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SSD Prices Down 46% Since 2011

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the filthy-exploitative-capitalists-at-it-again dept.

Data Storage 292

crookedvulture writes "Hard drive prices have yet to return to normal after last year's Thailand flooding. There's good news on the solid-state front, though. The current generation of SSDs has steadily become much cheaper over the last year or so. SSD prices have dropped an average of 46% since early 2011. Intel has largely shied away from discounting its drives, but the aggressive competition between other players in the market seems to have forced its hand. There's no indication that competition is waning, suggesting the downward trend will continue. Right now, an impressive number of drives are available for less than a dollar per gigabyte."

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292 comments

SSD? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402395)

What is SSD? Is that a new form of LSD? Context please editors.

Re:SSD? (0, Redundant)

BanHammor (2587175) | about 2 years ago | (#40402525)

SSD means Solid State Disc, a faster permanent storage type than HDD, however lacking capacity-per-dollar of HDDs.

Re:SSD? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402573)

SSD means Solid State Disc, a faster permanent storage type than HDD, however lacking capacity-per-dollar of HDDs.

Solid State Drive *

Re:SSD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402593)

Or it could mean Solid State Drive.

Re:SSD? (2)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#40402747)

Based on consumer feedback, they also seem to be lacking the reliability of HDDs.

That's kind of sad when you think about it (Seagate).

Re:SSD? (1)

tom17 (659054) | about 2 years ago | (#40402991)

Got any more info on this? I am looking at getting one some time in the coming months. From what I can gather, some of the 'lesser' products with older tech suffer from reliability problems, but the higher end stuff does not?

As a field that I have not researched enough yet, I find that there is a terrible amount of choice as to which ones are available. Hard to know which ones you should/should not get, which ones are faster/slower etc.

And it's changing fast, so every time I *google* it, I find older comparisons and not much up-to-date info.

Re:SSD? (1)

sarysa (1089739) | about 2 years ago | (#40403221)

There are concerns that first generation SSDs fail after a couple thousand writes. There is a bit of controversy over it [superuser.com], and it may be FUD or just outdated re: modern SSDs, but operating systems and programs have come up with optimizations for SSDs, and users continue to come up with their own solutions.

I'm (just this week) building a custom and paid $180something per 256fakeGB drive on Newegg. (I'm sure someone will come along and shatter the price I'm bragging about.) A couple years ago the prices just didn't seem worth it -- something like $3-5/gb.

I'm actually glad this topic came up. I bought two SSDs and plan to install both Windows and Linux. On Linux it's easy to stick user data on the whirly drive I got, but with Windows I'm not sure how I'll be able to stick user data, system logs, etc on said drive. I might just stick the entire OS on the whirly drive and put games (since it's a gaming rig) for both OSes on my SSDs.

Re:SSD? (4, Informative)

Orphaze (243436) | about 2 years ago | (#40403265)

Stick with Intel, and you'll be fine. Intel had some slight firmware issues a while back on one or two of their models, but otherwise every single one of their SSD offerings as been bulletproof. I've deployed hundreds now over the past 2-3 years, and I've yet to see one fail. I've seen loads of other brands (such as Kingston) have weird stuttering/hanging issues, bad write speeds, etc.

Going SSD is near life changing in terms of the apparent feel and speed gains. I've even got a number of cheapskate clients on 4-5 year old Core 2 Duo machines with SSDs that feel faster than modern 2nd gen i7 systems with traditional drives in terms of boot up time, application loading speed, etc.

Re:SSD? (4, Informative)

Guspaz (556486) | about 2 years ago | (#40403383)

I've seen so many problems with other brands, that I don't really trust anything but Intel SSDs anymore. Even when using the same controller, Intel manages to avoid issues, like the BSOD problems with the sandforce controllers that only Intel bothered to fix.

I don't know why TFA says Intel isn't discounting things, though. They're constantly doing mail-in-rebates for their products. I bought an Intel 160GB X25-m G1 for $700 roughly three years ago. Today, you can buy from newegg an Intel 180GB 330 for $120 after rebate, and it's enormously faster to boot.

Re:SSD? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40403405)

This is not my experience. If you steer clear of the fastest of the cheaper lot, OCZ you will be fine.

Re:SSD? (2)

gorzek (647352) | about 2 years ago | (#40403419)

I thought Maxtor and those... DeathStar, erm, DeskStar things were considered the worst. I actually never had a problem with a Seagate drive, but perhaps I've just been lucky.

Re:SSD? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402597)

Slashdotter who doesn't know what an SSD is.. Really?

Re:SSD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402845)

Please leave your /. geek card at the door before you leave. SLAM!

Re:SSD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402923)

You're an odd one. Smart enough to find Slashdot... too stupid to use google.

turgid penis here (-1, Troll)

deysOfBits (2198798) | about 2 years ago | (#40402399)

Yes my SSD HD is working well Frostr piss
Slashdot sucks more & more

Re:turgid penis here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402749)

Slashdot sucks more & more

Then kindly fuck off and quit wasting our precious pixels on your frosty piss. It's not as though you've used that account for anything useful anyway.

You lose. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402411)

This is why gas prices are the way they are.
The spike them up several dollars, watch people moan and groan about it, then slip a dollar off and watch as everyone rejoices.
But you fail to notice that they're still charging you too much.
Wake me up when prices are back down to normal on hard drives. Until then, I'm not buying.

hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (4, Interesting)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#40402429)

SSD prices just fell from completely ludicrous to ridiculous as part of the normal drop in prices per GB of storage

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402477)

So, the next logical drop would be to light speed, right?

Hard drive prices down? (4, Interesting)

Anubis350 (772791) | about 2 years ago | (#40402505)

Compared to Just post flood, spinning disk prices are down sure. But pre-flood prices were significantly lower than now, whereas SSDs have just been dropping like a stone recently.

Re:Hard drive prices down? (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#40402677)

Near as I can tell they are trying to keep 1 TB @ $99, even if 2 TBs are at $109/$119

Re:Hard drive prices down? (2)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 2 years ago | (#40402873)

That is the typical tripe. Two platter HDDs were always cheaper in $/GB compared with single platter ones.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (4, Interesting)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 2 years ago | (#40402577)

Between my $500 video card, two 28" monitors, quad-core CPU, and 8GB of high-speed RAM, it was definitely my shiny new OCZ Agility 3 that made the biggest impression on my when I booted my computer for the first time to install the OS. Those things are so fast it truly is ridiculous.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (0, Troll)

Dan667 (564390) | about 2 years ago | (#40402671)

if you are using Windows 7, it will only use 3Gb of those 8.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402765)

Only if it's Win 7 32-bit. If he's using the 64-bit version (which is a good bet) he'll get the full 8.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (2)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about 2 years ago | (#40402799)

I'm sure you mean GB, and you had me confused because I thought for a moment you were speaking of SATA speed.

But you would be incorrect, Windows 7 x64 is fully capable of running 8 GB of RAM.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402805)

Didn't look into the whole 32 vs 64 bit issue, I take it?

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402821)

Win 7 x86 sure. Win 7 x64 will use it all.

You're still using a 32 bit OS? How quaint....

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402885)

What's wrong with using a 32 bit OS? I use Ubuntu 12.04 32 bit with Physical Address Extension and make full use of my 8 GB of RAM.

Thinking 32 bits precludes you from using more than 3.2 GB of RAM? How quaint...

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

jeffasselin (566598) | about 2 years ago | (#40403037)

PAE is only available on Server versions on Windows, and not all of them at that.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40403071)

Yes, I get that but he didn't say "still using a 32 bit Windows", he said a 32 bit OS was quaint. Please pay attention.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (3, Informative)

Bengie (1121981) | about 2 years ago | (#40403107)

Technically PEA is available for regular Windows, as DEP needs it, but Windows refuses to let you make use of PEA to extend the address range. I only semi-recently learned this myself. Not that it matters much with 64bit everywhere.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (2)

Bengie (1121981) | about 2 years ago | (#40403141)

Your drivers must also handle PAE, unless you like kernel mode code writing to the wrong places in memory. Realtech/Via/etc have issues released PAE tested 32bit drivers. Because of this, MS removed the ability for more than 32bit addressing on non-server versions.

If you have Linux with full opensourced drivers, PAE is fairly simple.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

EvanED (569694) | about 2 years ago | (#40403269)

What's wrong with using a 32 bit OS?

Nothing, until you run across a file where G++ takes 6 GB to compile. :-)

(I've actually seen that.)

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40403373)

*facepalm*

2^32 bytes = 4 294 967 296 bytes
how you get 3.2 gigabytes out of that is beyond me.
And by 'full use' you mean 'negligible performance penalty for most workloads'.
And you shouldn't tease the Windows kiddies for having broken PAE support; if they had the good stuff 64-bit windows still wouldn't exist. Monocultures are bad, m'kay?

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 2 years ago | (#40403465)

Operating systems will still refuse to let any individual process use more than 2 or 3 GB of RAM (depending on kernel/user split) on a 32-bit system, regardless of PAE. Your 8GB machine will do fine as a server, but any memory-intensive app is going to be just as limited as it would on a system with 4GB of RAM.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about 2 years ago | (#40402829)

Where are you getting that number? Most people who have Windows 7 are on 64-bit.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402857)

Not if he exists in the 21st century and uses 64-bit windows like everyone else. Even the shittiest dual core HPs come with 64-bit windows nowadays.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

RatherBeAnonymous (1812866) | about 2 years ago | (#40402911)

Windows 7 can easily handle 8GB of RAM, as long as you have the 64bit version installed. Did you mean to type "Windows XP"?

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (2)

EvanED (569694) | about 2 years ago | (#40403257)

No, because there's also a 64-bit version of XP.

If you want to get technical about it, NT has never not supported some 64-bit architecture (though I'm too lazy to check the RAM limits).

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | about 2 years ago | (#40403503)

Technically Win2k (which did have 64bit versions released) was part of the NT release line, still competing with win98/me in the consumer end of things - and absolutely technically the NT line is what we use today, Win7 is NT 6.2.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

pulski (126566) | about 2 years ago | (#40403323)

Windows 7 can easily handle 8GB of RAM, as long as you have the 64bit version installed. Did you mean to type "Windows XP"?

This computer is running 16GB of RAM just fine on Windows XP x64.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

rullywowr (1831632) | about 2 years ago | (#40402943)

if you are using Windows 7 32 bit versions , it will only use 3Gb of those 8.

Fixed that for you.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40403169)

That's not true, unless you mean Windows 7 32bit vs Windows 7 64 bit, the later will use all 8GBs as the architecture of 64bit OS will address more memory ...

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa366778(v=vs.85).aspx
See the part labeled: Physical Memory Limits: Windows 7

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

asavage (548758) | about 2 years ago | (#40403299)

My windows 7 laptop supports up to 32 GB of RAM (Lenovo Thinkpad W520, 4 slots). And this 32GB limit is set by the hardware not by windows.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | about 2 years ago | (#40402989)

OCZ Agility 3

Have you ever benchmarked that thing? Moves more MB/s than any other technology I've ever been lucky enough to touch... Kind of makes my head spin.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

jittles (1613415) | about 2 years ago | (#40403041)

Not to get off topic, but I've found a really high res 27" display to be better than two displays of any size. I used to have dual 24"s and I switched to a 2560x1440 (WQHD) display and I haven't looked back. It was quite difficult to make effective use of two 24"s even, as I could hardly see the one while looking at the other. Now there is no annoying bezel, and plenty of pixel density!

But I agree, SSD's rock. The only machine I have that doesn't boot the OS from an SSD is a laptop that only supports one HDD. if I could put two drives in here, I'd boot it from SSD, too.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

houghi (78078) | about 2 years ago | (#40403307)

I rather have 2 24" then 1 27". I actually have three. Each with 6 workspaces. I would not be able to do that with one screen.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 2 years ago | (#40403321)

You need smaller monitors, not bigger ones. I have 3 17 inch 3:4 (not widescreen) monitors at work and I love it. I can easily see 3 things at once, and I don't have to spend hours moving windows around. Just move stuff to the desired monitor, and maximize it. I find that having large monitors creates problems (especially when designing web applications), because you have to be careful that you aren't making the page too wide. If you have a small monitor to begin with it's hard to design pages that are too big. I have co-workers with wide screen monitors and they are constantly designing pages or recommending changes that would require horizontal scrolling.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

jittles (1613415) | about 2 years ago | (#40403491)

No sir. That would be terrible. I write code, and I have two files open side by side next to each other. I have a second monitor, which I use to full screen things, but I prefer one large view with everything on it, side by side, so I don't have several inches of plastic in the way. Right now I have 4 things open and can see everything that is going on in all 4 places from one screen. Its great.

Your friends with widescreen monitors should just stand it up, so they have more vertical real estate. Then they won't be making things too wide anymore!

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | about 2 years ago | (#40403407)

Even my cheap ass Kingston SSD made a huge difference in the responsiveness of my system. Office suites such as Outlook, Word, and the like are very disk-bound in performance, so it's no surprise that an SSD would make life much easier for business users. Starting Outlook or Word used to take forever, and now it just takes an annoying amount of time. The super-fast Windows boot time now lets me do away with sleep and hibernation. I just shut my system down and start each day afresh!

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#40402643)

Actually the price $/GB is now around $1.42/GB, which means that SSD's are outpacing the rate at which HDD's were growing in size 12 years ago into the multi-gigabyte range. I can go down to my local Canadacomputers and get a 120GB SSD from OCZ for $83. Or 240GB for $169. Round about 12 years ago, you were still paying $1.83/GB up here.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#40402763)

There are SSD's at the $1/GB range (your typo). Though what you meant was 1.42GB to the dollar, or $.69/GB. I'm glad to see this trend, but we still have another 50% drop or so to go before they become truly widespread. It's close, but can't say it's a surprise.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

colinnwn (677715) | about 2 years ago | (#40402659)

Why do you say ridiculous? It is just a different technology that is much more expensive to manufacture per GB than a HDD, but has some awesome advantages, and at least one big disadvantage on the price, and questions about longevity. But are SDD much more profitable to manufacturers (ignoring Intel)?

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 years ago | (#40402823)

> Why do you say ridiculous?

Ten times more expensive?

I suspect that the vast majority of people would call that "ridiculous".

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

colinnwn (677715) | about 2 years ago | (#40403219)

To me, that's like saying a Porsche is ridculously priced compared to a Kia. Both companies are providing a good product at a fair price, and neither company is out of line profitable. But the Porsche is an amazing sports car, and the Kia is just (mostly) dependable generic transportation. I've had SSDs since the 120GB versions could be had for $120 on sale, which is almost 2 years now. It was the best money I've ever spent on a computer. Now I have an external hard drive for the really big files I need to keep. But I'd never give up the SSD as a main drive just to get more space.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402685)

Seriously...

Right now, an impressive number of drives are available for less than a dollar per gigabyte.

A cursory search of NewEgg shows me 1TB HDDs FAR below $1k in price. If you're looking for balls-out speed and want to spend more, sure, knock yourself out, but in terms of storage space for cost (which, like it or not, is still a fairly major concern for a lot of people), SSDs still have one hell of a long way to go.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402779)

SSD prices just fell from completely ludicrous to ridiculous as part of the normal drop in prices per GB of storage

Only if you only measure a single value.
SSD's are still one of the cheaper ways to give your old computer a boost.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#40403123)

They still haven't hit the sweet spot, simply because the ones they are discounting are the smaller drives which most of my customer's OS drives simply wouldn't fit,and neither will mine.

I try to install all my games to a separate drive and my OS drive is at 96Gb used which means a 128Gb would already be nearly full and from the looks of what I've been seeing the drives that are getting dumped on the sales the most are the 40Gb-60Gb. That might be good for a cache drive but you sure as hell aren't fitting Vista or Win 7 on a drive like that without stripping thanks to the retarded "anytime upgrade" crap. The 256Gb ones are still pretty damned high and that would be what is needed to change out most of the OS installs of my customers.

Finally I would note that the spinning rust is ALSO coming back down after its visit to crazy town after the flood, I've been seeing 1Tb drives for $70 and 2Tb for $99. This isn't quite the $40 a Tb I was paying before the flood but the prices do seem to be heading back down so while its not as fast as the SSD they tend to be more reliable and you certainly get a hell of a lot more space.

BTW has anybody used an SSD for a Readyboost drive? I'm AMD exclusive so I can't do the caching trick like with those Z68 boards and I was just wondering if anybody had tried using something like a 40Gb SSD as a Readyboost cache. Is it worth it? I have an 8Gb USB I use now and I can tell a difference, especially in programs like games where after first run Windows loads the levels quicker thanks to using both the HDD and flash, but I just don't know if having THAT big a Readyboost would be worth it and I'm sure as hell not gonna do a clean install and VLite to try to squeeze Win 7 onto some 60Gb. This install has purred like a kitten since RTM and I don't want to deal with that much hassle for a speed boost.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#40403335)

I'm sure as hell not gonna do a clean install and VLite to try to squeeze Win 7 onto some 60Gb.

I actually managed to get a Windows 7 Pro install on a 64GB SSD. I simply created a junction link in order to move the User folder to an actual hard drive without messing with the registry. I did the same to move my large programs (mostly games) to the hard drive. I love how fast it boots up. I do will I had at least a 120GB SSD through if not a 200+ GB one. Windows 7 takes up a vast majority of my SSD.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 2 years ago | (#40403471)

Why is the OS drive taking up 96GB?
Just make symlinks or whatever windows calls them.

Re:hard drive prices/GB are also dropping (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 2 years ago | (#40403437)

It's a lot more straightforward than that: NAND chips follow Moore's law (and so does their pricing), while magnetic storage doesn't. SSDs are dropping by Moore's law, and will continue to do so as long as Moore's law holds up for flash memory. It's not that the $700 160GB Intel SSD was ludicrous or ridiculously priced, it's that flash memory really cost that much back then, and the prices we see today are just about where Moore's law would predict they'd be.

Even when they were expensive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402467)

I stretched a little bit to make the purchases but they were worth it for the low seek latency. The last two I bought for my laptop were over 550$ each.
Recently we put some higher-end drives in our servers and we love the hell out of them.
It's great to see prices coming down. Along the same lines RAM is becoming ever cheaper too. We just bought 192 gigs of ram for 3 machines without breaking a sweat.

Re:Even when they were expensive... (5, Interesting)

toejam13 (958243) | about 2 years ago | (#40402721)

Recently we put some higher-end drives in our servers and we love the hell out of them.

There have been a couple of reports that just came out that suggest that SSDs can pay for themselves in many server environments. It isn't just the power savings (remember that non-residential customers often get charged more per kWh), but that many servers are often disk I/O bound. When you replace spinning platter drives with SSDs, you might be able to cut your server count in half. Admins have found that they can completely eliminate caching web servers because the app servers can crank out so much.

Re:Even when they were expensive... (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 2 years ago | (#40403237)

There have been a couple of reports that just came out that suggest that SSDs can pay for themselves in many server environments.

Buying some SSDs for our servers has given the best ever return on investment in our IT infrastructure. The traditional hard drives were giving very poor performance because they were always seeking, so going to a drive with zero seek time made a vast difference.

They speak the truth (3, Interesting)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about 2 years ago | (#40402497)

It seems to be the nature of things that prices go up and rarely come down. Interesting for manufacturers, in that they were all forced to raise prices at the same time. Now you have a situation where they can all keep prices high as long as none of the big players steps out. Almost like a natural price fixing scheme.

On the SSD front, the technology has finally matured so that reliability is good enough and cost is low enough for the mainstream. I think it is important for anyone in the market to make sure that they purchase the latest generation of drives. Speed doesn't matter that much (the rest of your computer is probably couldn't utilize it) but the newer firmwares are much less likely to corrupt your data. The parts are also more fault tolerant.

Really, the biggest issue is probably the difficulty of moving existing OS installs to a new drive. Too bad, because a completely solid state PC is so nice to use.

Re:They speak the truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402587)

Natural competition will drop the prices again, albiet slowly. There's too much money to be made moving more units. If there is real collusion, then not.

Re:They speak the truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402635)

dd does a great job of moving modern OSes to a new drive with minimal pain and effort. Some cheap knockoffs like windows may have issues, however.

Re:They speak the truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402655)

Samsung SSDs now come with a free copy of Ghost. Guess why.

Re:They speak the truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402725)

Because they want to scare you.
Boo!

Re:They speak the truth (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about 2 years ago | (#40403155)

I assume so that people can move their installs from a hard drive to a SSD with the minimum amount of effort.

Re:They speak the truth (5, Insightful)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 2 years ago | (#40402701)

SSDs also have OCZ and Crucial leveraging MLC and SandForce's controllers to deliver optimized and boosted performance and extended life for reduced cost. SandForce SF-2200 chipsets compress data as it goes out to the chips, reducing write volume and thus giving fractional write amplification. This improves performance and reduces storage wear, improving product lifetime--hence the use of MLC. Of course already compressed data doesn't have those benefits, hence why OCZ's Vertex line has better write speeds--they use synchronous chips that write as fast as they read (Agility drives use much cheaper chips that read faster than they write, so for compressible data they're FAST but for non-compressible data they're slow), and use compression just to extend drive lifetime.

With all the manufacturers making good use of SandForce's better chips, and SandForce's strategic pricing (read: they're relatively cheap because they want to be a major consumer and enterprise supplier of SSD controllers, which would make them richer than charging a fistful of cash per chip), a lot of inexpensive SSDs have shown up. Essentially Intel tried to hold prices high, and SandForce stepped up and decided to help the whole market undercut them in order to gain market dominance (Intel uses SF chips in 2 models; they previously used Intel proprietary controllers, and have also used Marvell controllers).

That's called "competition," son. It's what big businesses try to prevent with patents, lock-in, vertical integration (so you can't undercut their prices ever), supply chain control (so you can't get the raw materials to make a competing product without buying from them), etc.

Re:They speak the truth (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#40402705)

I've got a first generation OCZ Vertex, that I've been running pretty close to non-stop for 3 years with the 1.16 firmware on it. Nearly continuous reads/writes including a pagefile. I know a lot of the first generation drives had some problems they're still pretty good even first generation wise. I've also got an agility 3, really nice. Good boost over the Vertex, I'm quite happy with both. I can't wait for the traditional drives to die. Now they just need to get up into the TB range, and be cheap enough.

Re:They speak the truth (1)

countach74 (2484150) | about 2 years ago | (#40402727)

I moved my OS install to my SSD very quickly. Things are so much easier on sane operating systems. Windows, on the other hand... Also, I disagree with "the rest of your computer probably couldn't utilize it": storage is almost always a limiting factor at some point on a desktop. In fact, I need to upgrade my motherboard so I can take full advantage of my SATA 3.0 SSD. (No, I cannot by a PCI card for it, as my board does not have any PCI express slots other than the single 16x).

Re:They speak the truth (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 2 years ago | (#40403183)

Really, the biggest issue is probably the difficulty of moving existing Windows installs to a new drive.

FTFY

really simple (3, Insightful)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#40402625)

Well, WD and Seagate better still be price gouging to save up funds to buy out a flash chip manufacturer or they're screwed. At my repair and custom builds shop, it's down to a simple rule that if you don't need tons of storage, go with the much faster high lifetime SSD option and if you do need tons of storage, a 500GB-1TB drive is the way to go and they're around the same price. At this rate, I bet WD and Seagate have about 6 months to start making SSDs or they're bankrupt.

Re:really simple (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40403147)

At this rate, I bet WD and Seagate have about 6 months to start making SSDs or they're bankrupt.

6 months? I think you're estimating a bit low for an industry that supplies most of the storage to the world. I also think that you're not considering the limited supply of flash and some fundamental lifespan issues. Here's at least one HDD manufacturer viewpoint: Seagate: Flash Memory Not a Threat [techspot.com]

SSD (1, Interesting)

jschmitz (607083) | about 2 years ago | (#40402653)

the problem with SSD for high performance storage is you have to over allocate almost to a factor of 10 to get the advertised speeds ....moving from 10% occupancy to 94% occupancy can degrade performance by more than 90%. To avoid dramatic performance loss, manufacturers often “over-capacity” devices in order to ensure sufficient pre-erase “buffering” for performance. Regardless, running storage capacity at 10% will yield one performance level, 35% a lesser performance level, 75% still a lower level, and 95% capacity nearly grinds performance to a halt. DRAM is the way to go maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan

Re:SSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402781)

No different than hard drives, though it works slightly differently. Advertised speeds only works in the earliest sectors of the hard drive. The latter will be significantly slower not only in writes like SSDs that are near capacity (and that are forced to rely on Garbage Collection only, and not TRIM), but also in reads (wheras this is always constant with SSDs regardless of location or utilization).

Re:SSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402841)

DRAM is the way to go

I often worked exclusivly in DRAM. But mom would make me unplug the Timex/Sinclair and I'd lose all my files.

Re:SSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40402901)

Absolute FUD. I've ran my SSD at very close to 100% capacity often, and it never degraded performance even close to 90%. In fact, for ordinary use it was never really noticable. I'm sure you could see a difference in benchmarking, but not in most users day-to-day usage

Re:SSD (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 2 years ago | (#40403263)

Many cheaper SSDs with lower over-provisioning and worse controllers have issues with write performance near capacity. But you are correct, as the newer gen SSD controllers become cheaper/faster, even the low end SSDs are being quite performant.

Re:SSD (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#40403053)

Doesn't seem to really hold true. Here's an example from my first generation SSD which is 97% full using AS SSD. If what you said was true, that would be reflected like a traditional drive. But it's not, even with benchmarks. It's speeds are nearly in stock bench wise still, even using other tools it's the same.

http://i46.tinypic.com/1zbcg43.png [tinypic.com]

Joy (1)

Yosho-sama (800703) | about 2 years ago | (#40402855)

I was wondering how long it would take, but I guess the ubiquitous nature of hard drives and the fact that normal users don't understand what the big deal about SSDs is about, manufacturers are having to fight the take-it-or-leave it nature of SSDs.

I for one, won't put one in my laptop until I see a 500 gig drive for at most $300. My hard drive works fine right now. I'd love to have the power-efficiency, accident-proof, and high speed features in my laptop but I'm not going to down over $200 for 200 gigabytes. The larger size of my hard drive and low price balances that out quite nicely.

Its a conspiracy.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40403043)

This is just a big plan by the manufacturer's to move away from traditional drives.That why drive prices havent come down. They make much more profit from SSD's so why lower the prices on regular drives where they make very little profit..

So did Apple stop hoarding all the NAND flash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40403385)

Maybe a project got canceled? Or did a big supply for NAND flash just come online?

Some prices fell nearly that much in weeks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40403403)

The 120GB SSD I picked up from NewEgg for about $120 weeks ago dropped to $80, so I picked up two more.
I don't see how I can not use SSDs as my primary drives.

A good idea to put off a laptop purchase... (3, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#40403443)

At the rates prices are falling, 512 GB SSD drives will be common in laptops soon, which I think is a very comfortable size for a laptop drive. 256GB (common base laptop SSD now) is OK but anemic.

I'm still looking for a ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | about 2 years ago | (#40403459)

... small (I don't need more than 60GB) but fast SSD (250MB/sec sustained write, 400MB/sec sustained read) that plugs directly into a PCI-Express slot (4x or larger to get some speed), and works reliably in Linux (e.g. NOT a Marvell controller). Given the larger capacities generally available today, it would seem to make more sense to achieve this smaller faster design with some redundancy.

An interesting alternative (but still needs to be NOT based on a Marvell controller) would be a PCI-Express card that can hold a small 2.5 inch laptop style SATA3 drive. Even better if you can slide the drive in from the rear through an open slot as long as it goes almost all the way in and has a clip to help hold it in place. I would be using this for the OS and use the rotating platter drives entirely for bulk data.

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