Seagate: Hard Disk Drives Set To Stay Relevant For 20 Years

gdonovan

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And real storage is going to move to the cloud.

Not here it isn't.

Cloud is good for photos you want to share or non-critical documents.

Trusting "the cloud" to anything else is foolish in my opinion. Off site storage doesn't look so good when the service is compromised by those with malicious intent or infrastructure failure.

Hard drives are not going anywhere for sometime.
 

westrock2000

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They will get pushed out of the mobile space. The M2 forma factor is much easier to work with, and SSD's allow for non-standard for factors as well (such as an L shape). With platters, you are stuck with a predefined space allocation for the platters and heads.

Now that being said, I have yet to see SSD's make into the mainstream mid level PC market. Meaning computers you buy at Best Buy, Fry's, Microcenter, etc. They still use platter drives, and that's a big chunk for sells. I am starting to see "SSD" in the ultra low end, but these are 16/32GB eMMC drives that won't exactly give people the experience they have been told about.
 

Wierdo

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Until SSDs reach close to size + price parity with magnetic drives I imagine there's gonna still be a market for spinning platters. For now I'm using SSD for the OS and slow old HDD for media, in five years I expect that to still be the case but who knows.

Ten years later I hope not though.
 

westrock2000

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Until SSDs reach close to size + price parity with magnetic drives I imagine there's gonna still be a market for spinning platters. For now I'm using SSD for the OS and slow old HDD for media, in five years I expect that to still be the case but who knows.

Ten years later I hope not though.

HDD are bumping on all the physical limitations. Data density, rotational speed, diameter of the platter, number of platters in the stack.

Flash may have hit a data density wall (or slow down), but in all other aspects it's fine.
 

DejaWiz

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I'm thinking Seagate needs to invest a boatload of money into fabbing NAND and controllers to become a major player in the SSD market realm instead of running on a pipedream campaign about antiquated technology that will be completely defunct in 5-7 years with the inbound storm of Xpoint and Memristor.
 

MrGuvernment

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With the massive TB SSD drives coming out, i think spinning rust wont be along as long as some think, once price is lower, as it will drop even more in 2016, SSD will be the way to go.

I still wonder why people even buy spinning rust with new systems these days for a main drive..
 

Galvin

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Intel is coming out with ssd's based on resistive memory tech next year. This is a huge shift in capacity and how long the drives can last. Think something like 10x more capacity and speed.
 

krotch

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I imagine hdds will be around a while, but 20 years seems like a very long time. I'd be more surprised if they make it past 10 years.

Although, at the same time, a bunch of old crap is still in use. Companies still use DOS. Companies still use floppy disks.
 

drescherjm

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I still wonder why people even buy spinning rust with new systems these days for a main drive..

At least for laptops OEMs are still charging $200 to $300 dollars for a 256GB SSD as an upgrade option over the 1 TB 5400 RPM spinner that the base system comes with. That is at least ones I can purchase at the "approved" vendor for work purchases.
 

USMCGrunt

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At least for laptops OEMs are still charging $200 to $300 dollars for a 256GB SSD as an upgrade option over the 1 TB 5400 RPM spinner that the base system comes with. That is at least ones I can purchase at the "approved" vendor for work purchases.

If we are talking about workplace machines, unless they're doing some sort of imaging (graphics, video, photo) there's absolutely no reason why they need more than 128GB and, as such, SSDs make even more sense in the workplace. SSDs consume less power, improve worker productivity, and the business spends their money on performance instead of unneeded data density. If you have someone over you rejecting a purchase over the perceived loss of value in getting a smaller storage device, you need to educate that person....or be educated yourself.
 

drescherjm

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We are a medical imaging research group so if I got a 128GB model I would have to pair it with a spinner for most of our usage.
 

krotch

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If we are talking about workplace machines, unless they're doing some sort of imaging (graphics, video, photo) there's absolutely no reason why they need more than 128GB and, as such, SSDs make even more sense in the workplace. SSDs consume less power, improve worker productivity, and the business spends their money on performance instead of unneeded data density. If you have someone over you rejecting a purchase over the perceived loss of value in getting a smaller storage device, you need to educate that person....or be educated yourself.

There's always a fine balance you have to meet. SSDs aren't always the better choice in a work environment. Not everyone's workload needs the performance of an SSD, nor would it help benefit them, due to infrastructure. For my workplace, their old desktops had no space, not that it mattered as none of their data was stored locally anyways. We did folder redirects, so all their data was on the storage servers. What they actually needed was more memory, as their machines only had 2 GB.

None of that really matters now, as we simply moved to virtual desktops instead. Save money, save energy, can fire more IT personnel.
 

USMCGrunt

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There's always a fine balance you have to meet. SSDs aren't always the better choice in a work environment. Not everyone's workload needs the performance of an SSD, nor would it help benefit them, due to infrastructure. For my workplace, their old desktops had no space, not that it mattered as none of their data was stored locally anyways. We did folder redirects, so all their data was on the storage servers. What they actually needed was more memory, as their machines only had 2 GB.

Straw man argument, we are talking about HDD vs SSD, not the entire system. SSDs will always be the better choice, even if their workload is mostly Word or Excel documents. 1-2 seconds shaved off each file open can equate to big savings over a year.
 

krotch

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Straw man argument, we are talking about HDD vs SSD, not the entire system. SSDs will always be the better choice, even if their workload is mostly Word or Excel documents. 1-2 seconds shaved off each file open can equate to big savings over a year.

I need 7TB of space and only want to spend $300. Which is the better choice?

SSDs are not always the better choice
 

USMCGrunt

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I need 7TB of space and only want to spend $300. Which is the better choice?

SSDs are not always the better choice

I think you need to look up what a straw man argument is because this is another one AND you're trying desperately to be right and avoiding my simple point. If you need 7TB of space you're doing one of three things, storing graphics files, hosting a database, or hosting files. If you're doing any hosting, then you're a server and my point that you are arguing against pertains only to workstations. If you're storing graphic files, please look at my original post that you are trying to argue. In fact, let me quote it for you and I'll put emphasis on the whole "exclusionary declaration" that makes your argument useless.

If we are talking about workplace machines, unless they're doing some sort of imaging (graphics, video, photo) there's absolutely no reason why they need more than 128GB and, as such, SSDs make even more sense in the workplace. SSDs consume less power, improve worker productivity, and the business spends their money on performance instead of unneeded data density. If you have someone over you rejecting a purchase over the perceived loss of value in getting a smaller storage device, you need to educate that person....or be educated yourself.
 

krotch

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I think you need to look up what a straw man argument is because this is another one AND you're trying desperately to be right and avoiding my simple point. If you need 7TB of space you're doing one of three things, storing graphics files, hosting a database, or hosting files. If you're doing any hosting, then you're a server and my point that you are arguing against pertains only to workstations. If you're storing graphic files, please look at my original post that you are trying to argue. In fact, let me quote it for you and I'll put emphasis on the whole "exclusionary declaration" that makes your argument useless.

I think everyone already knows that SSDs are faster than HDDs, but that doesn't necessarily make it the best choice when building a workstation for the office users. If you need to skimp on one part, just to stick an SSD in there, you can throw off the balance and simply end up with a bottleneck somewhere else.

The old workstations they had here were always skimped out on pretty much everything. Slow processor, 2 gig memory, 80 gig hdds, etc. Exactly what does an SSD do in such a situation?

Nothing in your argument will tell me that SSDs always make the better choice and trying to simply negate the whole workstation system is downright stupid. It's like saying, "Who cares if it's a single core Intel Atom processor with 1 gig of memory. Put in an SSD. That's always the right choice."
 

USMCGrunt

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I think everyone already knows that SSDs are faster than HDDs, but that doesn't necessarily make it the best choice when building a workstation for the office users. If you need to skimp on one part, just to stick an SSD in there, you can throw off the balance and simply end up with a bottleneck somewhere else.

The old workstations they had here were always skimped out on pretty much everything. Slow processor, 2 gig memory, 80 gig hdds, etc. Exactly what does an SSD do in such a situation?

Nothing in your argument will tell me that SSDs always make the better choice and trying to simply negate the whole workstation system is downright stupid. It's like saying, "Who cares if it's a single core Intel Atom processor with 1 gig of memory. Put in an SSD. That's always the right choice."

Being an IT professional, I expect that a workplace is kept relatively up to date. I'll add the additional caveat, "If you keep your environment on a regular upgrade cycle." A computer with those specs is obviously something manufactured prior to 2010. A workplace computer (used by a worker as a daily tool for completing their job), shouldn't be in production for more than five years.

Congratulations, you've "won" the argument.
 

krotch

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Seeing as your name has USMC in the title, I'd assume you've worked in the military world. Right now I'm a contractor and we have crap machines. They skimp as much as possible on everything. An SSD does absolutely nothing for the machines we've got floating around and wouldn't do anything for the machines they have on purchase, cause storage isn't the bottleneck. The new machines are worse than the ones they are replacing, since we're slowly transitioning to a virtual desktop infrastructure. The only reason they purchased new machines, is the old ones are out of warranty.

My desktop workstation is a Dell OptiPlex 790. i5 2400, 4 gig memory (was able to scrounge another 2 gig from busted machines we sent to DRMO), and 80 gig hdd. Think the latest come with 250 gig, as that's the smallest drives you can get now.

I scrounged up an old workstation for my other machine, which is a Precision T7500. It's obviously not a normal user system, as it's dual Xeons, 40 gig memory, and dual 250 gig HDDs. An old developer box I snagged before they sent it off to DRMO. Tossed in more server memory, since that's plentiful from our server room.

Also relatively up to date, doesn't necessarily mean fast computers. Since there's plenty of brand new, slow as crap processors on the market. If everything is up to date and has decent hardware, then yes. I would agree that the SSD makes the next logical upgrade step. I just don't see it as being the best solution, as not everywhere is the same and there are other things to consider.

Half our workers no longer even have desktops/workstations and we need more storage than speed for our virtual infrastructures, so SSDs don't make much sense in our environment at all.
 

USMCGrunt

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Seeing as your name has USMC in the title, I'd assume you've worked in the military world. Right now I'm a contractor and we have crap machines. They skimp as much as possible on everything. An SSD does absolutely nothing for the machines we've got floating around and wouldn't do anything for the machines they have on purchase, cause storage isn't the bottleneck. The new machines are worse than the ones they are replacing, since we're slowly transitioning to a virtual desktop infrastructure. The only reason they purchased new machines, is the old ones are out of warranty.

My desktop workstation is a Dell OptiPlex 790. i5 2400, 4 gig memory (was able to scrounge another 2 gig from busted machines we sent to DRMO), and 80 gig hdd. Think the latest come with 250 gig, as that's the smallest drives you can get now.

I scrounged up an old workstation for my other machine, which is a Precision T7500. It's obviously not a normal user system, as it's dual Xeons, 40 gig memory, and dual 250 gig HDDs. An old developer box I snagged before they sent it off to DRMO. Tossed in more server memory, since that's plentiful from our server room.

Also relatively up to date, doesn't necessarily mean fast computers. Since there's plenty of brand new, slow as crap processors on the market. If everything is up to date and has decent hardware, then yes. I would agree that the SSD makes the next logical upgrade step. I just don't see it as being the best solution, as not everywhere is the same and there are other things to consider.

Half our workers no longer even have desktops/workstations and we need more storage than speed for our virtual infrastructures, so SSDs don't make much sense in our environment at all.

You must have missed it, you seem to have a hard time comprehending everything. Here, I'll quote it again for you.

Congratulations, you've "won" the argument.
 

DeathFromBelow

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I'm sure disk density will continue to increase for a while, but what about performance? I accidentally bought a 5TB SMR drive and it's so slow that it's painful to add any substantial amount of data. I have to imagine that with HAMR and such it's going to get worse.
 

krotch

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I'm sure disk density will continue to increase for a while, but what about performance? I accidentally bought a 5TB SMR drive and it's so slow that it's painful to add any substantial amount of data. I have to imagine that with HAMR and such it's going to get worse.

Well SMR drives are built for a specific purpose. They're archive drives. They're slow to write, but they're fast to read. You'd have to get creative with your backup schedules to write to the drives, but from there, you should be fine reading from it.

The problem with SMR is it essentially has to rewrite data it just overwrote, by writing new data. Ya, I don't get it either, was just reading about it.

HAMR sounds more promising, as it won't be doing what SMR does and it can write a buttload more into a smaller area. I would hope that would mean better faster write speeds, but it does need a laser now. I'd be happy if it was the same write speed as today, just with higher capacity.
 

doublejack

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If we are talking about workplace machines, unless they're doing some sort of imaging (graphics, video, photo) there's absolutely no reason why they need more than 128GB and, as such, SSDs make even more sense in the workplace. SSDs consume less power, improve worker productivity, and the business spends their money on performance instead of unneeded data density. If you have someone over you rejecting a purchase over the perceived loss of value in getting a smaller storage device, you need to educate that person....or be educated yourself.

That's not enough space for a windows based machine. Windows has become so bloated it takes upwards of 30GB itself. Add in Office and other apps, and there's no way 128GB works. I had a 320GB drive in my work laptop and I barely got by. I did have a 50GB Linux partition, but that left about 240GB for Windows.

I totally agree that work machines should be SSD only at this point, though. It is a no-brainer for laptops between the speed, lower power consumption and improved shock resistance from not having any moving parts.
 

krotch

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That's not enough space for a windows based machine. Windows has become so bloated it takes upwards of 30GB itself. Add in Office and other apps, and there's no way 128GB works. I had a 320GB drive in my work laptop and I barely got by. I did have a 50GB Linux partition, but that left about 240GB for Windows.

I totally agree that work machines should be SSD only at this point, though. It is a no-brainer for laptops between the speed, lower power consumption and improved shock resistance from not having any moving parts.

128 gb works fine in a Windows domain environment. Most companies will have some kind of file server for data storage, as this gives them an easy way to backup user data.
 

doublejack

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128 gb works fine in a Windows domain environment. Most companies will have some kind of file server for data storage, as this gives them an easy way to backup user data.

My employer does things a little differently. We all have laptops and are not tethered to an office. So there is no network storage. Everything is saved locally, and automatically backed up to the cloud daily.

I maintain that even where users are saving to file server or NAS, 128GB is just not enough for a Windows machine. Maybe in a school lab or something, but not for a professional.
 

USMCGrunt

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My employer does things a little differently. We all have laptops and are not tethered to an office. So there is no network storage. Everything is saved locally, and automatically backed up to the cloud daily.

I maintain that even where users are saving to file server or NAS, 128GB is just not enough for a Windows machine. Maybe in a school lab or something, but not for a professional.

Ive got about a dozen machines at work that are running Windows 8.1 and Office 2013 Pro Plus all fully patched with 128GB SSDs and have upwards of 40GB space still available. It's anecdotal but shows that 128 works just fine. The production bump on these i3 machines from a 5400 RPM HDD is huge.
 

SolidState

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In my company we still run a ton of pentium 4 machines (2.8 HT) with a gig or two of ram, and just updated some of them from windows xp to windows 7, me included in that upgrade.

I've been damn near begging for an upgrade for 5 years now and a couple years ago I brought my old home PC to work just to have something decent to work with or even browse the internet.

These good old 80 gig WD800's just won't die.

I've got three SSD's in my home computer though. 120 GB for windows and two games, one 240GB for a few more games/programs, and just got a new 480GB for anything in the foreseeable future. There's a few 1 and 2TB HDD's floating between my work and home PC to cover backup duty.

I can see buying a 4-6TB drive in the next year to condense all the data from the 1-2TB drives in one location but after that it's SSD only once they hit 2TB at a reasonable price.
 

{NG}Fidel

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I think everyone is missing the point USMC Grunt made. He did not attempt to say it was the solution for every office environment. Just that it is suitable for many office environments. He even mentioned what it would be good for and what it wouldn't be good for. It is clear as day within his post. I imagine some people are just bored and trying to bicker.
 

DeathFromBelow

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Well SMR drives are built for a specific purpose. They're archive drives. They're slow to write, but they're fast to read. You'd have to get creative with your backup schedules to write to the drives, but from there, you should be fine reading from it.

I'm very familiar with SMR drives. You kinda missed the point there.

I was commenting that there's a good chance we're running into the physical limits of this technology, at least at speeds we're used to. I'm sure data centers will be able to load-balance writes across huge numbers of drives to offset the crummy performance, but there may not be practical consumer drives well beyond 10 TB.

HAMR sounds more promising, as it won't be doing what SMR does and it can write a buttload more into a smaller area. I would hope that would mean better faster write speeds, but it does need a laser now. I'd be happy if it was the same write speed as today, just with higher capacity.

There's no way the write speed will be the same, you have to physically heat the disk with a laser, and given the densities we're talking about I'm guessing all the issues with shingled drives will come into play, too. It's been a very difficult technology to develop and I'm still skeptical that it will actually make it to market.
 

JoeComp

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There's no way the write speed will be the same, you have to physically heat the disk with a laser, and given the densities we're talking about I'm guessing all the issues with shingled drives will come into play, too. It's been a very difficult technology to develop and I'm still skeptical that it will actually make it to market.

While I agree that HAMR seems like one of those technologies that is always a few years away, it is NOT true that there is "no way the write speed will be the same".

The heat is provided by a very highly focused laser beam which creates a high intensity at the platter -- in other words, high power delivery to a small area. If you aim the focused laser spot ahead of where the writing magnetic field is concentrated, then it is certainly possible to heat the point on the spinning platter (5400 or 7200rpm) hot enough so that as it gets to the magnetic field, it can be written. It only requires a high enough light intensity -- which is a function of the laser power and how small you focus the beam. How feasible this is to do in practice is another question, but it is certainly possible in theory.

Also, the point of HAMR is that it should be able to avoid the issues with SMR.
 

SomeGuy133

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SSDs have the potential to out strpe HDD in capcity per volume but price wise they will still be a good decade or 2 behind. 3D NAND though will help shorten that gap by a lot but I would be surprised if its before 10 years that SSDs equal HDDs in cost. 20? Possible...maybe even probable.
 

seijirou

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I think everyone already knows that SSDs are faster than HDDs, but that doesn't necessarily make it the best choice when building a workstation for the office users. If you need to skimp on one part, just to stick an SSD in there, you can throw off the balance and simply end up with a bottleneck somewhere else.

The old workstations they had here were always skimped out on pretty much everything. Slow processor, 2 gig memory, 80 gig hdds, etc. Exactly what does an SSD do in such a situation?

Nothing in your argument will tell me that SSDs always make the better choice and trying to simply negate the whole workstation system is downright stupid. It's like saying, "Who cares if it's a single core Intel Atom processor with 1 gig of memory. Put in an SSD. That's always the right choice."

Easy, because of the skimp in memory the page file will be used more, and putting the page file on SSD will make it far far more responsive and "memory-like" than if it were on a spinning drive.
 

SomeGuy133

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My employer does things a little differently. We all have laptops and are not tethered to an office. So there is no network storage. Everything is saved locally, and automatically backed up to the cloud daily.

I maintain that even where users are saving to file server or NAS, 128GB is just not enough for a Windows machine. Maybe in a school lab or something, but not for a professional.

plus 128 GB drives are horrendously slow vs 256GB or even 512GB drives.

Easy, because of the skimp in memory the page file will be used more, and putting the page file on SSD will make it far far more responsive and "memory-like" than if it were on a spinning drive.

if the person has 2GB of RAM SSD is least of his concern rofl. Jesus I can't stand widnows with 8GB of RAM. I get low memory errors out the ass. 2GB of RAM is terrible! If it doesn't have at least 16GB your screwed. Seriously, my netbook has 8GB of RAM and I get low memory warnings all the time as I brows and use office. It is utter trash.
 

USMCGrunt

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if the person has 2GB of RAM SSD is least of his concern rofl. Jesus I can't stand widnows with 8GB of RAM. I get low memory errors out the ass. 2GB of RAM is terrible! If it doesn't have at least 16GB your screwed. Seriously, my netbook has 8GB of RAM and I get low memory warnings all the time as I brows and use office. It is utter trash.

....you're doing something wrong then. I have systems with 4GB of RAM and they run just the same under the same load as systems with 8GB of RAM. Unless you have a bunch of applications open at once...like a dozen giant ass office application files, you shouldn't be hitting a wall at 4GB.
 

seijirou

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if the person has 2GB of RAM SSD is least of his concern rofl. Jesus I can't stand widnows with 8GB of RAM. I get low memory errors out the ass. 2GB of RAM is terrible! If it doesn't have at least 16GB your screwed. Seriously, my netbook has 8GB of RAM and I get low memory warnings all the time as I brows and use office. It is utter trash.

 

Crosshairs

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Jesus I can't stand windows with 8GB of RAM. I get low memory errors out the ass. 2GB of RAM is terrible! If it doesn't have at least 16GB your screwed. Seriously, my netbook has 8GB of RAM and I get low memory warnings all the time as I brows and use office. It is utter trash.

you may want to do a reinstall of that machine. if you're getting memory warnings with 8GB, something is seriously wrong.
 

MrGuvernment

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Ya, something wrong with your rig, i am a heavy user of many things at once and i seldom cap over 5Gig of memory usage unless i turn on my VM's.
 

DeathFromBelow

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plus 128 GB drives are horrendously slow vs 256GB or even 512GB drives.



if the person has 2GB of RAM SSD is least of his concern rofl. Jesus I can't stand widnows with 8GB of RAM. I get low memory errors out the ass. 2GB of RAM is terrible! If it doesn't have at least 16GB your screwed. Seriously, my netbook has 8GB of RAM and I get low memory warnings all the time as I brows and use office. It is utter trash.

 

MGCJerry

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128GB SSD for windows is plenty *if*...
* There is an additional disk for data
* The user only "does Facebook and email" (will see almost no real-world benefit from SSD, and probably wouldn't care).
* The user is not a digital hoarder

I have a small partition specifically for Windows (35GB, 9GB free) and its required crap. I have all my other applications, documents, games etc on separate partitions (500GB m2 SSD). I even have my constantly updated games (Rift, Elite, KSP, etc) as well as pagefile on the HDD. Given my usage on SSD, this Evo should last me a looooong time. 2170 hours and I have only written 0.97TB.

Also, here I am kicking around on 4GB of ram and can still heavily multitask. Can't wait for my RMA return from Corsair!

Anyway as far as HDs being relevant for 20 years, I feel it depends on cost. Lets face it for a moment, not everyone is [H] (high-performance, gaming, datacenter, etc), some people and organizations are purely $$$ driven. Here is how I see it going. Once SSD capacity passes HDD and at a cheaper price perGB, SSDs will sell more; especially to the non-[H] group.

Personally I love my SSD, its awesome in my random, high-read environment. I'm not [H] as I was a decade ago, but once SSDs get cheap like HDD with the same capacity I don't see myself buying another spinning glass disk for my machine. I also upgrade only when I *need* to and I tend to hold onto older hardware - especially server hardware for as long as possible.
 

Thuleman

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What most all of you don't realize is that PCs don't matter when it comes to any of these statements. Seagate doesn't give a fuck about your Windows drive, you and it are irrelevant to them. Many (most?) enterprises have more spinning disks in the data centers than they have PCs in the environment.

There was a different thread here somewhere were it was explained over and over that solid state drives are not made for long term offline storage. Magnetic storage can be written and then powered down. Years later the data will still be there. Not so with solid state drives.

Magnetic storage is here to stay for a good long time. Tape storage is still being actively developed and actively used.
 

JoeComp

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Magnetic storage can be written and then powered down. Years later the data will still be there. Not so with solid state drives.

This is a misleading statement, for several reasons.

1) The situation described is uncommon. A very small percentage of HDDs (or SSDs) are going to be powered off for years with the expectation that the data will later be able to be read. I'll venture to guess that the percentage is so small that it is basically irrelevant to anyone doing market research on HDDs.

2) While the data may still be intact on HDD platters after, say, 5 years, there is no guarantee that the motor will be able to spin the HDD up after the bearings sit idle for 5 years.

3) If an SSD has exhausted less than about half of its rated erase cycles, then there is an excellent chance that the data WILL be intact after 5 years of being powered down. The rule of thumb for consumer SSDs is that the unpowered data endurance should be 10 years when it is new, and 1 year when it has reached its rated number of erase cycles. All NAND flash production lines run accelerated aging tests to verify these specifications.
 
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