back to article Over ONE-THIRD of PCs will have SSDs in 2017 - analyst

As hard disk drive (HDD) shipments into PCs continue their downwards slide, solid-state drive (SSD) shipments should rise at least 600 per cent between 2012 and 2017, say market researchers. Of course, solid-state drive sales represent only a small proportion of the market currently, which means that by 2017, vendors will sell …

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  1. Russ Tarbox
    Thumb Up

    SSDs, I believe, have now overtaken memory as the single most cost-effective upgrade

    Sticking one in a laptop that's maybe 3 or 4 years old and already has 4GB of RAM just gives it a completely new lease of life. And now you can pick up a 64GB jobby for about £40 ... it really can make an old laptop usable again for general day to day stuff.

    And of course in new PCs it's on a whole different level...

    1. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Re: SSDs, I believe, have now overtaken memory as the single most cost-effective upgrade

      This is actually something I have tried, but it didn't work for me. I also don't quite see how it could work. After all after a few days your whole operating system and software will be in RAM anyhow.

      It may however make sense for "suspend to disk" situations.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: SSDs, I believe, have now overtaken memory as the single most cost-effective upgrade

        Yes, a SSD completely rejuvenated an old laptop of mine. My boss stuck an SSD into his Apple thingie and complains that it was a total waste of money, so that just may be OSX vs. Linux. Perhaps OSX doesn't take that much advantage of an SSD. My boss is actually rather technical, so I don't think that's the problem.

        1. pPPPP

          Re: SSDs, I believe, have now overtaken memory as the single most cost-effective upgrade

          It depends on how much the OS is using the hard drive. If there's sufficient RAM then you won't need swap space. Type "free -m" on your Linux system. Your swap usage should be 0%. If you're constantly starting many different applications then you will notice a huge difference with SSDs. If you're playing games you'll notice a pretty big difference. However, if you have your web browser, email client, office suite and whatever other applications open, and all of them sit in RAM with plenty to spare, you will notice no difference between SSDs and HDDs. Windows is different. It uses the pagefile even if there's plenty of RAM.

          SSDs don't offer noticeably better throughput than HDDs. They have vastly superior access times. So for many small random I/Os there will be a huge difference. For large, sequential I/O there will be much less difference. If there's little or no I/O there will be little or no difference.

          1. David Hicks
            Linux

            Re: SSDs, I believe, have now overtaken memory as the single most cost-effective upgrade

            "It depends on how much the OS is using the hard drive."

            Don't forget the applications. Firefox (for instance) still seems horribly disk-bound.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SSDs, I believe, have now overtaken memory as the single most cost-effective upgrade

      "You can pick up a 64GB jobby for about £40"

      I wasn't aware that one could even use a jobby for data storage... :-O

      The whole idea stinks if you ask me.

      1. Spoonsinger
        Coat

        Re: I wasn't aware that one could even use a jobby for data storage

        Eadon seems to be able to use it, (in wet ware form), on a daily MS rant basis. (The retrieval seems a suspect though).

    3. pPPPP

      Re: SSDs, I believe, have now overtaken memory as the single most cost-effective upgrade

      >Sticking one in a laptop that's maybe 3 or 4 years old and already has 4GB of RAM

      Eh? That doesn't mean it's overtaken memory. If you said you had 256 MB of RAM and decided to install an SSD then you won't get as much benefit as you would have if you had upgraded the RAM, making the SSD upgrade the second most cost-effective upgrade. If all 3 or 4 year old laptops came with 4 GB of RAM (they didn't) then you could state that it's the most cost-effective upgrade.

      I know I'm being a bit pedantic, but RAM is always going to be the first thing to do. If adding an SSD makes such a difference, then you're either using heavily I/O intensive applications, or you're using the HDD too much. This could be overuse of swap/pagefile (which shouldn't be used at all if possible).

      Most people who do the SSD upgrade talk about the vastly improved boot times. Chances are the excessive boot times are caused by the amount of crapware installed, which starts up on boot, and company IT departments are some of the worst culprits for putting this crap on. Besides, why do people reboot anyway? I suspend mine and reboot maybe once a month at most.

      You're right that the cost is still coming down a lot. If you don't have a need for a lot of storage capacity, then go for the SSD.

      1. jason 7 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: SSDs, I believe, have now overtaken memory as the single most cost-effective upgrade

        I upgraded an old 2006 spec 4GB Tecra M7 with a 120GB 5400rpm HDD in it.

        It worked okay as stock but wasn't all that responsive. I then swapped the HDD for a 64GB Samsung 830 SSD and it was a huge difference. Yes boot times improved drastically but also the responsiveness of applications, switching and other tasks became a lot smoother. The machine behaved comparable to most modern spec laptops. This was still only working over SATA 1 spec too!

        Its all in the near instant access times, not so much the raw MBps.

        Installing a SSD is a huge boon for older dual core laptops and PCs.

    4. Jim 59

      Re: SSDs, I believe, have now overtaken memory as the single most cost-effective upgrade

      Still too expensive. My 4 year old laptop has a 250Gb hard disk. Swapping it for a same sized SSD would not be cheap. For £50 on the other hand, I could upgrade to a 1 Tb hard disk.

      1. Steve Todd
        Stop

        Re: SSDs, I believe, have now overtaken memory as the single most cost-effective upgrade

        Kind of depends on what you do with a local hard drive. If its your one and only disk, where you keep all of your media files then SSDs get expensive for models large enough for the job. If however you use network storage for this kind of thing then you don't need a huge local disk, 128GB is plenty for most stuff. The SSD doesn't just improve boot times, it dramatically improves app start times, paging speeds and handling of temp files. Don't knock it until you try one.

        1. Jim 59

          Re: SSDs, I believe, have now overtaken memory as the single most cost-effective upgrade

          I agree SSD is bound to improve performance substantially. Good point about lan storage too, with the modern move towards home NAS devices. Putting a £60 SSD in sister's 10-year old laptop might turn it from e-waste into something useful.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: SSDs, I believe, have now overtaken memory as the single most cost-effective upgrade

        Although to be honest, £50 is a lot to pay for a one Terabit hard drive: a grand 116.4GiB..

      3. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: SSDs, I believe, have now overtaken memory as the single most cost-effective upgrade

        A 750GB Seagate Momentus isn't that much more expensive, and it makes a huge difference to performance.

  2. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Makes sense, they are cheaper for small capacities in the long run

    I mean if you just have a simple desktop PC you don't need hundreds of Gigabyte of storage, an SSD will just be cheaper in the long run.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hang on, will people still be buying PCs then?

    It's only Windows PC's that have died a death. Thanks solely to the dire Windows 8.

    1. RyokuMas Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Hang on, will people still be buying PCs then?

      Citation?

      ... thought not.

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        This month's excuse: missing start button

        Low sales of Windows 8 because of the recession:

        http://betanews.com/2012/11/30/the-curious-case-of-windows-8-sales-numbers/

        Low sales of Windows 8 because of manufacturers:

        http://www.myce.com/news/sources-windows-8-sales-lower-than-expected-microsoft-blames-pc-makers-64889/

        Low sales of Windows 8 because of tablets:

        http://news.sky.com/story/1076711/pc-sales-hit-landmark-low-as-tablets-take-over

        Low sales of Windows 8 because of smart phones:

        http://www.pcworld.com/article/2025151/smartphones-spark-tech-sales-while-windows-8-struggles.html

        Low sales of Windows 8 because people do not like the user interface:

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/08/microsoft_coke_moment_windows_8/

        There will be a new excuse next month, and the month after.

  5. Piro
    Pint

    100% of the desktops we buy at here at work use SSDs..

    It makes no sense to have HDDs in your systems any longer.

    For almost a year now, we've only bought desktops with SSDs. It doesn't cost much, they're only 60GB, it's barely a couple of quid more than the default hard drive option we used to pick with our supplier. Makes a huge difference.

    For our virtual desktop infrastructure, the servers that feed them are running on RAID5 SSD arrays. Got to spend money wisely where you can to get huge boosts. That said, users quickly forget how shit their old systems were, and find something else to complain about.

    Ungrateful cu

    1. pPPPP

      Re: 100% of the desktops we buy at here at work use SSDs..

      HDDs still make sense if you need a lot of storage. But if you don't, there's not much point, as you say. Making sure you have a decent network, and giving users CIFS/NFS makes more sense.

      1. Piro

        Re: 100% of the desktops we buy at here at work use SSDs..

        In user desktops, I mean. Where your only load is the software and their profile, and everything is stored elsewhere in a server with a glut of hard drives over a gigabit connection.

        Obviously HDDs make total sense where you need bulk storage, I never said anything to the contrary.

        1. pPPPP

          Re: 100% of the desktops we buy at here at work use SSDs..

          Well you did say it made no sense to have HDDs in your systems. There are cases where people need a fair bit of storage on an internal hard drive though. With current networks, these cases are fewer.

          If I were to buy a new machine now, and the SSD was of sufficient capacity and at a low enough price, I'd do exactly what you do.

          1. Piro

            Re: 100% of the desktops we buy at here at work use SSDs..

            Sorry, reading back at exactly what I typed, "systems" was too vague a term.

            Of course, SSDs haven't yet reached a price point where they can replace all hard drive arrays.

            I do think it is terrible that companies like Dell still charge an insane premium on their pre-built systems when you request an SSD.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a conservative estimate

    I think system builders will switch to SSD and mechanical HDDs will become rare by 2015 even for the upgrade market. Best thing since sliced bread(boards).

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I love my SSD

    It even makes Windows 7 seem fast.

  8. DougS Silver badge
    FAIL

    Only 1/3?

    Given that the cheapest SSD can be made cheaper than the cheapest hard drive, which have a limit of about $50 in production cost regardless of size, I should think SSDs would be nearly universal by 2017. Hard drives will be something people add as a second drive, not used for primary storage at all.

    1. YARR
      Thumb Up

      Re: Only 1/3?

      Totally agree. The latest generation SSDs have 128Gb on a single chip. That will become baseline within 18 months. By 2017 they will be so cheap that most motherboards will probably have an SSD chip soldered directly as the boot device. The market for separate SSDs / hard drives connected via an I/O bus will be limited to those of us who have a media library that we wont entrust to the cloud.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can't believe it takes so long to get 1/3. In fact, I can't believe people still run HDD as a boot drive, I converted in 2009! If consumers were shown and made aware of the difference ANYONE would prefer SSD (as a working drive).

    I blame desktop and laptop manufacturers who're sticking to hdds. I recently brought a new laptop and had to throw away the bundled HDD and upgrade to my own ssd drive. Why are they making rubbish we don't want!? For the sake of lowering the price point of their offerings? Or have they got some sweetened deals from Seagate/Hitachi. Dude, that's so wrong for the environment (and the ssd storage industry and general tech advancement)

    1. Piro

      If only they let you option NO HDD with a laptop.

      That way you could just do a clean install of the OS yourself, and choose your own SSD.

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