How Long do you think hard drives will be around?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by SkyBell, Jan 28, 2007.

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How long will hard drives stick around?

  1. Less then 5 years

    9 vote(s)
    10.8%
  2. 5-15

    40 vote(s)
    48.2%
  3. 15-35

    23 vote(s)
    27.7%
  4. 35+

    11 vote(s)
    13.3%
  1. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #1
    With flash memory becomeing larger and cheaper, I think the hard drive 's years are numbered. I mean, it's 50 year old technology, and becomeing outdated.

    How long do you see Hard drives around?
     
  2. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #2
    Hard drives are cheap and can hold massive amounts of data. They'll be around for quite some time, at least in desktop and enterprise machines.
     
  3. Mammoth macrumors 6502a

    Mammoth

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    There will be some day when hard drives are really just packed with flash. So a SSD really. I expect 5-15 years.
     
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #4
    The idea might be fifty years old but the technology has moved on considerably since then and will continue to move forward. I think hard drives will stay ahead of flash drives for a few years yet.
     
  5. phungy macrumors 68020

    phungy

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Location:
    FL/NY/TX
    #5
    I think they'll be around for another 5-15 years before all companies use flash memory.
     
  6. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #6
    I say 5-15. Realistically I think in 15 years hard drives won't exist anymore.
     
  7. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2005
    Location:
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    #7
    Agreed, I think hard drives will be a thing of the past..in 15 years.
     
  8. Vader macrumors 65816

    Vader

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #8
    In the next few years, for notebooks, I can see the flash being 10% of the space (20gb) and the hd being the other 180gb. the flash would be used for all the os stuff and things, and when you are mobile it will not write to the hd, but the flash, then write the flash when you are at a desk or something.
     
  9. Benjamindaines macrumors 68030

    Benjamindaines

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    A religiously oppressed state
    #9
    I'm giving it 4 years until PCs come with flash memory, but hard drives will still be around for servers / externals for 20ish years.

    I've been to the future, I know ;)
     
  10. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #10
    Moving HDs will be around for a while due to their large capacities.

    While flash memory capacity is going up and it is getting much cheaper, it will be a while before flash memory completely replaces moving HDs.

    The current demand for increasing HD space is outpacing the increase in flash memory. I expect this to continue for quite some time.
     
  11. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #11
    Hard drives are reliable so why get rid of them, I see them being around for a long time.
     
  12. Benjamindaines macrumors 68030

    Benjamindaines

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    A religiously oppressed state
    #12
    I would dump mine in a second if there was something that cost the same as they do now, more reliable, didn't have moving parts, and used a fraction of the power aka flash memory.
     
  13. SkyBell thread starter macrumors 604

    SkyBell

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    Texas, unfortunately.
    #13
    Obviously, you've never had one crash.... it sucks.
     
  14. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #14
    Its going to be a while before you see a 500 GB flash drive that is cheap.
     
  15. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #15
    As audio & picture & video quality goes up, and Operating Systems get more advanced, we need more storage space. Even though Flash capacities are getting higher and higher every day, storage demand is going up as well. Currently the only medium that can keep up with our demand is the Hard Drive. ...It will awhile before Flash can catch up.

    I'm guessing about 20-25 years before the Hard Drive is extinct.
     
  16. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #16
    I'd say they be around for a while, remember flash memory still suffers from a low and finite number of read/write cycles, which makes it impractically for things like swap disk...
     
  17. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #17
    You know, flash memory devices can die as well!

    Although the newer ones seem much more reliable. Either way, eventually flash memory wears out.
     
  18. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #18
    Laptops will lose HDD's sooner rather than later, starting with Ultraportables as we're already seeing.

    Desktops and servers will cling on to HDD's for a lot, lot longer. They're getting cheaper, faster and larger all the time and recent advances in HDD technology indicate that there'll be no slowdown in this in the near future. Also, as machines get more RAM that'll probably result in less writes and so longer lasting drives anyway - plus OS's will get more intelligent as to how and when they read and write to ensure a lot of the information a user needs is readily available in RAM.
     
  19. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    Location:
    Defenders of Apple Guild
    #19
    It sounds nuts, but I think hard drives will be here... forever!

    We have quite a few technologies come along over the past few years, but each time before each gets cheap (and big) enough to take over the market, hard drive manufacturers figured out a new way to squeeze more densities onto those freakingly crude pieces of spinning things to give us more GBs.

    No matter what there will always be a niche market remaining for some cheap mega storage per dollar solution, and that's where hard drives will continue to fill in the future. Or maybe not so niche since half of mankind consists of visually orientated males :rolleyes:
     
  20. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #20
    Seems like 8GB of flash currently costs more than 250GB of HD space (at first glance). I'd say it'll be more than 15 years before that gap is closed completely. For laptops, and other applications where size and weight at least partially outweigh cost and capacity, it'll obviously be a lot sooner than that. But for desktops and servers it'll be a while.
     
  21. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Back in the motherland
    #21
    That depends largely on how the other technologies are going to do. Holographic storage for example could theoretically do 4Gb per cubic milimeter.
     
  22. Markleshark macrumors 603

    Markleshark

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    Carlisle, Up Norf!
    #22
    We'll not see a shift for large 'hard drives' as such to flash memory. It's not designed for continually writing data to it. We'll see holographic technology as used in those CD DVD thingys we saw not very long ago. :)

    Of course, not for 10 years yet.
     
  23. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #23
    It will be interesting to see how this technology develops. The first time that I received a briefing on it was back in the 70's. Still haven't seen any real products yet.

    Another technology that was BIO based was projected to have 1 trillion bits per cubic centimeter. Haven't seen anything yet either.

    Right now it seems flash memory is the in thing. But it still lags way behind HDs in terms of storage and cost. I can purchase an PATA or SATA 300GB HD for about $100. I can purchase about 8GB of SDHC memory for the same price. Comparing prices, today it would take close to 4 grand of flash memory to equal $100 in HD capacity.

    Laptops and ultra portables will push for flash memory use creating a bigger market and drop in prices. On the side of the fence are servers and server farms. They need huge capacities at low costs.

    Right now I see both technologies continuing to develop for the next 10-15 years. By then we may have something completely different to store our data. Then again, maybe not! ;)
     
  24. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Back in the motherland
    #24
    Yeah, it is still some time off I guess but inphase has first products on the market. Still too big and storage isn't THAT great yet but give it 10 years and I think it may become a viable alternative.
     
  25. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    #25
    not in the next 10-15 years i guess
    flash memory will become more important in portable devices like laptops but on the desktop the HD will be dominant for years simply because of the size advantage (there are already 1 TB drives after all if memory serves correctly)
     

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