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Nearly 60% of new notebooks to employ flash by late 2009

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
Solid-state flash memory, which is already playing an integral role in the advancement of digital media players and mobile handsets, will claim a seat in more than 50 percent of new notebook designs by the end of 2009, says one market research firm.

Tapping its "Technology Penetration Database," El Segundo, Calif.-based iSuppli estimates that 24 million notebook PCs will be sold with some form of flash data storage by the fourth quarter of 2009, compared to a mere 143,600 that shipped with such technology during the first quarter of this year.

That means nearly 60 percent of the 40.1 million notebook shipments will have flash data storage in the fourth quarter of 2009, up from 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2007.

Helping to spur the proliferation of flash within portable PCs is the dramatic decline in prices for NAND-type memory parts, said iSuppli. In a report released earlier this week, the firm noted that 1Gbyte of NAND flash memory was nearly 100 times as expensive as an equivalent quantity of hard disk drive (HDD) storage in 2003, but by 2009 that price gap will dwindle to a factor of slightly less than 14.

While flash is expected to remain far more expensive than HDDs for some time, other factors besides cost are compelling PC manufacturers to adopt the technology within their product designs.

"Flash-based data storage provides significant performance improvements compared to traditional rotating magnetic storage now used in notebook PCs," said analyst Matthew Wilkins. "Increased performance is achieved due to the fast read times of flash memory compared to HDDs, which reduce loading times for operating systems and applications. Flash also offers improved reliability, better shock resistance and lower power consumption compared to HDDs."

There are presently three different approaches being offered for flash data storage in PCs, each of which delivers performance improvements compared to conventional HDDs: Intels "Robson" technology, hybrid hard disk drives (HHDs), and solid state drives (SSDs).

According to iSuppli, ultraportable sub-notebooks and mainstream models will show similar penetration of flash data storage throughout the next two years. The firm estimates that more than half, or 54 percent, of the ultraportable PCs shipped in the fourth quarter of 2009 will use HHDs, while 28 percent will employ SSDs. Similarly, it expects 58 percent of mainstream notebooks will use HHDs, and 25 percent will use SSDs.

For its part, Apple is believed to employing a variant of Robson into an ultra-thin sub-notebook design due later this year or early next, effectively pairing a small amount of on-board NAND flash with a traditional HDD. In time, the company's MacBook lines should also gain the technology.

While it's unclear when the cost feasibility of NAND flash will allow Apple to ship a notebook employing only a SSD -- essentially data storage consisting solely of flash without the aid of a magnetic HDD -- the Mac maker appears as if it will forgo the hybrid hard disk drive approach in favor of Robson.

According to a published report last December, Apple turned down an offer to incorporate hybrid hard drives from Samsung into its systems, instead proceeding with plans to use the Intel technology.
post #2 of 40
I understand that SSD are entirely flash based, but could someone explain the differences between HHD's and Robson HD's for me.

What are the pro's and cons?
post #3 of 40
As I understand it, some basic system programs are kept always in the flash allowing for faster access and lower power use. You can't always be rewriting flash memory, since it has a limited number of rewrites.

I don't think there are any cons, other than the fact that it is newer technology so the bugs may not be completely worked out.
post #4 of 40
Hybrid hard drives and Robson are both supposed to keep a copy of the most-used files or the first files needed by the computer that can be read while the hard drive spins up.
post #5 of 40
I'm all for a faster starting Mac portable, but the 'ultra-thin' part concerns me... There's a point of diminishing returns structurally, here. Computers will break and bend more often as they continue to get thinner and lighter, at least until they are manufactured with nano-engineered diamond based composites or coatings.

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post #6 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I'm all for a faster starting Mac portable, but the 'ultra-thin' part concerns me... There's a point of diminishing returns structurally, here. Computers will break and bend more often as they continue to get thinner and lighter, at least until they are manufactured with nano-engineered diamond based composites or coatings.

I think most of the trade-offs are probably more in the form of speed to reduce power consumption, so that lighter heat sinks and smaller batteries are needed. They tend to use the smaller, thinner drives too, like the ones that are in iPods. Flash drives are certainly faster than the 1.8" drives now, at the same size too, but the clear advantage isn't quite there when compared to 2.5" drives.
post #7 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I'm all for a faster starting Mac portable, but the 'ultra-thin' part concerns me... There's a point of diminishing returns structurally, here. Computers will break and bend more often as they continue to get thinner and lighter, at least until they are manufactured with nano-engineered diamond based composites or coatings.

people said the same thing about the iPod Nano. Afraid that it would easily snap in half. maybe if I tried hard enough I could snap it, I don't know. But it's clearly not an issue, I doubt it will be an issue with a 3/8 " thin ultra portable either.
post #8 of 40
Mechanical hard disks will soon be history once the first 1TB SS flash chip is released:

http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/17907/
post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In a report released earlier this week, the firm noted that 1Gbyte of NAND flash memory was nearly 100 times as expensive as an equivalent quantity of hard disk drive (HDD) storage in 2003, but by 2009 that price gap will dwindle to a factor of slightly less than 14.

You are free to disagree if you like:

Some of this is wichful thinking, IMHO. The figures they are using do not seem to take into consideration that the per Gig price of hard disks is also plumenting. I absolutly do not agree on "but by 2009 that price gap will dwindle to a factor of slightly less than 14".

Hard disk prices are really coming down, there is no way than in 2 years Nand will be only 14 times the cost of HD.

To make a fair point I trew away priceses for desktop drives, so the ones below are for laptop drives and came from newegg.com:
120 G - $74.99 - Cost per Gig 63 cents (rounded up)
200 G - 159.99 - Cost per Gig 80 cents (rounded up)
160 G - 119.99 - Cost per Gig 75 cents (rounded up)
100 G - $89.99 - Cost per Gig 90 cents (rounded up)
40 G - $45.99 - Cost per Gig $1.14 (rounded up)

If you compare with a 500 G (124.99) the Per gig is 25 cents.

These prices are coming down and bigger drives are arriving every few months.

I group laptop users into 3 main camps:
a) Needs reasonable disk space and is willing to deal with some weight (vast majority)
b) Users that use the laptop as Desktop replacement
c) Users with a need of maximum mobility

The majority of users (IMHO) fall into the (a) category, 60 to 80 Gigs will do fine on the road with a large external drive for backups, large photo and movie libraries.

For those in the desktop replacement camp (gamers, Photoshop, Final Cut), there is no way to replace the drive with NAND as the cost would be prohibited.

For those in the mobility camp, they are more willing to pay a price penalty and they don't need huge amounts of diskspace with them all the time. A 32 to 64 Gig NAND can solve the problem for the mobile user.

I agree that technoligies like Robson and others will serve the users well and at a reasonable cost per Gig, but so is additional RAM with the exception that it can not speed up the boot time (RAM), where a small NAND drive helps.

To me speeding up the boot time would be nice, but it is just a luxury, I can wait 20 seconds to boot once or twice a week.

I rather have 4 Gig of RAM in my laptop and better caching algorithms so I do not have to go to the disk or NAND often.

There is also the factor of reliability, I do not know of any studies to see how different operating system do in an all NAND environment. NAND has an Issue with writes and different operating systems have different write patterns, as such NAND durability will be affected by what is being cached/stored in the NAND drives and how often it gets changed. Some will get 10 years, others 6 months.

I think it is too early to make predictions there are too many problems to be solved.
post #10 of 40
Does 2009 seem a little late to anyone else?

-Clive
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post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by zunx View Post

Mechanical hard disks will soon be history once the first 1TB SS flash chip is released:

http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/17907/

That's terabit, not terabyte. Stacking eight dies on top of each other might decrease the footprint, but they still have to make eight dies, and the cost of making those dies doesn't go down just like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

Does 2009 seem a little late to anyone else?

A little late? That's less than two years, that would comprise a practically miraculous uptake, I think it's unrealistic. It may be something done to pump up the stock price of flash makers. I haven't heard of any major new technology that goes from effectively zero to 60% of a major established market in two years, particularly in the storage market.
post #12 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I haven't heard of any major new technology that goes from effectively zero to 60% of a major established market in two years, particularly in the storage market.

How about DVD technology, or Plasma/LCD TV's. Sometimes when a new product is created people change to it quickly, but this isn't new technology.
post #13 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefunky_monkey View Post

How about DVD technology, or Plasma/LCD TV's. Sometimes when a new product is created people change to it quickly, but this isn't new technology.

DVD took five years to dominate, and that was a record uptake. Color plasma has been around for maybe a decade and it's still not a dominant display technology, and never will be, there are too many competitors.

The use of flash as a primary drive is not new, but going from less than 1% to over 60% for that use in less than two years is probably unheard of in any storage technology.
post #14 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefunky_monkey View Post

I understand that SSD are entirely flash based, but could someone explain the differences between HHD's and Robson HD's for me.

Intel's Robson puts the NAND on the logic board, while the the other manufacturer's options put it with the HDD. I have yet to decide which is a better overall solution.
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post #15 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

DVD took five years to dominate, and that was a record uptake. Color plasma has been around for maybe a decade and it's still not a dominant display technology, and never will be, there are too many competitors.

The use of flash as a primary drive is not new, but going from less than 1% to over 60% for that use in less than two years is probably unheard of in any storage technology.

we're talking about Business to Business here though, not Business to Consumer. I don't think it's unrealistic. When DVD came out, it didn't take 5 years for 60% of businesses to employ the technology.
post #16 of 40
or look at products like USB flash drives, although they were around for years before they became popular, they went from something like 5% to 95% of the population using them within about 2 years, I remember. Who knows, but it does seem a little unrealistic/optomistic. we can all dream!
post #17 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by EagerDragon View Post

You are free to disagree if you like:

Some of this is wichful thinking, IMHO. The figures they are using do not seem to take into consideration that the per Gig price of hard disks is also plumenting. I absolutly do not agree on "but by 2009 that price gap will dwindle to a factor of slightly less than 14".

Flash prices have been in freefall the last couple years. I suspect that these estimates are assuming they remain in freefall through 2009.

Typically though, it seems the flash manufactures are not targetting the HDD market as a whole but the 1.8" and 2.5" drive prices. These they have a much better shot at becomming a small multiple of the cost which would make the technical advantages outweigh the cost advantages.

Quote:
There is also the factor of reliability, I do not know of any studies to see how different operating system do in an all NAND environment. NAND has an Issue with writes and different operating systems have different write patterns, as such NAND durability will be affected by what is being cached/stored in the NAND drives and how often it gets changed. Some will get 10 years, others 6 months.

I think it is too early to make predictions there are too many problems to be solved.

NAND durability is actually pretty good and don't have the same failure modes as HDDs. You're not likely to see a flash drive fail due to excessive writes before your HDD crashes anyway. Certainly not for the 1.8" and 2.5" drive form factors.

Between wearing algorithms and the extra blocks on flash to replace dead blocks the write life of a SSD in a mobile environment is a non-issue vs HDDs. Perhaps even on the desktop given that there is some question over the MTBF reported by HDD makers.

And when blocks wear out the SSD doesn't crash...justs gets progressively smaller as there are more and more bad blocks.

Add a DRAM cache and you increase lifetime even longer.

There really aren't many issues beyond cost at the moment.

Vinea
post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

DVD took five years to dominate, and that was a record uptake. Color plasma has been around for maybe a decade and it's still not a dominant display technology, and never will be, there are too many competitors.

The use of flash as a primary drive is not new, but going from less than 1% to over 60% for that use in less than two years is probably unheard of in any storage technology.

Depends on the adoption rate after a critical price point is reached. Toshiba was making noises about the "tipping point" price for mass adoption in mobile computing devices...but I don't think they were saying 60%...more like 15% or something by 2009. Have to go look for it later.

Vinea
post #19 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post

Does 2009 seem a little late to anyone else?

-Clive

No. If anything, it might be a bit early.

I agree with most of Clive's analysis. Prices will remain much higher, even though they are coming down rapidly.
post #20 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefunky_monkey View Post

How about DVD technology, or Plasma/LCD TV's. Sometimes when a new product is created people change to it quickly, but this isn't new technology.

Neither of those are even close. While DVD's are now the standard, it took a while. Plasma is just a small percentage of all Tv's.
post #21 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeaPeaJay View Post

we're talking about Business to Business here though, not Business to Consumer. I don't think it's unrealistic. When DVD came out, it didn't take 5 years for 60% of businesses to employ the technology.

No one here is talking business to business except you. The article isn't either. They are saying this for all portables.
post #22 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by EagerDragon View Post

Hard disk prices are really coming down, there is no way than in 2 years Nand will be only 14 times the cost of HD.

To make a fair point I trew away priceses for desktop drives, so the ones below are for laptop drives and came from newegg.com:
120 G - $74.99 - Cost per Gig 63 cents (rounded up)
200 G - 159.99 - Cost per Gig 80 cents (rounded up)
160 G - 119.99 - Cost per Gig 75 cents (rounded up)
100 G - $89.99 - Cost per Gig 90 cents (rounded up)
40 G - $45.99 - Cost per Gig $1.14 (rounded up)

Actually, it's already at that point. You can buy a 1GB memory card for about $11 nowadays. Assume for the sake of argument that you can just scale that up to 200GB with a linear increase in price. That's $2200. Which actually is about 14x the cost of the 200GB drive you listed. It's even less if you consider that 2GB cards go for as little as $15.
post #23 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

No. If anything, it might be a bit early.

I agree with most of Clive's analysis. Prices will remain much higher, even though they are coming down rapidly.

2.5" 40GB ATA are $50 retail. SanDisk announced their 32GB SSD for $350 at volume to OEMs. That's within the 14x metric.

http://www.sandisk.com/Oem/DocumentI...ocumentID=3732

For $350 they are very attractive in the upper tier notebook market. If you're already shelling out $2500+ and extra $350 isn't a deal killer for quick boot times, longer battery life and not having to worry about a dead HDD because you banged your laptop at the wrong time or place.

I can see them appearing in Panasonic Toughbooks soon if they haven't already. Heck, Dell just announced that they are offering the 1.8 32GB SSD on the Latitude D420 ultra-portable and D620 semi-rugged nitebooks...for $549 retail.

Nice.

Vinea
post #24 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Flash prices have been in freefall the last couple years. I suspect that these estimates are assuming they remain in freefall through 2009.

NAND durability is actually pretty good and don't have the same failure modes as HDDs. You're not likely to see a flash drive fail due to excessive writes before your HDD crashes anyway. Certainly not for the 1.8" and 2.5" drive form factors.

Between wearing algorithms and the extra blocks on flash to replace dead blocks the write life of a SSD in a mobile environment is a non-issue vs HDDs. Perhaps even on the desktop given that there is some question over the MTBF reported by HDD makers.

Vinea

I'd like to second you on that point. Many people seem to be hung up on theoretical limits, which when calculated, are actually extremely long. Like this article, which pegs the lifetime of a 64 GB SSD being written to continuously at 80 MB/s at 51 years:

http://www.storagesearch.com/ssdmyths-endurance.html

This, along with the decrease in power consumption, heat, and little performance degradation due to the drive being full means that I am going to gladly pay a couple hundred dollars more for a solid state drive next time I get a laptop.
post #25 of 40
I think we're misreading the 60% share...look later in the article:

According to iSuppli, ultraportable sub-notebooks and mainstream models will show similar penetration of flash data storage throughout the next two years. The firm estimates that more than half, or 54 percent, of the ultraportable PCs shipped in the fourth quarter of 2009 will use HHDs, while 28 percent will employ SSDs. Similarly, it expects 58 percent of mainstream notebooks will use HHDs, and 25 percent will use SSDs.

60% HHD, 25-28% SSD.

25% SSD penetration by 2009 is believeable. 60% hybrids I don't buy so much.

Vinea

Edit: Removed dumb statements.
post #26 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

2.5" 40GB ATA are $50 retail. SanDisk announced their 32GB SSD for $350 at volume to OEMs. That's within the 14x metric.

http://www.sandisk.com/Oem/DocumentI...ocumentID=3732

For $350 they are very attractive in the upper tier notebook market. If you're already shelling out $2500+ and extra $350 isn't a deal killer for quick boot times, longer battery life and not having to worry about a dead HDD because you banged your laptop at the wrong time or place.

I can see them appearing in Panasonic Toughbooks soon if they haven't already. Heck, Dell just announced that they are offering the 1.8 32GB SSD on the Latitude D420 ultra-portable and D620 semi-rugged nitebooks...for $549 retail.

Nice.

Vinea

That's why I said "mostly". I agree with the concept of his analysis, though I don't think the lifetime issues will be too big a concern, mainly as Samsung and others already have much better technologies in the wings that will be out next year.

As for prices, well, we already went through this all before.

My thoughts are that the prices are between 12 and 20 times right now, depending on various factors.

I also think that by third quarter 2009, the difference will likely be between 3 and 6 times. I don't see how anyone can get a closer estimate for that far out.

What may affect this is that possibly 2.5" drives will be reserved for the larger laptops where vast amounts of storage will be wanted, whereas the more expensive per GB 1.8" drives will dominate most anything else. That's where the FLASH drives will compete.

But, all HD's will be much cheaper per GB than they are now as well.
post #27 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

I think we're misreading the 60% share...look later in the article:

According to iSuppli, ultraportable sub-notebooks and mainstream models will show similar penetration of flash data storage throughout the next two years. The firm estimates that more than half, or 54 percent, of the ultraportable PCs shipped in the fourth quarter of 2009 will use HHDs, while 28 percent will employ SSDs. Similarly, it expects 58 percent of mainstream notebooks will use HHDs, and 25 percent will use SSDs.

60% HDD, 25-28% SSD.

25% SSD penetration by 2009 is believeable.

The 60% must include Robson.

Vinea

I'm not sure they mean Robson. More likely they mean Samsungs (and others) hybrid drives, if they mean anything like that at all, and the numbers aren't simply an error.
post #28 of 40
I think some are completely missing the point of the article.

It clearly says that 60% of laptops will include some sort of Flash drive. It doesn't say that they won't eliminate the hard drives.

This can be taken to say that simply a flash drive will be installed for your OS, and your data still gets stored on a hard drive. For that to happen, you just stick a 20 gig flash card in the machine, and you're off and running. I'd be surprised if any NEW models of computers that come out in 2009 don't have that option. The only ones being sold without that would be older designs that haven't been updated yet.
post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjojade View Post

I think some are completely missing the point of the article.

It clearly says that 60% of laptops will include some sort of Flash drive. It doesn't say that they won't eliminate the hard drives.

This can be taken to say that simply a flash drive will be installed for your OS, and your data still gets stored on a hard drive. For that to happen, you just stick a 20 gig flash card in the machine, and you're off and running. I'd be surprised if any NEW models of computers that come out in 2009 don't have that option. The only ones being sold without that would be older designs that haven't been updated yet.

That's a possibility.
post #30 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

A little late? That's less than two years, that would comprise a practically miraculous uptake, I think it's unrealistic.

I think 2009 is late too but I don't mean relative to the present time. I think it's late already. I expected flash to be much further on than it is today. I wished we had flash drives mainstream already but they are still far from being affordable enough.

I'm beginning to think standard hard drives will always be in the lead if they can always offer a price advantage. If you can get a laptop £200 cheaper by using standard drives, I reckon the majority of people will go for it despite the advantages it offers and I think this will be a major drawback in its uptake.

It needs to be competitive and for that we need drives over 100GB for no more than £100 on top of a standard drive of the same size.
post #31 of 40
It's all well and good prices are coming down, but what they are forgetting is that while 120GB is good for a notebook now, in 2009 laptops will need more like 400GB's. Now I wonder what a 400GB SSD drive will cost in 2009?
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post #32 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I think 2009 is late too but I don't mean relative to the present time. I think it's late already. I expected flash to be much further on than it is today. I wished we had flash drives mainstream already but they are still far from being affordable enough.

I'm beginning to think standard hard drives will always be in the lead if they can always offer a price advantage. If you can get a laptop £200 cheaper by using standard drives, I reckon the majority of people will go for it despite the advantages it offers and I think this will be a major drawback in its uptake.

It needs to be competitive and for that we need drives over 100GB for no more than £100 on top of a standard drive of the same size.

We have to figure out what advantages to most people SSD will actually have.

As most consumers are mostly interested in price, and how much they can get for it, SSD won't seem to be much of an advantage, and may be seen as a disadvantage to most, unless they are forced into it.

Remember Beta vs. VHS. Beta WAS better, but VHS was cheaper, and offered longer recording times, even though the longest time (8 hours) was essentially useless. It was the perception of value. The same was true with the "Super" versions of both formats. It cost more, and so US buyers avoided it.

Apple may have an advantage here over PC companies as Apple doesn't compete in that low end laptop space. Therefore, Apple could possibly get away with charging more for one. But I thought I saw something that said Apple wouldn't be having machines until possibly 2009 with SSD drives.
post #33 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kolchak View Post

Actually, it's already at that point. You can buy a 1GB memory card for about $11 nowadays. Assume for the sake of argument that you can just scale that up to 200GB with a linear increase in price. That's $2200. Which actually is about 14x the cost of the 200GB drive you listed. It's even less if you consider that 2GB cards go for as little as $15.

Well I guess I stand corrected.
post #34 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Intel's Robson puts the NAND on the logic board, while the the other manufacturer's options put it with the HDD. I have yet to decide which is a better overall solution.

Obviously Intel likes the logic board solution.

If the NAND does have a very long life expectancy, then I think I prefer it separate from the HDDrive which can be the weak link, esp. in a laptop that might sustain abuse.

However there is a kind of elegance to being able to view the flash and HDDrive as one component that can be designed for, upgraded and replaced.

Is there any quality in OSX that makes one better than the other?
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post #35 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacGregor View Post

Is there any quality in OSX that makes one better than the other?

Hopefully ZFS.
post #36 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

We have to figure out what advantages to most people SSD will actually have.

Power consumption and ruggedness at the expense of price and size.

There are two laptop segments that will readily adopt SSDs: ultra portables and rugged/semi-rugged laptops. If Apple has an ultra-thin then they'll likely use SSDs. No reason not to given the product will be pricey anyway.

Vinea
post #37 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

We have to figure out what advantages to most people SSD will actually have.

As most consumers are mostly interested in price, and how much they can get for it, SSD won't seem to be much of an advantage, and may be seen as a disadvantage to most, unless they are forced into it.

I think it depends on how Apple packages and markets it. The public took to the iPod mini and later, nano pretty well. Mini was only moderately more compact and had a huge trade-off in capacity for not much less. nano was yet another step back in capacity, but at least the much more compact size was clearer difference. In most of the marketing that I've seen, they almost don't mention the durability difference.

Quote:
Remember Beta vs. VHS. Beta WAS better, but VHS was cheaper, and offered longer recording times, even though the longest time (8 hours) was essentially useless. It was the perception of value. The same was true with the "Super" versions of both formats. It cost more, and so US buyers avoided it.

I used the longest play mode for quite some time, I was too cheap to buy a lot of tapes. For my meager TV at the time, the difference wasn't that significant, though this was the 90's and not when it was first introduced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacGregor View Post

Obviously Intel likes the logic board solution.

If the NAND does have a very long life expectancy, then I think I prefer it separate from the HDDrive which can be the weak link, esp. in a laptop that might sustain abuse.

However there is a kind of elegance to being able to view the flash and HDDrive as one component that can be designed for, upgraded and replaced.

Is there any quality in OSX that makes one better than the other?

Given that Robson really isn't available to the public yet, it's hard to compare the merits based on a real device rather than lofty theoreticals. I think it also needs to be supported in the OS too to work at all. It's doubly hard to compare the merits when for all I know, OS X doesn't take advantage of either feature. Maybe in Leopard, assuming Apple choses to use either, and they may chose to only implement one at the expense of the other, and possibly for reasons not entirely technical. OS X boots so quickly that I wonder if there is any advantage to either given that is its the main selling point. If it speeds up hibernation a lot then I'll be all over it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guns View Post

I'd like to second you on that point. Many people seem to be hung up on theoretical limits, which when calculated, are actually extremely long. Like this article, which pegs the lifetime of a 64 GB SSD being written to continuously at 80 MB/s at 51 years:

http://www.storagesearch.com/ssdmyths-endurance.html

Those numbers assume that you have continual access to the entire drive. I don't think that takes into account having a lot of files that rarely change. I've never seen wear-leveling in action, so I don't know. I've never seen it described very well either, in terms of how it does it and how well it handles the situation I just described, which is far more likely than being able to assume the whole drive is free. It's a nice concept but I'd rather see an actual SSD maker describe it in detail than a third party. But if you have a good chunk of your drive as files that practically never change, then I don't think wear-leveling would do much other than wear-level your meager free space with your often-changed files.
post #38 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

There are two laptop segments that will readily adopt SSDs: ultra portables and rugged/semi-rugged laptops. If Apple has an ultra-thin then they'll likely use SSDs. No reason not to given the product will be pricey anyway.

Ultralights aren't necessarily ultra-expensive. Look at the Averatec 1579. 3.4 pounds, Core Duo ULV (okay, only 1GHz) and only $1300. There's really no reason Apple couldn't do something similar for $1500-1600.

Also, why this emphasis on thinness? I don't think most people care about thinness beyond a certain point (1" seems about right). Weight is much more important. I wouldn't really care if it was 2" thick if it was a svelte 2.5 pounds. For 1", I'd be willing to put up with 3 to 3.5 pounds. On an airline tray or a desk, there's really no difference between 1" and 2". Width and depth are more important dimensions.
post #39 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Power consumption and ruggedness at the expense of price and size.

There are two laptop segments that will readily adopt SSDs: ultra portables and rugged/semi-rugged laptops. If Apple has an ultra-thin then they'll likely use SSDs. No reason not to given the product will be pricey anyway.

Vinea

Those are the actual advantages. I meant the advantages to the cost concious public, who won't be aware of those, or even care that much.
post #40 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I think it depends on how Apple packages and markets it. The public took to the iPod mini and later, nano pretty well. Mini was only moderately more compact and had a huge trade-off in capacity for not much less. nano was yet another step back in capacity, but at least the much more compact size was clearer difference. In most of the marketing that I've seen, they almost don't mention the durability difference.

Yes, marketing is everything.


9quote]
I used the longest play mode for quite some time, I was too cheap to buy a lot of tapes. For my meager TV at the time, the difference wasn't that significant, though this was the 90's and not when it was first introduced. [/quote]

Did you use the 8 hour tapes? That was where the problems arose. The 6 hour times were fine, though a bit on the low quality side, but the 8 hour tapes were almost unwatchable, and they used to break and snarl up regularly. They were so thin that a piece of tape would almost float in the air.

Quote:
Given that Robson really isn't available to the public yet, it's hard to compare the merits based on a real device rather than lofty theoreticals. I think it also needs to be supported in the OS too to work at all. It's doubly hard to compare the merits when for all I know, OS X doesn't take advantage of either feature. Maybe in Leopard, assuming Apple choses to use either, and they may chose to only implement one at the expense of the other, and possibly for reasons not entirely technical. OS X boots so quickly that I wonder if there is any advantage to either given that is its the main selling point. If it speeds up hibernation a lot then I'll be all over it.

Right, OS X must support it.

Quote:
Those numbers assume that you have continual access to the entire drive. I don't think that takes into account having a lot of files that rarely change. I've never seen wear-leveling in action, so I don't know. I've never seen it described very well either, in terms of how it does it and how well it handles the situation I just described, which is far more likely than being able to assume the whole drive is free. It's a nice concept but I'd rather see an actual SSD maker describe it in detail than a third party. But if you have a good chunk of your drive as files that practically never change, then I don't think wear-leveling would do much other than wear-level your meager free space with your often-changed files.

Wear leveling assumes a best case situation. If you have a lot of small files that regularly change, and you leave a large portion of your disk free, then wear leveling works well. But if you have mostly large files that change often, and most of your disk is full with them, then it doesn't work as well.
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