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Windows 7: SSDs have a 'bleak' future, researchers say


17 Feb 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 
SSDs have a 'bleak' future, researchers say

Quote:
SSDs have a 'bleak' future, researchers say
Quote:

The performance gap between HDDs and SSDs will shrink

By Lucas Mearian
February 16, 2012 12:54 PM ET

Computerworld - SAN JOSE -- As the circuitry of NAND flash-based, solid-state drives shrinks, performance drops precipitously -- meaning the technology could be doomed, according to new research.


Speaking to about 500 attendees at the 10th Usenix Conference on File and Storage Technologies here this week, Laura Grupp, a graduate student at the University of California, San Diego, said that as NAND flash densities increase, so do issues such as read and write latency and data errors.


While the density of SSDs grows and the cost per gigabyte shrinks, "everything else about them is poised to get worse," Grupp said.

"This makes the future of SSDs cloudy: While the growing capacity of SSDs and high IOP rates will make them attractive for many applications, the reduction in performance that is necessary to increase capacity while keeping costs in check may make it difficult for SSDs to scale as a viable technology for some applications," Grupp, lead author of the study, wrote in a research paper.


Grupp, along with Steven Swanson, director of UCSD's Non-Volatile Systems Laboratory, and John Davis of Microsoft Research, tested 45 different NAND flash chips that ranged in size from 72 nanometer (nm) circuitry to today's 25nm technology. The chips came from six vendors.


The tests revealed that the program speed (write speed) for pages in a flash block suffered dramatic and predictable variations in latency. And, as the NAND flash wore out, error rates also varied widely between devices. Single-level cell (SLC) NAND held up the best in the tests, while multi-level cell (MLC), and in particular, triple-level cell (TLC) NAND, produced the worst results.

see full two page report


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Feb 2012   #2

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Interesting read.

This assumes that everyone is just dying to get their hands on a 2TB SSD. While that would be nice, I'd rather have a 128GB SSD and all the mechanical drives needed for data storage than go back to even the best mechanical-drive-only solution.

Which would you pick from this list?

1) Super-fast small boot/program SSD plus mechanical storage.
2) Super-fast gigantic SSD for everything - including frequent data errors.
3) Dog-slow gigantic mechanical drive - and that's it.

The article does mention that it is "difficult for SSDs to scale as a viable technology for some applications". How many typical users would have a problem with that? Not many, I'd guess. My car can't take me everywhere I'd like to go, but I'm not going to sell it and ride my bike everywhere, either.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Windows XP SP3, Linux Mint 17 MATE (64 bit)
 
 
I vote ...

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by profdlp View Post
Which would you pick from this list?

1) Super-fast small boot/program SSD plus mechanical storage.
2) Super-fast gigantic SSD for everything - including frequent data errors.
3) Dog-slow gigantic mechanical drive - and that's it.
I vote option 1.

I suspect that the SSD manufacturers won't allow it though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Feb 2012   #4

Main - Windows 7 Pro SP1 64-Bit; 2nd - Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

#1 is what virtually all SSD owners are currently using, including myself.

(In case my hastily composed list of choices wasn't clear, choice #1 is made up of two or more drives, like what I have listed in "My System Specs".)

I think the point of the article must be for Enterprise-type applications where big, fast and easily configurable is ideal and a multiple-drive solution (Boot SSD + Mechanical Storage) is undesirable. For home users, run everything off C: and store everything on D: . I used to do it that way pre-SSD using a single mechanical drive with two partitions. It's just as easy to set up with two separate drives, one of each type.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by profdlp View Post
1) Super-fast small boot/program SSD plus mechanical storage.
2) Super-fast gigantic SSD for everything - including frequent data errors.
3) Dog-slow gigantic mechanical drive - and that's it.
Well, if I could afford it, I'd go with #2; otherwise, #1. Currently, I guess I'm a #2 because I don't have enough data to need more than a 128GB drive, so it's all on the SSD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2012   #6

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

For me, it is a moot question, because until the prices of SSDs falls drastically, I shall never own one...large or small.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Windows XP SP3, Linux Mint 17 MATE (64 bit)
 
 
I should have been clearer.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seekermeister View Post
For me, it is a moot question, because until the prices of SSDs falls drastically, I shall never own one...large or small.
I agree (they are totally cost ineffective).

If the SSD was inexpensive (<$1/GB) I'd consider using option 1.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Option 1.
Fast to the system, no rush for the data, and cost effective.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2012   #9

 
 

Quote:
"it's not going to be viable to go past 6.5nm ... 2024 is the end."
No rush then. In the interim, I'll just enjoy the super smooth speeds that others are denying themselves
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2012   #10

ultimate 64 sp1
 
 

Quote:
"it's not going to be viable to go past 6.5nm ... 2024 is the end."
hmm, there are a whole 12 years of technological development to go until then.

in three years time, someone will invent an ssd super-duperlizer, then in five years that will get superseded by a mega-wegalizer etc etc - probably.

would you have listened to hard drive manufacturers a dozen years ago if they had said "well, 5 gigs looks like the limit - we'll never get past that.", or ram manufacturers saying "we're never going to be able to make a 64 meg ram stick."
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 SSDs have a 'bleak' future, researchers say




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