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Micron pitches QLC as the cost-effective replacement of mechanical drives

By Greg S ยท 4 replies
Nov 9, 2018 at 9:12 AM
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  1. When shopping for a solid state drive there are many factors to consider. Aside from price and performance, security and failure rates are also significant factors. The type of NAND flash and its arrangement within a drive plays a major role in determining some of these criteria.

    Earlier this year, there have been several market indicators pointing towards cheaper SSDs. Notably, Samsung, Micron, and Toshiba have all debuted QLC-based solid state drives that have higher capacities without drastically increased costs. Going forward, Micron has now been able to match enterprise-grade mechanical drives on a cost per gigabyte basis.

    Compared to a 2.4TB 10K hard drive, Micron's 5210 ION SSD costs the same per gigabyte and is offered in capacities of 1.92TB, 3.84TB and 7.68TB. Although still more expensive if maximum capacity is the goal, the performance benefits and total cost of ownership savings from having solid state storage are easily understood.

    In real world testing by machine learning solutions provider Colfax International, a 2.3TB set of images was run through a TensorFlow workload. The set of 100,000 images took just over 15 hours on machines with mechanical drives, but that time was reduced to under 2 hours by switching over to solid state storage. Even larger data sets are said to see even greater time savings.

    Delivering read speeds of up to 540MB/s and 90,000 random read IOPS, the 5210 ION is not the fastest drive on the market. However, it is still 175x faster in random reads, 30 times faster in random writes, and offers double the sequential throughput of mechanical hard drives.

    As pricing continues to fall on solid state storage, QLC NAND could be the technology that reaches a point where it is in fact cheaper for consumers than mechanical drives. Even if not, a few terabytes of solid state storage available as a single drive for reasonable pricing is still something to be welcomed.

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  2. Squid Surprise

    Squid Surprise TS Evangelist Posts: 2,069   +1,100

    This is what I've been waiting to hear for years! I currently have over 40TB in mechanical HDs on my PC... Would love to replace them eventually with SSDs... only my boot drive and program drives need to be "super fast" SSDs... these "regular" SSDs will do quite nicely for photos/movies/etc...
     
    crocography likes this.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,300   +2,756

    "Although still more expensive if maximum capacity is the goal, the performance benefits and total cost of ownership savings from having solid state storage are easily understood."

    Understood, yes ..... afford ..... maybe not!
     
    Stark likes this.
  4. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 972   +319

    I don't even need a fast SSD, my use is mostly just to hold data (videos and music) and playing them occasionally. Even something a bit faster than an HDD would be fine for me if it was solid state and smaller.
     
  5. mattsie

    mattsie TS Enthusiast Posts: 42   +15

    What are you talking about? I think you need to read what word almost means. That title is a bit of a stretch & is considered click bait.
     
    Goamist likes this.

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