Monday, December 12, 2011

Hard Disk Drive Shortages Effecting Intel's Fourth Quarter 2011

Intel announced today that it expects fourth quarter revenue to be below expectations due to hard disk drive shortages due to the Thailand floods this past fall.  Intel also stated world PC supply chain is reducing inventories and microprocessor purchases as a result of HDD shortages.  Inventories for HDD's are expected to recover in the first half of 2012.  The HDD shortages has effected the prices of drives, computers, workstations and servers because of the strained inventories.  Approximately forty-five percent or more of the HDD's are manufactured in Thailand.  Analysts predict that hard drive shortages could pull PC production down as much as 10 percent through the first quarter of 2012.  Ordering a computer or server with a 2TB drive could add 2-4 weeks for delivery.  All this news may be great news for the solid state drives.  This may have those considering a solid state drive, to buy one.  See my previous post for more information on SSD versus HDD.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

SSD versus HDD

Solid State Drives Versus Hard Disk Drives

If you are considering whether to buy a solid state or hard disk drive and deciding whether the solid state drive is worth the money.  SSD drives are faster in reading and in writing, in most cases.  Solid-state drive technology also known as Flash technology, eliminates the rotational delay of a spinning platter and of waiting for an arm to move to the correct position.  In essence, SSD drives have no moving parts, unlike the HDD drives. 

At present day prices, a standard 3 ½” HDD drive costs about .20 - .30 cents per gigabyte, standard 2 ½” HDD is about .26 - .35 cents per gigabyte, SSD drive will run you 1.50 and up per gigabyte.  Prices and availability on drives and some other computer components have been fluctuating and have caused strained inventories due to the floods in Thailand where approximately 45% of the drives are manufactured. 

You may choose capacity over speed but a lot depends on how you expect to use your computer.  As processors and memory continue to increase in speed, the gap between memory and HDD speed incessantly widens. With an irresistible cost per GB, HDD will continue to be a key storage technology for years to come.  You may consider a higher end HDD with 10,000 RPM performance.   If the computer’s main purpose is for office type functions such as word or excel, etc. or will you be downloading videos, using multiple applications at the same time or are a serious gamer.  Why have a multi-core processor, with a drive that struggles to do more than one task at a time?  It’s a conundrum.  Then you may want or need the performance of a SSD drive.  Tests show the SSD drives 100X better data read and write, 5 to 50X better in shock resistance and rugged, long-life endurance plus most have a 5 year warranty.  Solid-state drives boast a cost/performance that can’t be beat. SSD can slash I/O-bound batch windows by up to 50%, while also improving response time and throughput. Specializing in high I/O performance, SSD has the upper hand in cost/IOPS.

It’s expected that SSD and HDD drive prices will decrease over the next few years but at the same rate.  So the price difference between these drives will remain roughly as it is today according to most experts.  Your choice boils down to performance and long-life endurance needs versus capacity and price.