Jump to content



Photo

Conventional Hard Drives Obsolete?


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 t_bonerman02

t_bonerman02

    "Dave's not here"

  • 222 posts
  • Joined: 21-November 04
  • Location: Charleston, SC

Posted 13 October 2006 - 05:56

If you follow the hard drive market, you are probably familiar with names such as Raptor, Deskstar or Barracuda, which stand for hard drive families from various manufacturers. All of today's mainstream hard drives are based on rotating magnetic platters, allowing for relatively high capacities of up to 750 GB per hard drive. But the technology has limits, as the data transfer speeds did not increase much over time. As a matter of fact, hard drives are the slowest components in modern PCs.

Most attempts to speed up storage performance either use caches to store data that is used frequently, or they deploy faster memory solutions such as SDRAM or DDR-SDRAM. However, all of these require the steady supply of energy by means of buffer batteries or by sucking power out of the grid. Solid state hard drives based on Flash memory are similar to SDRAM-based solutions, but they are unaffected by power-related volatility issues, which plague SDRAM units. Data that is written to Flash stays - even throughout power interruptions.

Flash hardware has intrinsic benefits, as it benefits from extremely short access times, but it also has specific advantages for the upcoming Windows Vista operating system. Flash memory as an optional cache allows the user to take advantage of Vista's "ReadyBoost" feature, allowing for a peppier PC. Adding Flash memory to a hard drive makes for a hybrid hard drive, which allows Vista to intelligently prioritize data according to frequently used applications and client schedule to cut down waiting times even further. The ideal solution is, however, a hard drive that is entirely based on an array of high performance Flash memory. The downside is that Flash memory is expensive, running at about $25/GB. We did not receive pricing information on the Samsung prototype that would help for consumer projection. As with all new hardware, Flash-based drives should continue to become more affordable as time goes on.


Source


#2 boogerjones

boogerjones

    T.I.P.I

  • 3,446 posts
  • Joined: 30-March 04
  • Location: Chicago

Posted 13 October 2006 - 06:19

Conventional Hard Drives Obsolete?

What a stupid title for an article. Conventional hard drives are found in almost every computer on the planet. So of course they are not obsolete.

#3 OP t_bonerman02

t_bonerman02

    "Dave's not here"

  • 222 posts
  • Joined: 21-November 04
  • Location: Charleston, SC

Posted 13 October 2006 - 06:30

Just because everybody has a platter-type hard drive doesn't mean that they haven't been outclassed by the flash drive. CRT's (that's the device used in viewing screens commonly known as televisions) are obsolete due to the technology of LCD and plasma screens, however, most everybody still has them.

#4 psyko_x

psyko_x

    Neowinian

  • 731 posts
  • Joined: 13-July 02

Posted 13 October 2006 - 06:40

my thoughts..
Access times are slightly over an order of magnitude smaller but unfortunately, so is the capacity. If the capacity grew by an order of magnitude and the seek times were reduced a little more I could see some people using this for main storage. For laptops and other small devices, I could see flash memory replacing harddrives. Harddrives can only be made so small and companies are starting to show off concepts of really thin tablet PCs, handhelds and the like so they would have to use switch to something like this.

For desktops, I'm not so sure. As CPU cache and main memory capacity increases and most importantly, with the adoption of hybrid harddrives, I think all these growing levels of system cache will offset the slow access times of harddrives. Desktop users will be able to RAID harddrives that are well into the terabyte range soon. So throughput will remain high, storage capacity will continue to explode, and we'll be able to take advantage of caching more than ever with the hybrid drives, growing main memory etc. There's no need to replace harddrives if you have a hybrid drive with 64GB or more of flash memory (you know this is inevitable) that can cache your entire OS and all the files you typically access.

Edited by psyko_x, 13 October 2006 - 07:09.


#5 HawkMan

HawkMan

    Neowinian Senior

  • 22,093 posts
  • Joined: 31-August 04
  • Location: Norway
  • Phone: Noka Lumia 1020

Posted 13 October 2006 - 07:12

I woudlnt' say regular harddrives are obsolete yet, since flash based doesn't have a clear speed advantage over mechanical disks yet.

Wich makes the whole flash cache thing only usefull for very specific tasks, as of yet.

#6 boogerjones

boogerjones

    T.I.P.I

  • 3,446 posts
  • Joined: 30-March 04
  • Location: Chicago

Posted 13 October 2006 - 07:20

A technology is not obsolete when something better comes around. It becomes obsolete when it is no longer significantly used.

VCR's are relatively obsolete (widely replaced by DVD). Conventional hard drives and CRT's are nowhere near obsolete.

Sorry for my semantic pickiness, but I can't stand it when people publish misinformation.

I think the bottom line for flash-based storage comes down to reliability, capacity, and cost. Flash manufacturers need to address those three issues before flash-based drives will start to replace conventional disks on a wide scale. That's a long way off.

Edited by boogerjones, 13 October 2006 - 07:33.


#7 ikyouCrow

ikyouCrow

    pagan 'puter punk ,digital phographer

  • 482 posts
  • Joined: 30-September 01

Posted 13 October 2006 - 09:48

a better title would've been
"Flash-based Hard Drives: Technology Introduction"
or something like that.

#8 Electronic Punk

Electronic Punk

    osnn dot net

  • 867 posts
  • Joined: 24-April 02
  • Location: Stonehenge
  • OS: Windows 7
  • Phone: HTC One

Posted 13 October 2006 - 09:56

What a stupid title for an article. Conventional hard drives are found in almost every computer on the planet. So of course they are not obsolete.


obsolete, outdated, out-of-date, superannuated
old; no longer in use or valid or fashionable; "obsolete words"; "an obsolete locomotive"; "outdated equipment"; "superannuated laws"; "out-of-date ideas"

Think it works?

Anyway to make my post slighty less of a waste than yours, any of these hybrid drives on the market yet?

#9 vetColin-uk

Colin-uk

    Neowinian Senior

  • 22,212 posts
  • Joined: 25-February 04
  • Location: Wirral, UK

Posted 13 October 2006 - 10:06

I read about this last month :p

Will be cool when this eventually comes onto the market, although i think it'll be at least 2007 yet...

#10 vetPink Floyd

Pink Floyd

    Neowinian Senior

  • 13,254 posts
  • Joined: 06-January 03

Posted 13 October 2006 - 10:43

oh my 25$ per GB!