Archives For SSD

If you’ve been following computer- and electronic-related news, you’ll know that the recent natural disasters in Southeast Asia damaged both human life and community, and industry and production. Since late 2011, these devastating floods led to a near worldwide shortage in hard disk-drives, as approximately 25% of the world’s hard drive factories are located in Thailand. Only now it appears that the hard drive industry is in near complete recovery.

Western Digital factory flooded in Thailand.

Update on Hard Drive Producers

As of February 2012, analyst Fang Zhang reported Seagate as taking the first place position in the hard drive market. Seagate surpassed its main competition, Western Digital, all because their Thailand factories were on higher ground during the flooding. In December 2011, both companies sold less than half the amount of hard drives they sold in preflood times, with Seagate selling about double the amount Western Digital did.

In late April 2012, the Associated Report compiled a timeline of the status of hard drive production. They reported that as of April 26th, Seagate, Intel, and Western Digital have all made complete recoveries from the floods and are now back in full production.

Western Digital factory after the floods receded.

Update of Hard Drive Prices

While it is currently difficult to figure out the exact average range of hard drive pricing, we can still see some trends.

For one, IHS projects that pre-flood pricing is not expected to return anytime soon. In general, hard drive prices have risen to “stratospheric” levels, some doubling, even tripling in price. Besides the obvious lack of supply, another reason for this spike in hard drive prices is that the floods caused the hard drive industry to hit the “collective reset button.” Biztech staff says, “Hard drive vendors are taking advantage of this opportunity to reset prices and recover some of the excessive price erosion that began in 2009.”

A second projected trend may be the fall of hard drive prices. This is due to the industry’s reallocation of funds into newer technology, which will make hard drives more and more obsolete. Continuing with the flood’s metaphorical “reset” of priorities within the hard drive industry, Biztech says, “industry participants [may] slowly reduce hard drive prices from current levels…while at the same time ensuring sufficient funding is available to develop new HDD technologies that are needed.” The funds are projected to be reallocated into solid-state drives (SSDs), thus lowering the cost of hard drives.

I end in a similar vein as Rik Myslewski at the Reporter. Yes, while prices are not back to normal, production should be back in full swing very soon.

“If only that return were as quick and painless for those millions of Thais affected by the murderous floods.”

With the normalcy of hard drive production returning, Eio will have hard drives back in stock very soon.

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If you’ve been following computer- and electronic-related news, you’ll know that the recent natural disasters in Southeast Asia damaged both human life and community, and industry and production. Since late 2011, these devastating floods led to a near worldwide shortage in hard disk-drives, as approximately 25% of the world’s hard drive factories are located in Thailand. Only now it appears that the hard drive industry is in near complete recovery.

Western Digital factory flooded in Thailand.

Update on Hard Drive Producers

As of February 2012, analyst Fang Zhang reported Seagate as taking the first place position in the hard drive market. Seagate surpassed its main competition, Western Digital, all because their Thailand factories were on higher ground during the flooding. In December 2011, both companies sold less than half the amount of hard drives they sold in preflood times, with Seagate selling about double the amount Western Digital did.

In late April 2012, the Associated Report compiled a timeline of the status of hard drive production. They reported that as of April 26th, Seagate, Intel, and Western Digital have all made complete recoveries from the floods and are now back in full production.

Western Digital factory after the floods receded.

Update of Hard Drive Prices

While it is currently difficult to figure out the exact average range of hard drive pricing, we can still see some trends.

For one, IHS projects that pre-flood pricing is not expected to return anytime soon. In general, hard drive prices have risen to “stratospheric” levels, some doubling, even tripling in price. Besides the obvious lack of supply, another reason for this spike in hard drive prices is that the floods caused the hard drive industry to hit the “collective reset button.” Biztech staff says, “Hard drive vendors are taking advantage of this opportunity to reset prices and recover some of the excessive price erosion that began in 2009.”

A second projected trend may be the fall of hard drive prices. This is due to the industry’s reallocation of funds into newer technology, which will make hard drives more and more obsolete. Continuing with the flood’s metaphorical “reset” of priorities within the hard drive industry, Biztech says, “industry participants [may] slowly reduce hard drive prices from current levels…while at the same time ensuring sufficient funding is available to develop new HDD technologies that are needed.” The funds are projected to be reallocated into solid-state drives (SSDs), thus lowering the cost of hard drives.

I end in a similar vein as Rik Myslewski at the Reporter. Yes, while prices are not back to normal, production should be back in full swing very soon.

“If only that return were as quick and painless for those millions of Thais affected by the murderous floods.”

With the normalcy of hard drive production returning, Eio will have hard drives back in stock very soon.

See also:

Standard hard disk drives (HDDs) versus solid state drives (SSDs). These two contendors have been followed closely to see which will emerge triumphant in the word of computers. From hard drives’ inception up until 2011, HDDs have been the head honcho. But consumer sales estimate that 2012 will be the year SSDs “break out” and surpase HDDs due to their plummeting prices.

Top: Hard Disk Drive
Bottom: Solid State Drive

Despite the estimated price drop of the SSD, it is still much more expensive than HDDs. And, since both items serve roughly the same purpose of booting your system and storing your applications and personal files, one needs to understand the differences before deciding which is right for you.

How an SSD works

While SSDs differ from the HDD on many account, the main difference is how they store data. SSDs use electrical currents and flash memory, instead of the HDDs’ magnetic and motorized technology. SSD data storage uses flash memory, similar to the technology of camera memory or in USB flash drives, so it does not need to connect to an external power source.

If you’d like to know the basics of how a HDD works to compare, visit our previous post: Hard Drives 101.

Advantages

SSDs have many advantages over HDDs.

  • Durability – Since SSDs have no moving parts, you most likely won’t lose data if your computer faces an impact. They have greater shock and impact resistance, and are almost impervious to magnetic fields.
  • Speed – SSDs have much faster read and write times and boot up in seconds. HDDs are literally disks: they must start up and then spin to process data, often taking several minutes to boot up.
  • Power Usage – SSDs use much less electricity because they don’t spin a motor.

Disadvantages

Writer Paul Woodman argues the disadvantages of SSDs compared to HDDs are “few, but significant.”

  • Price – while SSD’s prices are plummeting rapidly in 2012, they are still much higher than HDDs. They are projected to reach around $1 per gigabyte in 2012. But compared to an HDD of same form factor, you’ll still pay around 300% more.
  • Availability – HDDs are much more plentiful and come in all the top brand names: Toshiba, Seagate, Western Digital, etc. The SSD selection is much more limited as of now.
  • Maximum Capacity – because of SSD’s higher prices, most computers include SSDs from 128GB to 500GB, while HDD computers easily top out at 1TB. Buying a computer with a 1TB SSD is a rarity and will cost an arm and a leg.

In terms of an overall conclusion of which is better, most commentators agree that if it were not for SSD’s higher prices and limited availability, SSDs would be the obvious victor. Columnists Joel Santo Domingo summarizes it in this way:

HDDs win on price, capacity, and availability. SSDs work best if speed, ruggedness, form factor, noise, or fragmentation (technically part of speed) are important factors to you. If it weren’t for the price and capacity issues, SSDs would be the winner hands down.

Your best bet, then, would be to wait until SSD catches onto the general populace so that the demand will drive prices down. For the next few years, however, HDDs will continue to be the most commonly used hard drive.

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Eio houses both types:

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