Hard disks to fend off SSD threat in 2013
By Nicole Kobie
Posted on 5 Feb 2013 at 10:25
Hard disks will remain the dominant form of PC storage in 2013, despite a strong challenge from SSDs.
Analyst firm IHS iSuppli predicts global market revenue from hard disk drives (HDD) will slide by 11.8% this year, and be mostly flat in 2014. Hard disks will, however, remain "dominant form of storage this year".
"The HDD industry will face myriad challenges in 2013," said Fang Zhang, analyst for storage systems at IHS. "Shipments for desktop PCs will slip this year, while notebook sales are under pressure as consumers continue to favour smartphones and tablets. The declining price of SSDs also will allow them to take away some share from conventional HDDs."
The declining price of SSDs also will allow them to take away some share from conventional HDDs
While solid state prices are falling, they remain more expensive per GB than hard drives, and Zhang said HDD prices would decline a further 7% this year.
Hard disk sales will also be propped up by hybrid storage systems, such as Ultrabooks that feature both a SSD and a hard drive, and continue to be popular in business. "Bearing the lowest cost of any storage medium now on the market, HDDs will remain the final destination for the majority of digital content that needs to be filed away," iSuppli said.
Value for nothing?
While the Solid State Disk (SSD) is rather more expensive than a Hard Disk Drive (HDD), I have noted that manufacturer's warranties tend to be longer for the SSD type.
Spending about £150 for a SSD that is warranted against defects for 3 - 5 years is far better than spending £70 on a HDD with 12 months warranty.
Add the near silence, lower running cost, reliability and speed increase, it is my opinion, the tables are more twisted against HDD.
By lenmontieth on 5 Feb 2013
The probable reason why SSDs have longer warranties is because they may be more likely to die than a HDD and cost more per GB to begin with. Also unless things have changed IIRC HDDs may still have two years depending on the OEM.
Personally I don't think HDDs are going away anytime soon, mainly because for storage they still beat an SSD in the size department.
By tech3475 on 5 Feb 2013
I agree. The SSDs are great for OS volumes and for storing information that needs to be retrieved fast.
For general data storage, SSD is simply too expensive at the moment.
I think we will be seeing more and more hybrid systems, with SSDs for the OS and applications and HDDs for the large amounts of media that need to be stored.
By big_D on 5 Feb 2013
I couldn't agree more.
I think we're sort of being squished between two superficially contradictory forces:
1. Ever-expanding amounts of 'stuff'
2. Increasing migration od 'stuff' to the Internet.
For Tablets & Laptops, and for most people, most of the time the SSD is the perfect boot-drive.
The bulk of our data is off-loaded either to the web, or to some local and\or centralised storage, which is where the good old-fashioned 'Winchester' comes in!
The issue of SSD reliability is more serious in my experience. I've had two 'Big Brand' SSDs die on me in less than 3 years. The first was replaced by the manufacturer without quibble, but it was very inconvenient.
For me, as an IT worker paranoid about backing-up, this wasn't a big issue. But for someone lacking the time, expertise, or knowledge required to keep (and restore) adequate backups, it could be a disaster.
Hard disks, on the other hand, are stunningly reliable. Some of those in my Server are nearly 4 years old and going strong... (damn. That's tempting fate)
By wittgenfrog on 5 Feb 2013
I've just bought a 2TB external hard disk for £70, including a manufacturer's 2 year warranty. If you need that sort of data capacity, then SSD simply isn't in the frame.
By halsteadk on 6 Feb 2013
What's wrong with both ?
Storage budgets :
typical standard Windows installation (32-bit) : 20 GB
typical heavy-duty Windows installation (64-bit) : 40-50 GB
typical lifetime (>30 years) personal documents : 30-40 GB
family media collection (audio CDs, DVDs, Bluray, e-books, e-magazines, photos, TV programmes) : 6 TB (and rising)
Every computer we own (ten in all !) has a 120GB SSD as its main drive. This is ample for Windows + documents and the £70 cost per machine is easily justified by the big improvements in performance, quietness and power consumption.
Our media collection is stored on a big server machine which has twin HDD arrays, one for storage and one for backup.
Cost of upgrading all computers to SSD - around £700
Cost of all storage for family media project - around £700
Cost of storing media on SSD - more than we spent on a brand new car
OK, we may be a bit extreme, but the headline is still the same :
SSDs are fantastic when used for OS and document storage
If you have serious amounts of data, the only option is HDD
Long live both of them (literally)
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