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Slow SSD Transition and The Consumer Mindset – Learning to Run With Flash

Last week I posted the comment on a social site that stated, “If you are a friend of mine and still use a hard drive, I am embarrassed for you”. This drew criticism that I truly never expected, much from friends who responded through private thoughts back to me, some that I would never print. I was definitely taken aback that so many followed my social thoughts, but more importantly, I guess I was more concerned with the number of people close to me still using a hard drive.  Many of these same people spend several hours a day on a computer.

Hard Drive Disected2

This opened my eyes.  It made me realize that, as much as we have done our best to introduce and implement SSDs in the consumer space, SSDs are still in their infancy.  It’s a case of those remaining with the tried and true hard drive (not such an accurate thought) vastly out numbering the few who might chance a new ‘flash’ technology.  As much as we might believe we have advanced SSDs since their introduction in 2007, the consumer SSD is still not reaching that finish line quick enough. The vast majority are still buying PC systems with hard drives and, at least according to IHS iSuppli Stats, SSD sales will grow to 190 million with hard drive sales dropping to 397 million by 2017, still twice that of the SSD.  Compare this to our similar report and chart of just over a year ago:

IHS ssd forecast

In order to get a grip on how much time we spend on a computer, we decided to check out Facebook statistics, the world’s largest social site with a 43% share of the marketplace.  Would you believe that the world spends 20 billion minutes on Facebook each day?  That may not seem like much until you calculate and realize that this converts to 3802 years, or 380 decades of user time…..per day.  Facebook has over 1.25 billion users and, in an interesting posting, Natalia Rojas has mapped the face of each and every one of us, along with a ‘real time update’ of total users. What was once Mark Zuckerberg’s pet project has become a worldwide force that outranks the growth of traditional non-tech companies such as Coca-Cola, IBM and Exxon by a stretch. Did you know that Canada has the most active Facebook users?

FaceBook Total

What’s the hold up?  Why do we still voluntarily choose to work on computers that actually cost us day’s of our lives in just startup times alone each year?  As much as we might believe that cost alone is the prohibitive factor, competition has brought SSD prices down to a very reasonable point and the industry has gone out of their way to accommodate the consumer through education and marketing campaigns.  SSDs can be purchased with migration kits that make it easy to whip out that hard drive and install that SSD.  Lack of knowledge of the value of SSDs is still the bump in the road and if people knew that they could trade that minute plus each and every time they wait for their PC to start, for an instant on experience just like their smart phone, millions more would be sold.

Crucial M550 1TB SSD Disassembled

So let’s do our part…

Stay tuned as we embark on a SSD campaign in upcoming weeks to educate you the consumer on the elusive SSD.  We have dug up our most popular e-mail questions and will tackle each one by one in an effort to move the world away from the consumer hard drive and into the SSD.  What is an SSD? How does it work? What can an SSD do for me? Do I need an SSD? How long will an SSD last?  Will the SSD crash? Where can I purchase an SSD? How do I know what SSD is best for me?  How do I know I have found the best SSD value?  How do I install an SSD? What is the difference of an SSD compared to a hard drive?  What type of protection can an SSD offer me as a typical consumer? These are topics that we intend to tackle in the near future, each at a very easy level of understanding and each with open access to myself personally for any of your questions?

SSD over HDD

At the end of this ride we hope that you make the jump to SSDs and, more importantly, we hope we have helped you save days of your time each year through your transition to SSD, days that you can spend with family or friends as it should be.  Stay tuned!

KEEP UP WITH THE ‘LEARNING TO RUN WITH FLASH’ SERIES!

  1. SLOW SSD TRANSITION AND THE CONSUMER MINDSET
  2. WHAT IS AN SSD?
  3. WHAT ROLE DO SSD COMPONENTS PLAY?
  4. HOW DOES AN SSD WORK?
  5. SSD THROUGHPUT, IOPS AND LATENCY EXPLAINED

 

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Dennis S
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Dennis S

I look forward to your following articles. Thank you.

justme44
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justme44

Les, you must work with a tight group of techies and not the hoi polloi. I would love to have some good fast storage like an SSD. The fact is I can not afford such at this time in my life. I am reading your site often so I too am an techie. I have an AMD 840 as a cpu and 2TB in the form of a RAID 10 for my storage. When the cost of the SSD drops closer to the cost of about the same storage I will buy one after saving up. I do not turn… Read more »

Les@TheSSDReview
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Ok…so why don’t you spend the 70-80 bucks, get a SSD with Hybridisk caching, or even an older still available with NVELO Dataplex, and cache your system. Bring up the speed of your solution to that of a SSD without losing that capacity, or current configuration.

justme44
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justme44

Because I don’t have 70-80 bucks. If I had that money I would buy a better cpu first.

Les@TheSSDReview
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Your point is taken with respect to the price of food and it makes any value debate moot. Your argument that you will buy a SSD when the price comes to the same level as the SSD is an age old argument though that will ensure that you never experience the SSD firsthand. We would be silly to believe that a 2TB would match that of a equal capacity 2TB SSD ever. I can always wait until the better value/better product tomorrow because it is an endless cycle that continuously repeats itself. You can throw a 32GB cache on that… Read more »

CapeDave
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CapeDave

You could turn off your computer night and save some electricity. Maybe not alot. But maybe a few dollars worth.

Benjamin Hojnik
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Benjamin Hojnik

Save up and buy one. You’ll thank me later 🙂

SteelCrysis
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SteelCrysis

You’re completely misguided. The problem here is not that people don’t know the value of SSDs, it’s that they do and that it’s not enough. At the end of the day, SSDs are lucky to get below 0.50/GB even with sales. Compare that to hard drives, which cost only pennies per GB. Money talks. What’s more, games are only getting bigger. We’re not in the days where AAA games only took up 2 GB of storage, now they’re commonly taking up 30 GB or more. Even worse, SSDs are forced to add more ECC measures as NAND process size shrinks,… Read more »

Les@TheSSDReview
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Completely disagree as you speak of a very small portion of the actual population. Most do not have any clue whatsoever of their own system capacity and the typical person could go years on a 128GB capacity. It is all about performance, reduction of start times, increase in productivity even as a consumer. One can now grab a 1TB SSD below $500 and can grab a 128GB for well below $100. Is $100 or less for a significant performance upgrade and loss of having to wait that minute or more several times a day while you’re computer starts unreasonable? Not… Read more »

justme44
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justme44

Sorry Les … you are wrong. Things are to high in cost with not enough return.. Have you taken a look at the cost of food lately?

Les@TheSSDReview
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Your point is taken with respect to the price of food and it makes any value debate moot. Your argument that you will buy a SSD when the price comes to the same level as the SSD is an age old argument though that will ensure that you never experience the SSD firsthand. We would be silly to believe that a 2TB would match that of a equal capacity 2TB SSD ever. I can always wait until the better value/better product tomorrow because it is an endless cycle that continuously repeats itself. You can throw a 32GB cache on that… Read more »

Benjamin Hojnik
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Benjamin Hojnik

Obviously you never used a PC with ssd, hence idiotic comments like that.

>Things are to high in cost with not enough return.. Have you taken a look at the cost of food lately

Same could be said for pc as a whole. You dont need it to survive, so whats the point of having one, right ?

CapeDave
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CapeDave

I completely agree.

justme44
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justme44

I mostly agree Steel … and you can’t keep your games on a cd …

Benjamin Hojnik
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Benjamin Hojnik

Well there is something we call dual drives. Get a smallish ssd (120GB/240GB) and a big harddrive and won’t cost you that much.

> Even worse, SSDs are forced to add more ECC measures as NAND process size shrinks, which will bring an end to SSD price drops.
No it won’t. Once dieshrinks are not possible, they can always stuff more bits into one cell (sandisk had 4 bit per cell card back in the day). So nand will keep getting cheaper, you can be sure of that.

SteelCrysis
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SteelCrysis

120 GB Crucial M500 $75 + 1 TB Seagate 7200.14 $75 = $150. You can get 3 TB hard drives for less than that.

>No it won’t. Once dieshrinks are not possible, they can always stuff
more bits into one cell (sandisk had 4 bit per cell card back in the
day). So nand will keep getting cheaper, you can be sure of that.

You’re the real idiot here. Stuffing more bits into cells is another reason for declining write cycles, requiring even more ECC to correct it.

Les@TheSSDReview
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Stick to the point pls folks…not necessary to strike at others.

SteelCrysis
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SteelCrysis
Les@TheSSDReview
Guest

Agreed…slipped through works both ways.

Benjamin Hojnik
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Benjamin Hojnik

>120 GB Crucial M500 $75 + 1 TB Seagate 7200.14 $75 = $150. You can get 3 TB hard drives for less than that.

Thats true. But you won’t be getting SSD performance for that 🙂
Also, 1TB is more than enough for most people. Obviously if you need more for some reason and you’re on budget, you’ll stick with HDDs.

But directly comparing ssds to hdds pricewise is just unfair at this point.

CapeDave
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CapeDave

I tell people that if it doe not have an SSD, it is not a real computer. PERIOD!

finebldr0
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finebldr0

own three, running my OS on a m4 256, using hdds for storage, and yes the price of a SSD large enough for most users to put their OS and misc stuff on is obviously not low enough yet