Flash memory replacing HDD anytime? 36 replies

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NiteStryker

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#1 9 years ago

When will flash memory replace hard drives for storage? I remember my first hard drive was 2 gigs, and now I have a 2 gig micro SD card in my blackberry. I was wondering when will flash memory render HDD's obsolete, or why it iasnt happened already?

With no moving parts, I dont know why it is at least not in laptops...save alot of battery power.




Oblivious

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#2 9 years ago

Rather than flash memory (which is slow), Solid State Drives is where it seems to be heading. No moving parts, low power usage, etc... They are currently available in (useful) sizes from 8GB up to 1TB, but they are REALLY expensive. They are also much faster than regular drives and light years faster than flash memory. Should be mainstream in the next few years.

Wiki: Solid State Dives

Pricing: Google products




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#3 9 years ago
Oblivious;4932598Should be mainstream in the next few years.

Dunno about that, I can't see people like HP/Dell adopting these for a fair while as your average 7200rpm mechanical HDD is enough for 95% of the market.

From what I've read they do perform fairly well, but the price per GB ratio just doesn't compete with traditional drives yet (yes I know that's not the point of them, but still).




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#4 9 years ago

I don't think there is any way they will be replacing hard drives in the next few years, maybe 5+ years, but right now, they don't seem to give enough advantage over mechanical drives to be worth it (unless you have money you need to get rid of). I have also heard that their speed degrades with use, mechanical drives don't degrade much (if at all), until they decide to die on you.




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#5 9 years ago

Certain drives that support the TRIM command (well, they use a tool to achieve a similar thing) can negate the gradual degradation iirc.




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Modern Warfare

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#6 9 years ago

I think it will have to get to the point where SSDs are just as reliable and nearly as affordable in price per capacity ratio as the state of the art HDDs like the Velociraptor. Even then it will only take over in the enthusiast level niche of the market.

The majority of people just want a high capacity drive for their music, movie, etc, storage, with no need for screaming speed. Of course once extremely high speed internet gets more common place and affordable, that could change.

Currently the most commonly made SSD's come in 64GB, 32GB and 128GB, in that order. The 128GB models are slowly inching in though, as many are realizing they are a better deal due to having both faster speed (due to denser Nand) and better price per capacity ratio.

Despite what Obliv said, SSDs are actually a form of flash, as they use Nand. They also have extremely high memory buffers, commonly 64MB. Though the stutter problem has been dealt with via Indilink memory controllers that do not limit how often writes are done, most still use MLC (Multi Level Cell) vs (SLC (Single Level Cell) architecture.

Making the cells multilevel is an affordable way to increase speed, but has tradeoffs as far as life span. SLC drives with MCs that do not limit writes are both fast and long lasting, but start at around $600 for a 32GB model.

IMO, the best deal going in an SSD right now is the G. Skill Falcon 128GB for $319. Just know that it is recommended that you disable certain OS features that do frequent writes when using an SSD with an Indilink controller to prolong the life of the drive.

[COLOR=Red]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231256[/COLOR]

There are drives being made so fast (over 500MB/s read and write) that will require a SATA 3 interface to be made, but it will be some time before we see something like that in SLC with Indilink controllers at anywhere near an affordable price range.




NiteStryker

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#7 9 years ago

If they made HDD sturdier and not as crash prone they would stay longer.

I know my ipod dies pretty fast, but I had a 512 mb flash mp3 player back in like 2005 and it would last for a shit long time on 1 AAA battery.




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Modern Warfare

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#8 9 years ago

Funny though how it wasn't until manufacturer's used HDDs for ridiculous uses like portable mp3 players that they got a bad rap for being "crash prone" as you say. Seems the market is steered by people that expect to be able to play Hacky Sack with their portable devices. :lol:

That being said, I often pondered the thought of getting a flash mp3 player to use on my mt bike rides. Then I realized that would be tempting fate with other trail users. Dangerous habits are often born of selfishness.




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Modern Warfare

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#9 9 years ago

Oops, double post error.




Sgt. D. Pilla

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#10 9 years ago
Funny though how it wasn't until manufacturer's used HDDs for ridiculous uses like portable mp3 players that they got a bad rap for being "crash prone" as you say. Seems the market is steered by people that expect to be able to play Hacky Sack with their portable devices.

My 20GB old-day IPOD Video never 'crashed' or stuttered once, and I take it BMX Jumping and the works. Yes it use's a HDD. They don't crash that often lol, just don't play basketball replacing the ball with your device and they are fine.