Solid-state disk drives are nothing new. They have been around for a while now, but have yet to really take over on a widescale simply because they have always been much more expensive than traditional hard-drives while offering considerably less space.
Looking at sites like NewEgg, you can find the cheapest flash drive for around $55 dollars. What do you get for that kind of money? Around 32GB of storage. In contrast, the same amount of coin will get you a 250GB HDD, and for around $100 you can easily get 1TB+ sized drives.
Still, there is no denying that SDD is on the rise thanks to the growth of ultra-mobile devices like tablets, convertibles, hybrids and ultra-books. Could 2013 be the year that SDD really takes off and starts to push HDD technology out of the way?
According to IHS Suppli, “The newest wave of ultrabooks loaded with Windows 8 has started to generate enthusiasm”, all of which run on SSD technology. Additionally while Windows 8 is blazingly fast with an HDD, it is even faster at boot-up and other tasks with an SSD.
Worldwide shipments for SSDs in 2012 were around 39 million, but IHS Suppli research indicates that shipments will likely rise to around 83 million this year. Still, that’s nothing compared to HDD sales. That said, by 2016, IHS Suppli claims that the shipments could hit around 239 million units, or about 40% of the size of the HDD market.
In other words, 2013 could begin a slow shift towards SSD dominance. Mobile technology and operating systems that take advantage of this like Windows 8 will be a big part of this change. With this kind of growth, SSD could be set to largely replace HDD technology altogether for most consumers in less than a decade I’d wager.
Still, size-wise, you do get more for your buck with an HDD and that probably won’t change for a very long time. Like mentioned below, 1TB is around $80-$100 for an HDD. Compare that to $500-$600 for an SDD with that much space.
What do you think, are today’s mobile products moving us away from traditional hard drives at a rapid enough rate that IHS’ predictions will prove true? Additionally, do you see any real benefit to using SSD on a desktop or do you believe that desktops will continue to largely run on HDD into the foreseeable future?