Print 56 comment(s) - last by Clauzii.. on Jun 14 at 9:27 PM

64GB flash discs will be available in PATA and SATA flavors

We are finally starting to see some real technological breakthroughs in the area of mobile storage after a long period of stagnation. 2004 saw the rise of speedy 7200RPM hard drives while this year saw the introduction of perpendicular recording which allows data to be recorded in a smaller area. Just yesterday, DailyTech reported on Seagate's hybrid solution which pairs a traditional hard drive with perpendicular recording technology to 256MB of non-volatile flash for better performance, increased battery life and faster booting in Windows Vista.

Today, PQI is showing off new drives that mimic Samsung's 32GB Flash-SSD.  PQI, with the help of Samsung NAND flash memory chips, has new 64GB IDE and 64GB SATA 2.5" storage solutions for mobile users. The drives, which are due for release in August, are by nature more rugged, lighter, cooler and more efficient than traditional hard drives with a spinning disc. And best of all, there are absolutely no moving part so no more listening to your hard drive whir while you’re typing away and no more clicking and thrashing as you open up Photoshop or perform other disk-intensive operations.

Pricing has not been announced on the new 64GB IDE and SATA 2.5" drives, but rest assured that the new drives will be many times more expensive than even the fastest 7200RPM hard drives on the market today. As the market matures and more players enter the fray, we are sure to see a steady fall in prices. In fact, Samsung predicts that the global market for NAND flash based drives will increase from $540M USD in 2006 to over $4.5 billion USD in 2010. With growth like that, there will always be a premium for NAND-based disks over traditional hard drives, but the price differential should be much more manageable than it is today.

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By ET on 6/8/2006 6:58:52 AM , Rating: 2
You're confusing "write" with "write cycle". A write cycle only happens when you need to erase data of a specific block to write new data there. To get what you describe you'd have to write once per second to the exact same place on the disk . You can see why this is unlikely.

As has been mentioned in another post, even when you do try to write to the same place, a well managed flash will actually write to another place. That's not only because there's a limited number of cycles, but because erasing a block is a slow operation.

By lemonadesoda on 6/8/2006 2:45:43 PM , Rating: 1
Hello???? Read the post please. We are talking about the swap/paging file.

Please don't tell me you are recommending a "constantly crawling", mega-fragmented swap file!

By AndreasM on 6/8/2006 3:05:27 PM , Rating: 2
Hello???? Read the post please. We are talking about the swap/paging file.

Fragmentation doesn't matter with flash memory as much.

It depends very much on your machine purposing. If you are running office apps, then you will not thrash the swap file as hard.

If you are running P2P, database app, or you are a graphics designer, you may indeed be working that little apging/swap file even harder.

Ditch Azureus in favor of utorrent and your P2P won't swap and hog all your RAM. I think database appers and graphics designers would be better of buying enough RAM so they don't need to swap. 2 GB is cheap nowadays, and should ensure that one doesn't need to chug along with constant swapping. :P

By lemonadesoda on 6/8/2006 7:03:24 PM , Rating: 1
...thanks for the tips. Unfortunately, laptop limited to 512MB. Otherwise laptop is perfect and would otherwise not need upgrading.

By lemonadesoda on 6/8/2006 8:06:25 PM , Rating: 2
I politely advise all people who think that a windows system doesn't do much HDD writing to download the following:

Please remember the following high-write activities:

1./ Registry updating
2./ NTFS last access
3./ IExplorer temp folder
4./ Paging/swap file

e.g. Loading PHOTOSHOP takes about 1500 reads and 300 writes.

(and thats before I've started working on the pictures!!!)

By saratoga on 6/8/2006 11:10:00 PM , Rating: 4
e.g. Loading PHOTOSHOP takes about 1500 reads and 300 writes.

Thats almost nothing. Even if the 1 million write thing was a hard limit (its generally much higher), you'd have on the order of 100 trillion writes before the thing failed. Realistically, the number is much higher then that.

Do the math here. That thing writes at maybe 20MB/s. Maybe. 1,000,000 writes * 64,000,000 blocks / 20,000 blocks per second == 104 years of continuous writing. Not to mention, most people will occasionally want to read values too.

Also, I doubt that app can tell the difference between a cache hit and a cache miss, so its probably massively overreporting the number of writes actually commited.

By mindless1 on 6/13/2006 9:00:42 AM , Rating: 2

1) It can only write to free space. That's already lower (than traditional magnetic HDD) because of the inherant cost per GB.

2) it's not a "thing failed" when no single block can be written, it's a thing failed when the reliability of successful data retention is below the user's needs. It's not quite enough to have a failure then a remap where data is lost.

3) Writes are not 20MB at a time, a few KB here or there will use more space and there is still a filesystem table of some sort to update.

This doesn't make flash unuseable by any stretch but IMO the tendency for apps and windows itself to do so much writing needs to be rethought, done more conservatively, which I think may happen as flash becomes more predominant but it seems Vista is too near for it to happen effectively in this generation.

By saratoga on 6/8/2006 10:58:16 PM , Rating: 2
Fragmentation doesn't matter with flash memory as much.

For page files it doesn't really matter even with a hard disk since the page size will always be smaller then the block size on your disk, and since access is generally poorly localized anyway.

By sonoran on 6/8/2006 3:47:40 PM , Rating: 2
>Please don't tell me you are recommending a "constantly crawling", mega-fragmented swap file!

If you can afford these babies, my recommendation would be no swap file at all. Just toss a few GB of real DRAM into the machine and forget about swap files (which are only needed when you don't have enough DRAM to hold what's "in memory" anyhow).

By ET on 6/9/2006 9:37:49 AM , Rating: 2
Do you know what will happen to a memory location that changes every second? It will never be swapped out! Unless you're getting swap file thrashing, in which case you're probably taking time to sleep while your computer is responding to you. The point of a swap file is to keep on disk the areas of memory that aren't active.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov

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