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hOMSaR
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When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:26 am

As far as I can tell, the largest flash drive readily available in a consumer computer is the 128 GB Macbook Air (is there a larger one that I'm missing somewhere?).

While there's nothing wrong with my current computer, I've been thinking about getting a new one at some point, but I want to wait until flash drive storage is cheap enough/large enough to replace a 250GB laptop (and preferably, larger than that).

So, anyone out there have an idea of how long I'll have to wait before buying a new machine? I'm not planning to get a new one before next year anyway, but if I have to wait longer, I will.

Are there any PC manufacturers that currently offer flash storage as a HD option?
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panam330
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:08 am

Apple offers a 256GB option on an in-stock model 13" Air, and up to 512GB SSD as a build-to-order option on the Pro. The latter won't come cheap - it costs well over $1000 just to upgrade to the SSD over the standard HD.
 
rfields5421
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:11 am

I think we are still one generation away from affordable large sized SSD.

Say two to three years.
 
Derico
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:12 am

I'd say to or three years before it is 50% SSD / hard disk.
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yfbflyer
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:50 am

The largest SSD i see for retail sale is 960gb but that runs about $3500. You always pay a premium for the highest capacity.
A 256gb SSD will set you back about $350-500
128gb drives cost about $150.
Dell will build a laptop with a SSD, but it is cheaper installing one into a laptop yourself. Many people also put solid state drives into their desktop computers.
I remember the first SSDs were 64gb and in the $500 range a couple years ago but like all things computer they get bigger faster and cheaper the longer you wait.
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:54 am

Sometime in the future, we might be using magnetoresistive RAM (MRAM), which should be non-volatile like flash memory, but would also have the performance of SRAM (aka cache) and the density of DRAM, thus making it a universal memory, replacing hard drives, flash memory, DRAM and SRAM.
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Ken777
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:28 am

Quoting yfbflyer (Reply 4):
I remember the first SSDs were 64gb and in the $500 range

I can remember when moving from 16 Kb to 64 Kb cost $150.  Wow!


The bump up on the Apple MacBook Air to 256 is $400.


The cost factor is going to be interesting to watch. I would be very surprised if a big chunk of the $3.9 Billion investment that Apple made in pre-paying for components didn't go to SSD. I would be even further surprised if Apple does not make additional Billion Dollar Plus investments in this area - including new plants.
 
rfields5421
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:31 am

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 6):
I can remember when moving from 16 Kb to 64 Kb cost $150

I've got a 10MB hard drive for which I paid $895 and got a good deal on it.
 
Klaus
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Mon Aug 01, 2011 9:18 am

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 6):
The bump up on the Apple MacBook Air to 256 is $400.

The Online Store says it's $300.

The format they're using is beginning to be available from the component manufacturers, however, so it's quite possible that a bit later you may be able to upgrade it yourself at even less than just the difference between the smaller and the larger units.
 
ajd1992
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:30 am

You can get a 256GB flash drive for around $800, I believe. I've seen them before but why anybody would need a flash drive that big, I don't know.
 
Stealthz
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:32 am

Quoting yfbflyer (Reply 4):
I remember the first SSDs were 64gb and in the $500 range a couple years ago

SSD have been around for 30+ years ...in 1978 1GB of SSD could have cost you something like $1,000,000 (yes that is 6 zeros and in 1978 dollars!!)
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NoWorries
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:47 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 5):
Sometime in the future, we might be using magnetoresistive RAM (MRAM), which should be non-volatile like flash memory, but would also have the performance of SRAM (aka cache) and the density of DRAM, thus making it a universal memory, replacing hard drives, flash memory, DRAM and SRAM.


There's definitely tons of research into nonvolatile, nondestructive, low-power memory. Years ago there were three main contenders: magnetoresistive, ferroelectric, and ovonic (phase-change) memory -- I haven't really kept up to date -- is magnetoresistive the one that's emerging as the favorite?

What's also pretty interesting is that memristor-based memory may in the near future displace flash memory -- appears to support higher densities, more write cycles, consume less power, etc. HP is apparently close to having something commercial -- http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/25018/

What's interesting is that some consider the memristor to be the fourth fundamental passive electrical component (which HP "discovered" in 2008), the other three traditional ones being the resistor, the capacitor, and the inductor.
 
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Revelation
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Mon Aug 01, 2011 2:12 pm

Both work and home have ThinkPads of similar vintage - 2 cores, 2 threads per core, Nahalem generation Intel CPUs.

Work one came with 100MB SSD. Since I don't keep a lot of local data on it, it works out just fine.

Home one I paid for myself and after looking at the cost of 2 * 128GB standard drives was less than 1 * 100 MB SSD, I went with the two 128Ms in a raid stripe set, with the OS on the inner tracks for quick boot and the rest on the outer tracks. Plenty of storage for me, since I don't keep a lot of video on the PC and I do have a fair number of photos.

No real noticeable performance issue with either machine, except for Firefox.

Biggest performance problem for both of them is that Firefox breaks down after opening a large number of tabs. As its footprint reaches 1GB it comes to a crawl even though both PCs have 4GB or more memory.
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elbandgeek
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Mon Aug 01, 2011 7:43 pm

They'll be standard when they're cheap enough.
They won't be cheap enough as long as Apple has a chokehold on suppliers.
 
Klaus
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:24 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 12):
Home one I paid for myself and after looking at the cost of 2 * 128GB standard drives was less than 1 * 100 MB SSD, I went with the two 128Ms in a raid stripe set, with the OS on the inner tracks for quick boot and the rest on the outer tracks.

SSDs don't have tracks and their performance is uniform throughout. Fragmentation is also a non-issue since there are no mechanical heads to be moved or rotating sectors to wait for.

What's slowing them down is writing when they're getting full and freed space needs to be rewritten. (The "Trim" mechanism can help somewhat with that.)

Quoting elbandgeek (Reply 13):
They won't be cheap enough as long as Apple has a chokehold on suppliers.

They're cheap enough for the cheapest MacBook series. So yes, they are.
 
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Revelation
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Mon Aug 01, 2011 11:23 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 14):
SSDs don't have tracks and their performance is uniform throughout.

Thanks, but I was referring to the 2 * 128GB standard drives I did end up buying for that ThinkPad.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
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Klaus
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:05 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 15):
Thanks, but I was referring to the 2 * 128GB standard drives I did end up buying for that ThinkPad.

If these are SSDs, what I've said will apply to them.
 
Geezer
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:36 am

O.K., now that hard drives are about o become obsolete, and there is a new "gizmo" that's better than SSD, my next question is..........how long before all of this is going to affect flash memory for cameras ?

Will all of these fancy new Nikons and Canons ( using SD and CF cards need to be "scrapped", because of some fabulous new memory device ?
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Stealthz
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:39 am

Quoting Geezer (Reply 17):
Will all of these fancy new Nikons and Canons ( using SD and CF cards need to be "scrapped",

Why would they need to be
As long as you have working CF & SD cards and the means to read them why would the camera need to be scrapped?
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
 
bill142
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:59 am

Quoting Geezer (Reply 17):

It won't. The stuff that's being talked about here is the same stuff that's in your SD and CF cards.
 
Klaus
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:20 pm

Quoting Geezer (Reply 17):
O.K., now that hard drives are about o become obsolete, and there is a new "gizmo" that's better than SSD, my next question is..........how long before all of this is going to affect flash memory for cameras ?

If Apple and other computer manufacturers keep sucking the Flash market dry, it may keep memory cards more expensive than they might get otherwise.

Quoting Geezer (Reply 17):
Will all of these fancy new Nikons and Canons ( using SD and CF cards need to be "scrapped", because of some fabulous new memory device ?

I don't think so. Even if Flash technology should get replaced by other physical storage methods, most likely they would still get packaged into SDXC or other card formats as Flash is nowadays.
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:22 am

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 9):
You can get a 256GB flash drive for around $800, I believe. I've seen them before but why anybody would need a flash drive that big, I don't know.

Perhaps because in a laptop you don't have space for two HDs, so a single SSD has to accommodate all your needs. In a tower there's no problem; I'm going to use an 80-100Gb SSD for the OS and programs, but all my files and storage will be kept on RHDs or regular internal ones.


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Geezer
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:55 am

Quoting stealthz (Reply 18):
Why would they need to be
As long as you have working CF & SD cards and the means to read them why would the camera need to be scrapped?

It's not that they would need to be scrapped, it's that camera makers always want to have the 'latest thing", so say they start building all their high-end cameras with, say, a different type of memory device, after a time, the newer type memory will become the "standard", and usually bad for the type being replaced.


[quote=Klaus,reply=20]I don't think so. Even if Flash technology should get replaced by other physical storage methods, most likely they would still get packaged into SDXC or other card formats as Flash is nowadays.


Thank you for that Klaus! I feel somewhat better now...........................

BTW........................I hope this isn't too off-topic; about memory cards; until fairly recently, everything I had, used SD cards, and a Sony video cam that uses memory stick pro duo cards; then, when I bought my Nikon D-300s, the thing uses one SD card and one CF card! I have never been able to understand why they don't use both cards of the same type ? Actually I haven't used the camera enough yet that it makes any difference, but I'm just curious.

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Klaus
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RE: When Will Flash Storage/SSDs Become Standard?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:59 am

Quoting Geezer (Reply 22):
about memory cards; until fairly recently, everything I had, used SD cards, and a Sony video cam that uses memory stick pro duo cards; then, when I bought my Nikon D-300s, the thing uses one SD card and one CF card! I have never been able to understand why they don't use both cards of the same type ? Actually I haven't used the camera enough yet that it makes any difference, but I'm just curious.

It seems Sony attempted to establish the memory stick format so they could build smaller devices since other Flash formats at the time were mechanically larger.

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