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Why haven't Hard Drive technologies progressed as fast as cpu and grap


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#1 Evil_inc

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 05:33 PM

Yes transfer rates have progressed from around ata/33 to sata 3gb/s but those are only burst rates. The only drives capable of using all their bandwith I have seen are raptors and iRam, both only at sata I 1.5 Gb/s. Data storage has increased but unless it is for comerical reasons I see no way someone could fill a 750gb HD.

And now raid is being used to increase speed, but even that has a limit. Much like dual and quad core cpus and dual core gpus. Has the speed of HDS hit the same wall as cpus or is there just little develpoment in the field?

#2 UncleDavid218

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 06:13 PM

On the topic of iRam, I have done some research regarding solid state media. That is, basically -- NAND based flash memory.

This is the future of storage.

Intel has plans to implement it into their upcoming line of laptop chipsets (while initially of low space compared to traditional drives)

You might be interested in this article

#3 red930

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 06:27 PM

Yes transfer rates have progressed from around ata/33 to sata 3gb/s but those are only burst rates. The only drives capable of using all their bandwith I have seen are raptors and iRam, both only at sata I 1.5 Gb/s. Data storage has increased but unless it is for comerical reasons I see no way someone could fill a 750gb HD.


I could be wrong, but I'm not sure if any drive is capable of using it's full bandwidth potential. There is just a limit to how fast data can be accesed from the drive.

NAND Flash could work, obviously with Corsair having 8GB+ USB sticks that is a step in the right direction, however it is somewhat limited in bandwidth as well.

The real future will be with MRAM as it carries the same bandwidth potential as DRAM and is nonvolatile like NAND Flash. However, that is likely some years away as companies (such as Micron, many others of course) have limited funding for that as they can't produce enough NAND Flash chips as it is, and why bother taking machines offline for research when they could be making money instead?

Also, keep in mind it just isn't necessary to have that speed. Who cares if it take 30-40 seconds (or even a minute or two) for your OS to load, and another few seconds for a game to load? There just isn't any demand for it really. Don't get me wrong, it'll be nice to have for the OS at least, but for the average person we won't need anything faster for anything besides that (i.e. music/movie storage)

At least thats my take on it.

#4 Sorrento

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 06:29 PM

Years ago I thought about using a HDD case to enclose several ram modules, and with some kind of chip control this "ram drive" and use it for system operation.......... however I never implemented the idea, and now it has been made... sort of.

HDD's are like cars... why haven't cars evolved as fast as computers? If they did we would have cars that would travel at 500,000 km/h, and that with just 2L of fuel... unless they were like Intel then they would use 4L of fuel, until the C2D engine was available... lol, joke.

#5 Evil_inc

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 07:30 PM

@David, Thanks for the article, I had no clue that solid state disks could have wear on them.

#6 Thasp

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 07:54 PM

It's not only speed, but reliability.

Modern HDs will soon be looked back on as a detestable technology.. do you run two CPUs in RAID 1 incase one fails? You don't run two NICs, two graphics cards, or two RAM sticks(well, you do, but not for these purposes :)) incase one fails.

Once HDs are so advanced that enterprise class servers only run one of them for a specific amount of data, that's when I think we can say the biggest advancements have been made.

#7 red930

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 07:58 PM

It's not only speed, but reliability.


I'm not certain if that connection is valid, as the chances of losing critical data are slim if your processor, NIC, graphics card or anything else fails.

Okay, maybe the SATA controller itself....maybe.

Data is all-important to many businesses, and I'd certainly be pissed if I lost my music, pictures, or movies. Granted I'm not running RAID for storage (and the data isn't 'critical' per se), but damn I hope that 320GB Western Digital never fails me. ;)

#8 zkissane

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 08:03 AM

It's simple physics. There are 3 ways to get a hard drive to pump data out faster:

1) Make the platter(s) spin faster
2) Increase the data density of the platter(s)
3) Use a more efficient filesystem

#3 is obviously beyond the control of hard drive manufacturers. #1 has the downsides of increased wear, temperature and noise. #2 requires advances in materials science and in the reader thing on the head.

Flash memory is OK, but it has its flaws. Hard drive failure rates are described by a curve called the "bathtub curve" (i.e. early DOAs are high, few die in the middle of their expected lifetime, and more and more fail as they approach the end of their expected lifetime). Flash memory is more linear; the more you write to it, the more it wears out. This makes it OK for occasional write things (camera memory, BIOS memory, thumb drives) and applications where drive failure is relatively consequence free (like Vista's ReadyBoost and ReadyDrive). It's not good enough to use as a normal hard drive; everyday use is simply far too write intensive (think about how many times your swap file gets written to).

#9 General Septem

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 08:04 AM

Also, keep in mind it just isn't necessary to have that speed. Who cares if it take 30-40 seconds (or even a minute or two) for your OS to load, and another few seconds for a game to load? There just isn't any demand for it really. Don't get me wrong, it'll be nice to have for the OS at least, but for the average person we won't need anything faster for anything besides that (i.e. music/movie storage)

At least thats my take on it.


Might be good for servers. Plus it would be cool to have Windows entirely booted up within a second tops. :tooth:

#10 old_geekster

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 03:25 PM

Any time you have moving parts (HDD), there is going to be limitations. There have been incidents where DVD drives have spun the disks out of control and they flew apart.

As you know, there are no moving parts in a CPU. There is not much room in those small housings for 3.2 million transistors to move around.
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#11 Thasp

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 05:19 PM

I'm not certain if that connection is valid, as the chances of losing critical data are slim if your processor, NIC, graphics card or anything else fails.

Okay, maybe the SATA controller itself....maybe.

Data is all-important to many businesses, and I'd certainly be pissed if I lost my music, pictures, or movies. Granted I'm not running RAID for storage (and the data isn't 'critical' per se), but damn I hope that 320GB Western Digital never fails me. ;)


Of course you don't lose any old data if one of those components fail.. which is a good point. My observation was, the failure rate on those components is far lower than that of hard drives. It's not uncommon for drives to fail for no good reason, that were taken care of, compared to other components. :(

#12 Guest_SuppA-SnipA_*

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 06:43 PM

so it would be like, you buy a new laptop, and its hdd would be complete empty, OS lying on the NAND flash, 1 sec boot time with Win Vista :D