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back to article Hybrid drives: the next generation

Would you fancy using a hybrid optical drive with embedded SSD as your single netbook/notebook disk drive? That's what HLDS is proposing. HLDS is a 10-year-old joint venture between Hitachi and LG Data Storage, and is an OEM manufacturer of optical disk drives (ODD), CDs and DVS first and, from 2006, Blu-ray drives. It announced …

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Perhaps I am misinformed

The highest capacity optical drive in mass production is a dual layer bluray with a capacity of 50GB. So the best this scheme could amount to is 50GB optical backing store and 64 GB flash front end, for a total of 114 GB.

Further I doubt that a bluray burner consume less power than an HDD while writing.

What is the advantage over HDDs that this scheme brings to the table?

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hlds

hlds == Half Life Dedicated Server :)

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so...

Its basically a BD/DVD writer with a 64GB SSD slammed in the same package. wohoo. space savings by removing the HDD but not removing the bulkier and slower optical drive???

I want a 64GB SDD slammed inside a 500GB-1TB 2.5" drive... and further with the block level intelligence to automatically move repeatedly accessed blocks between the two as a background process, the same way my SAN infrastructure does on tiered disk arrays. That's the hybrid driver we were promisedwhen Windows Vista was still in alpha...

Being limited to 64GB for the OS and removable media (very, very slower removable media at that) for everything else provides me little real benefits (since almost anything i can put in a media drive i can get online anyway, I'm considering not having one in my next notebook and would not be surprised if it was Apple that first killed them off in their product line).

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Daft idea

Apart from the one issue of allowing you to save the space of a 2.5" drive, I cannot see what the point of this is. It would save far more space to omit the optical drive and stick to an HDD. Indeed you can exceed the capacity of any freely available optical disk format (50GB Blu-Ray, and I'm not sure RW media is available yet) with a 1.8" drive - they are available up to 320GB.

Optical media makes a pretty poor re-rewritable storage system for anything other than fairly large static files. If you want to transfer data, then generally a USB drive is going to be much more convenient. Just about the only obvious reason why you need an optical drive is for installing software, and in these days where a lot of software is simply downloaded, even that isn't critical apart from installing the OS in the first place (for which you can always use an external optical drive).

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Joke

And in related news...

Floppy disk drive makers have announced a hybrid drive, allowing for 512MB of flash embedded into their 3.5" drives in order to save space.

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Surely it's for games and other software.

The disk all the large assets: textures, maps, etc. The flash holds save points and updates.

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Anonymous Coward

HLDS

While you guys are technically correct, and I would gladly give up an optical drive for

more hdd

more battery

less weight

etc...

These guys are in the business of manufacturing optical disk drives.... Therefore they cannot provide an option which would kill off their 'core' business...

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FAIL

What advantages?

As a serious netbook user as I am on the move a lot and CBF carrying a whole full bangs and whistles lappie everywhere, I can tell you that I am duly unimpressed.

Why hobble a device with hybrid optical internal storage like this? The prime advantage of a netbook is form factor and endurance, being frugal with energy.

As far as I know, optical drives are not frugal with energy the way SSD's are. I might consider something like a momentus with a much larger SSD cache but even then, I am not sure the benefit of having a larger internal storage capacity completely outweighs by a large margin the disadvantages of having a device with a higher power consumption, potentially slower reads, moving parts (maybe I'm still old fashioned but I have had HD heads crash, and it's not nice).

Having said that I have been considering replacing the winchesters on my 16 inch lappie (read hot bollocks-burning i7 desktop replacement) with momentii. A few mates of mine have said momentii are a pretty good compromise. I'd put *pure* SSD's in it but for the cost. If this new optical hybrid thing can match the promise of momentii and like, I might consider it for desktop replacements or larger.

IMHO: for now, get a decent SSD in your HD bay of your netbook. Enjoy the advantages over winchesters and lump the disadvantages. You just have to be a bit picky about what you put in it. External storage for big files and optical media. Just take the hit from using usb 2.0, after all, it's a netbook.

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Are you thinking clearly?

The optical drive wouldn't be spinning - the idea is to reclaim otherwise wasted physical space with a few GB of extra SSD cache. In case you hadn't noticed many netbooks and SFF subnotebooks already have an optical drive, so why not have the option of using the existing data link. Don't buy this or any optical drive if battery life is your number one criteria, but some people still need one. If you need more than 64GB of storage, you can get it for a small fraction of the cost of going full SSD by pairing a drive set to go on and off quickly with a small hybrid cache.

I can guarantee the margins aren't high enough on desktop parts to ever see something like this available to the consumer, on Newegg or such.

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Anonymous Coward

What I want to see.

Is a SAS 3.5 inch drive, with dram slots for cache, and boot sector that describes file or directory locations to cache.

This way, as soon as the machine switches on, the directories and files are read into cache, in one whopping big fetch, or while idle, (which would be big, say 128GB or something.)

The defragmenter could take notice of which files were needed, during a defrag to put them somewhere monster.

The whole drive would then be effectively a ram drive, except for committed writes.

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FAIL

Nah.

That sort of file-system-aware caching is much better done by the OS, and is mostly already there, this is why most modern OSs will use large chunks of RAM if fitted, but don't require it if it isn't there.

GJC

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transferable storage?

hcsd cards? do the transfer to more permanent media back at the desk?

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FAIL

10 years ago...

maybe this was a good idea.... needs a bullet to the head now.

what a freaking pointless tech now.

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i think its good for some aplications

Most mainstream laptops have a optical drive and hd,

So with these drives you can add aditional storage for the os ect and leave the larger files on a slower / cheaper hd.

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