Solid State Drives are slowly taking the place of the vintage Hard Disk Drives and our computers are getting faster. According to many experts and analysis, cheaper NAND flash memory will eliminate the use of HDDs in coming years. But, the reality is a little distorted. The rate, at which the prices of HDDs are decreasing, is much faster than the reduction in the prices of SSDs
The leading storage solutions maker Seagate Technology claims that no matter how cheap the SSDs get in the upcoming times, it will never match the price of HDDs. To be precise, the cost of one GB on HDDs will become as cheap as half of a penny. The claims should be considered pretty believable as Seagate is one of the biggest hard drive makers.
This prediction of Seagate doesn’t match the predictions made by SanDisk and Toshiba. According to them, the cost of enterprise-class SSDs will be as low as the enterprise-class hard disks. At Citigroup’s global technology conference, a Seagate executive said, “I personally will never foresee the day, […] when there is a crossover [between the per-gigabyte cost of NAND and rotating magnetic media]. In 2020 we [will] have drives in the portfolio that will be less than half a penny per gigabyte. I just don’t see how you could get that from the competing technology.”
Right now an affordable consumer class HDD costs around 3-4 cents per-GB, whereas an SSD costs about 50-60 cents per-GB storage. This shows that there is a huge gap that remains to be filled by the SSDs on the price frontier.
SSDs have higher IOPS i.e. read/write input/output operation per second and this makes them preferable for enterprise and datacentre applications. But for archive applications and cold storage, SSDs are a very expensive solution. Also, with thinner laptops and hybrid PCs, adoption of SSDs is happening at a faster rate.
Depending upon the price and usability, users will be able to use both SSDs and HDDs as it’ll continue to co-exist in many years to come.