>> Sad how a simple "battery" is not included in such devices, so maybe
>> low-power DRAM could be used for faster writes and longer lifetimes.
> Batteries are usually limited to high-end products ...

Get them down into LOW-end products, and I might be more interested!

> Hard disks also come in variants for 24/7 use and those for PC.

Nice to know, but may not be necessary.   My 2003-2006 Maxtor disk ran
exactly for its 3 years.   My 2006 Western Digital is now over 2 years
PAST warranty and giving absolutely NO ill effects, likely due to UIDE
that I did not HAVE till late 2006.   Not just UIDE, but your LBAcache
or ANY constantly-used disk caching program should help make "regular"
PC hard disks last a LOT longer!

>> But knowing how manufacturers make such disks last EXACTLY
>> their "warranty period", I really doubt it!
> I also doubt that they would last that long if HEAVILY used,
> maybe just okay for the manufacturers to replace those which
> are used more than predicted and thus break during warranty.

"We may never know", since even I did not realize how far beyond its
3-year warranty my W.D. disk drive is, till AFTER I wrote the above!
"Heavily used" may no-longer exist, if UIDE or LBAcache are present!

>> if you use a FLASH based device in an environment with lots of writes
>> then you expect to be replacing it on an accelerated schedule.
> The "lots" should probably be "LOTS" there: As mentioned earlier
> in this thread, SSD already ship with extra capacity. They keep
> track how often which area is used and just use fresh areas when
> they predict or sense some area to be over-used. Different from
> harddisks, over-used areas are not lost for reads but for writes
> so data is normally never lost, just the capacity decreases ...

Hard disks almost NEVER "lose" data, as their firmware does much
the same as you note above:  If a sector/track/whatever seems to
be getting unreliable, the disk assigns the area to an alternate
and copies its date there, while it still can!   Only if a hard-
disk runs OUT of alternate areas does it then start posting REAL
errors to us "outsiders"!

> Also, the sweet spot for SSD sizes, price wise, is 60 to 500 GB
> at the moment, much closer to 1 Euro per GB than to two ...

Last I heard, a Euro was about $1.33, meaning that a 120-GB hard
disk for only $40 (30 Euros) is far more of a bargain.   Each of
my "30 Euros" buys 4-GB of hard disk, not less than 1-GB of SSD!

>> NOT concerned about absolute speed (not with UIDE, anyway!)
> With the sizes of UIDE that you run, you could actually boot from
> DVD and then use a RAMDISK, which big UIDE caches are similar to.

I could, but I prefer a hard-disk that need not be copied up to a
RAMdisk each time I boot.   In fact, I do NOT run any "huge" UIDE
cache -- I actually run a special variant of UIDE2 using a 500-MB
cache, since my system has only 1-GB memory.    With V6.22 MS-DOS
(19.5K of free HMA re: no FAT32, Win95/98 or long-filename Krud),
most of my driver and its search table for 500-MB "fits" into the
HMA, and I get a faster UIDE2-style driver for only my normal 944
bytes of upper-memory!

>> nor power consumption
> SSD are similar in power consumption to 2.5 inch harddisks ...

Nice to know, but does not matter for people like me, who have a
"desktop" system with a virtually "unlimited" 400W power-supply!

>> but I AM still "concerned" over all noted in this thread
>> re: FLASH-disk "cycle limits"!
> There seem to be some notorious SSD models which just break down
> completely, but as far as I could tell, none of those was due to
> exhausted flash write cycles. It rather seems to be weak firmware
> (we both know that firmware is no quality market today) ...

"Sucks!" is the "operative" word, there!

Re: the rest of your comments, I agree, SSD/FLASH/"whatever" hard
disk replacements have their advantages, but at present, the cost
of REGULAR hard disks makes SSDs a "niche" market only.   Perhaps
if SSD costs drop (a LOT!), and most such "reliability" issues go
away (COMPLETELY!), they may replace most traditional hard-disks.
But, Seagate "et al" keep making their drives cost less, too, and
so I expect to "live out MY life" [age 66 now] using a HARD disk!

Jack R. Ellis

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