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MacRumors
Mar 14, 2007, 01:34 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

An increasing number of reports are pointing to Apple using more Flash memory in various components in the near future.

Rumors of all flash iPods (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/02/07/apple-moving-to-all-flash-based-ipods/) and flash-booting laptops (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/03/08/flash-based-apple-laptops-again/) have been circulating for months. These rumors are reinforced by predictions (http://www.informationweek.com/showArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=EZTXFA2LNEW00QSNDLPSKHSCJUNN2JVN?articleID=197003359) that Flash memory prices are expected to tumble this year.

Prices for NAND flash memory chips are projected to crater this year, tumbling by a whopping 65 percent and prompting whispers that this once high-margin technology could soon become a nearly free commodity.

Nearly free may be overstating it, but it appears the market is gaining momentum. SanDisk just introduced (http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,2103810,00.asp) a 2.5" 32-gigabyte SATA solid state (Flash) drive for $350, and expects prices to drop as consumer adoption increases.

Advantages for consumers include performance and battery life:

Performance wise, SanDisk's new 2.5-inch SSD can move data to and from the SSD more than 100 times faster than a traditional drive, according to the company. It also will have a sustained read rate of 67 megabytes/sec and a random read rate of 7,000 inputs/outputs per second (IOPS) for a 512-byte transfer



OwlsAndApples
Mar 14, 2007, 01:36 PM
But can't flash only be written a finite number of times? Or is that just fear-mongering? Other than that though, it's much better than HD...(apart from the cost...for now...).

Maccus Aurelius
Mar 14, 2007, 01:39 PM
I'm sure eventually flash will attain a service life equal to or greater than current hard disks. I'm very happy with hard drives now though since they offer excellent lifespans, great capacity for the steadily lowering prices and better durability. My iMac is pushing 7 years and it has the same hard drive since it's acquisition. I have yet to see it lag or even so much as make funny noises. As nice as flash drives may be, until the tech gets better and cheaper I'm very happy with the current standard.

Naimfan
Mar 14, 2007, 01:39 PM
Sounds like this could really alter the computing landscape.....and open up all sorts of possibilities down the road....

Bob

zblaxberg
Mar 14, 2007, 01:40 PM
yea I think these flash drives can't be written nearly as much as a regular hard drive but i'm not a pro on this so maybe someone else can answer that...I'm curious as to how the system will be setup with this kind of memory...would we have something like a 2.33ghz macbook pro but with 2gb of ram and then 100gb of flash memory as the hdd?

http://regmedia.co.uk/2006/09/18/tdk_flash_1.jpg

Would this be what apple is placing in their new computers?
What are the benefits? What's the downside? and how much faster is it than a regular 32gb 7200rpm hdd?

Multimedia
Mar 14, 2007, 01:40 PM
I lik emy HDs @ 25¢/GB. If it's a dollar I guess that's fair to begin with. But I'd still want a big one in my laptop - like 200GB or more.

wavelayer
Mar 14, 2007, 01:41 PM
I like the idea of no moving parts. I mean, there are no moving parts in flash drives right?

OwlsAndApples
Mar 14, 2007, 01:42 PM
I like the idea of no moving parts. I mean, there are no moving parts in flash drives right?

Yeah, that's the best part of flash memory in my opinion.

zblaxberg
Mar 14, 2007, 01:42 PM
I like the idea of no moving parts. I mean, there are no moving parts in flash drives right?

correct, if a nano were to be dropped, it would have less chance of being screwed up than an ipod video because it doesn't have a hard drive, it just has flash memory

psychofreak
Mar 14, 2007, 01:42 PM
I like the idea of no moving parts. I mean, there are no moving parts in flash drives right?

Right

combatcolin
Mar 14, 2007, 01:44 PM
But can't flash only be written a finite number of times? Or is that just fear-mongering? Other than that though, it's much better than HD...(apart from the cost...for now...).

If its as easy to remove/upgrade as norrmal RAM i don't see a problem.

wavelayer
Mar 14, 2007, 01:47 PM
Does anyone know if there a speed increase with flash hds?

arn
Mar 14, 2007, 01:49 PM
Does anyone know if there a speed increase with flash hds?

"Performance wise, SanDisk's new 2.5-inch SSD can move data to and from the SSD more than 100 times faster than a traditional drive, according to the company. It also will have a sustained read rate of 67 megabytes/sec and a random read rate of 7,000 inputs/outputs per second (IOPS) for a 512-byte transfer"

Mr. Amiga500
Mar 14, 2007, 01:50 PM
I'm sure eventually flash will attain a service life equal to or greater than current hard disks. I'm very happy with hard drives now though since they offer excellent lifespans, great capacity for the steadily lowering prices and better durability. My iMac is pushing 7 years and it has the same hard drive since it's acquisition. I have yet to see it lag or even so much as make funny noises. As nice as flash drives may be, until the tech gets better and cheaper I'm very happy with the current standard.

Well, you've been lucky. I've had about five 2.5" harddrives fail since 2001. My 2.5" harddrive from 1993 still works fine, but modern harddrives seem to be designed to last 18 months or less before they start clonking, squealing and getting read errors.

I've been waiting for somebody to solve the limited write problem in flash. Once that has been solved, flash will be the way to go. Flash runs cool and has no moving parts, making it theoretically much more reliable than harddrives.

belovedmonster
Mar 14, 2007, 02:01 PM
Harddrives are fast becoming the bottleneck in a modern computer so the sooner we have this faster harddrive technology the better.

StuPidQPid
Mar 14, 2007, 02:02 PM
From SanDisk article: "Alan Niebel, CEO of Web-Feet Research, has noted, prices for flash drives have actually dropped by nearly 50 percent from a year ago."

Wow. And how much have the prices of iPod nano dropped in the last six months? If flash memory has dropped at the same rate, then the nano must be a nice little earner for Apple...

orbital
Mar 14, 2007, 02:05 PM
Harddrives are fast becoming the bottleneck in a modern computer so the sooner we have this faster harddrive technology the better.

I think that has been for quite a while now. Especially in the video editing realm of things. Hell on a new macbook i still can't play the same compressed HD files that I can play on my old g4 1.3ghz or my new G5 quad.

Maccus Aurelius
Mar 14, 2007, 02:06 PM
Well, you've been lucky. I've had about five 2.5" harddrives fail since 2001. My 2.5" harddrive from 1993 still works fine, but modern harddrives seem to be designed to last 18 months or less before they start clonking, squealing and getting read errors.

I've been waiting for somebody to solve the limited write problem in flash. Once that has been solved, flash will be the way to go. Flash runs cool and has no moving parts, making it theoretically much more reliable than harddrives.

The limits on writing is what I'm concerned about since I do a lot of heavy file transfers all the time. When it gets to the point where they can be relied on this task as much as HDD's or better I'll jump on them in a second.

aswitcher
Mar 14, 2007, 02:14 PM
Hybrids and dual drives would be a good start.

OS on 4 or 8 GB of flash with a real HDD available as well.

Superquick boot times, key programs almost instantly available, whilst bulk data like movies, music etc sits on the larger spinning hdd.

cgc
Mar 14, 2007, 02:18 PM
How do i delete a post?

cgc
Mar 14, 2007, 02:19 PM
I like the idea of no moving parts. I mean, there are no moving parts in flash drives right?

Except for the windshield wipers...:D

guzhogi
Mar 14, 2007, 02:21 PM
Like any piece of technology, there are good things, bad things, and things that depend on individual preference. No moving parts is a good thing, cost/GB is bad compared to hard drives. As some have said, Apple would probably to a hybrid thing with both flash & hard drives until flash becomes as cheap as hard drives.

One thing I'd like to know is how the power consumption compares between flash & hard drives. Flash probably needs less power, but what are the hard numbers?

Rocketman
Mar 14, 2007, 02:28 PM
Going through the Sandisk website the ($350) 2.5" device uses SATA (like a MacBook) and at 32gb is a step down from current common HD sizes, even on the low end. Same form factor as a HD and more expensive. Many times faster, half the power consumption and not g-force or temperature sensitive.

The ($550) 1.8" also 32gb indicating it uses later generation memory, and uses UATA not SATA. It could after the cost issue is resolved, replace the lower capacity top line iPod and solve the handling issues some users experience by crashing HD's. iPods do not need the speed, but the battery savings would be substantial.

Intel also announced products today that are packaged differently, and given the relationship Apple has with Intel and the scale of Intel on chip production, I would predict so see Intel branded devices not Sandisk branded.

The cost vs ramp-up trends indicates Apple will adopt this technology in narrow bands at first in hopes cost reduction rates exceed adoption rates.

This confirms something I have been saying since arrival here in 2001. Ramdisk and RAID everything. Raid now being the ZFS save-to disc in this case. But due to recent news, that second drive might be addressed over a 802.11n or 802.16 wireless network and accessable through a Time Machine interface from a Mac or an iPhone or its "product line" derivitives.

Rocketman

gkarris
Mar 14, 2007, 02:30 PM
So a 64 Gig flashed based iPod is about $1,000?

tilman
Mar 14, 2007, 02:31 PM
"Performance wise, SanDisk's new 2.5-inch SSD can move data to and from the SSD more than 100 times faster than a traditional drive, according to the company. It also will have a sustained read rate of 67 megabytes/sec and a random read rate of 7,000 inputs/outputs per second (IOPS) for a 512-byte transfer"

As always, the devil is in the details. I looked up this product on the Sandisk web site (http://www.sandisk.com/Assets/File/OEM/Manuals/SSD_Family_brochure_80-11-01400_Rev3_0307.pdf). Page 4 of that document has a nice comparison table, showing how much better various aspects of this Flash drive are compared to a hard disk. Yes, there are a few parameters that are "100x" better, but overall, it's in the 2x range. Vista boot time is 1.5x faster, and Windows XP boot time is 2.5x faster. But the comparison uses a 1.8" hard disk. 1.8" hard disk aren't exactly known for good performance.

foo.c
Mar 14, 2007, 02:41 PM
Sandisk claims 2,000,000 hr MTBF.

They also claim the useful life is 5 years continous operation @ 90% duty cycle

If it meets those claims, I wouldn't have a second thought about using it. It will probably outlive the useful life of your laptop.

tilman
Mar 14, 2007, 02:47 PM
But can't flash only be written a finite number of times? Or is that just fear-mongering?

This problem existed with earlier Flash technology, but has long been solved. Current Flash memory cells can be rewritten so many times that it isn't really an issue anymore, plus the Flash memory controllers use a technology called "wear leveling". Basically, if you have a particular memory location that gets changed a lot, it keeps on moving it around.

In an earlier thread, somebody calculates that it takes like 100 years of constant writing to such a drive to wear it out.

Rocketman
Mar 14, 2007, 02:47 PM
On the speed issue, the access is about 0.11 ms vs about 17ms for a HDD.
Good for transactional stuff.

On the throughput issue, it is about 65MB/s or 1.5-2x that of a HDD.
Good for HD video viewing.

The cost even after SDD drops ANOTHER 50% is about $175/32GB or $5.47/GB. Extremely expensive.

Rocketman

steve_hill4
Mar 14, 2007, 02:51 PM
Reading this on Engadget earlier reminded me of a presentation I did in my degree about 4-5 years ago now. I only explained the technology and didn't really make any predictions to the future of the media, but if I had done I can guarantee I would have been way off in either direction.

While it seems to be accelerating at the moment, it has taken quite a while to get to this stage and I remember when 32-64MB flash drives were £50-100. We now see a 32GB drive going for about £180, (straight conversion $>£), and the future certainly looks flash based. Mechanical drives really are causing the slowdown in development of portable devices becoming faster, (I refer to laptops and PMPs of course here). Once cost is low enough not to matter, I say get them in there as standard. Until then, it would be nice if Apple either put them into the higher spec 15" MBP and 17" models, or at least give an option for us to choose for a little more. I know it would make them a little bigger. I know some 15" laptops and most 17" models are shipping with two drives, why not make one of them flash? Alternatively, one drive, hybrid.

I do still worry about read/write cycles, but that will come as time goes on. Apple have signed deals for large quantities of flash before, (which largely turned out for the iPod nano), it would be a great time to either expand these or sign more deals with others.

tilman
Mar 14, 2007, 02:58 PM
On the throughput issue, it is about 65mb/s or 1.5-2x that of a HDD.
Good for HD video viewing.


Careful with the bits and bytes. You got the number right, but not the units. "mb" is megabits, while "MB" is megabytes per second. 65mb/s is about 8 MB/s, which is pretty slow. The Sandisk SSD drives are spec'ed at 62 MB/s for reading, and 36 MB/s for writing. A Seagate Momemtus 7200.2 2.5" hard disk for notebooks supports 59MB/s sustained in either direction.

EagerDragon
Mar 14, 2007, 03:01 PM
I lik emy HDs @ 25¢/GB. If it's a dollar I guess that's fair to begin with. But I'd still want a big one in my laptop - like 200GB or more.

Now we are talking, 200+ GB at $1.00 and we are now cooking with gas.

BigPrince
Mar 14, 2007, 03:05 PM
Everyone is so concerned about read/write.

I don't think companies would be foolish enough to release a product that doesn't last at least 3 years, and I hope 5+.

Under Apple Care don't those drives have to work for 3 years at least? Which is still not really ideal, but it is much greater then what it seems people are making it out to be.

I am definitely interested in how this will turn out, but confident it won't be nearly as tragic as people make it out to be. At the very least Hybird so we can still take a lot of advantage of the flash technology.

Someone gave stats about Vista ONLY loading 1.5 times faster and XP 2.5 faster, I happen to think thats a pretty big improvement and it will be interesting to see how fast OS X will load using this technology.

I am looking forward to this.

EagerDragon
Mar 14, 2007, 03:06 PM
On the speed issue, the access is about 0.11 ms vs about 17ms for a HDD.
Good for transactional stuff.

On the throughput issue, it is about 65MB/s or 1.5-2x that of a HDD.
Good for HD video viewing.

The cost even after SDD drops ANOTHER 50% is about $175/32GB or $5.47/GB. Extremely expensive.

Rocketman

Yes, but maybe prices will come down, I remember a 10 Meg (not Gig) selling for 200. May take another 3 more years to come down to $1.00 a gig.

JGowan
Mar 14, 2007, 03:24 PM
How do i delete a post?not sure if you can -- just Edit the text to "Have a nice day" or something like that.

localoid
Mar 14, 2007, 03:27 PM
... Someone gave stats about Vista ONLY loading 1.5 times faster and XP 2.5 faster, I happen to think thats a pretty big improvement and it will be interesting to see how fast OS X will load using this technology.

Umm, if you've got about $10 to spare for a 1GB flash drive, you could get a rough concept of speed by putting OS X on a flash drive (http://blog.bradbergeron.com/20061129/howto-install-and-boot-os-x-on-a-flash-drive/) now. I haven't tried OSX but have been using Linux on a thumb drive for some time now, and find it rather speedy... :)

Maccus Aurelius
Mar 14, 2007, 03:28 PM
This problem existed with earlier Flash technology, but has long been solved. Current Flash memory cells can be rewritten so many times that it isn't really an issue anymore, plus the Flash memory controllers use a technology called "wear leveling". Basically, if you have a particular memory location that gets changed a lot, it keeps on moving it around.

In an earlier thread, somebody calculates that it takes like 100 years of constant writing to such a drive to wear it out.

Thanks for the info, good to know :)

Well all we need now is lower prices and higher capacity drives and I'm there :D

Manatee
Mar 14, 2007, 03:35 PM
For the sake of speeding up the boot process, which is very important to me -- especially when starting up a machine at the beginning of a meeting or class, I'd like to see at least a SSHD for the boot device (and the current 32Gb would easily suffice), and then a conventional (as I write this in 2007 ;) ) drive as a second volume with most of my software and data on it.

That would allow me to get the machine booted quickly, and still have 200Gb of storage onboard for databases, big graphic files, and virtual machines.

twoodcc
Mar 14, 2007, 03:38 PM
seems to me that it's gonna be awhile before the price really gets down

maxp1
Mar 14, 2007, 03:39 PM
If I could get this a BTO option on a MBP that would be great. I'd totally go for it even if it was the full $350. I tend not to use much space on my laptop, just stuff that's frequently accessed and I need fast. Everything important goes on an external disk.

With this disk in a new MBP with LED backlight, lower power consumption WiFi, 10.5, Time Machine and a USB disk on an AirPort base station I'd be totally set up.

Bye Bye Baby
Mar 14, 2007, 03:39 PM
Harddrives are fast becoming the bottleneck in a modern computer so the sooner we have this faster harddrive technology the better.

You spend $1000s upgrading your computer's processor etc and you still have the same hard drive tech that's been aound for 10 years. What's the story with that!!! :confused:

However, wouldn't a flash- HD hybrid be something of a good idea. I mean how big is the market for a computer with 16 gig storage??? It seems like we are going backwards!!! Unless Apple comes out with some ultra funky notebook, I think it will be a bomb!! :eek:

Rocketman
Mar 14, 2007, 03:51 PM
As soon as portable computer memory controllers allow more than 3GB, ramdrives even for virtual machines become practical. The HDD is a "boot and archive volume", but an 8GB ramdisc becomes the primary compute space.

In that world, SDD is relegated to only the most space and mass limited applications, and "laptop format" devices can keep the very low cost HDD.

Solid state drives can also be operated at higher altitudes :)

I think the iPhone specs as discussed are UPOD.

Rocketman

davidarb
Mar 14, 2007, 03:58 PM
These are two measures. The Mean Time Between Failure which is not specific to the write/erase but rather overall expected failure of the card. The SDD drive I read today listed as 1,000,000 hrs or ~115 years.

The write/erase cylce though is spec'd at 300,000 cycles. This is relatively high but under certain applications could be exhausted quickly. This is why, as you note, they implement "wear levelling" which essentially aims to move written data around to minimize the issue by not repeatedly writing to the same location. Reading data has no impact on the life of the drive.

Overall, though I would suspect very good in field life of the flash drives compared to magnetics. You just don't have the mechanics to worry about. The price difference though is significant and won't close any time soon. I think hybrid or combination setups will be common. Get the immediate/instant on benefit of 32GB SDD flash and still have the 500GB storage of the HDD.

MrCrowbar
Mar 14, 2007, 04:02 PM
Umm, if you've got about $10 to spare for a 1GB flash drive, you could get a rough concept of speed by putting OS X on a flash drive (http://blog.bradbergeron.com/20061129/howto-install-and-boot-os-x-on-a-flash-drive/) now. I haven't tried OSX but have been using Linux on a thumb drive for some time now, and find it rather speedy... :)

I installed Tiger on my 8GB nano once. When you install OSX, it asks you on what drive you wanna install it, and my nano happened to be plugged in. So I could choose between the Macintosh HD and the black iPod icon. I was intrigued by this and installed OSX on the iPod.

LEt me tell you that everything felt almost twice as fast, booting, copying files, etc. But I was concerned with the limited read/write cycles of the nano's flash memory, so I quickly reinstalled OSX on the regular hard drive. Note that the nano was plugged in over USB, not the best interface for the system drive in terms of speed.

k2k koos
Mar 14, 2007, 04:16 PM
I installed Tiger on my 8GB nano once. When you install OSX, it asks you on what drive you wanna install it, and my nano happened to be plugged in. So I could choose between the Macintosh HD and the black iPod icon. I was intrigued by this and installed OSX on the iPod.

LEt me tell you that everything felt almost twice as fast, booting, copying files, etc. But I was concerned with the limited read/write cycles of the nano's flash memory, so I quickly reinstalled OSX on the regular hard drive. Note that the nano was plugged in over USB, not the best interface for the system drive in terms of speed.

Excellent idea, what is the space requierment again for Tiger, as I do have a 2GB flashdrive laying around....

localoid
Mar 14, 2007, 04:22 PM
...The write/erase cylce though is spec'd at 300,000 cycles. This is relatively high but under certain applications could be exhausted quickly. This is why, as you note, they implement "wear levelling" which essentially aims to move written data around to minimize the issue by not repeatedly writing to the same location. Reading data has no impact on the life of the drive. ...

The swap and journaling filesystems (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107249) in common use on *nix-like systems (including OSX) are the type things that has the potential to wear out flash, even if wear leveling is used... In the Linux world, jffs2 is in development, which is a read/write, compressed, journaling Flash filesystem that is designed to be used on Flash memory devices. In other words it's an effort to avoid some/much of the flash wear problem, and Apple will likely have their own "solution" to the wear problem soon (if not sooner!). ;)

Maccus Aurelius
Mar 14, 2007, 04:23 PM
Imagine booting from Firewire flash keys.

4np
Mar 14, 2007, 04:24 PM
Interesting news article I just stumbled upon; there already is a solid state harddisk of 128Gb. Read/write speeds are a bit slow but it's quite some capacity and fast access times. Also a very long lifetime (over 100 years!). I wonder how much it costs...


Super Talent shows off new SATAs in capacities up to 128GB

It looks as though solid state drives (SSDs) are coming out in full force this year. We've already seen new offerings from Adtron, SanDisk, Ritek and Intel. Today, we hear that Super Talent is beefing up its line of SSDs with new SATA offerings.

Super Talent is offering its SSDs in 1.8", 2.5" and 3.5" form factors. The 1.8", 2.5" and 3.5" drives will be available in capacities of up to 32GB, 64GB and 128GB respectively.

"This new generation of SSD drives delivers all the benefits of Flash based storage -- rugged reliability, low power consumption and fast access speed," said Super Talent marketing director Joe James. "But we’ve engineered these drives to offer twice the data throughput at half the cost per gigabyte compared to the first SSD drives we introduced a year-ago."

According to Super Talent, the drives have an access time of less than 0.1ms, read/write speeds of 28MB/sec, MTBF of 1,000,000 hours and a write/erase endurance of 100,000 cycles.

Super Talent was contacted for pricing information, but none is available at the moment. We will keep you posted as more information rolls in.


source: http://www.dailytech.com/Super+Talent+Announces+New+SATA+SSDs/article6475.htm

http://images.dailytech.com/nimage/4151_SSD128G35_front.jpg

localoid
Mar 14, 2007, 04:25 PM
Excellent idea, what is the space requierment again for Tiger, as I do have a 2GB flashdrive laying around....

You can fit it on 1Gb... follow the link I posted earlier (http://blog.bradbergeron.com/20061129/howto-install-and-boot-os-x-on-a-flash-drive/).

HumanJHawkins
Mar 14, 2007, 04:32 PM
If its as easy to remove/upgrade as norrmal RAM i don't see a problem.

You mean you don't care if your hard drive crashes? That is the equivalent of a massive flash drive failure.

But I think Flash may be a touch better in that it probably doesn't fail all at once like a hard drive. Does anyone know this?

MrCrowbar
Mar 14, 2007, 04:33 PM
You spend $1000s upgrading your computer's processor etc and you still have the same hard drive tech that's been aound for 10 years. What's the story with that!!! :confused:

However, wouldn't a flash- HD hybrid be something of a good idea. I mean how big is the market for a computer with 16 gig storage??? It seems like we are going backwards!!! Unless Apple comes out with some ultra funky notebook, I think it will be a bomb!! :eek:

I totally agree. Hard drives have been around for ages. There have ben some technology advancements like perpendicular recording to get way more data on the same space, but you still have the moving parts and the fact that it's magnetic storage.

For storage, we want two thing: higher speed (to keep up with the computing components) and higher capacity. HDDs have done a good job for capacity increases, but speed bumps are marginal. The memory speed problem has been solved by incorporating different levels of memories into computers, namely HDD, main memory, L3 cache, L2 cache (on die), L1 cache (where instructions are separate from data) and finally registers that are in the processors native sizes (32 bit or 64 bit). So the smaller it goes, the faster it is.

I see flash as ideal to fill the gap between a huge hard drive and the main memory. The best thing is, flash is not volatile memory (i.e. data stays on them even when there is no power) so you could keep things that require fast access on there (OS, Page Files, Virtual Machines and Memory), basically things that should be in RAM but are moved out because there is not enough RAM.

Hybrid drives like Seagtes makes them right now are the way to go I think. Hard Drives will be around for a while because of the low cost per GB. And if you put them together in a RAID, you get some serious speed boosts and/or redundancy. Flash is great for everything that is made for moving it around because there are no moving parts, it's lightweight and smaller, easier on power, not sensible to magnetism so much, more resistant to temperature and and pressure and has better access times.

Flash for iPod, phones, PDAs is a must, those devices get dropped and the hard drives is usually dead when it was in use at the time of impact. High end laptops (all Apple since 2005 have the sudden motion sensor) usually park the hard drive before it hits the ground so there's less chance for a head crash on impact. I don't know if iPods have this.

MrCrowbar
Mar 14, 2007, 04:40 PM
Excellent idea, what is the space requierment again for Tiger, as I do have a 2GB flashdrive laying around....

Standard fresh install is around 5 GB, then you need some space for swapping (say 2 GB), so the 7,4GB of the black nano are a good start.

2GB won't get you far, you need some free space to keep it fast enough. Use a USB hub, connect all your flash drives to it, and use OSX's disk utility (it's also on the OSX install disk, so you can do this when installing) to make a striped RAID. They've done a RAID 5 with the original Shuffle, which was kinda cool as a system drive.

localoid
Mar 14, 2007, 04:43 PM
Standard fresh install is around 5 GB, then you need some space for swapping (say 2 GB), so the 7,4GB of the black nano are a good start.

2GB won't get you far, you need some free space to keep it fast enough. Use a USB hub, connect all your flash drives to it, and use OSX's disk utility (it's also on the OSX install disk, so you can do this when installing) to make a striped RAID. They've done a RAID 5 with the original Shuffle, which was kinda cool as a system drive.

Read the article (http://blog.bradbergeron.com/20061129/howto-install-and-boot-os-x-on-a-flash-drive/) I posted earlier, which explains how to use Pacifist (http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/6812) to reduce the size to <1Gb. :rolleyes:

iMikeT
Mar 14, 2007, 04:53 PM
But can't flash only be written a finite number of times? Or is that just fear-mongering? Other than that though, it's much better than HD...(apart from the cost...for now...).


From what I remember, flash memory has a write cycle of 1010,000 (10 to the 10,000 power).

MrCrowbar
Mar 14, 2007, 04:57 PM
Read the article (http://blog.bradbergeron.com/20061129/howto-install-and-boot-os-x-on-a-flash-drive/) I posted earlier, which explains how to use Pacifist (http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/6812) to reduce the size to <1Gb. :rolleyes:

I know, but that gives you a really stripped down OS you can't really work with. The full package with iLife, fonts, languages etc. is just below 5 Gigs. What is OSX without iLife? :-D
Ok, I only really use iTunes and iPhoto. All the others are great for people that have absolutely no clue what they are doing. Personally, I don't use any of the other ones, but it's good to know they are there for when some family member asks you to put a video on a DVD that his player can read.

notsofatjames
Mar 14, 2007, 05:11 PM
if we can get non-volatile flash drives, won't we be able to do away with RAM. The OS would be constantly loaded into "RAM", never needing to restart. I practically never restart my iMac, but i assume those with portables shut down and start up regularly to save battery.

I'm probably being really naïve about the technology. Is RAM access faster than what future flash drives could be? or is RAM so completely different and i just looked like a fool? I always assumed that the computer used ram, because access speeds on a HDD are way too slow for the processor to do something useful every cycle.

syklee26
Mar 14, 2007, 05:17 PM
i thought installing OS in iPods are never recommended because it does not have cooling system inside.

gnasher729
Mar 14, 2007, 05:23 PM
But can't flash only be written a finite number of times? Or is that just fear-mongering? Other than that though, it's much better than HD...(apart from the cost...for now...).

True, but it doesn't matter much. If you have a 32 GB flash hard disk, and each bit can be written only 100,000 times, then at 45 MB/sec sustained write speed it takes 27 months of continuous writing to reach that limit. That is 27 months, doing nothing but writes at maximum possible speed 24 hours a day.

scrambledwonder
Mar 14, 2007, 05:27 PM
This problem existed with earlier Flash technology, but has long been solved. Current Flash memory cells can be rewritten so many times that it isn't really an issue anymore, plus the Flash memory controllers use a technology called "wear leveling". Basically, if you have a particular memory location that gets changed a lot, it keeps on moving it around.

In an earlier thread, somebody calculates that it takes like 100 years of constant writing to such a drive to wear it out.

Even five years would be fantastic. I've had two laptop drives die on me in less than two years. Tons of tiny moving parts=unreliable. Bring on the flash drives!

fblack
Mar 14, 2007, 05:40 PM
"Performance wise, SanDisk's new 2.5-inch SSD can move data to and from the SSD more than 100 times faster than a traditional drive, according to the company. It also will have a sustained read rate of 67 megabytes/sec and a random read rate of 7,000 inputs/outputs per second (IOPS) for a 512-byte transfer"

I'm just curious if you have a few of these "100 times faster" hard drives could there be a bottleneck at say something like a southbridge chip? I'm not familiar with current mobos so that's why I'm asking. On my old pc box the southbridge chip handles the sata drives, pci stuff and more.:confused:

MacSamurai
Mar 14, 2007, 06:28 PM
flash memory is awesome,no need to worry about the hdd problems anymore:no noise,not too mention being more energy efficient keeping our lappies on for longer woot flash memory for all:p

frank781
Mar 14, 2007, 06:53 PM
With the cost of flash going down everyday (I just got a 4GB flash drive for $40 at Best Buy). Apple can certain a novel idea in the laptop arena:

4-8GB flash RAM & 100 1.8" GB HDD. You can carry the OS i(and some aps) in flash, and have the iPod HDD for storage of files and less critical apps. Get the benefits of both technologies right now (low cost per GB from the HDD and fast data access for the OS with flash.

Also, just thinking a bit more,. you will probably see some akin to when teh MBP's were introduced with Intel inside: By the time they came out, the original CPU's were swapped for faster ones. What does this mean?

iPhones of 8-12 GB instead of 4-8Gb as originally unveiled. January to June is a long leadtime and I don't think that adding more memory now would affect FCC approval

Anonymous Freak
Mar 14, 2007, 07:57 PM
How is 67 MB/s a 100 fold (which means 10000%) improvement over the 55MB/s my MBP's hard drive gets? More like 20%.

As for booting from flash, I have a fast 4 GB USB flash drive, and stripped OS X down to the bare essentials, and off my 7200 RPM hard drive, I boot in 19 seconds. Off my flash drive, it's 50 seconds. (I have since replaced the hard drive install with a 'full' install, since the only purpose for making the stripped install was to see if I could fit a functioning copy of OS X onto a flash drive. It's got Terminal and Camino, and that's it.)

edit: Yes, adding flash to a hard drive can help, because you can put the 'random access' stuff on the flash, and the 'linear access' stuff on the HD, to make the best out of both.

Oh, and as for the 'limited lifetime' of flash, that's mostly a thing of the past. Even the earliest USB flash drives use complex algorithms to make sure that the entire memory is used as evenly as possible, it's not like a hard drive where it fills up linearly. And modern flash memory can take 1 million or so cycles. It was early flash memory that could only take 10,000 or so.

If I tell my computer to 'secure erase' my 4 GB flash drive (35 passes,) it takes over three hours. To do one million writes would take 13 years of continuous writing.

Rocketman
Mar 14, 2007, 08:15 PM
In reading folks looking forward to the features of flash (robson) and micro HDD's and increased memory, I can't help but recall the two most important utterances of Steve Jobs inn the last 10 years.

"We make CONSUMER products."

"We will release products now based on when they are ready."

No more insanely great. Merely great and available.

Rocketman

digitalbiker
Mar 14, 2007, 08:16 PM
How is 67 MB/s a 100 fold (which means 10000%) improvement over the 55MB/s my MBP's hard drive gets? More like 20%.


It's 100 times faster for burst read, write, and random access. It is only 20% to 50% faster for sustained continuous read or writes. So for reading in large video files it would only be a marginal improvement.

Also a lot probably will depend on the bus capability. I'm not sure what the maximum speed capacity is for SATA but the flash drive probably exceedes this rate in burst mode. Hard to tell why you are seeing such poor performance through USB. Is it a USB 1.0 falsh drive? How old is the flash drive, possibly it isn't as high a performer as these new drives? Also maybe booting through the USB port slows access as well. I know FW800 16,000 RPM drives way out perform the USB 2.0 drives.

MrCrowbar
Mar 14, 2007, 08:25 PM
if we can get non-volatile flash drives, won't we be able to do away with RAM. The OS would be constantly loaded into "RAM", never needing to restart. I practically never restart my iMac, but i assume those with portables shut down and start up regularly to save battery.

Nope, I don't shut down my Macbook to save battery. Sleep mode does not really eat up power, maybe 1% of battery a day.


I'm probably being really naïve about the technology. Is RAM access faster than what future flash drives could be? or is RAM so completely different and i just looked like a fool? I always assumed that the computer used ram, because access speeds on a HDD are way too slow for the processor to do something useful every cycle.

RAM ist way faster than Hard drives, I think about a thousand times if I remember right. It's still way too slow for the CPU, that's why there are some levels of Memory that are faster and smaller the closer you get to the CPU.

Flash Memory is totally different than RAM in every aspect. You can't ditch RAM to replace it with Flash. Even if Flash gets faster in the near future, so will RAM.

MrCrowbar
Mar 14, 2007, 08:41 PM
As for booting from flash, I have a fast 4 GB USB flash drive, and stripped OS X down to the bare essentials, and off my 7200 RPM hard drive, I boot in 19 seconds. Off my flash drive, it's 50 seconds.to make the best out of both.

[...]

And modern flash memory can take 1 million or so cycles. It was early flash memory that could only take 10,000 or so.

If I tell my computer to 'secure erase' my 4 GB flash drive (35 passes,) it takes over three hours. To do one million writes would take 13 years of continuous writing.

First, USB 2.0 is slower than SATA. USB thumb drives are different, some are nice and fast (and expensive), the low end crap is slow ass hell (and cheap). Also, the USB 2.0 implementation on OSX sucks big time compared to Windows. Firewire is awesome on the Mac (terrible on Windows), the best would be a Firewire thumb drive, but I don't think they make those.

Secondly, thanks for the math. "13 years of continuous writing" sounds good to me, even taking into account the low data rate of your thumb drive. I label my 3.5" HDDs with an expiration date that is 18 months after first service. Yep, those drives are basically on 24/7 and work a lot. Once they are past this date, they are degraded and used as redundancy drives where it's not too tragic if they die. 2.5" laptop drives are usually replaced once a year with a bigger (and quieter) one and the old one becomes the "bitch drive", that gets formated a lot to be OSX native, Linux, Windows or FAT32 to exchange foles with Windows and Linux.

obesecat55
Mar 14, 2007, 09:01 PM
Hybrids and dual drives would be a good start.

OS on 4 or 8 GB of flash with a real HDD available as well.

Superquick boot times, key programs almost instantly available, whilst bulk data like movies, music etc sits on the larger spinning hdd.

Excellent Idea!!

Also, for video editing and such, there should be space available on the flash drive for temporary storage of files you're currently working on.

localoid
Mar 14, 2007, 09:22 PM
I know, but that gives you a really stripped down OS you can't really work with. The full package with iLife, fonts, languages etc. is just below 5 Gigs. What is OSX without iLife? :-D

The "speed via $10 flash stick" concept is to put the (stripped down) OS on the flash; most everything else on a (fast as you can afford, conventional) hard drive. Flash via USB is only going to give you about 12Mb/sec transfers when it comes to reading very-large chunks of data (i.e., iLife, Garageband, et al.) while most any SATA drive (even a 5400 rpm 2.5") will give you >60Mb/sec. Swap would also be on a non-flash drive (or if you have RAM to burn, in RAM, etc.)

macintel4me
Mar 14, 2007, 09:24 PM
Seems to me that this "flash based notebook" is going to be essentially an overgrown iPod. In other words, it's not meant to live by itself, but rather be mobile and then hook back up to a more usable piece of hardware. I could easily see Apple coming out with a multi-touch tablet with a docking station that had a big hard drive, a DVD player and lots of ports. The tablet flash drive would be used just to sync needed files. Now I would use that at work as to keep all my notes in and then plug into a real computer.

Rocketman
Mar 14, 2007, 09:41 PM
Firewire is awesome on the Mac (terrible on Windows), the best would be a Firewire thumb drive, but I don't think they make those.

http://www.pcmall.com/pcmall/shop/detail.asp?dpno=7187271&Redir=1&description=Kanguru%20Solutions-8GB%20Fire%20Flash%20Firewire%20IEEE%201394%20Palm%20Sized%20Storage-Portable/Removable%20Drives

OIC

http://www.kanguru.com/flashdrive_max.html

Rocketman

polishmacuser
Mar 14, 2007, 09:55 PM
would us macbook users be able too use these 32gb flash drives

Cult Follower
Mar 14, 2007, 10:05 PM
This really isn't a prediction, anyone could say that and be right, its too general.

digitalbiker
Mar 14, 2007, 10:30 PM
In reading folks looking forward to the features of flash (robson) and micro HDD's and increased memory, I can't help but recall the two most important utterances of Steve Jobs inn the last 10 years.

"We make CONSUMER products."

"We will release products now based on when they are ready."

No more insanely great. Merely great and available.

Rocketman

Did Stevey boy actually say the last part of your post, "No more insanely great. Merely great and available." or was that just added by you later as an inference from the previous two lines. I couldn't tell but I noticed that it wasn't in quotes.

I have a hard time believing that SJ would say "No more insanely great. Merely great and available." because isanely great is exactly what Apple always shoots for wheither they hit the mark or not.

CONSUMER products can still be insanely great!
Just because one waits to release a product until it is ready does not proclude it from also being insanely great!

TheBobcat
Mar 14, 2007, 10:56 PM
Another flash notebooks article? Well I think that its-

OH MY GOD! THAT HORSE....SOMEONE HELP IT, MR IS BEATING IT!

Too late...it's already dead. :(

GNUMatrix
Mar 14, 2007, 11:12 PM
Here's a question....

Why bother using the "drive" infrastructure to implement this? Sure, it makes sense for people adding these to their existing systems, and in PC-land there is more of a need for this. And for drive manufacturers, it kinda makes some sense as it provides them an easy path towards flash from their existing technology.

But Apple only has likely less than a dozen current offerings. Why not just design in a "flash socket" much like a RAM socket directly into the motherboard? And interface it via something that is as fast as possible, rather than routing through all the layers (southbridge, blah, blah) that SATA must require? No significant space required, no need for cabling, that kind of thing. More like a Nano I would guess. These should not need replacing any more often than say a RAM module (which gets replaced more often because of a need for increased capacity than due to failure these days).

Seems some further streamlining would reduce costs and increase the performance and likely the reliability to boot, no? They must have all the pieces to do this already I'm sure... And that would be a bit of a competitive advantage over PCs as I can't imagine the PC vendors would come to an agreement over any kind of equivalent standard very quickly...

Rocketman
Mar 14, 2007, 11:13 PM
Did Stevey boy actually say the last part of your post, "No more insanely great. Merely great and available." or was that just added by you later as an inference from the previous two lines.

Correct. Hence the lack of quotes.

^:apple:

SactoGuy18
Mar 14, 2007, 11:38 PM
I think the most likely thing is that we'll see a 16 GB iPod nano by late Spring 2007. Apple phasing out using hard drives on their higher-end iPods could still be a couple of years away to wait for higher-capacity flash memory.

Ravel
Mar 15, 2007, 12:08 AM
In my opinion, I don't think it's that expensive considering all the advantages over HDDs. Also, flash memory in the figures of many, many gygabites hasn't been around for that long... just wait about a year, see how the prices drop. Hopefully by then they'll also develop external "flash HDDs" with a capacity of hundreds of GBs.

Anonymous Freak
Mar 15, 2007, 12:09 AM
Responding to two posts in one...

It's 100 times faster for burst read, write, and random access. It is only 20% to 50% faster for sustained continuous read or writes. So for reading in large video files it would only be a marginal improvement.

Not true. The big point of flash is that it is exactly the same speed no matter where on the drive you are requesting the data. A flash drive, with all hardware and software properly implemented, should have the EXACT same speed wether doing burst random reads or sustained continuous reads. (In reality, it doesn't, but that's largely due to OS issues.) Flash media tops out at somewhere around 30 MB/s right now, as far as I can tell. That means 30 MB/s streaming video, or writing 10,000 32-byte temp files.

Also a lot probably will depend on the bus capability. I'm not sure what the maximum speed capacity is for SATA but the flash drive probably exceedes this rate in burst mode. Hard to tell why you are seeing such poor performance through USB. Is it a USB 1.0 falsh drive? How old is the flash drive, possibly it isn't as high a performer as these new drives? Also maybe booting through the USB port slows access as well. I know FW800 16,000 RPM drives way out perform the USB 2.0 drives.

SATA is up to 300 MB/s. Read my above, there is no flash that gets anywhere near that. USB 2.0 is 60 MB/s, still twice what current flash gets. USB 1.1 is a whopping 1.5 MB/s, and no, I am *NOT* using a USB 1.1 drive. (Nobody makes them anymore, and there never were any 4 GB USB 1.1 flash drives.)

There is no such thing as a 16,000 RPM drive, but there are 15,000 RPM. They're all SCSI, and I haven't seen any FireWire-to-SCSI cases. Ever. The best you can do currently is SATA-to-FireWire, where you could run the 10,000 RPM Western Digital Raptor. FireWire 800 tops out at 100 MB/s compared to USB 2.0's 60 MB/s. Yes, the Raptor can push data faster than 60 MB/s, so you do see improvement. (In fact, just using FireWire 400, with it's theoretically slower 50 MB/s is faster, mostly because FireWire handles streaming high-bandwidth data better than USB.)

First, USB 2.0 is slower than SATA. USB thumb drives are different, some are nice and fast (and expensive), the low end crap is slow ass hell (and cheap). Also, the USB 2.0 implementation on OSX sucks big time compared to Windows. Firewire is awesome on the Mac (terrible on Windows), the best would be a Firewire thumb drive, but I don't think they make those.

I would imagine that moving flash to a SATA system, they would do some improvement, which is why I gave them an 80% speed boost in my estimate. I wouldn't say USB 2.0 is significantly worse on Mac. Make sure your external drives are formatted HFS+ not FAT, and you'll get a major speed boost. And, yes. One company does make a FireWire Flash Drive (http://www.kanguru.com/fireflash.html), but multiple reviews say it's slower than the latest USB models. (It came out before USB 2.0, so it was lightning fast compared to USB 1.1, but it's pretty worthless right now.) It also costs significantly more than a USB drive, with a 1 GB model costing $100!! (I recently bought a 4 GB USB 2.0 flash drive for $40.)

Secondly, thanks for the math. "13 years of continuous writing" sounds good to me, even taking into account the low data rate of your thumb drive. I label my 3.5" HDDs with an expiration date that is 18 months after first service. Yep, those drives are basically on 24/7 and work a lot. Once they are past this date, they are degraded and used as redundancy drives where it's not too tragic if they die. 2.5" laptop drives are usually replaced once a year with a bigger (and quieter) one and the old one becomes the "bitch drive", that gets formated a lot to be OSX native, Linux, Windows or FAT32 to exchange foles with Windows and Linux.

Yeah, laptop drives are not meant for (and not covered under warranty when used) 24/7. Most specifically say they are meant for 8/5 operation. (8 hours a day, 5 days a week, aka business use.) They should last more than 18 months, though. Although if you're using them in a server, it is probably good to rotate them out well before they start having problems.

MrCrowbar
Mar 15, 2007, 12:23 AM
http://www.pcmall.com/pcmall/shop/detail.asp?dpno=7187271&Redir=1&description=Kanguru%20Solutions-8GB%20Fire%20Flash%20Firewire%20IEEE%201394%20Palm%20Sized%20Storage-Portable/Removable%20Drives

OIC

http://www.kanguru.com/flashdrive_max.html

Rocketman

Thanks, but WHOAAAA those are expensive. I'll stick with my 8GB $250 thingy that also happens to be an outstanding and good looking mp3 player :-)

sam10685
Mar 15, 2007, 12:34 AM
this is like the 90 billionth "rumor" i've heard involving the use of flash memory. it's the 21st century; it exists but hasn't been put to good use YET. these stories are driving me nuts.

MrCrowbar
Mar 15, 2007, 12:37 AM
Yeah, laptop drives are not meant for (and not covered under warranty when used) 24/7. Most specifically say they are meant for 8/5 operation. (8 hours a day, 5 days a week, aka business use.) They should last more than 18 months, though. Although if you're using them in a server, it is probably good to rotate them out well before they start having problems.

I know, even most 3.5" drives are not made for 24/7 according to the manufacturers. There are always the business drives with similar specs that cost a lot more but are business proof, they usually look sturdier too. I had to change a lot of those Seagate Cheetah at work, they're only 72GB, but 10.000 rpm SCSI.

I know I shouldn't keep the Macbook running 24/7, but it's my sole computer right now and it's usually compressing video, bouncing audio projects which then have to be shared with the band vie bittorrent, etc... The iMac's hard drive was kinda loud and the table it was standing on seemed to resonate at 7.2 kHz so I got rid of it (and the Macbook was faster by 0.17 GHz...). Think I'll get an iMac after the next update, either a 20" or a 24", depending on the GPU options.

bretm
Mar 15, 2007, 02:23 AM
I know, even most 3.5" drives are not made for 24/7 according to the manufacturers. There are always the business drives with similar specs that cost a lot more but are business proof, they usually look sturdier too. I had to change a lot of those Seagate Cheetah at work, they're only 72GB, but 10.000 rpm SCSI.

I know I shouldn't keep the Macbook running 24/7, but it's my sole computer right now and it's usually compressing video, bouncing audio projects which then have to be shared with the band vie bittorrent, etc... The iMac's hard drive was kinda loud and the table it was standing on seemed to resonate at 7.2 kHz so I got rid of it (and the Macbook was faster by 0.17 GHz...). Think I'll get an iMac after the next update, either a 20" or a 24", depending on the GPU options.

It's interesting though that a TIVO runs 24/7 absolutely non stop writing video at all times. Never pauses a second. Spins as long as it's plugged in, and always writing and possibly erasing too. Ours is over a year old, and I know lots of people that have had them for 3 or 4 years and no problems.

rcha101
Mar 15, 2007, 04:20 AM
If you have a flash based HD why do you still need RAM?

Removing RAM from the PC and using the flash drive instead would even out the costs of moving to this technology and would eventually lead to cheaper PCs/laptops than we have today.

CaptainHaddock
Mar 15, 2007, 04:26 AM
First, USB 2.0 is slower than SATA. USB thumb drives are different, some are nice and fast (and expensive), the low end crap is slow ass hell (and cheap). Also, the USB 2.0 implementation on OSX sucks big time compared to Windows. Firewire is awesome on the Mac (terrible on Windows), the best would be a Firewire thumb drive, but I don't think they make those.

A company called Kanguru has a Firewire thumb drive, with storage up to 8 GB. I don't think I'd want to boot off it, but it sounds like a great way to store one's photo collection. You could keep different libraries on different drives and have really fast load times.

Erasmus
Mar 15, 2007, 04:41 AM
If you have a flash based HD why do you still need RAM?

Removing RAM from the PC and using the flash drive instead would even out the costs of moving to this technology and would eventually lead to cheaper PCs/laptops than we have today.

This question has been answered before, but anyway:

Comparing flash drive speeds to RAM speeds is laughable. The speed of RAM is absolutely huge compared to flash drives, hard drives, etc.

The purpose of flash drives and hard drives is to hold lots of data at low cost.
The purpose of RAM is to hold small amounts of data that the processor needs immediate, super fast access to.

Removing RAM from a computer, and using solely virtual RAM would have an absolutely massive impact on the speed of the computer. Think maybe 100-1000th of the speed (that's just a guess, btw, I don't actually have a clue as to the difference in speed between Flash memory and say 800Mhz RAM, other than it's huge).

Erasmus
Mar 15, 2007, 04:47 AM
Not true. The big point of flash is that it is exactly the same speed no matter where on the drive you are requesting the data. A flash drive, with all hardware and software properly implemented, should have the EXACT same speed wether doing burst random reads or sustained continuous reads. (In reality, it doesn't, but that's largely due to OS issues.) Flash media tops out at somewhere around 30 MB/s right now, as far as I can tell. That means 30 MB/s streaming video, or writing 10,000 32-byte temp files.

I don't think that was his point. The point was that Hard Drives really suffer when they are made to pick out small pieces of information in different places, due to the fact the reading head has to move each time. This could of course cause huge delays in reading speeds. A hard drive can however read a continuous strip of data very quickly, as the reader can stay in the same spot.

So it is feasible that Flash memory could read random bursts 100 times faster than a HDD, but large chunks with only a 20% or so increase.

macintel4me
Mar 15, 2007, 06:07 AM
Seems to me that this "flash based notebook" is going to be essentially an overgrown iPod. In other words, it's not meant to live by itself, but rather be mobile and then hook back up to a more usable piece of hardware. I could easily see Apple coming out with a multi-touch tablet with a docking station that had a big hard drive, a DVD player and lots of ports. The tablet flash drive would be used just to sync needed files. Now I would use that at work as to keep all my notes in and then plug into a real computer.

AidenShaw
Mar 15, 2007, 06:49 AM
Flash media tops out at somewhere around 30 MB/s right now, as far as I can tell. That means 30 MB/s streaming video, or writing 10,000 32-byte temp files.
There's a lot of overhead to both I/O and filesystem operations - it's not realistic to divide large file bandwidth by a small number and claim that one could do that many small files per second.


Each I/O has significant CPU overhead - the OS has to create a "message" to send to the disk, set up buffers, send the message, handle the message coming back from the disk that says "done", deal with cleaning up the buffers and the message, and then let the application know that the data is ready.

This overhead is more-or-less the same for any size I/O, so as the transfer sizes shrink you spend proportionally more time waiting for the CPU, and less for the disk.

For example, one of my 3GHz Woodies with 15K SAS drives does:
- 128 KiB I/O: 60 MB/sec, 450 ops/sec
- 32 KiB I/O: 53 MB/sec, 1650 ops/sec
- 8 KiB I/O: 50 MB/sec, 6250 ops/sec
- 2 KiB I/O: 43 MB/sec, 21427 ops/sec
- 512 B I/O: 16 MB/sec, 31500 ops/sec

A laptop with a 7K drive does:
- 128 KiB I/O: 47 MB/sec, 360 ops/sec
- 512 B I/O: 3 MB/sec, 6100 ops/sec
Small writes to a flash drive take more work - the typical flash drive has about 2 KiB "pages" on the flash. To write a partial page, the drive has to read the whole page, replace the part that changes, then write the modified page.
Creating a 32-byte file requires far more than simply writing 32-bytes to the drive. The filesystem has to allocate space on the drive (read and write the allocation structures), create the directory entry (read and write the directory), create the file descriptor or catalog entry (something that describes the file, and points to where the resource and data forks reside on the disk), and then actually write the data to the forks. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HFS+#Design ) (I'm ignoring the additional step of writing the log here ;) )


In fact, the flash drive would have a big advantage on the last point, since all those different pieces can be read and written without any head movement.

Your point is probably fairly close if you want to claim 32 KB files, but for 32 byte files there are other issues to consider.

SPUY767
Mar 15, 2007, 07:07 AM
Does anyone know if there a speed increase with flash hds?

Well, you'd have no seek time to wait for the RW head to reach the proper spot on the platter.

deadkenny
Mar 15, 2007, 07:09 AM
In reading folks looking forward to the features of flash (robson) and micro HDD's and increased memory, I can't help but recall the two most important utterances of Steve Jobs inn the last 10 years.

"We make CONSUMER products."

"We will release products now based on when they are ready."

No more insanely great. Merely great and available.

Rocketman

They still develop those insanely great products though - as they did with the iPhone. They only wait to release them until the time is there. Still they will be the first one with a working solutions this way. This sounds like a good approach to innovation for me.

pale9
Mar 15, 2007, 09:13 AM
i am slowly getting p.o.'d with the lack of new software and hardware. seems like apple is betting the whole freakin farm on the iphone which, cool or not, is not the number one priority of his loyal customers...

... and guess what? out of frustration for waiting for new s/w i started playing around with ubunto linux.... to my total surprise the new ubuntu 6.10 together with automatix2 is a system which is not only a real replacement for windows (for the first time everything i wanted like multimedia, video, printing worked out of the box), but also offers about 70+% of everything that makes OSX so great! and for the price of nothing, zippo, free, nada.

so, dear apple, dont take us all for granted...

Rocketman
Mar 15, 2007, 11:21 AM
If you have a flash based HD why do you still need RAM?

Given the cost of flash and the ever decreasing cost of RAM a better question is, when will RAM at the minimal required capacity (say 8GB) cost similar to or less than flash. Similar to might be 2-4x the cost since it is faster.

http://www.crucial.com/store/partspecs.aspx?imodule=CT25664AC667

Rocketman

digitalbiker
Mar 15, 2007, 11:34 AM
There is no such thing as a 16,000 RPM drive, but there are 15,000 RPM. They're all SCSI, and I haven't seen any FireWire-to-SCSI cases.


Not true! I am running a dozen 16,000 RPM scsii drives raided together on my Sun Solaris system right now. I have one of the drives built with a FW800 to SCSI conversion case. I have tried both USB 2.0 and FW800. The FW800 is significantly faster.

While I agree that flash drives read, write, etc at the same speed, what I meant was that the Flash drive was billed as 100 times faster for small data chunks read/write in a random find.

Whereas your HDD has a high read/write speed for sustained large continuous data blocks, it will slow significantly for random seek read and writes.

AidenShaw
Mar 15, 2007, 11:49 AM
Not true! I am running a dozen 16,000 RPM scsii drives.

Is it possible to tell us the make and model number of those drives?

I think the previous poster assumed that your 16K was a typo - that you meant 15K.

I haven't seen any 16K drives (and I've spent about $600K on disk arrays in the last year), but 15K are quite common.

wavelayer
Mar 15, 2007, 11:59 AM
i am slowly getting p.o.'d with the lack of new software and hardware. seems like apple is betting the whole freakin farm on the iphone which, cool or not, is not the number one priority of his loyal customers...

... and guess what? out of frustration for waiting for new s/w i started playing around with ubunto linux.... to my total surprise the new ubuntu 6.10 together with automatix2 is a system which is not only a real replacement for windows (for the first time everything i wanted like multimedia, video, printing worked out of the box), but also offers about 70+% of everything that makes OSX so great! and for the price of nothing, zippo, free, nada.

so, dear apple, dont take us all for granted...

Why don't you learn to use some of the Apple software already out instead of being p.o.'d. I'm sure Apple has good reasons for what they are doing. Or you could start using Linux instead.

Anonymous Freak
Mar 15, 2007, 12:23 PM
Not true! I am running a dozen 16,000 RPM scsii drives raided together on my Sun Solaris system right now. I have one of the drives built with a FW800 to SCSI conversion case. I have tried both USB 2.0 and FW800. The FW800 is significantly faster.

While I agree that flash drives read, write, etc at the same speed, what I meant was that the Flash drive was billed as 100 times faster for small data chunks read/write in a random find.

Whereas your HDD has a high read/write speed for sustained large continuous data blocks, it will slow significantly for random seek read and writes.

As Aiden said, I'd also like to know the model of your 16k RPM drives. I'm assuming you're just remembering the number wrong, and that they're 15k RPM. Nobody makes 16,000 RPM drives. Try a quick search (http://www.google.com/search?q=16,000+RPM+hard+drive), and you will find only one article that mentions "16,000 RPM" and "hard drive" in the same sentence. And it's an erroneous article written in 2002 on Epinions. Just to confirm, since I haven't personally had to deal with server-grade drives on a day-to-day basis in about 5 years, I asked a friend who works in a big datacenter (over 10,000 computers,) and he has never heard of 16,000 RPM drives, either. (And he already has the Hitachi 1 TB drives in for testing!)

And when FireWire first came out, there were FireWire (400) to SCSI adaptors and cases (after all, FireWire is technically derived from SCSI,) I haven't seen any in years, and no FW800 ones at all. And I have *NEVER* Seen a SCSI to USB case. SCSI to USB *cables*, yes. But they're all ultra-slow USB 1.1. They basically became obsolete when FireWire went mainstream, and external peripherals that needed to be fast went FireWire. I have one on my original iMac right now, so I can connect my old SCSI ZIP drive to it.


And I hadn't really thought about it that way. Yeah, flash would be 100x faster in small random reads and writes. I even alluded to that in my own posts, yet the math didn't dawn on me! That doesn't mean that the flash media will be transferring faster than USB 2.0 is capable of, just that it is faster than a physical hard drive can handle the small random transfers. It's not that the flash media is getting faster, indeed, it is likely getting slower doing small random transfers; it's just that the hard drive slows down *MORE*.

bretm
Mar 15, 2007, 12:26 PM
i am slowly getting p.o.'d with the lack of new software and hardware. seems like apple is betting the whole freakin farm on the iphone which, cool or not, is not the number one priority of his loyal customers...

... and guess what? out of frustration for waiting for new s/w i started playing around with ubunto linux.... to my total surprise the new ubuntu 6.10 together with automatix2 is a system which is not only a real replacement for windows (for the first time everything i wanted like multimedia, video, printing worked out of the box), but also offers about 70+% of everything that makes OSX so great! and for the price of nothing, zippo, free, nada.

so, dear apple, dont take us all for granted...

I don't understand. 5 months ago the MacPro was released. Now the iPhone is announced. The 8 core is coming. The iPod will probably follow the iPhone but be all flash memory, etc. iWork will probably have a database/spreadsheet. iLife will come with Leopard in a matter of weeks. FCP Extreme is coming at NAB. What do you want man? Apple's got so much cool stuff in the pipe and it's looking more and more like it's all coming at once practically.

Anonymous Freak
Mar 15, 2007, 12:29 PM
Given the cost of flash and the ever decreasing cost of RAM a better question is, when will RAM at the minimal required capacity (say 8GB) cost similar to or less than flash. Similar to might be 2-4x the cost since it is faster.

http://www.crucial.com/store/partspecs.aspx?imodule=CT25664AC667

Rocketman

Well, you can already buy (http://www.cenatek.com/product_rocketdrive.cfm) SDRAM-based 'solid state storage' devices. (Please not that flash still qualifies as "RAM", since it is, indeed, "Random Access Memory".) These offer true fully random access along with insane read and write speeds. (Limited only by the PCI limit of 132 MB/s, since the onboard SDRAM is faster. They really need to update it for 64-bit and/or 66 MHz PCI, or PCI-e.) Of course, you have to fill it with RAM, and that gets to be expensive. (4 GB for HOW much!?!?!)

epardilla
Mar 15, 2007, 12:30 PM
I don't understand. 5 months ago the MacPro was released. Now the iPhone is announced. The 8 core is coming. The iPod will probably follow the iPhone but be all flash memory, etc. iWork will probably have a database/spreadsheet. iLife will come with Leopard in a matter of weeks. FCP Extreme is coming at NAB. What do you want man? Apple's got so much cool stuff in the pipe and it's looking more and more like it's all coming at once practically.

It's called impatience. It just seems like a long time to wait. Especially if you are a mac-addict. And announcing something (i.e. iphone/appletv) is NOT the same thing as releasing it...it just means we have to keep WAITING... :(

GNUMatrix
Mar 15, 2007, 12:39 PM
Another question...

Hard drives are limited to a degree by their physical implementation, primarily with only one mechanism for moving heads. Having more heads helps, of course, as does greater density so an equivalent head movement can access more data, but at a higher cost.

With flash though, wouldn't it be possible to "think different" and be able to access a larger amount of data at one time? I'm thinking of something equivalent to dual-channel RAM, where you have more than one path feeding data to the computer. Or something akin to having one physical flash drive, but it is actually configured as two separate "drives", internally striped. I'm sure the cost would be higher, but if you could get two SATA drives each transferring at 60MB/s and use software to do the striping, you'd be further ahead?

This kinda gets back to my previous question about why this has to be thought of as a "drive" in the typical sense?

Timothy
Mar 15, 2007, 01:15 PM
Bringing this discussion back to the immediate future...

All I really care about at this point (barring some very cool announcement of a Newton-type device) is that the announced storage limits of the iPhone get bumped to twice what they told us they'd be.

If I'm going to spend that money on the iPhone (and believe me, I am), I'm hopeful that they were just being conservative when they said the larger will only be 8 gb. Given all the news about flash memory, I expect it to be 16 gb when it ships later this year.

digitalbiker
Mar 15, 2007, 01:45 PM
Is it possible to tell us the make and model number of those drives?

I think the previous poster assumed that your 16K was a typo - that you meant 15K.

I haven't seen any 16K drives (and I've spent about $600K on disk arrays in the last year), but 15K are quite common.

oops! Sorry my mistake. I could have swore these were 16K drives but when I double checked the specs they are indeed 15K.

The model I am using is the XTA-3310 Sun Drive.

There was a company called ADS, Applied Digital Systems that used to build custom enclosures compatible for SUN systems and they would build any type of conversion box that you might want. Unfortunately I think they are now out of business. They would build both FW and USB2.0 conversion boxes to fit Hot-swapable SCSI drives.

Roller
Mar 15, 2007, 02:01 PM
Nope, I don't shut down my Macbook to save battery. Sleep mode does not really eat up power, maybe 1% of battery a day.

I'd be happy with that kind of consumption. My G4 PowerBook loses way more than 1% a day when asleep. Typically, it goes from a full charge to almost empty after a few days in sleep mode.

I wonder if flash drives could help with this.

ganjagecko
Mar 15, 2007, 02:06 PM
If I'm not mistaken about the way flash memory works, you wouldn't need to defragment your drive to increase performance, because it takes the same time to get info from one place or the other on that kind of memory.

That would be a pretty good advantage as well I think, especially if flash memory is only capable of being written to a number of times. The way I see it, most of your HD's contents don't really change dramatically over time, you usually just add more stuff. When you delete something, then another piece of information can take it's place without a performance hit like on regular HDs.

4np
Mar 15, 2007, 02:20 PM
Here's an image of the drive:

http://tweakers.net/ext/i/1173960117.jpg

pale9
Mar 15, 2007, 02:48 PM
I don't understand. 5 months ago the MacPro was released. Now the iPhone is announced. The 8 core is coming. The iPod will probably follow the iPhone but be all flash memory, etc. iWork will probably have a database/spreadsheet. iLife will come with Leopard in a matter of weeks. FCP Extreme is coming at NAB. What do you want man? Apple's got so much cool stuff in the pipe and it's looking more and more like it's all coming at once practically.

what you are saying is not based on facts, just wishful thinking! my gripe is that steve has said nothing in january and silence since about the stuff we are waitiing for. and yes, apple is not beyond critizism.

Rocketman
Mar 15, 2007, 03:11 PM
what you are saying is not based on facts, just wishful thinking! my gripe is that steve has said nothing in january and silence since about the stuff we are waitiing for. and yes, apple is not beyond critizism.

Intel flash products and plans (roadmap, 4GB mid-07, 8GB late-07) can be relied on for speculating on Apple plans:

http://developer.intel.com/design/flash/nand/z-u130.htm

Mac hardare lines are nearing a refresh based on historic product line lifetimes. Last year all lines were updated in rapid succession. That meant there were no updates needed early this year.

The time is near for refreshes in all primary Apple Mac product lines. The time is near for a major OS upgrade. It makes sense to synchronize these to some degree so new products are synchronized both in hardware and software. Expect that.

Consider the good news. If they are released togeher, you will not have to spend $129 for an OS upgrade a month or 3 after buying a new CPU. For those who have bought recently, they have the features they need and want, and an upgrade of an OS is an option they have based on perceived value for the changes. It's only $129 (retail) after all.

Rocketman

Maccus Aurelius
Mar 15, 2007, 03:28 PM
Good thing OS X is so cheap compared to Vista. Approx $200 so I can update both my and my siblings' computers is a great deal if you ask me.

I'll be glad to purchase a newly refreshed mac preloaded with Leopard. It's gonna be sweet.

GanleyBurger
Mar 15, 2007, 04:18 PM
Does anyone else feel uneasy about having all of their projects and programs on an internal flash drive...:eek:

Well at least with TIME MACHINE, and a good external-drive to do back-ups, my comfort level would go up...:D

I hope that the point of all of this is that we could eventually buy like a 300gig flash drive from Mac to replace an MBP's internal 100gig 7200 rpm drive? :cool:

tilman
Mar 15, 2007, 04:38 PM
I'm just curious if you have a few of these "100 times faster" hard drives could there be a bottleneck at say something like a southbridge chip? I'm not familiar with current mobos so that's why I'm asking. On my old pc box the southbridge chip handles the sata drives, pci stuff and more.:confused:

As noted earlier in this thread, the "100 times faster" refers only to random access times (i.e. how long do you have to *wait* until you can read a randomly selected sector on the drive). The actual data transfer speed once you have located the sector is less than that of a good hard disk.

epardilla
Mar 15, 2007, 05:13 PM
wow, i got censored on this forum for my bad "no news poem" --but then again, really though I'd like to know: why is there no news today on apple??

BigPrince
Mar 15, 2007, 05:16 PM
lol, lets not fight amongst ourselves. We are all getting the impatient jitters.

shigzeo
Mar 15, 2007, 05:19 PM
Going through the Sandisk website the ($350) 2.5" device uses SATA (like a MacBook) and at 32gb is a step down from current common HD sizes, even on the low end. Same form factor as a HD and more expensive. Many times faster, half the power consumption and not g-force or temperature sensitive.

The ($550) 1.8" also 32gb indicating it uses later generation memory, and uses UATA not SATA. It could after the cost issue is resolved, replace the lower capacity top line iPod and solve the handling issues some users experience by crashing HD's. iPods do not need the speed, but the battery savings would be substantial.

Intel also announced products today that are packaged differently, and given the relationship Apple has with Intel and the scale of Intel on chip production, I would predict so see Intel branded devices not Sandisk branded.

The cost vs ramp-up trends indicates Apple will adopt this technology in narrow bands at first in hopes cost reduction rates exceed adoption rates.

This confirms something I have been saying since arrival here in 2001. Ramdisk and RAID everything. Raid now being the ZFS save-to disc in this case. But due to recent news, that second drive might be addressed over a 802.11n or 802.16 wireless network and accessable through a Time Machine interface from a Mac or an iPhone or its "product line" derivitives.

Rocketman


after sandisk's anti-ipod campaign, it would quite a travesty to find theis product in the ipod... maybe not travesty, but certainly ironic and soon enough... they would renic on what they said in the past as well... typical

Rocketman
Mar 15, 2007, 05:22 PM
wow, i got censored on this forum...

I got censored for posting a snippet of the PUBLIC WWCD page (I am not under NDA either) which answered the question about new OS features. Hint: Apple home page, click on WWDC (on the home page for goodness sake), click on the session on OS stuff.

Rocketman

fblack
Mar 15, 2007, 08:35 PM
As noted earlier in this thread, the "100 times faster" refers only to random access times (i.e. how long do you have to *wait* until you can read a randomly selected sector on the drive). The actual data transfer speed once you have located the sector is less than that of a good hard disk.

Thanks for the clarification. I must have missed the previous points or misunderstood. :)

GanleyBurger
Mar 15, 2007, 10:07 PM
wow, i got censored on this forum for my bad "no news poem" --but then again, really though I'd like to know: why is there no news today on apple??


We should at least get to play a flash game when we visit the Apple site... something to do... anything!!! Speaking of games.. CHECK THIS OUT!!!

http://www.neave.com/games/ Original Asteroids, Space Invaders, Frogger, and weird stuff...

MacAodh
Mar 15, 2007, 10:54 PM
i am slowly getting p.o.'d with the lack of new software and hardware. seems like apple is betting the whole freakin farm on the iphone which, cool or not, is not the number one priority of his loyal customers...

... and guess what? out of frustration for waiting for new s/w i started playing around with ubunto linux.... to my total surprise the new ubuntu 6.10 together with automatix2 is a system which is not only a real replacement for windows (for the first time everything i wanted like multimedia, video, printing worked out of the box), but also offers about 70+% of everything that makes OSX so great! and for the price of nothing, zippo, free, nada.

so, dear apple, don't take us all for granted...

I'm not sure if i agree about the apple take us for granted thing (they have been releasing allot lately, were just impatient, more computer focused would be nice though) but i have to agree with Ubuntu though... Very nice indeed. I'd an old computer (~5 years) and loaded it on and it's very snappy and intuitive.

P.s. i couldn't find who ever left this link http://www.kanguru.com/flashdrive_max.html but did anyone else notice that it's loaded with pc software... would be interesting to question how many people use firewire with pc's and who with MAC's!!!!!

AidenShaw
Mar 15, 2007, 11:38 PM
I got censored for posting a snippet of the PUBLIC WWCD page...

A lot of posts have been disappearing lately, with no notice or explanation.

We must have a few newbie moderators who think that they're gods....

They'll get over it soon, and realize that people hit these pages for open discussions.

[Hey newbies - "page hits" == "$"]

bwik
Mar 15, 2007, 11:45 PM
Flash is the future.

Waiting for my 3 hard drives to spin up on my G5 is a real pain. Fo sho.

If you can keep all your apps on 64GB flash, you have a lightning fast computer. Your apps need flash to be speedy. Hard drive should be for media and rarely used files only. This way, apps launch in <1 second and your computer speeds up.

In time, hard drives will obsolete. Will it be next year, no. 2010, yes, quite possibly.

MrCrowbar
Mar 16, 2007, 12:29 AM
I'd be happy with that kind of consumption. My G4 PowerBook loses way more than 1% a day when asleep. Typically, it goes from a full charge to almost empty after a few days in sleep mode.

I wonder if flash drives could help with this.

In sleep mode the hard drive is off anyway (really off), only RAM gets power so it does not lose it's content. Flash memory could help it it was fast enough to pump 2 GB from the flash memory into the RAM in one second. Then the only power consumption in sleep mode would be the sleep LED.

shyataroo
Mar 16, 2007, 07:52 AM
why would you have a flash hard drive? why not have flash ram? I mean a 32GB flash SSD is going to be way cheaper and faster? (prolly not) than 32GB of Ram and it will take up less space.

sides, hard drives are still faster for instance the new Fujitsu MHW2160BJ is capable of data transmission speeds at up to 300MBps, claimed to be the fastest rate in the industry. The series also features best-in-class acoustic noise level of 2.5 bels at idle, and low-power consumption, operating at 2.3W or less when reading or writing data.
source: http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/english/NEWS_EN/20070307/128506/

thats @ 7,200 RPM I'm sure they will come out with a 10 or 12K RPM version thats even faster.

Snide
Mar 16, 2007, 07:56 AM
A lot of posts have been disappearing lately, with no notice or explanation.

We must have a few newbie moderators who think that they're gods....

They'll get over it soon, and realize that people hit these pages for open discussions.

[Hey newbies - "page hits" == "$"]


I noticed in the 10.4.9 update thread that no one had posted Safari Is Snappier™
by page 7, which I thought was highly unusual. So I did the unthinkable, and posted it.
My post was deleted so quickly that at first I wasn't sure it went through. :rolleyes:
Well, I was vindicated when others reported that Safari was indeed faster.

Personally, a big part of why I read these forums is for the lack of censorship,
and if this disturbing new trend continues, i'll simply spend more time on other sites
(read: fewer hits to this site = less ad revenue).

goosnarrggh
Mar 16, 2007, 09:23 AM
From what I remember, flash memory has a write cycle of 1010,000 (10 to the 10,000 power).

I think you're confusing Flash memory with Ferroelectric RAM (FeRAM or FRAM).

FRAM is offered with an electrical interface, chip density, and read/write timing characteristics similar to conventional SRAM, but it is non-volatile. Its manufacturers specify 100-trillion erase/write cycles.

It cannot presently replace Flash because of Flash's significant advantage in terms of cost-per-bit. But Flash's advantage comes at the expense of extremely slower write speeds, and extremely reduced erase/write-cycles.

RE using Flash to completely replace all conventional RAM...
It's technically not feasible for another reason that hasn't been noted yet. Computers depend on the ability to use trivial low-level operations to read and write individual bytes of system memory.

Current Flash memory offerings cannot erase/write individual bytes independently of all surrounding bytes. Flash is arranged in pages of typically 256 bytes or more, and in order to modify one byte in a given page, all the bytes in that page would need to be erased at once and then re-written with the modified contents. Sure, it would be possible to design a Flash controller which transparently accepts trivial commands like, "change byte 0x0123456789ABCDEF to the value 0xAA", and silently translate them into the necessary "read page"/"erase page"/"write page" operations. But the overhead would be huge and the unnecessary wear would be crippling.

Using Flash to replace hard drives, on the other hand, is perfectly feasible because HDD's are already organized into multi-byte sectors, which make a perfect analogue to Flash pages.

Rocketman
Mar 16, 2007, 09:58 AM
I noticed in the 10.4.9 update thread that no one had posted Safari Is Snappier™
by page 7, which I thought was highly unusual. So I did the unthinkable, and posted it.
My post was deleted so quickly that at first I wasn't sure it went through. :rolleyes:
Well, I was vindicated when others reported that Safari was indeed faster.

Personally, a big part of why I read these forums is for the lack of censorship,
and if this disturbing new trend continues, i'll simply spend more time on other sites
(read: fewer hits to this site = less ad revenue).

I guess I am slightly in favor of deleting things like Safari Is Snappier™ posts and PBG5 next Tuesday too as repetitious and spam. What I object to more is deleting actual content. I have had several posts with profanity be auto-modified too.

I find that in other industries, rocketry in particular, the heavy hand of deletions are far worse and by keeping up the posts that result in the inappropriate deletions, one can get very easily banned, especially if you politely and accurately criticize the host/moderator.

At least here people are not banned just for telling the truth in a polite way. I appreciate that.

The value to macrumors to me is the fact so many OTHER sites' content are summarized then commented on by smart people. You don't ever get ragged on for posting links from other folk's sites either.

So many web hosts have a "not invented here" philosophy that reduces the value of the experience.

Rocketman

GanleyBurger
Mar 16, 2007, 10:48 AM
A lot of posts have been disappearing lately, with no notice or explanation.

We must have a few newbie moderators who think that they're gods....

They'll get over it soon, and realize that people hit these pages for open discussions.

[Hey newbies - "page hits" == "$"]

And I thought that I was the only one... Several of my posts suddenly "disappeared," or I was shut down. So much for freedom of speech!!! :eek: But you won't read this...it will probably be shut down... :rolleyes: (ha!!!)

Snide
Mar 16, 2007, 11:14 AM
I guess I am slightly in favor of deleting things like Safari Is Snappier™ posts and PBG5 next Tuesday too as repetitious and spam. What I object to more is deleting actual content.
Rocketman


This thing is, I didn't write a one-line Safari Is Snappier™ post.
Obviously that gets old (but nowhere near as lame and useless as
PBG5/Tuesday). I basically wrote that I was surprised that no one had,
because Safari was indeed faster - and I reported that the WiFi connection
had more bars at one location. So my post had informative content which
might have been useful to someone debating whether to update right away.
And it was summarily deleted. I wonder whether that was really necessary.

Macrumors is still my favorite Mac site. I hope it stays that way...

trule
Mar 16, 2007, 04:34 PM
Overall, though I would suspect very good in field life of the flash drives compared to magnetics. You just don't have the mechanics to worry about. The price difference though is significant and won't close any time soon. I think hybrid or combination setups will be common. Get the immediate/instant on benefit of 32GB SDD flash and still have the 500GB storage of the HDD.

Interesting aside on magnetics...they are rated for spin-ups, a laptop drive (2,5) will be rated somewhere between 100k and 300k and server rated versions over 500k. Once the disks are spun up they don't wear out...so they can, in theory, run for quite a long time. 3,5 disks have lower ratings.

The power consumption of an idle 2,5 disk is around 1 watt, and spun-up perhaps 3 watts...the 32G flash uses 0.5 watt "spun-up"...but I guess that is linear so 64G = 1 watt and 128G uses 4 watt etc. while the disk is constant at 3 watts regardless of capacity.

goosnarrggh
Mar 17, 2007, 09:08 AM
Interesting aside on magnetics...they are rated for spin-ups, a laptop drive (2,5) will be rated somewhere between 100k and 300k and server rated versions over 500k. Once the disks are spun up they don't wear out...so they can, in theory, run for quite a long time. 3,5 disks have lower ratings.

The power consumption of an idle 2,5 disk is around 1 watt, and spun-up perhaps 3 watts...the 32G flash uses 0.5 watt "spun-up"...but I guess that is linear so 64G = 1 watt and 128G uses 4 watt etc. while the disk is constant at 3 watts regardless of capacity.

There may be some increase in power consumption versus capacity for Flash. But I'm not sure it would be linear. That's because you don't need to power up all the Flash cells all the time - one benefit of Flash technology is that individual cells don't need any power to retain their value, only to read or modify them.

So an ideal design (from an energy consumption perspective) would power off the Flash all the time, except for the specific points in time where a request is made to read or write certain data -- and then, only the individual page in Flash containing the requested data would need to be powered.

SactoGuy18
Mar 17, 2007, 10:31 AM
What I think will happen is that we will see nanotechnology breakthroughs that will enormous increase the storage capacity of non-volatile RAM by 2010. That will make it possible to have as much as 250 GB of flash RAM (or its equivalent) in a portable media player about the size of the iPhone. And hard drives will be replaced by 1/3-height 3.5-inch "drives" with up to one terabyte of non-volatile RAM. :)

Maccus Aurelius
Mar 18, 2007, 05:28 PM
Now that would be cool. Imagine a Macbook pro with 500GB with dual flash drives. Ok that's probably not going to happen for a long time, but it's nice to dream.:D

sparky672
Mar 18, 2007, 06:28 PM
i thought installing OS in iPods are never recommended because it does not have cooling system inside.

Why? The processor "using" the OS is still inside your computer. The iPod is nothing more than an external hard drive.

princealfie
Mar 20, 2007, 10:30 AM
Now that would be cool. Imagine a Macbook pro with 500GB with dual flash drives. Ok that's probably not going to happen for a long time, but it's nice to dream.:D

Holy smokes, where does that exist bud? I was planning to build a 16 GB Powerbook 12" soon.

BigPrince
Mar 20, 2007, 11:11 AM
Why? The processor "using" the OS is still inside your computer. The iPod is nothing more than an external hard drive.

The HD still overheats though after some use. Not something I would reccomend to anyone doing often and for long periods of time. Just for emergencies and backups.

Butthead
Mar 20, 2007, 07:43 PM
If, and that's an unknown, 128GB 2.5in flash are available at around the same price as the current Sandisk 32GB, then they may be added as an option for Mac laptops. If only 64GB are available by then, and the price is higher, it's a no go.

If and only if the price drops dramatically will you see the 1.8in version of these in a iPod, as currently the 1.8 32GB Sandisk is much more expensive.

Consider, Seagate, Fujitsu (and soon Hitachi) all have 7.2k 160GB drives to appear for sale this month or next, @$155 (froggle search, none in stock yet), then flash mem is all but a high performance option, not a standard component. In that by the time the 128GB flash mem is available at the Sandisk 32GB price, Hitachi or another will have a 200GB 7.2k drive coming onto the market. I just don't see flash mem prices plummeting as much as is necessary to make it a viable option for the majority.