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SSD Prices Fall Dramatically In 2012 But Increase In Q4

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the more-cheaper-please dept.

Data Storage 77

crookedvulture writes "Solid-state drives became much more affordable in 2012. The median price for 240-256GB models fell by about 44% over the course of the year and now sits around 83 cents per gigabyte. Lower-capacity drives also got cheaper, albeit by smaller margins that kept median prices from dipping below the $1/GB threshold. Surprisingly, most drives actually got more expensive over the fourth quarter, despite Black Friday and other holiday sales. This upswing was driven largely by OCZ's decision to back off its strategy of aggressively discounting drives to gain market share, allowing its rivals to raise prices, as well. Although some new models arrived with next-generation 19- and 20-nm NAND that should be cheaper to produce, those drives didn't debut at lower prices. We may have to wait a while before SSD makers pass the savings along to consumers."

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yea they fell by 44% (5, Interesting)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42600533)

they also started using 3 bit per cell storage, effectively making their lives 1/3 as long while decreasing speed, while still being expensive as jewel encrusted shit

give me a modern SLC quarter gig drive for 150 bucks then I might start looking, otherwise I am not looking to replace my expensive drive every 2-7 years while counting every write, I have 3.5inch drives as early as 1986 damit, I expect more for the investment.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42600553)

ugh quarter TB

Re:yea they fell by 44% (2)

Cryacin (657549) | about a year and a half ago | (#42600585)

They work great. Until they don't.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42600599)

ugh quarter TB

256 megs for you. Mwahahahahaha!

Have fun watching your three three rmv recordings of Japanese commercials on Windows 95. You may even have room for a 64 kbps wav collection.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (5, Insightful)

Anpheus (908711) | about a year and a half ago | (#42600601)

This is just uninformed. Not all drives use TLC and most drives released in 2012 do not. Some drives did, like the Samsung 840, but the 840 Pro for example did not, nor did the OCZ Vector, etc.

Anyway, the case has always been that if you're not sure about the reliability of your disks: don't just use one! Software RAID solves the issue of TRIM support and you shouldn't be using parity on SSD drives anyway (due to garbage collection issues) so throw it in a RAID1 or RAID10 and build an even more reliable disk.

And if you're on a laptop that can only hold one internal disk and you still feel unsafe with just one disk: why aren't you using some sort of network based or "cloud" backed storage to ensure you have copies of your most valuable data? Why aren't you making backups?

Seriously, these problems didn't just up and appear with the invention of SSDs. It's not like we had a 30 year golden age in which no hard drive ever failed or there weren't bad runs of drives (*cough*DeskStar*cough*) that caught users by surprise. The solution has been and always will be: use RAID for redundancy, make backups for recovery.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42600647)

Seriously, these problems didn't just up and appear with the invention of SSDs. It's not like we had a 30 year golden age in which no hard drive ever failed or there weren't bad runs of drives (*cough*DeskStar*cough*) that caught users by surprise. The solution has been and always will be: use RAID for redundancy, make backups for recovery.

I think grandparent was referring to lifespan of the drive, which you'd prefer to be longer in order to maximize the economy of whatever setup you're using. I want to spend as little as possible for a product that will fail less often.

Spending as little as possible for a product that will fail more often isn't usually a good economic solution, and that holds true whether you're using an array or a single drive.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42600727)

So how many 7 year old hard drives do you have in active service?

Re:yea they fell by 44% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42600795)

The problem is ANY failure excedes the cost. People who have any kind of remotely important data should be concerned and/or whose time isn't near worthless.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42603681)

Not really. SSDs are usually for "frequent use software" only. That means OS, office suite, games.

The actual size intensive data that you put in long term storage goes to hard drives or is at least backed up there. You rarely if ever need faster access to it.

Meanwhile loss of software installation is rarely worth more then cost of SSD. You just reinstall and in some cases reconfigure and you're good to go again. Especially now that so much software can simply be re-downloaded from "the cloud".

Re:yea they fell by 44% (2)

HaZardman27 (1521119) | about a year and a half ago | (#42605531)

This is how I feel. I keep my most common-used programs and OS on SSDs, and I keep my documents, code, and less-critical software on HDDs. Loss of data is expensive. Loss of software is extremely cheap when typical internet speeds allow me to re-download even large games in less than 2 hours.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42609453)

Not to mention backing up a 256G SSD to a modern HD takes all of 30 minutes.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42600797)

So how many 7 year old hard drives do you have in active service?

Your assumption is average lifespan will be 7 years given average heavy use. This could vary massively in either direction depending on typical use and unforeseen problems/solutions.

As for keeping old hardware around, there are plenty of reasons to do so. I re-use storage media of all kinds in various projects, and, really, there's little reason not to do this unless it's a huge time-sink.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42603627)

As of typing this, three. They've been moved from RAID0 to JBOD because I don't trust them as much anymore, but they've spent their entire lives in active use as RAID0 until last couple of years when I gave machine they're in to my parents.

They still work fine and SMART checks them out okay on most points but some wear and tear statistics. Good old pre-maxtor acquisition seagate.

Rest of my drives are younger simply because I don't use older drives anymore. Not because they broke, but because they were too small and required IDE interface (and room in the case).

Re:yea they fell by 44% (3, Informative)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year and a half ago | (#42600849)

This is just uninformed. Not all drives use TLC and most drives released in 2012 do not. Some drives did, like the Samsung 840, but the 840 Pro for example did not, nor did the OCZ Vector, etc.

I have to disagree - this is very well informed, because the OP is at least aware that triple-level cell SSD drives have been introduced last year, and he/she is aware that TLC is crap waiting to unleash it's crappiness.

Besides, just because "not all drives are TLC", the point still remains that manufacturers are only interested in high margins by selling MLC and now TLC drives, and fuck reliability and longevity.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42600983)

It is uninformed.

TLC is not "crap waiting to happen". The Samsung 840 (not pro) which introduced TLC this year is a homeuser decive. While the number of writes per cell is greatly reduced you still (at 10 GB/day) have statitically much more writes than the prognosted lifetime of a homeuse device is.

Never let math and reason get into the way of uninformed FUD.

For the price offered, the 840 is an awesome deal and I for one will take it to put my game-partition on one (which means very little writes beyond the initial 2 to 15 GB download). I expect it to last quite a while and even when it does not it is no big thing: important stuff is backuped up, in some cloud, on another drive/DVD and the large chunck of the content itself is worthless and can be re-downloaded.

Never think about your specific uses and use different tools and setups for different tasks.

Give it another three, four years and we'll simply buy two Five Level Cell SSDs for cheapo and mirror them. SSDs are not there yet. If you decide against them for now, feel free to do so. But please don't do it out of uninformed fear or out of the lack to decide what hardware setup you want for specific usecases.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601031)

the point still remains that manufacturers are only interested in high margins by selling MLC and now TLC drives, and fuck reliability and longevity.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. TLC drives have dysmal write life expectancy but not all applications are critical or require some stupendous writing life. Hell I don't expect anyone out there to buy a 128GB drive and actually expect to use it next yeah when Windows 9 will use 200GB just to run the install.

I bought one of the Samsung TLC drives. I'm very happy with it. It sits in a media centre. It has windows on it. That's it. No database, no critical documents, just an OS, the media platform, and damn she's faster than the spinny drive of yesteryear.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (3, Interesting)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42603753)

A less-then-year life expectancy for home user internal PC storage medium is okay with you?

Are you also okay with couple of years life expectancy of a car? Five year life expectancy of a house?

Because that is just an absurd reduction in life expectancy.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (0)

isopropanol (1936936) | about a year and a half ago | (#42604429)

Are you OK with a 1 year like expectancy on your car's air filter?

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42606065)

Sure. But not the engine block or breaks. Kind of like how I'm okay with dust filters on my PC intakes being clogged every 6 months or so.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42605795)

TLC has not a "less-then-year life expectancy".
See the endurance test here:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6459/samsung-ssd-840-testing-the-endurance-of-tlc-nand [anandtech.com]

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42606241)

I was answering to parent's ridiculous hyperbole. Not actual life expectancy of current drivers.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year and a half ago | (#42622893)

A less-then-year life expectancy for home user internal PC storage medium is okay with you?

Except it's only a less than a year depending on use. As mentioned this is a media server. It's gets turned on every couple of days. The most read-writes it will ever do is installing a windows update. I fully expect this drive to last far longer than one year. Also for the price I paid ... yes a year would be a good run for the speed.

Are you also okay with couple of years life expectancy of a car? Five year life expectancy of a house?

You're going to think of me as strange but yes, I bought my last car expecting to get less than 1 year out of it. Were it a new car from a reputable manufacturer I'd have expected it to last 10-15 years. Had I bought a Great Wall or some other cheaparse Chinese or Indian I expect to get maybe 5 years out of it. The cheap arse piece of shit I bought... yes I expect to only get 1 year out of it.

Dollars are everything. If I paid $160 for the drive in the media centre like I did for the MLC drive in my desktop then damn straight I expect to get more than a few years out of it. But at the rate we're going I'm going to simply throw that small thing away after a year anyway and buy a bigger cheaper drive next time.

Welcome to our new disposable world. Incidentally my 100% perfectly working phone is up for contract renewal next month and may likely end up in the bin if I can't find someone to gift it too. They could have saved a few dollars there and made it less durable.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (2, Informative)

David_Hart (1184661) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601105)

This is just uninformed. Not all drives use TLC and most drives released in 2012 do not. Some drives did, like the Samsung 840, but the 840 Pro for example did not, nor did the OCZ Vector, etc.

I have to disagree - this is very well informed, because the OP is at least aware that triple-level cell SSD drives have been introduced last year, and he/she is aware that TLC is crap waiting to unleash it's crappiness.

Besides, just because "not all drives are TLC", the point still remains that manufacturers are only interested in high margins by selling MLC and now TLC drives, and fuck reliability and longevity.

Until this article, I didn't realize that there was a difference in SSD technology (SLC, MLC, TLC). I recently built a new system with two Samsung 840 250GB TLC SSD drives (paid about $170 each). I have one dedicated to the OS, one for programs, and I'm storing my data on standard SATA III hard-drives. As I understand it, this is the current recommended setup for SSD drives. My static usage on each SSD drive is about 80GB with 120GB free and 32GB unallocated. The only data being written to the drives are OS generated files and Temporary Internet Files, which I now plan to move off to one of my data drives.

I'm not worried about my setup. Based on the TLC numbers, it should last about 7 to 10 years in this configuration, much longer than the expected lifetime of most consumer grade mechanical drives.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601339)

I have one dedicated to the OS, one for programs, and I'm storing my data on standard SATA III hard-drives. As I understand it, this is the current recommended setup for SSD drives

Are you really spending that much time seeking in applications and OS files? That stuff typically gets loaded once on boot and then stays in RAM. It's the data where the fast random read/write times are a big win, and that's the stuff that you're storing on the spinning disks.

The only data being written to the drives are OS generated files and Temporary Internet Files, which I now plan to move off to one of my data drives

So, having identified something where an SSD is a speedup (lots of small random reads and writes), you're now going to stop using it for that? At which point, why do you even bother with an SSD?

Re:yea they fell by 44% (3, Interesting)

Christian Smith (3497) | about a year and a half ago | (#42602121)

I have one dedicated to the OS, one for programs, and I'm storing my data on standard SATA III hard-drives. As I understand it, this is the current recommended setup for SSD drives

Urgh, no, if you have 2 SSD, at least RAID them. Or put OS+APPs on one, data on the other, and use the HDD is a live backup for both.

Are you really spending that much time seeking in applications and OS files? That stuff typically gets loaded once on boot and then stays in RAM. It's the data where the fast random read/write times are a big win, and that's the stuff that you're storing on the spinning disks.

OS binaries and libraries are often read in a random IO pattern, as the process jumps from one section of code to another. This is where a low latency drive on OS/application startup helps.

User data, on the other hand, is usually read/written in a sequential IO pattern, from start to finish.

Loading that word doc? Word will read and parse the file in one fell sweep. Saving the updated document? Why not just write it out in one go, rather than update the document in place (not sure if this is how Word works, BTW).

Viewing pictures or listening to music or watch videos? All sequential reads, what HDD are good at.

The only data being written to the drives are OS generated files and Temporary Internet Files, which I now plan to move off to one of my data drives

So, having identified something where an SSD is a speedup (lots of small random reads and writes), you're now going to stop using it for that? At which point, why do you even bother with an SSD?

Personally, I'd have gone for a single bigger SSD, put all my OS/Apps on that one, and use the HDD as backup for the SSD as well as for bulk files (media files etc.)

In fact, I'd have stuck with the small single 128GB SSD for OS/apps + small data, and bought two HDD instead, a fast 7200 rpm one for live big data and backup of SSD, and the other as a backup HDD (which can be a low speed, low power 5400 rpm drive in an external enclosure.)

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year and a half ago | (#42602931)

OS binaries and libraries are often read in a random IO pattern, as the process jumps from one section of code to another. This is where a low latency drive on OS/application startup helps.

The only runtime linker I'm familiar with will prefault the entire binary and then let it be demand paged out, on the basis that binaries are usually small and mostly-used, that reading the entire binary is as cheap as faulting in a few pages, and if some pages aren't used for a while then they can be paged out at no cost later.

User data, on the other hand, is usually read/written in a sequential IO pattern, from start to finish.

Since this is the sort of thing that usually deserves a big fat [citation needed], I'll skip that and just point you straight to a peer-reviewed citation that roundly refutes that idea:

A File is Not a File: Understanding the I/O Behavior of Apple Desktop Applications, published at ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles, 2011.

Loading that word doc? Word will read and parse the file in one fell sweep. Saving the updated document? Why not just write it out in one go, rather than update the document in place (not sure if this is how Word works, BTW).

See the above paper.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

Christian Smith (3497) | about a year and a half ago | (#42616591)

OS binaries and libraries are often read in a random IO pattern, as the process jumps from one section of code to another. This is where a low latency drive on OS/application startup helps.

The only runtime linker I'm familiar with will prefault the entire binary and then let it be demand paged out, on the basis that binaries are usually small and mostly-used, that reading the entire binary is as cheap as faulting in a few pages, and if some pages aren't used for a while then they can be paged out at no cost later.

And what about libraries? An app could contain 100's of MB of code, even if only a small fraction of it is referenced. I'd rather that code not push out my working set of data.

User data, on the other hand, is usually read/written in a sequential IO pattern, from start to finish.

Since this is the sort of thing that usually deserves a big fat [citation needed], I'll skip that and just point you straight to a peer-reviewed citation that roundly refutes that idea:

A File is Not a File: Understanding the I/O Behavior of Apple Desktop Applications, published at ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles, 2011.

The paper above doesn't entirely refute my assertion:

Summary: A substantial number of tasks contain purely sequential accesses. When the definition
of a sequential access is loosened such that only 95% of bytes must be consecutive, then even more
tasks contain primarily sequential accesses. These “nearly sequential” accesses result from metadata
stored at the beginning of complex multimedia files: tasks frequently touch bytes near the beginning
of multimedia files before sequentially reading or writing the bulk of the file.

This was based on observations of IO patterns from the studied applications in the paper.

Loading that word doc? Word will read and parse the file in one fell sweep. Saving the updated document? Why not just write it out in one go, rather than update the document in place (not sure if this is how Word works, BTW).

See the above paper.

Yeah, this was a bad example, as Word docs are highly structured. SQLite files operate similarly.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42602163)

Are you really spending that much time seeking in applications and OS files? That stuff typically gets loaded once on boot and then stays in RAM. It's the data where the fast random read/write times are a big win, and that's the stuff that you're storing on the spinning disks.

Until 2TB SSDs are relatively inexpensive, data is going to live on spinners.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

gmack (197796) | about a year and a half ago | (#42602429)

OS and application loading both involve a lot or random reads. I have three computers setup with OS/APPS on SSD and data on spinning hard drive since I have far more data than I have OS and applications and a small SSD was a cheap addition to the machines. In all three cases (two Linux machines, one Windows) the result was a huge improvement in both OS start up time and application load times. It is enough of an improvement that several apps I used to just leave open now get closed when I'm not using them.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

ars (79600) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601471)

As I understand it, this is the current recommended setup for SSD drives.

Actually, I think even better than that is to use an SSD as a caching disk, backed by regular disks.

Then everything can benefit from the speed boost since the computer is better than you at deciding which files need a speedup. You don't want to move so many high write files off of the SSD that you make it pointless.

If you are on linux see: http://bcache.evilpiepirate.org/ [evilpiepirate.org]

Re:yea they fell by 44% (3, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year and a half ago | (#42603549)

Until this article, I didn't realize that there was a difference in SSD technology (SLC, MLC, TLC).

"I am an uninformed buyer and will now dispense my lack of wisdom to you."

I recently built a new system with two Samsung 40 250GB TLC SSD drives (paid about $170 each). I have one dedicated to the OS, one for programs, and I'm storing my data on standard SATA III hard-drives. As I understand it, this is the current recommended setup for SSD drives. My static usage on each SSD drive is about 80GB with 120GB free and 32GB unallocated. The only data being written to the drives are OS generated files and Temporary Internet Files, which I now plan to move off to one of my data drives.

I'm not worried about my setup.

"I am actually worried about my setup, as I intend to move frequently written datasets to the mechanical drives."

Based on the TLC numbers, it should last about 7 to 10 years in this configuration, much longer than the expected lifetime of most consumer grade mechanical drives.

"I am pulling some numbers right out of my ass. Also, my configuration which consists of mechanical drives should last much longer than mechanical drives."

How did this bullshit get modded up?

Re:yea they fell by 44% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601765)

Besides, just because "not all drives are TLC", the point still remains that manufacturers are only interested in high margins by selling MLC and now TLC drives, and fuck reliability and longevity.

If the market isn't there, or isn't large enough, they're not going to go through the trouble of making them.

Who's to blame: the manufacturers or the customers who generally only look at size/price? I wouldn't mind a SLC for my OS either, but finding them is rather challenging at a reasonable capacity (~256GB).

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601997)

Besides, just because "not all drives are TLC", the point still remains that manufacturers are only interested in high margins by selling MLC and now TLC drives, and fuck reliability and longevity.

Except that's the point – the reliability of longevity of these drives is still well above the average of a hard disk (you can reasonably get 7-10 years out of even a TLC 250GB SSD).

Add to that that the short term failure rates of SSDs are much lower than those of HDDs (you're talking 0.5-1.5% per year for non OCZ SSDs, and about 4-5% per year for HDDs), and that the failure mode of SSDs when the flash does finally wear out is that you simply can't write (but can read), and I'll take a TLC SSD over an HDD any day from a reliability stand point.

So, in SSDs' favour:

  • Reliability
  • Failure mode
  • Speed (particularly random access)
  • Capacity per unit volume (SSDs have actually just overtaken HDDs here, with 1TB fittable in a 7.5mm 2.5" drive compared to HDDs which still need a 9.5mm drive for that)

In HDDs' favour:

  • Capacity per dollar, but even that lead is being eroded fast, as SSDs are currently keeping up with moore's law, while HDDs aren't keeping up with the equivalent law for spinning rust rather than transistors.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

DrXym (126579) | about a year and a half ago | (#42602179)

SSDs haven't been around long enough to judge their reliability or longevity. I bought a bunch of LED bulbs for my house which claimed 30 year lifespan and about 6 or 7 have failed already in the course of 3 years.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

Sigg3.net (886486) | about a year and a half ago | (#42602009)

What is TLC?

Re:yea they fell by 44% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42605415)

Tender Loving Care. It refers to a type of flash that cares more about the data you give it to look after, but the downside is the extra caring it does results in it getting emotionally exhausted and it will wear out quicker than other types.

Or maybe it means Tri-Layer Cells, I'm not really sure.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42606399)

Er, I meant triple level cells, which you could have found out yourself by googling "tlc flash".

Re:yea they fell by 44% (2)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601233)

This is just uninformed. Not all drives use TLC

And this is a straw man. The OP never said that "all drives are TLC" - it is you who made that straw-man in order to imply that the OP is "uninformed", whereas the OP is actually perfectly well informed, and shared valuable info - namely, that TLC drives have been introduced to the market.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (2)

abigsmurf (919188) | about a year and a half ago | (#42602095)

The problem with SSDs is not that they fail. It's that they fail completely without warning (or at least mine did), no have no chance to do emergency backups, order a replacement and no way of running repair utilities to reconstruct some of the files.

I've had HDDs die but never complete data loss out of the blue like with the OCZ Vertex 2.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42609581)

That's not a problem with SSDs, that's a problem with OCZ.
BTW, personally saw plenty of hard drives go from "perfectly working, nothing suspicious in smart" to "clicking brick" overnight.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42602483)

Anyway, the case has always been that if you're not sure about the reliability of your disks: don't just use one!

so I'm supposed to buy two diamond-priced SSDs?

And if you're on a laptop that can only hold one internal disk and you still feel unsafe with just one disk: why aren't you using some sort of network based or "cloud" backed storage to ensure you have copies of your most valuable data?

Laptops are as popular as desktops now, maybe more, so you should try to realize that you're potentially addressing a majority of users with this question. And many users have only one computer, and if the main disk goes out, they won't be able to use it whether they have backups or not. Well, unless they're running Linux or similar and have made a bootable backup. And people SHOULD do this, but that doesn't change the fact that some new SSDs are less reliable.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42600603)

At 40GB written-read /day, the current estimation for a TLC drive is a life expectancy is 7 years. Aka, much more than the current median of my past hard drives.
Also, I can expect in 5 years that an equivalent of a 256GB SSD will cost next to nothing, so replacing it wouldn't be *that* hard...

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

citizenr (871508) | about a year and a half ago | (#42600657)

they also started using 3 bit per cell storage, effectively making their lives 1/3 as long while decreasing speed, while still being expensive as jewel encrusted shit

Hey, 70TB write endurance ought to be enough for anyone!

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

froggymana (1896008) | about a year and a half ago | (#42605781)

Hey, 70TB write endurance ought to be enough for anyone!

Well, if it isn't then a TLC SSD isn't for you today. Fortunately for you, there are other involving HDDs and RAID setups.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42600699)

The only drive with TLC flash on that list is the samsung 840, try again.

Who are "they"? (2)

Gordo_1 (256312) | about a year and a half ago | (#42600749)

Do you mean Samsung? In 2012 they were the only manufacturer using TLC NAND and in only one line of drives (840). Don't let me steal your thunder though...

An incidentally, the 840 has been shown to do over 400 TB of writes (http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?271063-SSD-Write-Endurance-25nm-Vs-34nm&p=5163560&viewfull=1#post5163560), which is probably fine for most desktop uses...

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#42602069)

give me a modern SLC quarter gig drive for 150 bucks then I might start looking, otherwise I am not looking to replace my expensive drive every 2-7 years while counting every write, I have 3.5inch drives as early as 1986 damit, I expect more for the investment.

And the seek performance on your 1986 hard drive sucks. That's all SSD is really good for - low-seek optimizations. Boot drives, caches in front of spinning rust. OK, tiny ones for low-power embedded work, but even at that the low reliability makes them a liability (IDE to CF adapters seem to work better...).

I have some database servers with a pair of SLC SSD'd in front of the data store and write-ahead logs, with RAID-1 on top of them. The performance improvement is amazing, and worth the $250/yr it's going to cost to keep replacing the SSD's.

If the performance/power/utility boost isn't worth the money for a given application, then there's not a valid use-case for SSD. But that holds for all technology.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#42602591)

What are you talking about? Every time you write to flash memory, you have the erase and rewrite the entire 4096 bit block. So 1, 3, whatever. It doesn't matter. Citation?

Re:yea they fell by 44% (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42606537)

The problem with SSDs, especially the MLC is the hot/crazy scale [codinghorror.com] and I have seen this with my own eyes, I have several gamer customers that buy the top o' the line SSDs and they are already on double digits because of all the failed drives.

The problem AIN'T the cells though, its the damned controllers. I have been saying for years they need to have a simple ARM chip that kicks in when the main controller fails that makes the drive read only so you can at least get your shit off but after looking into it this is why I do NOT install SSDs as main drives and advise against using them as main drives, because when the controller fails? unless you have the skills to unsolder the chips and get the data off one chip at a time you are screwed, it won't even show up under BIOS. This also makes many of my customers leery about using the warranties because who knows what third world country they send dead drives to and since you can't nuke it who knows where your CC numbers and data would end up.

At the end of the day this is what i tell my customers: The SSD is like any other tool in that used WISELY it can be a benefit. if its in a mobile device that you back up religiously or which doesn't have any important data, like a netbook? Works great here. if its for an OS drive where you have image backups and all your important data on spinning rust? Again works great. if this is a mission critical system or is gonna have important irreplaceable things like family photos? NOT a good use, in fact it will end up biting you in the ass. The good old HDD may not be the fastest but at least you usually get plenty of warning before they fail, too many times i have seen an SSD go from 100% good to deader than Dixie overnight. NO WARNING, that is just fucked up and why I still use spinning rust in my builds.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42609687)

Why do I have the sneaking suspicion "top 'o the line" == OCZ crap.

Re:yea they fell by 44% (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42609857)

Actually? Intel and Samsung as they at the time had the best scores. Remember gamers want to be top of the leaderboards and OCZ is only there for price NOT raw performance and hasn't had the performance crown in quite a while. In fact last I checked the top 3 were Intel, Kingston, and Samsung, OCZ ended up something like fifth.

Prediction (3, Interesting)

backslashdot (95548) | about a year and a half ago | (#42600579)

Here's whats gonna happen .. A scandal will break about price fixing. The govt will get involved a lawsuit will be filed. A fine will be paid. Prices will then stagnate instead of drop.

That's the normal pattern.

Re:Prediction (4, Insightful)

jonnat (1168035) | about a year and a half ago | (#42600697)

You don't seem to know what price fixing is. Prices dropping steeply as more competitors enter a market are indicative of a price war, effectively the opposite of price fixing.

But don't let this minor detail interfere with your rant about the government.

Re:Prediction (1)

game kid (805301) | about a year and a half ago | (#42600747)

I think backslashdot's talking about the sudden rise after the fall. These days you can very safely read "back off its strategy of aggressively discounting drives to gain market share, allowing its rivals to raise prices, as well" as "work with its rivals to keep prices high so they don't have to worry about those pesky 'competition' or 'can't pay their CEOs bonuses this quarter' things".

Whether by government fine ("unfortunately, we have to pass the costs of onerous government regulation on to the consumer" and such bullshit), continued corporate collusion, or both (because fines don't stop determined white-collar criminals from just speaking in a new code), the days of hope for reasonable SSD prices will be (if not are) over. Oh well.

Re:Prediction (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601909)


I think backslashdot's talking about the sudden rise after the fall.

agreed, the gp misunderstood his argument (but didn't let that get in the way of ranting about ranting about government)

the days of hope for reasonable SSD prices will be (if not are) over.

In 2020, a 2TB SDD will be under $60 USD(2012).

Re:Prediction (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#42602651)

They're all competing twice as hard as a year ago to bringout the fastest, biggest, cheapest drive and suddenly an OCZ Vertex costs $139 instead of the $79.99 I paid on 4 builds that I used them in in the past. That's the definition of price fixing. Companies are killing each other over price and then suddenly they all stop for no apparent reason and raise their prices.

Re:Prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42603059)

If one player is cutting margins to the bone to gain market share and hoping to benefit from economy of scale, virtually every other vendor with similar products will have to respond with similar pricing or see their market share drop to a point they will lose money due to underutilized production, just not enough revenue, and will have insufficient R&D funds to develop the next gen -- thereby sealing their fate.

When that one player decides they want higher margins (perhaps due to financial pressure, perhaps it was their plan all along to do so after reaching some market share, or perhaps their production facilities are running at 100% so they can't quickly increase supply to meet demand so they might as well raise prices and margins) and raises their prices, suddenly everyone else is able to do so and actually gain volume, revenue, and profit.

This could just be market forces at work and not involve any price fixing.

Re:Prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42603263)

That "no apparent reason" was called the samsung 830.
When they EOLed them, samsung released MASSIVE #s into the channel, completely killing price on "performance" SSDs and even undercutting a bunch of "value" segment models.
They're out of old 830s now.

Re:Prediction (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year and a half ago | (#42605207)

They're all competing twice as hard as a year ago to bringout the fastest, biggest, cheapest drive and suddenly an OCZ Vertex costs $139 instead of the $79.99 I paid on 4 builds that I used them in in the past. That's the definition of price fixing. Companies are killing each other over price and then suddenly they all stop for no apparent reason and raise their prices.

That's not price fixing, that's just market economics.

Your competitor decides they want marketshare and basically dumps product on the market at just above cost. What do you do? Do you keep the same price and watch sales plummet? Or are you now forced to discount as well in order to keep sales going and inventory low?

Now your competitor decides they'd like to make some money and bump prices up, Are you going to give away profit now that the biggest reason the price is low is gone?

Price fixing is when companies get together to say they will never sell an item below a certain price. It's very tricky to prove since you must show that the companies actually did collude.

But when prices are pulled down because of someone dumping, when they stop dumping, then prices return to their original levels because the market was temporarily distorted.

In thise case OCZ decided they wanted to make money instead of crap SSDs (seriously, 5% return rate? I suspect they had to dump 'em because no one would touch them otherwise). Everyone else saw that OCZ raised their prices and followed suit - rather than leave money on the table.

The same goes for gas prices as well - someone will discount, forcing others to discount, then decide that they're done and everyone raises prices in practical unison. (Most stations need approval from head office to lower prices, but raising prices is generally up to the station).

Would you say there was price fixing when Best Buy was forced to match Walmart's iPhone 5 sale, and when it was over, they raised the price back up again? Perhaps Best Buy and Walmart are fixing prices on the iPhone 5!

Re:Prediction (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42605299)

evidently they would have been better off keeping stock instead of going to price war.

HOP THE A-1 !! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42600589)

And forget all about those SSDs. And next time, use a rubber !!

Hard drives are cheaper though (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42600607)

At least magnetic storage has recovered to pre-Thailand prices and apparently reliability as well

Re:Hard drives are cheaper though (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601343)

At least magnetic storage has recovered to pre-Thailand prices and apparently reliability as well

Exactly, now they just fail unexpectedly after a year of usage instead of being dead on arrival.

Re:Hard drives are cheaper though (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601413)

There's still muddy water coming out if you open some of the newer hard drives.

Re:Hard drives are cheaper though (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601695)

Is that intended to be funny? Last I checked, they are still more expensive, and haven't gotten appreciably larger. It feels like the 4GB barrier all over again, only with ~4TB this time. Now that there are roughly two disk manufacturers, there is also little hope of the situation improving.

Selection Bias? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42600611)

Did anyone read their methodology? They only looked at Amazon and Newegg. And only in the US. -1 Misleading.

Re:Selection Bias? (5, Interesting)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601153)


Why is this a surprise?
This is how things roll on Slashdot. It's up to us to pick the article apart, dissect the argument, question the premise and finally formulate a succinct rebuttal.

\o/

Re:Selection Bias? (1)

swilly (24960) | about a year and a half ago | (#42608343)

All these years, and I never realized that Slashdot is just a crowdsourcing tool for editing and peer reviewing news.

I feel used.

Re:Selection Bias? (1)

steelfood (895457) | about a year and a half ago | (#42610883)

This is how things roll on Slashdot. It's up to us to ignore the article completely and start a massive flamewar on a related but hotly contested topic like evolution or global warming or [insert big tech company here].

FTFY.

Re:Selection Bias? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601199)

OK for the benefit of us all please post links to reasonably trustworthy places that are selling those SSD drives for significantly less, and don't require you to buy by the container load.

I'm sure many of us will be happy to give them some business.

Re:Selection Bias? (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601231)

How is that misleading?

Most drives are going to be purchased from one of those two sites, or through somewhere like Fry's. Fry's pricing is, effectively, identical to the lower of the two, within a couple dollars. Other than that, you're looking at grossly inflated locales, like Best Buy.

Re:Selection Bias? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42605517)

Are you saying that the US makes up over 50% of the market for SSDs?

has reliability with smaller processes been fixed? (2)

SuperBanana (662181) | about a year and a half ago | (#42600693)

19- and 20-nm NAND that should be cheaper to produce, those drives didn't debut at lower prices.

I remember reading at one point that the drives with smaller processes sizes had higher failure rates. Has that been addressed, or are drive makers over-provisioning more to compensate?

Re:has reliability with smaller processes been fix (2)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about a year and a half ago | (#42600933)

19nm/20nm has proven to be no worse than the existing 2Xnm processes as far as durability is concerned. So you're still looking at a 3,000-5,000 program/erase cycles before NAND cells start giving out.

Two words: holiday inflation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42602057)

Gotta rip everyone off just in time for Christmas. Nothing to see here, move along.

Re:Two words: holiday inflation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42602523)

70% off after we triple the base prices!

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