this at every step pretend to embrace it.

Re:Me Too! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605603)

"that they continuously decry as useless, futile, and too expensive)"

Could it be that's because it has been? It's just now really becoming practical to the average user.
And until it gets a lot closer to the current Spinning Disk Cost per Gig, it's not going to be mainstream.
It will be, and they know it.

Re:Me Too! (3, Insightful)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605681)

It's one thing to say, "the market's not ready, but we'll get into it when our customers are likely to be interested, cost-wise." It's another to try to undermine the market by saying it's just a bad idea and changing positions when you realize it's become a good enough idea that if you don't embrace it, it'll kill you.

I'm all for adjusting to your environment, but there's a difference between being a leader and innovator, and a gadfly-turned-also-ran. Not saying I wouldn't buy their products, but even when they were saying, "never never never" (wish I could cite a source), I know it was BS BS BS.

Re:Me Too! (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606265)

I really don't pay attention to the PR of drive companies, so I've not seen anyone say "never". But so far, the SSD market is so small that a typical drive maker like Seagate really didn't need to bother with them.Even now, it's not a big market, but it may be time for a traditional drive manufacturer to get into it.

Re:Me Too! (2, Interesting)

lupis42 (1048492) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605951)

I hate to say this, but that's horse dung. There are tons of places where SSD flash drives are in fact the norm. It's just that in all of those places things like Watts, BTUs, and Ounces are more important that Gigs. Thing is, the faster networks get, and the easier having a home fileserver becomes, the more that laptops become one of those places. Seagate can prognosticate that far in the future. They just want the changeover to come as slowly as possible, so that they can get every last dollar out of their existing investments in platter-based magnetic storage devices. Are you shocked? I for one, am not shocked.

Re:Me Too! (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606095)

Not horse dung, you're talking about something different. The person you replied to talked about mainstream uses of flash as large mass storage. Most of the uses you refer to are still niche.

Re:Me Too! (1)

lupis42 (1048492) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606353)

Digital Cameras aren't mainstream?

Re:Me Too! (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606417)

I don't consider that to be the same thing.

Re:Me Too! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23605617)

So you're saying what? You think they lack artistic integrity? Are you some kind of indy storage manufacture that focused on SSDs before it was the cool thing to do?

Re:Me Too! (4, Insightful)

code4fun (739014) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605699)

Or, it could be they lost business deals from customers like Google who are switching to faster SDD drives. It would also explain the recent grumbles they had about suing flash companies on trying to get in their enterprise business.

Re:Me Too! (2, Insightful)

skelly33 (891182) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605795)

Agreed - waiting for the price to come down is something consumers do. Driving the price down is something competitors do. Waiting around for it to happen on the part of the mfr. is silly.

Re:Me Too! (4, Informative)

matt21811 (830841) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606085)

Spot on. Making a hard disk for a competitive price is hard. Thats why there are only a handful of hard disk manufacturers. Making a circuit board with some chips on it can be done by hundreds of companies all over the world. I cant think of any reason to buy a Seagate SSD over any one of the other hundreds of competitors, especially when they all have the same electronics inside.

Separately, it's nice to know that analysts agree with research I've done that it's only 4 years before SSD surpasses HD, at least in 2.5 inch drives. I've been comparing the relative price improvement of hard disk prices to flash and its pretty easy to estimate a crossover point.

You can have a look at my data (charts) and conclusions here. http://www.mattscomputertrends.com/flashdiskcomparo.html [mattscomputertrends.com]

Re:Me Too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23606441)

I like how you use a 3-d graph to display 2-d data. But wouldn't a Flash animation be better suited to this case?

Re:Me Too! (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606493)

Making a good, reliable large flash drive (as in >128GB) is also hard. The same issue as hard drives, they have to be very precision and the chips so small, only a few can afford them. Sure, making a 512MB or 1GB flash drive, everybody can do these days, but making a 200G SSD for a decent price seems to be a bigger problem. Next to that, even those relatively 'simple' flashdrives go for about $5-10/gigabyte but of course they have the profit margins so a 200G would cost easily more than $200 retail. I buy a 1TB hard drive with the same relative reliability (hard drives in enterprise environments which are driving large capacity are usually replaced after 3 years anyway way before they break) for less than that.

Re:Me Too! (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606505)

Well. You're right about that.

TOH:

I might be impelled to buy a 2TB SATA drive if, in the drive, there was a few GB of SSD circuitry that itself ran at the full speed of the SATAII bus. You know, a persistent cache

Anyway, I plotted a similar set of intersection curves, coming to about the same conclusions. Your data is much more specific than mine, though, so I was wondering where you got the exact figures?

C//

Re:Me Too! (2, Interesting)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606097)

The SSD from Seagate is a total "Me Too!" product.
So? They have lots of experience with the interface, firmware, low cost production, the market etc. Replacing rotating platters with Flash is easy.
I wouldn't be surprised if they'd be shopping for a Flash supplier or at least a cooperation right now.

Re:Me Too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23606679)

Who would partner with Seagate?

Every current flash manufacturer already has an internal team doing SSDs. There's no obvious value-add for a flash manufacturer to partner with Seagate, because then they'd be selling raw flash chips at spot prices and near-zero margin, instead of selling a bunch at a time in their own self-branded high-margin SSDs.

While people recognize Seagate as one of the leaders in, say, enterprise rotating storage, I don't think that name value translates as obviously into SSD space as some think.

Price / Performance isn't always king (5, Insightful)

wolf12886 (1206182) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605507)

Technically speaking, if it were always about price vs performance, we'd all be running last generation AMD's, using CD-R's and the like. In reality, you don't pay proportionally more for extra performance, you pay EXPONENTIALLY more.

For the average consumer, SSD's aren't yet the way to go, but for what I'd bet is a good proportion of the /. readership, a 20% boost in performance is worth a 200% increase in price, especially considering how cheap computing equipment is these days, compared to the utility it offers.

Re:Price / Performance isn't always king (0)

alexhard (778254) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605563)

The core 2 duo has a much better QPR than any AMD processor out there right now, and I really don't understand what you would use CD-Rs for..maybe you meant CD-RWs instead of HDDs? They are extremely expensive.

Re:Price / Performance isn't always king (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605647)

CD-R's are dirt cheap in my area. I think it is clear the poster meant we would be using CD-Rs instead of the different DVD-R standards or recordable Bluray, holographic drives, DAT drives, and the like.

Re:Price / Performance isn't always king (1)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606287)

And yet 1 CDR 'round here is the same price as two DVDRs.

GP was really just saying let's all use cheap/"old" tech from years earlier to save money (assuming he isn't living in Canada, in which case I have no idea what he's on).

Re:Price / Performance isn't always king (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606397)

Really? In my area it is possible to buy CD-Rs for more than two DVD-Rs, but if you buy it by the spindle (50-100 packs) and buy it on sale you can get CD-Rs for less than a quarter a piece.

Re:Price / Performance isn't always king (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606439)

Funny thing, in Canada, DVD+-*/%^R's are cheaper than CD-Rs because there is no Levy on DVDs. DVDRs cost around $20 for 50, while blank CDs cost about $40 for 50 (base on same brand from same store, cheaper of both are available).

Re:Price / Performance isn't always king (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605785)

Last year when I built my budget rig, I bought a dual core X2 3600+ for 35$ and the cheapest comparable offering Intel has was $150, and benchmarks showed basically the same performance between the two.

Intel has better performance at the top-end right now, but that doesn't mean they win performance-per-dollar.

Re:Price / Performance isn't always king (1)

WhoBeDaPlaya (984958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606559)

Overclock that C2D and watch it utterly trounce the X2 ;)

Re:Price / Performance isn't always king (2, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606575)

Or conversely, overclock the X2 as well. I've got about a 15% overclock on mine, on air, without really pushing it, and that is on a cheap motherboard that doesn't offer my much in the way of options.

I've seen the 2.0 Ghz X2 go up to 3.0 Ghz on air cooling alone. If you're giving the benefit of overclocking to one, you have to give it to the other.

And one only costs five times as much as the other.

Re:Price / Performance isn't always king (1)

wolf12886 (1206182) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605793)

2007 CPU Charts [tomshardware.com]

Re:Price / Performance isn't always king (1)

XMode (252740) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605867)

Fairly sure he meant CD-R instead of DVD-R (rather than CD-RW instead of HDD).. I still don't get it though as the drive price is almost the same these days (if you can still find any CD-R only drives anymore) and the media is almost the same price too (at least 2 shops around here have CD-Rs at more than DVD-Rs.. )

I think this just proves that price/performance is actually still king, but obviously WHAT has the best price/performance changes, and some times rapidly..

$460 for 128G SSD? Hell Yeah! (4, Interesting)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605755)

I'd buy a $460 128 gigabyte SSD in a laptop. Not to long ago these options were about $1000. If you do this right (and often it's been done wrong) you get better performance, much longer battery life, and enhanced reliability. With the right software monitoring of repeated writes, you could also know about hard drive failures coming in advance. That's fantastic, in my book. $460 is still a tad high, but I'd bite.

$460 for 128G SSD? Tell us where. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23606529)

Since when does any 128GB SSD cost only $460?! Taking a look at newegg, the cheapest 64GB SSD is 900 DOLLARS. Newegg only sells one 128GB SSD right now, and it is three grand.

    The analyst mentioned in the story apparently does not have her facts straight, or he/she was misquoted. The figure is off at least by a factor of four.

Tricky miss (2, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606057)

The false dichotomy is that it's an either/or thing.

There will be SSD components with high speed and low power and their price/GB will decrease very quickly. Largest capacities will always be expensive. For a long time they will cost more than magnetic media, but it probably won't always be so. Their speed and reliability will improve as vendors build out the drive intelligence that abstracts the physical media from the logical media and parallelize atomic access with internal RAID to compensate for the slowness of individual cells. These products will sell to users who are interested in their benefits and the manufacturers will make lots of money. Ultimately the speed of random reads and writes of SSD media will be limited only by the interface as solid state components are "always on" and each block of data is as accessible as any other.

Magnetic media will continue to drop in price as well. As storage increases today's hard drives will find their way to the recycling center in record time. The optimal price/performance will continue to improve as will maximum capacity. Speed will not increase as much, particularly with random reads and writes, because the data is still stored on a rotating physical object and a physical read/write head must move to the correct track and wait for the data block to fly under the head before data can be read or written. These products will continue to sell well for a long time to users interested in their benefits and the manufacturers will continue to make lots of money.

Both will be popular for a long time. There are other technologies in the works also.

Ultimately at 60MB/s it takes 1,000,000 seconds (11.5 days) to write 60tB to a (currently theoretical) rotating platter drive. At 6tB/second (interface TBA) it takes 10 seconds to write the same data to a solid state device. The ultimate winner in this one is clear, but it will be a long time.

Let me be the first to say: "that's a lot of porn."

Re:Price / Performance isn't always king (1)

lupis42 (1048492) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606099)

Price / Performance is always king, but performance is measured by many different metrics, and there are cutoff points. My car costs 25k and has 250hp Your car costs 25k and has 150hp You feel you got a better deal on your car than I did. How? Because your car handles better, or gets better gas mileage, or carries more people, or can drive through rivers, or the top folds down, or it's just more comfortable inside, and you care more about whatever those features are. I clearly cared more about horsepower. Different metrics of performance. Beyond that, there are cutoff points: A car that costs 1$, but has 5hp clearly has a better performance/dollar than a car that costs 25 thousand times as many dollars, and only has 50 times as much horsepower. Thing is, if 5hp isn't enough for what I want, I don't care. At all. In laptops, and other machines where battery life and weight are concerns, SSDs are becoming popular relatively rapidly. In desktops, where more gigs for less dollars is usually the cry, SSDs are useless. In servers requiring extremely high random access and transfer rates, RAM drives are popular, despite being hideously expensive per gig and requiring constant electricity. SSDs don't even come close to what those machines need in terms of drive performance. It's always about choosing between the options that meet your needs, and that choice is always made in terms of best performance in relevant areas for least dollars. (One final thought: Consumer expectation is still a metric of performance. Some people have good or bad expectations of a brand, and that dives the price they are willing to pay up or down.)

I simply see market for a hybrid drive (3, Interesting)

poeidon1 (767457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605519)

which utilizes both SSD and a mechanical disk to get the best of both worlds in a way similar to processor caches L3 >> L2 >> L1. Ofcourse, current drives already use buffering but the buffer data gets lost when the drive is switched off.

Re:I simply see market for a hybrid drive (3, Informative)

poeidon1 (767457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605577)

Just found out that hybrid drives are already in the market. http://www.engadget.com/2007/03/07/samsungs-hybrid-hard-drive-hhd-released-to-oems/ [engadget.com]

Re:I simply see market for a hybrid drive (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605651)

This appears to be just a flash cache. See my post above about a real hybrid. Gigs, not MBs of flash, smart storage of read-only vs. high-volume read-write data. That would be cool.

The one you linked to is really just about reliability, as the cache doesn't go away if there's a sudden power loss. It's definitely got its niche, but with only 256MB, it's not a groundbreaking SSD device.

Re:I simply see market for a hybrid drive (1)

poeidon1 (767457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605693)

yes 256 MB is small but this drive is in market since 2007.......and its not a falsh cache. The data stays there and visa uses it for fast boot up.

Re:I simply see market for a hybrid drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23605685)

Here is an example of a MEMS based hybrid drive: http://www.research.ibm.com/journal/rd/443/vettiger.html

Re:I simply see market for a hybrid drive (3, Informative)

mlts (1038732) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605729)

Vista offers a spec to drive makers called the ReadyDrive, or a hybrid hard disk which combined some flash memory with a mechanical hard disk, to allow the drive to immediately write contents somewhere permanent, which boosts performance and allows the drive to schedule the optimum way to write out data as opposed to writing one chunk, waiting for the platter to spin around for another segment, then back to the first.

The only hybrid drive I see is an 80 gig seagate though, although there are likely more offerings.

Re:I simply see market for a hybrid drive (3, Interesting)

irc.goatse.cx troll (593289) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605797)

Someone else posted something similar and to both of you I say: Why does this have to be a single drive? Why can't you do this today with 1 high storage drive(or raid) and 1 ssd?

Obviously you'd need to write some good software to get full use of it, but the same is true for an all in one with any intellligence (i.e logfiles are low-use but deserve to be on solid state since it means not spinning up the disk for idle activity)

It's not too different from the old scene setup of /archive on a multi-tb slow IDE raid and /incoming on a superfast scsi disk of only 100gb or so.

New release comes out, it hits /incoming as fast as it can and everyone else rushes to grab it, all getting use of the fast disk. After a week demand drops dramatically as most people that want it already have it so it hits the slow but large storage.

No reason you couldn't do similar on a desktop with one "fast&small" and one "slow&large". It's all about being able to define what goes where, and preferably having software take care of that for you.

Holy crap this is funny (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23605691)


http://hooray-for-everything.blogspot.com/

Summary and article fail at simple comparisons.... (2, Informative)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605707)

A 128GB SSD costs $460, or $3.58 per gigabyte, compared to $60 for a 160GB hard drive...

Is it that fucking hard to include the cost per gigabyte of the current hard drives ($0.375/GB for the example given)? Why quote one $/GB figure if you can't be bothered to include the other?

Analysts are dumb (3, Interesting)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605709)

SSD will never reach parity with hard disks because of the economics of spinning disk storage. Yes folks, a 160GB drive costs $60.

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM. Cache: 32MB. Form Factor: 3.5". $184.99

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM. Cache: 32MB. Form Factor: 3.5". $209.99

Next year these will be 4TB, 8TB, 16TB? $100-$200 range. Call me on it; by December 2009 (i.e. in 2009, next year) it'll happen. Where will we see the SSD price point?

We would disagree (5, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605781)

Spinning hard disks will go the way of tubes in ten years, more likely faster than that. Scaling the manufacturing up will drive SSD drive costs down. There are long-life reasons why:

- SSDs aren't as vibration sensitive (both will not take a bullet, but only SSD can likely survive a normal drop of 2M on to concrete)
- SSDs don't have the temperature/altitude constraints
- SSDs don't have latency and no rise/shutdown time for green needs, in fact, they use hardly any power at all
- SSDs are generally faster, although there are algorithms needed in flash to prevent bucket overuse because reads are almost infinite, but writes are not
- SSDs take less in terms of precious metals and present fewer QA problems
- No electromechanicals to wear out.

The price point? Going down. It's an obvious solution to a long time problem. Magnetic versus flash storage will tend to favor flash, as magnetism decays sooner than flash will-- when flash is written to correctly.

Re:We would disagree (2, Informative)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605933)

Tubes are in the expensive high-end hi-fi stuff (as well as some interesting transformer stuff-- because a 1:1.14 transformer winding can transfer a crisp clear square wave while a 1:3 will round and distort it), and are extremely important for building a good guitar amp. Classic rock versus modern day stuff, listen to something like ZZTop or Hendrix and you'll hear tubes. When they play soft it's clean or a little fuzzed; hard and loud and it becomes dirty. That essential sensitivity of a blues amp is something that can't be accurately modeled either (even variations in tube plate structure drastically change the type of overdrive).

The price point of spinning disks goes down way faster than SSDs. Not to mentions SSDs can't keep up with long, sequential reads versus a good spinning disk (caveat: a good 8-channel SSD can do 128MB/s; you will have severe trouble implementing this).

Re:We would disagree (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606181)

Uh, no. Tubes were once used in almost every radio and TV set before transistors, and then integrated circuits. I'm not talking about audio-frequency rise-time characteristics to transformers in push-pull circuits.

We're talking about spindles balancing platters at 15Krpm and slower, attempting to over a long life cycle, correctly position a head over a platter using the Bernoulli Effect to prevent skinning the magnetic substrate of the platter.

Tubes aren't electro-mechanical, while drives are.

And I have a couple of old RCA 6L6GC matched pairs sitting on my shelf next to the 1-bit IBM-pull ring tubes. Then there's the 16GB flash drive in my computer, dangling like some sort of pack of chewing gum. Spinning disk drives had their place, and now SSD designs will supplant them. Digital is digital, and so analog references aren't much use here.

Re:We would disagree (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23606087)

Are you sure? Hard drives have had a tremendous amount of money invested to make them tough and effecient.

- SSDs aren't as vibration sensitive (both will not take a bullet, but only SSD can likely survive a normal drop of 2M on to concrete)

My new Seagate drive is rated for 300G (non-operating) maximum shock versus 1500G for a Samsung SSD I have. Either will survive much better than the laptop surrounding it so the fact that a SSD may survive a larger drop is a moot point. The drive in my last laptop survived a 12' drop onto concrete so I don't buy the argument that that is a selling point for a SSD.

- SSDs don't have the temperature/altitude constraints

My new Seagate laptop drive advertises that it is capable of operation from 0 to 60 degrees Celsius. That's better than the specs on the Corsair USB key I have in my pocket.

- SSDs don't have latency and no rise/shutdown time for green needs, in fact, they use hardly any power at all

My old Seagate used 0.6W at idle versus 0.32W at idle for the Samsung SSD I replaced it with. It didn't make a measureable difference to the battery life and using 50% of the power doesn't cound as "hardly any." It was not worth the money especially considering the loss of capacity and speed.

- No electromechanicals to wear out.

One laptop Seagate drive I found specs for had a 1 million hour MTBF versus the 2 million hour MTBF for my Samsung SSD. It's not that big of a difference in practical usage. Wearing-out a harddrive just isn't a concern unless you manage a lot of drives or keep computers for a long time.

While for some people the reduced physical size of SSD's will make them successful, for most people the desire for more space will ensure that magnetic drives won't go the way of tubes for a long time.

Re:We would disagree (1)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606311)

But the internet is a series of tubes and it's doing just fine. :)

Re:Analysts are dumb (2, Insightful)

Detritus (11846) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605787)

What happens when the engineers run out of bright ideas to increase the storage density on magnetic media? Magnetic domains can only get so small before they become unstable.

Re:Analysts are dumb (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606005)

The same can be said of NAND. A single DRAM chip might hold 1/8GiB, or 128MiB. A single NAND chip of the same area can hold more, with a MicroSD holding some 4GiB. Hitachi's perpendicular storage might increase density by 4 or 8 times, or more; imagine a 2TiB disk and then you have 8 or 16TiB.

Re:Analysts are dumb (1)

DeathCarrot (1133225) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606281)

Hitachi's perpendicular storage might increase density by 4 or 8 times, or more; imagine a 2TiB disk and then you have 8 or 16TiB.
Hasn't perpendicular recording been the norm for the past couple of generations already? I remember the first ones came soon after the kerrazy Hitachi flash anim (with the singing and dancing and all that), and nowadays pretty much all of the large capacity drives are "getting perpendicular".

Here's the anim btw [hitachigst.com] . I'd forgotten how incredibly cheesy it was =D

Re:Analysts are dumb (2, Insightful)

Serge_Tomiko (1178965) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605799)

Assuming past performance is indicative of future performance is a classic FAIL of analysts of all types.

You have no idea what the future will hold. With the rising costs of metal, disk technology may one day become as expensive and obsolete as 4,000 pound solid steel cars are today.

Economics can and do change every day. Keep an open mind.

Re:Analysts are dumb (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605813)

People said CDs would never come down in price significantly to be as disposable as floppies. Blank DVDs would never come as close in price as blank CDs.

SSDs launched in the $2000 price mark from what I saw, and now can be had for less than $500. The price will likely decrease faster on SSDs than HDDs since SSDs are newer. The price gap will shrink enough that people will migrate for the benefits of SSDs.

Re:Analysts are dumb (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605817)

Never say never. Capacity/dollar is increasing faster for flash than it is for spinning disk. If the trends stay where they are, somewhere in the future, the lines cross. Not next year, probably not the year after that, or the year after that, but somewhere out there.

Re:Analysts are dumb (4, Insightful)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606001)

Actually there are reasons why SSDs may catch up to rotating disks:

1. Rotating disks get closer to physical limits and designers are planning for some big technology changes that will have an effect on cost. Check out Mark Kryder's video presentation on future disk technologies at CMU (I don't have the URL handy.)

2. SSD technology can go up with Moore's law for the foreseeable future.

3. We're getting to the point where SSDs reach practical sizes. I don't need 1TB in my laptop - I could live with 64GB quite well (I only have 120GB right now.) So, in a year or two I can probably get an SSD for my typical usage pattern at a decent price. At that point the volume for SSDs will grow dramatically and rotating disks will be used mostly for very large capacity and/or very low $/GB. Less profitable => fewer engineering dollars => slower density growth. Just what happened to tape a decade ago.

Re:Analysts are dumb (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606125)

With SSD being slower too, right? 0mS seek, 32MB/s transfer; versus 8mS seek, 280MB/s transfer (and we're expecting 600MB/s transfer in SATA3).

Re:Analysts are dumb (2, Informative)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606285)

There are several SSDs with >100MB/s transfer rate available today, the transfer rate will go up with Moore's law too (as opposed to hard drive transfer rates) and there are architectural possibilities too (running more chips in parallel.) And those hard drive transfer rates are only applicable when you do linear transfers, as everybody with a fragmented drive found out the hard way. As opposed to SSDs, where it doesn't matter because of zero seek time.
Finally, the interface has nothing to do with the recording technology. SSDs and HDs use the same interfaces.

Re:Analysts are dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23606367)

I could live with 64GB quite well (I only have 120GB right now.) So, in a year or two I can probably get an SSD for my typical usage pattern at a decent price.
Probably sooner than that...you can get a 60GB SSD today for just over $400 and a 120GB SSD can currently be had for just over $600. Last year, a 64GB drive cost $2000 and that was the largest capacity available. At the rate things are changing, it's a pretty safe bet that we'll see the 60GB-ish range fall below $300 less than 1 year from now.

Re:Analysts are dumb (1)

the brown guy (1235418) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606487)

We're getting to the point where SSDs reach practical sizes.
I disagree, because as storage capacity rises, so does the amount of data stored. When I upgraded from a 20 gb hard drive to a 500 gb one, I started leaving downloaded movies/music on the hard drive instead of always transferring to DVD-Rs, hooked up a security camera that records the video to my hard drive, and I can finally download HD movies and have them fit on my HD :). Plus, there is so much porn unwatched....

Re:Analysts are dumb (3, Insightful)

amyhughes (569088) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606217)

For the majority of people 4TB, 8TB and 16TB are no more useful than 128GB. So, cost/capacity improvements in spinning discs will be relevant to a smaller and smaller number of people.

3 to 4 years to match reliability? (1, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605761)

Christ, as if existing standard hard drives aren't unreliable enough already.

It's not unrealistic to see 1 out of every 10 to 20 (well, 1 in every 3 if you use Maxtors :p) modern IDE/SATA drives fail within 3 years as is, they already have a pretty high failure rate.

I thought one of the major advantages of SSDs was their reliability or is that simply not the case? are they really so unreliable currently?

One of my biggest dislikes of hard drives in general is reliability, I want to be sure my hard drive wont just not work one day leaving me without my files and backing up is one of those necessary evils as is. I build RAID in to all my machines nowadays with redundancy but I still feel like I'm getting screwed having to buy multiple disks and only get a portion of the total storage.

Would it be nice to be able to save files one day on a standard consumer system and be guaranteed they'll always be there the next without ever needing to back them up and without having to buy at least twice as many drives for redundancy.

Re:3 to 4 years to match reliability? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606121)

I don't know about SATA drives as I only have a few in my datacenter but our Seagate SCSI/SAS drives have a failure rate of about .5% per year, that's pretty damn low.

Re:3 to 4 years to match reliability? (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606213)

Reliability isn't driven by technology, it's driven by cost and customer expectations. I worked with disk drives for years, and the main reason why drives would fail were cheap components (motors, bearings, heads...) and short time-to-market. It would be easy to make more reliable disk drives at slightly higher cost and slightly reduced performance, but if it will be totally obsolete in 3 years, why bother to make it last longer? And 1 to 3% AFR are accepted in the industry so nobody wants to pay more for a more reliable drive.
What I like about SSDs is that you have multiple chips and only the interface is a single point of failure. So, it shouldn't be cost prohibitive to do RAID 5 inside the drive between multiple banks of Flash.

SSDs will probably take over in the consumr market (4, Interesting)

m.dillon (147925) | more than 6 years ago | (#23605961)

For two reasons. First and foremost, low power consumption. Secondly, we have already passed the sweet spot in the storage capacity needed for the applications most people run, particularly on laptops. Add to that the fact that current HD form factors are an extremely good fit for SSD units, and the writing is on the wall.

So what will happen is pretty obvious. Laptops are going to push SSD storage into the mainstream, giving it the critical mass needed to start the research bandwagon rolling, and 5-10 years after that happens hard drives will become the 'new' tape storage and most production systems will be using SSDs.

Even more pointedly, with power costs being the premium concern for data centers these days, and the hard drive being the only thing left in the computer that can't be engineered down to near 0 power consumption when idle (short of spinning it down, which has its own problems), my expectation is that large commercial concerns will see a huge cost benefit to using SSD storage despite the higher front-end cost of purchasing it.

-Matt

Price sure, reliability?!?!!?!? (1)

ziah (1095877) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606239)

Hello, Can someone please explain to me how spinning drives are "more reliable" than SSDs? I mean the ONLY explanation I could give just that regular HDs have been used for so long, so we "know what to expect".... 'It will take three to four years for SSDs to come to parity with hard drives,' on price and reliability."

Re:Price sure, reliability?!?!!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23606607)

It has to do with the SSD technology. You can only write so many times to a given area of the media before it becomes unusable. HDDs with temp files and such get written to quite a bit. A little usb pen drive could last a long time, but as a system drive they may fail much sooner. I imagine as they get more popular and improve over the years, any limitations will be engineered out.

Hang on a second... (1)

Xaroth (67516) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606569)

Where are they finding 128 GB SSD's for $460? The lowest price I've seen on these is around $3k ($3,049 at NewEgg, $2980 at eWiz). That puts the cost/GB at around $23.50/GB, give or take.

I'd jump at the opportunity to buy one of those at that price, if only to turn around and sell it on eBay. :P

Solid state and magnetic are both inferior. (-1, Offtopic)

mungmaster2000 (1180731) | more than 6 years ago | (#23606571)

The true data storage method is biological. Biologists need to learn how to map the human brain, neuron-by-neuron, with the understanding that it be transformed into an array of little itty bitty switches. From there, it's just a simple matter of cloning a "farm" of people (bred for large cerebral size, but low body weight for economic reasons). Tubes-in for sustenance, tubes-out for waste. Wires-in for data transfer. Imagine a beowulf cluster of those! And when each living component has exhausted its lifespan, it can be slaughtered for cheap meat.
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