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Samsung 840, the first TLC SSD, arrives

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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,775Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Maelkor

    The only thing I would add to this thread is this: People who make predictions about storage devices rarely take into account the fact the programs grow in size too. In fact they have a tendancy to grow in size at a rate that is similar to what hardrives/storage devices can hold.

     

    Putting it another way - Just because you only need 200 or 300 gigs of storage today to run the OS and your main programs does not mean that will hold true even 2 or 3 years from now. As an example - MMOS - Age of Conan the download was something like 5 gigs If I remember right - and everyone crapped in their pants that a game could be so big. It was unheard of. Now a typical game is 20 or 30 gigs and growing.

     

    Putting that aside, it seems that SSD's might perhaps be large enough for some mainstream usage as a performance booster. At the current rate of growth though they will not replace actual Hardrives for a long time to come as people still have movies, half a dozen games, pictures, sound files etc to store and they need a lot of storage capacity to do this. Soon movies and shows are going to transition from HD quality to 3D quality - yet another huge jump in file size.

    The last point being - most people dont need the performance that an SSD drive can give and therefore will stick with platter technology which is cheaper, more reliable(long term) and holds significantly more. I do see that SSD drives will start to make their way into the market as an addition to the platter drive in much the same way RAM was added as a cache etc. Not so much as a cache per se but as a place to run the OS and such things as quizzical described earlier, however, the average user doesnt have a clue how to set something like that up - so even those uses will be only a small segment of the population I think.

    Except that your entire argument isn't true.  Vanguard launched around the start of 2007 and required 20 GB.  If sizes had doubled every two years since then, we should be looking at games far over 100 GB today.  I'm not aware of any games that are anywhere near that.

    If you go back further, I used to have Red Alert, which came on two CDs and launched in 1996.  I don't know exactly how much space it took, but presumably more than would fit on one CD.  So let's call it 1 GB.  If you double size every two years, you'd be looking at games taking well over 200 GB today.  Do they?

    In 1998, I bought a computer with an 8 GB hard drive.  I think I used somewhere around half of that capacity.  If my capacity needs doubled every two years, then I should need around 1 TB today.  Windows reports that I actually have 74.3 GB in use.

    But that's just the empirical data.  There are theoretical reasons why sizes shouldn't increase so fast in the future, too.  In the case of Red Alert, most of the CDs was filled by videos that it would play at various points in missions.  Other games did similar things.  Most of the size of Civilization II was videos that it would play when you completed a wonder.  Most of Age of Empires was an intro video that it would play when you launched the game.

    Such cut scenes in games actually take less space now than they did then.  If you've got a bunch of 3D assets already made, then it's much easier to simply run a cut scene showing this character here and that one there than it is to create a new video from scratch.  Reusing your existing 3D assets also takes virtually no space.

    It's not just cut scenes in games.  Many things have stopped scaling.  Suppose that you bought a 3 TB hard drive today and could somehow magically to the drive everything typed by all of humanity, from forum posts on forums you'll never hear about to text messages and e-mails written by random strangers you'll never have any contact with.  How long would it take to fill up the drive?  At least several hours, and possibly more than a day.

    The actual amount of text that makes its way to your hard drive is such an infinitessimally small fraction of that as to constitute a rounding error in the storage it takes--even as compared to current SSD storage capacities.  Anything that is roughly proportional to text typed likewise takes virtually no space--and this includes compiled executable files.  Most programs today take essentially no space.  The same is true of documents, whether made by a word processor, a spreadsheet, or whatever.  Twenty years ago, such things took a substantial amount of space.

    It used to be pretty easy to fill up a hard drive with pirated music.  Today, only the most zealous pirates can manage a collection that amounts to much more than a rounding error.  1000 hours of .mp3 files adds up to maybe 50 GB, which is still significant on an SSD but basically a rounding error on a hard drive.  You could say about the same of pictures:  they used to take a ton of space, but now you'd need to be a really zealous photographer to fill much hard drive space with them.

    What's left that actually takes a lot of space?  Videos still do if recorded rather than procedurally generated (so movies do and cut scenes in games don't) and texture files used by games still do.  And that's about it for consumer use.  There are still some enterprise or scientific applications that need to store massive amounts of data, but those are irrelevant to most people deciding whether an SSD is enough.

    And even videos and game textures won't scale forever.  There's no sense in having Blu-Ray movies shot in higher definitions than televisions can show.  You mention stereoscopic 3D, but that's a one-time doubling (or less, if they can compress it)--assuming it even catches on, which is unlikely.  HD video takes about 5-6 GB per hour, so 500 hours of HD video would fill a 3 TB hard drive.  But that will scale in the next decade much like how .mp3s did in the past.  3 TB is a lot today, but a decade from now, it may well be basically a rounding error on a hard drive and substantial but manageable on an SSD.  And that's assuming that you actually need 500 GB of HD videos, which most people don't.

    As for game textures, you can make arbitrarily high definition textures, but this has sharply diminishing returns.  Most of the game, a game doesn't even use the full texture; it mipmaps it down to use a much lower resolution version.  Only when an object is up close do you see the full resolution.  And only when it's close enough to magnify the texture substantially would a higher resolution actually be used.

    You can also make more textures for a game, with each the same resolution as before.  But that means more work to create the game.  If you want to have twice as many textures, it costs twice as much to make them.  That can't double every two years for long.

    Both game texture resolutions and video resolutions can make good use of scaling as monitor and television resolutions increase.  But this happens very slowly.  Let's estimate very high and assume that 2560x1600 is the standard resolution today.  If you want to use 1920x1080 instead, cut all the subsequent numbers of pixels in half.  If it scaled by something analogus to Moore's Law, then 1280x800 would have been the standard four years ago.  But that was tiny four years ago.  Eight years ago, 640x400 would have been the standard.  I'm not sure if Windows XP is even usable at that low of resolutions.  Go back in time 24 years and you'd have a resolution of 40x25.  For comparison, the NES that launched years earlier used a resolution of 256x240.  Go back to when the Atari 2600 launched in 1977, and it "should" have had a resolution a little smaller than 6x4, as opposed to the 192x160 that it had in the real world.

    Capacities needed do tend to increase a little as time passes.  Much of it is due to people finding creative ways to be less efficient, but some of the bloat does get worthwhile uses.  But the needed capacities increase a lot more slowly than hard drive and SSD capacities are increasing.

  • IchmenIchmen Winnipeg, MBPosts: 1,228Member

    ^- thats an insane amount of text lol  but im kinda curious if you think SSD will become the new HDD for pcs or if HDD will last until its replaced by a more flash driven system outside of the SSD chain? 

     

    oh and RA1 took about 400mbs of space. (if you try to install it on win7 you have to manually copy it off the cd lol </3 installer)

    and games like The Sims can get up to 100gbs of space after you install every single pack for it and start adding in mods.  which is why i kinda wonder if its more prudent to focus on SSD for pc replacements or still rely on the old HDD (i personally still use HDD as SSD was not as main stream or cheap as it is now when i built my pc)

    i see SSD more of a tablet/cellphone tech system then really PC based though, i know OS usage is better on a SDD over hdd but gaming is better on hdd is it not? or has that changed in the last few years that SDD has evolved??

    CPU: Intel Core i7 CPU 860 2.8GHz
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  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,173Member Uncommon

    Programs and data get bigger - true.

    But compression also gets better. Audio used to be very large, in .WAV or raw format. MP3 drastically reduced the file size (without drastically affecting audio quality). H.264/MP4 are doing the same thing for video now. Many games are recording cutscenes as in-game rendered, rather than CGI, which cuts down dramatically on the size of those files.

    So far, it's been relatively stagnate in the past 6-7 years, which is unusual across computing history (particularly when looking at Moore's Law), but there have been some external influences to data size rather than just available storage space - mainly the fact that more and more data is being streamed dynamically now than being statically stored.

    The real driver for this, however, isn't so much storage space. Storage space is cheap, even relatively so on SSDs. The real driver is transmission, and the rise in cloud/online services, which have really driven the push to continue to minimize data size. If a music/video/data file is XXX T/G/M/kbytes, and XXX thousand people download it, or XXX thousand people per day stream it - that bandwidth adds up fast, and unlike storage space, isn't always cached locally or permanently.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,173Member Uncommon

    SSD's aren't necessarily PC's future, but then again, PC's are necessarily the future of computing.

    There will always be a niche for a desktop PC - be it SOHO servers or workstations or PC gaming rigs or whatever. And some of those PC's will always be better served by traditional hard drives (mainly those requiring larger-than-typical amounts of storage). But I think most PC's would be best served by an SSD (especially when paired with a traditional hard drive as a bulk storage device), and that applies to most PC's sold or used today.

    There was a big push early in computing history to go with diskless computing and dumb terminals (large companies had main frames, and they wanted dumb terminals just to connect up to those big expensive computers). That notion comes back every now and then (Windows Terminal Services/Remote Desktop back in late 90's/early 2k's, "Cloud Computing" and virtualization now). These types of computers don't necessarily require any local storage at all - they can run entirely off the network, including network booting - and that technology has been around for decades.

    So I don't think that hard drive technology is necessarily a driver of PC futures. SSDs are a very nice advance in computing hardware, and probably the single most impactful piece of technology to come along in the past 10 years in terms of difference it makes on the computing experience. But I dont think it will define what anyone is capable of doing with a PC - at least not in the way that some things like bitmapping, the GUI, internet access, or mouse have.

  • fenistilfenistil GliwicePosts: 3,005Member
    Originally posted by Ridelynn
    Many games are recording cutscenes as in-game rendered, rather than CGI, which cuts down dramatically on the size of those files.

    Yeah, but that's not that important anymore.  With current compression methods for video files, size of storage and that cinematics are short - it does not play as big role as in past. 

    In past cinematics were sometimes bigger that rest or game. Nowadays?  You much FULL HD CGi is gonna take? 

    Let'e evan assume that combined lenght of all CGI's are 10 minutes, which almost never happen.   How much h264 or even divx/xvid 10 minute CGI even with relatively high bit rate and in full hd gonna take?  500 mb?  Hell make it even 1gb. 

    Considering most so called 'big' titles nowadays take 10-25 gb, that's not much.

     

    Besides games used in-game rendered cutscenes almost since beggining.  There was a game called Flashback and it's intro was made on game engine using many of in-game assets. It is very old game.

    Some other newer but still old games?   Baldur's Gate. Ok it had CGI intro, but almos all in-game cutscenes are on in-game engine. 

    Warcraft 3 ?  Same thing. Many CGI but even more in-game engine cutscenes. so on so on

    It is not new thing.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,173Member Uncommon

    Let's say you have a 10 min CGI in an MMO. And lets say it's 1G in size.

    Your user downloads that from the patch server. You have 100,000 users that do so.

    That's 100,000 x 1G = 100T of bandwidth you just had to pay for.

    Now lets say that same 10min cutscene is done using the in-game engine. Now it's down to 10M of procedural calls using the remainder of models and textures that are already packaged with the game for gameplay.

    That's two orders of magnitude less. That's a big deal.
    Now your down to 1T of bandwidth to serve up those files.

    The amount of storage space on your hard drive - I argue that is more or less inconsequential. Rather you take up an extra 990M or not, in the day of 1T+ hard drives, is neither here nor there. It's not even that relevent on more limiting SSDs. But you can see in streaming/patch servers/bandwidth, with digital distribution and streaming becoming the norm rather than the exception, that it makes a huge deal.

    It doesn't have to be a new technology to be good. CGI cutscenes make a big splash back when most people didn't have dedicated 3D cards, and they looked fantastic compared to in-game rendered material (FF VII comes to mind), and the only real limit was file storage space (how much room we had on the distribution media). Now, we have 3D capability that rivals what CG renders can perform, in real time. So we've come back around.

  • DOGMA1138DOGMA1138 none of your buidnessPosts: 476Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ridelynn

     


    Originally posted by DOGMA1138
    The random Writes are handled by the RAID controller, which has 1024MB DDR2 as main memory for cache. The SAS drives are fast enough for random reads on their own. And again with RAID0 i get about the same sequential speeds as SSD's at a fraction of the cost, the SAS drives were bought when the then brand new Intel X-25 cost over 900US... they come with a 7 year warranty, and onsite next buisness day service from the local segate rep.


     

    Fraction of the cost? Really? How much are those 15k drives a piece - and don't forget to factor in the price of that RAID card either.. because most SSDs are just using onboard SATA3.

    And let's look at today's SSD prices, the X-25 hasn't a main stream SSD for a good while now, is listed as Discontinued by Intel, and I can't even buy them new any longer... I quoted the retail price of the Samsung 840 above, and it's considered a pricey SSD by today's standards.

    I'm going to leave the rest of your post alone for now, except to say that SSDs are limited in write cycles, you can read from them all day long (so just saying IOP is false - only write ops affect the load count), and that write cycle limit is extremely high when you take into account things like load averaging and excess capacity.

    The 146GB Cheetas were about 90US, today they cost less than 60...
     The RAID controller is not important i had it, and most of my Motherboards had a SAS controller on them for a good while now.

    :)

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,173Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by DOGMA1138
    Originally posted by Ridelynn   Originally posted by DOGMA1138 The random Writes are handled by the RAID controller, which has 1024MB DDR2 as main memory for cache. The SAS drives are fast enough for random reads on their own. And again with RAID0 i get about the same sequential speeds as SSD's at a fraction of the cost, the SAS drives were bought when the then brand new Intel X-25 cost over 900US... they come with a 7 year warranty, and onsite next buisness day service from the local segate rep.
      Fraction of the cost? Really? How much are those 15k drives a piece - and don't forget to factor in the price of that RAID card either.. because most SSDs are just using onboard SATA3. And let's look at today's SSD prices, the X-25 hasn't a main stream SSD for a good while now, is listed as Discontinued by Intel, and I can't even buy them new any longer... I quoted the retail price of the Samsung 840 above, and it's considered a pricey SSD by today's standards. I'm going to leave the rest of your post alone for now, except to say that SSDs are limited in write cycles, you can read from them all day long (so just saying IOP is false - only write ops affect the load count), and that write cycle limit is extremely high when you take into account things like load averaging and excess capacity.
    The 146GB Cheetas were about 90US, today they cost less than 60... The RAID controller is not important i had it, and most of my Motherboards had a SAS controller on them for a good while now.

    :)


    Here's the cheapest SAS 15k Cheetah I can find new on Newegg.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148538

    If your going to tout the benefits of 1G of RAM on your RAID controller, then it becomes relevant to the discussion. Onboard RAID controllers are mostly software, and rarely have dedicated cache.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,775Member Uncommon

    The small capacity ones are going to be small platters, and that means poor sequential performance.  They'd likely lose badly in sequential read and write performance to even a simple 7200 RPM hard drive of modern platter capacities.  The 15K hard drives would probably still get you good IOPS for a hard drive, but they're on clearance for a reason.

  • DOGMA1138DOGMA1138 none of your buidnessPosts: 476Member Uncommon

    nope just an older gen, most if not all of the 15K.7 models these days come with encryption/fips level encryption built in thats why their price tag is what it is.

    For simmilar capcities they use the same number of plates with the same density, the 7th gen just goes upto higher capacities.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,775Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by DOGMA1138

    For simmilar capcities they use the same number of plates with the same density, the 7th gen just goes upto higher capacities.

    That's not how it works.  You can't get a 74 GB drive from an integer number of 500 GB platters.

    The platters that they make today have much larger capacities than those they made several years ago.  That means that you pass over much more data in a single revolution of a platter.  Sequential read and write speeds are just rotation speed times how much data you get per rotation.

  • MaelkorMaelkor Friendswood, TXPosts: 465Member Uncommon

    Re Quizzical response - rather than replying to that lenghty reply and huge wall of text ...

     

    I am not totally disagreeing with what you are saying. My main point is only that we can not predict too far into the future what will happen technology wise. We have a pretty good idea 2 to 3 years out as the development cycle takes a while to ramp things up from research to production, however, unless something works today in an economical fashion I do not try to extrapolate that refinement will automatically make that same techonology the next generation technology that finnaly replaces what currently exists. It might do so - but it might not if something else comes along( Either a new tech or the old tech has a new breakthrough making it cheap enough and fast enough to keep going as the mainstay).

     

    I am not sure if what I am saying is making sense but it boils down to this - If a particular setup works for me today - in price versus performance and what I can actually afford then I buy it (kind of obvious I know) - otherwise I buy whatever has the best price versus performance that I can afford at that given moment in time. I do not worry about what might happen a year from now or two years from now techonologically. I only consider if something new is right around the corner(1 to 3 months) that might affect that equation.

     

    In short - one year ago the cost of SSD drives versus the performance and the size of the drives and what they could do just didnt balance out. You could pay large amounts of money for very little actual performance gain ( a few seconds faster OS load time - perhaps slightly higher framerate in games etc). I have not looked specifically at the drives today - however  - the descriptions in this thread make me think it might be worth it to get an inexpensive drive as the OS partition with perhaps a few heavily used programs and still use a platter drive for the main data storage - especially as my income has increased significantly over the last few years.

     

    I do not believe however, that these drives will replace my platter based drives completely for the forseeable future. I just dont think they will come down in price per gigabyte enough to compete for raw data storage over a fast platter drive. Then again with cloud computing and storage - who knows. We might end up with our cell phone as a dockable unit that handles all of our local functions allowing us to connect to the cloud and dock to a full screen/keyboard type setup. Then again we could see glasses which project a 3d image for us to interact with and most of the computing taking place again in cloud servers.

     

    There are so many possibilities and directions that computing could go from this point that trying to predict things too far out is just not possible - So I only worry about what is actually available today - right now and if I need to upgrade or want to upgrade I base my decision only on that. I figure I upgrade every two to three years in any case so - if I miss a technology today I will get it the next go around.

     

    Anyways this thread has been a good read all the way around.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,775Member Uncommon

    Whether to ditch your hard drive in favor of an SSD-only setup depends tremendously on how much storage you need.  If 120 GB is plenty for you, then there's not much reason to get a hard drive.  If you need 1 TB, then you'll probably still need a hard drive for years to come.

    Also, returning to the original point, the SSD in question is officially rated for only 1000 write cycles.  That's down from about 3000-5000 for most other recent SSDs, and 10000 for a lot of older ones.

    On the one hand, double the capacity makes up for half as many write cycles per cell, giving you the same total lifetime writes.  And controllers have certainly gotten better about write amplification.  On the other, a product whose write endurance for consumer use may be more naturally measured in years rather than decades may give some people pause.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,173Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Maelkor

    In short - one year ago the cost of SSD drives versus the performance and the size of the drives and what they could do just didnt balance out. You could pay large amounts of money for very little actual performance gain ( a few seconds faster OS load time - perhaps slightly higher framerate in games etc). I have not looked specifically at the drives today - however  - the descriptions in this thread make me think it might be worth it to get an inexpensive drive as the OS partition with perhaps a few heavily used programs and still use a platter drive for the main data storage - especially as my income has increased significantly over the last few years.

    I totally disagree with you here. The performance gain is anything but "little". It's several orders of magnitude.

    Sure, it may measure to saving 30 seconds off your boot time. But it also measures to saving several seconds every time you open a program that is saved there, or every time you open a large file, or access a cache (of which there are several in Windows that rely on HDD storage, such as right click contextual menus and icon caches).

    It isn't just "boot time" - it's everything, and the difference is very large. The cost per byte may be a lot more, but if you also take into account the cost per unit of time to do something with those bytes, it becomes a much different equation. Not every piece of data really needs that extra speed - MP3s, data archival, video. But there is a lot that can really benefit from it, and the size of that data where speed matters isn't so large that SSDs are not useful, or the cost is exorbitant. Maybe 4 years ago, when SSDs first really hit the scene commercially, prices were such that most consumers would not find them useful, but in the last 2-3 years price per byte has dropped steadily, and continue to do so. Today, I can't see any build except the most budget constrained considering leaving an SSD in some form (even if it's just a small cache drive) out of the budget.

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