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HEXUS.TalkingShop: Kingston defends the SSD

by Scott Bicheno on 3 September 2010, 18:23

Tags: Kingston

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qazv6

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Solid prospects

A couple of weeks ago HEXUS published a story featuring a claim by market researcher iSuppli that the cost per gigabyte of SSDs (solid state drives) remains prohibitively high in comparison to traditional HDDs (hard disk drives).

Kingston Technology, while probably best known for memory, is no slouch in the SSD market either, and took exception to this claim, so much so that its European Flash product manager - Steve Hall - felt moved to pay a visit to our studios to put his side of things to the TV camera.

Hall's central argument is that the two storage technologies have different places in the market and so like-for-like price comparisons only tell half the story. SSD's are a performance upgrade, he insisted, and that's why people are willing to pay a premium.

While most of us think about the CPU or GPU as our primary performance upgrades, Hall argues that moving to an SSD can have as profound an effect. Yes, he would say that as a Kingston man, but that doesn't mean it's not true.

Hall also looks after the SD and USB Flash side of things for Kingston. We spoke about innovations in these areas, such as higher capacities in ever-smaller SD card and USB 3, which looks like increasing the USB bandwidth by a factor of three.

 



HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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No matter what Hall says, they ARE too expensive!
If my CPU is getting past it and cant keep up…i notice.
If i get a new game and my GPU cant do the FPS i need…i notice.
My HDD may not be the fastest things in my PC, but it does not slow down the performance like an inadequate CPU/GPU aand to replace the 1TB+ would cost £1500 and take 8 128GB drives. Expensive?:)
markpc
If my CPU is getting past it and cant keep up…i notice.
If i get a new game and my GPU cant do the FPS i need…i notice.
My HDD may not be the fastest things in my PC, but it does not slow down the performance like an inadequate CPU/GPU aand to replace the 1TB+ would cost £1500 and take 8 128GB drives. Expensive?:)

Sorry but the biggest bottle neck in your PC is the slowest component at transferring data… and thats the HDD. As for replacing your 1TB HDD, why on earth would you want to do that (unless you are running a server)? What Scott Hall is suggesting is that you put a single SSD into your machine and put your OS (and apps) onto that drive and use your 1TB hdd as data storage.

HHDs and SSDs may both be storage devices but the strengths are different and complimentary… Use SSDs for the quick access and data writes and HDDs for data storage because they are cheap and ‘quick enough’.

One of the things that Scott mentions is testing an old Dell laptop upgraded with a SSD, could you give this a go at Hexus and show us what the performance improvements actually are?

Oh and SSDs are too expensive… because however cheap they become we will always want them to be cheaper / bigger / faster.
cordas is right. If you need storage go for and HDD but don't try to compare SSDs and HDDs in the £/gb domain because that's not where they are competing. If you need storage then keep hold of you HDDs but don't pretend that your computer will be just as fast with or without an OS/app SSD :inquisiti

SSDs are already “cheaper” in some segments. Some companies are choosing to go with SSDs instead of short stroking their 300GB 15kRPM drives. Once you chop 50% of a high performance HDD, add the cost of extra power and heat dissipation and enterprise level SSDs start to look very affordable (especially if you mix in the tremendous performance advantage)
cordas
Sorry but the biggest bottle neck in your PC is the slowest component at transferring data… and thats the HDD.
I used to believe that. Which is why I used to pay a small fortune for SCSI with 10k RPM HD early on when I got into PCs. But the biggest bottleneck is actually.. the user.

Even ignoring that, I would now say that the biggest bottleneck in a PC is wholly dependant on what the PC is being used for. Some applications (e.g. movie encoding), is largely CPU intensive, and a lot more work is required from the CPU than it is to write on the HD. Many games are typically more demanding in terms of GPU. And even though a 3 years old 7200RPM 500GB HD is less than half the speed of a 240GB SandForce in sequential performance, and not even 1/10th the speed in random performance (read/write/seek), in most cases, loading time is still not going to be twice as long. And once a fair portion of the application is loaded into RAM, the HD need to do less work (and the SSD given less opportunity to shine).

That's not to say that SSDs won't provide a noticeable improvement in system responsiveness. But whether that is worth the current price premium is indeed very subjective. You may be able to have both a 1TB HD and an SSD on a desktop, but that option isn't available on a laptop (and yes, a fair number of people do run laptop as their sole system). And while it may be true that we tend to want something cheaper / faster, I disagree that is the reason why many find SSD too expensive. Wanting something cheaper / faster doesn't stop most of us from having some form of discrete GFX card even the option of onboard GFX card has been around for a long time.