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HP's new 6910p laptops will be among those sporting the new 64 GB drive option.  (Source: Source: Hewlett-Packard)
HP is adding a solid state HD option to its new line.

InfoWorld announced that Hewlett-Packard plans on adding a Solid State Drive (SSD) option to its products announced earlier this month and is committed to offering the option in future products.

The notebooks series with this option will be the HP Compaq 2710p, 2510p, 6910p, and 8000 series.The option will be available next month.  Initially only a 64 GB option will be offered, at a cost increase of around $1,000.

The higher cost and lower capacity may turn some users away, but HP is confident the benefits of SSD technology will outweigh the negatives, for some professional users.

The flash memory SSD drives will increase battery life and make the notebooks lighter -- both desirable effects for making the notebooks more portable.

HP is not the first notebook manufacturer to jump on the SSD train.   Last week DailyTech reported that Dell and Alienware laptops will be offering a SSD option as well.

The market future for SSD certainly looks bright, though costs still remain relatively high.



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Real world performance
By bhieb on 9/19/2007 11:28:09 AM , Rating: 2
I had a VP that just had to have this in his new laptop. The problem is that the OEM's (doing what OEM's always do)are not using the best ones out. When setting up the laptop I found it to be noticibaly slower than a normal drive (write are just way to slow when installing all our apps). Sure the OS boots a little quicker, but not much. Without a stop watch I don't think anyone can really tell the difference. Plus his is only 32GB, with the Vista Ultimate installed and all our other standard apps (Office Pro, AV...) he only has about 9gb free.

Obviously there is a premium to new stuff, but usually it is because it is better. IMHO this is worse unless you are in very low write application.




RE: Real world performance
By masher2 (blog) on 9/19/2007 11:49:00 AM , Rating: 2
> "IMHO this is worse unless you are in very low write application."

Aren't most applications you're likely to run on a notebook "low write"? Certainly installation to a SSD is going to be slower, but normal operations for most users are going to be a little quicker.

Also, don't forget the lower power consumption, which translates to longer battery life. And for some users, the higher shock resistance is a nice benefit as well.


RE: Real world performance
By Orbs on 9/19/2007 11:58:38 AM , Rating: 2
I was thinking the same thing. The issues with installing applications are usually one-time headaches, but the benefits of faster boot time, or faster out-of-sleep time, plus longer battery life, lighter weight and fewer concerns over failure and data loss far outweight that one-time pain.

Also, 9GB for business is plenty. Most documents are in the kilobyte or megabyte range and at work, large data can be stored on a fileshare on a server or on SharePoint or something, so it isn't necessarily an issue.

For a business user who travels frequently, this sounds like a great option, a pricey option, but a great one.


RE: Real world performance
By bhieb on 9/19/2007 12:27:55 PM , Rating: 2
Weight and power are better no doubt about it, but the data security argument is flawed. It is still a hard drive, and I don't think anyone in their right mind would say "I have and SSD drive so I don't need to back up". Either drive will fail so having an SSD drive does not protect your data. It is less likely to fail yes, but it does not provide
quote:
fewer concerns over failure and data loss
. Besides the MTBF of drives even in notebooks is still quite high.

9gb is OK fine, but since he syncs with several folders on the network share it can and will eat up a big chunk of that. He is an engineer so he has several CAD drawings and such that will be sync'd up.


RE: Real world performance
By masher2 (blog) on 9/19/2007 12:32:22 PM , Rating: 2
> "I don't think anyone in their right mind would say "I have and SSD drive so I don't need to back up""

That's equally true for RAID as well, and yet people still use it. Yes, neither will give you full protection against data loss, but both will increase your uptime and lower the chances of data loss. That's very valuable.

The last time my notebook drive failed, it took me 3 days to get everything reinstalled and configured...and that didn't even count the time to ship it off and get it repaired. If I can lower the chance of that happening, I will.

And remember, a lot of users don't NEED to backup their laptop. They synchronize daily and/or don't store anything on it but transient data anyway.


RE: Real world performance
By bhieb on 9/19/2007 12:42:04 PM , Rating: 2
True it is a plus, but again IMHO the tech is not ready for prime time. Yes the high end drives look great, but the crap they put in the OEM is not worth it. The HUGE performance hit you take on writes is not worth the pros, yet. Now if he could have bought he laptop driveless OR choose a good SSD from the OEM, then I would have probably had a better experience. But not so good so far.

quote:
it took me 3 days to get everything reinstalled and configured


As far as that goes when the SSD card fails (although I concede it will not happen nearly as offten) it will probably take 4 days because installing stuff takes forever. Of course by then you will just get a whole new notebook anyway.


RE: Real world performance
By mindless1 on 9/20/2007 1:56:47 PM , Rating: 2
The tech is ready for prime-time, but the price isn't (which is why these non-premium chips which limit performance are being used).

He actually COULD have bought a laptop without a SSD in it then bought the preferred SSD from a 3rd party and duped the original mechanical onto it. This route would have also left the original drive available for use in an external enclosure to expand storage capacity and/or make backups.


RE: Real world performance
By TomZ on 9/19/2007 12:33:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, actually SSD does provide "fewer concerns over failure and data loss" simply because they are more reliable than electro-mechanical HDDs, at least by an order of magnitude I would guess.

But you're right in that the probability of failure doesn't go to zero with a SSD. Backups of important data are still necessary.


RE: Real world performance
By mindless1 on 9/20/2007 1:52:29 PM , Rating: 2
Weight and power differences are negligable at best, a typical user won't notice the difference.

Data integrity on the other hand (I avoid the use of the term security as that is more often a matter of limiting access) is likely to be more than an order of magnitude better with a SSD, unless the notebook is subjected to some severe condition like quite violently dropped (damage to whole notebook onto the point of being inoperable and the drive was pulled for recovering the data) or shorted out by attempting operation while wet.


RE: Real world performance
By bhieb on 9/19/2007 12:19:26 PM , Rating: 2
I agree I didn't really mean there were not benefits, but that the existing ones just don't make up for the price.

I cannot speak directly to battery life, but from what I have read it has a minimal impact.

According to http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=30... Resume and sleep times are improved, but only on the range of 5-10 seconds. And again this is with a top performing drive, not the crap the OEM's use and charge you top end pricing. What they are using is probably closer to this. http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=29... in which case startup times are twice as long and shutdown only saves 4 seconds.

My point is usually cutting edge/expensive stuff is at least on par with the current tech on all levels. This tech fails on one of the 2 functions the device is desinged to do. It either reads or writes, and it sucks at writes. I am all for people with deep pockets buying cool stuff, but it should be at least equal.

Not trying to change the world, but give you the general first impression I have.


RE: Real world performance
By masher2 (blog) on 9/19/2007 12:39:17 PM , Rating: 2
> "...but that the existing ones just don't make up for the price."

You're treating price as an absolute, when really its relative for each user. To some, 512mb RAM, and a 1ghz CPU is "just fine", and paying even $100 extra for a system twice as fast is too much.

To other users, an extra $5K just to shave a couple percent off an application startup time is well worth it. If you're making $1M/year (or better yet, your employer is picking up the tab), what's the extra cost compared to saving even a small amount of your invaluable time?


RE: Real world performance
By bhieb on 9/19/2007 12:48:13 PM , Rating: 2
Yes price is relative. It is my companies money, but even so I would not recommend this tech for anyone else I get a laptop for. It is not my money so I really don't care. I think the performance is not as big as the hype (which is always the case).

The tech is promising don't get me wrong, but the OEM version sucks. What I will recommend the next time a VP must have it, is to order it with a normal drive and upgrade to a top end drive that can perform on par (for the most part).


RE: Real world performance
By mindless1 on 9/20/2007 2:02:35 PM , Rating: 2
There is no use where shaving a couple percent off application start up time is worth $5K. If $1M is riding on this trivial difference then the company is doomed.

If the user is so irrational that they feel they can perceive "a couple percent" difference in startup time it isn't even likely they can do anything worthy of enough productivity related income increase to pay for the laptop.

I would see this only as a perk, to make the employee feel valuable, elite (beyond the other real benefits such as shock resistance and far lower expectation of any kind of premature failure).


costs will eventually come down
By jak3676 on 9/19/2007 11:19:57 AM , Rating: 3
At least by a few manufacturers starting to allow them as options, we may start to get some economy of scale. The ball has to start rolling somewhere - I'm glad Dell and HP are supporting this even if all the SSD options are still way to expensive for me.




Perfect!
By JackBurton on 9/19/2007 11:20:52 AM , Rating: 2
I love the 2510p and a 64GB SSD drive should go along with it very nicely. The 6910p is also another great laptop, but I like the 2510p model more for its lighter weight and smaller overall size.




RE: Perfect!
By tastyratz on 9/20/07, Rating: 0
"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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